Page 902 - Week 03 - Wednesday, 29 March 2023

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It is unfortunate that we have to almost expect this from a government who are so badly in debt that they cannot do anything unless it aligns with the tram, the planning around the tram or their expected windfall from development along the tram line. A government relying on windfall to pay for infrastructure is not good governance, and it is not surprising that that is why its planning scope is so limited. Imagine, an ACT that was not burdened by such a great debt that it impacted the community outcomes regularly. The community might actually be able to trust election commitments, the community might actually feel heard, and we might actually have a multicultural centre.

I call upon this Labor-Greens government to get on with the job, get on with the thing that they promised and consult genuinely with the multicultural community to bring this promised facility into being.

Mr John Evans OAM

MS CHEYNE (Ginninderra—Assistant Minister for Economic Development, Minister for the Arts, Minister for Business and Better Regulation, Minister for Human Rights and Minister for Multicultural Affairs) (4.50): I rise this evening to congratulate John Evans OAM on his latest efforts. John Evans should be known to all of us. If not, then I would encourage people to make him known to themselves, because he is an incredible legend in the field of bushwalking and in his contribution to the ACT.

Those latest efforts were to enjoy all 39 of Canberra’s nature reserves. You would know yourself, Mr Deputy Speaker, just how spectacular they are, but what is all the more remarkable is that John Evans has been doing this for 18 years. He has now clocked over 1,400 bushwalks, which he has documented, not just noting he has done them but with extensive track notes and GPS data—often searching for a geocache as part of the bushwalk.

The most remarkable thing of all is that this latest accomplishment has been while Mr Evans has been recovering from multiple myeloma. It is amazing to see a gentleman in his 70s with such passion and commitment to the broader Canberra community—showing off exactly what there is to enjoy throughout Canberra and encouraging that for everyone, no matter what their age is.

He is a particularly special friend of mine, and I was very grateful to be invited to the last two bushwalks he completed over the Canberra Day long weekend, which had a huge turnout. We were able to go through the beautiful Dunlop grasslands. It is full of treasures, if you have not been there before, and on this beautiful, foggy morning we stumbled across many of these treasures, including paddocks of kangaroos and sheep side by side, and the ACT and the New South Wales border markers. I would note that Mr Evans has visited every single border marker on the ACT-New South Wales border.

Of course, we also saw the Osage orange trees. If you have not seen these before, they do have fruit on them, and the fruit is particularly interesting because it looks like a brain. It has a very curious pattern on it, and it is a treat to see them. They are a mark


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