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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 13 Hansard (26 November) . . Page.. 4775..


MR STEFANIAK (continuing):

diverse bunch. Many of them have been prominent Canberrans for many years. There are indeed former Assembly members. I think Mrs Grassby is an active supporter of it, as is her husband. Indeed, a number of formerly prominent members of the Labor Party are on it, as indeed are people like myself who are in the Liberal Party. It is very much a cross-section of the community. Colin Slater, a well-known Canberra identity, is executive officer.

I can recall problems last year. In fact, I spoke to the government on a number of occasions last year because, again, funds were sort of held up. They were finally granted. It was not the $50,000 sought; I think it was about $40,000. Nevertheless, the government-maybe grudgingly, and right at the 11th hour-actually did commit funds. I was very concerned, though, to see that this year-I will not go over the debate we had earlier; that is for everyone to read-funds were not granted.

It is an excellent event. Regularly on 26 January many thousands of Canberrans attend the Australia Day in the park events. There are a diverse range of events. There have been some wonderful events there. At one stage, Fred Daly and I used to run speakers corner for a while. I think my colleague, Mr Smyth, has read out the number of events that the Australia Day in the National Capital Committee want to hold again this year.

Some of those events will not be held as a result of the actions taken by the minister. I think that is an absolute tragedy. I would ask him to reconsider. I hope it is not too late, but I do not hold my breath on that one. An institution that has provided joy to thousands of Canberrans young and old every year for about the last 15 years is in real jeopardy this year. There will be a few events that will not run, and I think that is a tragedy for the territory.

Australian International Hotel School

Playground equipment

MRS BURKE (10.57): I promise not to deliver a long list of names tonight. But last night, when I took pleasure in talking about the Australian International Hotel School's seventh conferring of degrees ceremony, I inadvertently missed out somebody. That was partly because it was a new award this year-it was the ambassador's award. It was the inaugural award, and the recipient this year was Elizabeth Grant, who members may remember was an AIHS foundation ambassador.

Secondly, I would like to bring to the attention of members and other interested parties an exciting innovation that would bring joy and a sense of freedom to many young children with a disability. I know that Minister Wood is aware of this. I have written to him on the matter. Many of us probably do not think about how difficult it is for people in a wheelchair to undertake basic activities like enjoying the fun of a swing at the park. This swing can bring them enjoyment, and I think it is a worthwhile piece of equipment that the government should seriously consider installing in Canberra. This was brought to my attention by the excellent organisation, Rotary, and I think that the minister had a chance to look at it today.

Mr Wood: It's a massive thing. I saw it today.


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