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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 4 Hansard (2 April) . . Page.. 1288..


MRS CROSS (continuing):

why I decided to make this about only the East Timorese. I believe they have every right to claim permanent citizenship in this country.

I am hopeful that the immigration minister and the Prime Minister will view this case seriously. I am hopeful that they will be allowed to stay. If not, I will be very sad, but I live in hope. I am not as negative as some. We have an unusual and close relationship with East Timor, which goes back almost half a century. I truly hope that the letter the Chief Minister will, hopefully, write to the Prime Minister asking him to allow these people to stay in Australia is successful. I thank members for their support of my motion.

Motion agreed to.

Proposed new land rating system

Mr Smyth, in accordance with standing order 128, fixed the next day of sitting as the time for the moving of this motion.

Sitting suspended from 6.17 to 8.00 pm.

Youth Week celebrations

MS MacDONALD (8.00): I move:

That the Assembly:

(1) notes the importance of young people to our community;

(2) notes the importance of youth support programs; and

(3) supports Youth Week celebrations.

Mr Speaker, even as we live longer and have fewer children, young people make up a large part of our community. It is timely that we reflect on their importance. This Saturday, Youth Week starts. Last Friday, the youth suicide prevention organisation Here for Life held its annual fundraiser. According to Here for Life, 10 young Australians will die by their own hand this week and more than 1,000 will attempt to do so. Statistics like that show that we need to appreciate our young people. It may be a cliche, Mr Speaker, but they are our future.

Every day we see young people working, studying, volunteering, entertaining and more. We should celebrate their achievements during National Youth Week, which is from 5 to 13 April. The activities during Youth Week reflect the diversity of our youth. There will be bands performing, a sexuality summit, a carers' breakfast, skateboarding, and art and writing workshops.

Organisations such as the Youth Coalition of the ACT, which is organising Youth Week activities in the territory, do a fantastic job supporting Canberra's young people. But sometimes, for complicated reasons, young people fall into trouble, such as depression. It is important that we realise the seriousness of that and that we pull them out again.

The Stanhope government is also working to reduce young people's involvement in crime. The approach brings together police, non-government organisations and


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