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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 11 Hansard (21 October) . . Page.. 3517..


Supercar Race

Ms Gwen Laker - Bloody Monday

MR MOORE (Minister for Health and Community Care) (6.16): Mr Speaker, I must say that I was singularly impressed by Mr Corbell's contribution in apologising for a mistake. It is never easy for a member to do that and I think it is entirely appropriate to do so. It does help maintain the very high standard that we expect in this Assembly.

I rise this evening to talk about a book that I was fortunate enough to launch last Saturday. I refer to a book by Gwen Laker called Bloody Monday, which is a series of short stories, a very readable set of short stories. The thing that is most exciting about it in the International Year of the Older Person is that Gwen is over 80 years of age. She would not actually give her exact age, but she did say that that is the decade that she is in. She works vigorously on this project and says that it keeps her mind alive. I recommend that members get a copy of the book. It has been published by Ginninderra Press and is a series of easy-reading short stories that are really pithy. They touch a raw nerve of life. I think that the book is well worth reading. In the International Year of the Older Person, it is terrific to see an astute person with a sharp mind working like that.

The other part of it is that I think that it is a really positive thing to have Ginninderra Press working in the ACT on publishing books such as this to support the people who are writing them and to support the local community. It seems to me that it is the sort of publication in which there is never going to be much money but which is, on the other hand, making a great contribution. I hope I am wrong and that one of the bigger presses will look at it and say, "This is a great set of short stories. We are prepared to publish them".

Better still, I hope that the novel that Gwen has just about finished, of which I have not read a draft, will get published and hit the big time and will take with it a Canberra company. That would be terrific. But it is great to see that kind of contribution. I have to say that I would recommend to members that they get a copy of Gwen Laker's book of short stories and sit it next to the bed. The stories tend to be two or three pages long, provide easy reading before you nod off and are quite enjoyable.

Floriade

MR BERRY (6.18): Members will recall some reports in the Canberra Times recently referring to the activities of a clandestine organisation, the Floriade Liberation Army. The Floriade Liberation Army, by all reports, is involved in an underground operation to return Floriade to the people and get it out of the clutches of business. Mr Speaker, one of the reports that I saw referred to the placement of flowers and other protest devices, all important tools in the work of such an underground army, at the front of the Assembly.

These tools of war are important to the Floriade Liberation Army, as I understand it, in the campaign to get Floriade back to the people. I wonder whether the Government would be prepared to consider whether they were removed from the front of the Assembly with legal authority. If they were not, I guess that the Floriade Liberation


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