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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2004 Week 09 Hansard (Thursday, 19 August 2004) . . Page.. 3939 ..

In recognition that the January 2003 bushfire was a traumatic event for the whole community, the government has made a commitment to build a memorial to mark that significant milestone in people’s lives. The ACT community has said that a bushfire memorial should remember the lives of those who died or were injured in the bushfires, acknowledge the scale, impact and diversity of the loss experienced by the ACT region, honour the courage of those who risked their lives to help others, and express gratitude for the warmth and generosity of the community response.

Our consultation also indicates that it is important to the community for the memorial to celebrate the resilient spirit of our community and acknowledge the beginnings of the regeneration of a much-loved environment. Once a preferred site has been identified, the government will begin a process to commission designs and will announce the selected design on the second anniversary of the fires.

The outpouring of community support and the spirit and character shown by Canberrans following the fires have proved that from this tragedy the ACT community has shown that it is committed to collaboratively building a safer, stronger, and more connected community. At the first anniversary ceremony, Jane Smith poignantly stated:

Canberra has been called, rather cruelly, “a city without a soul”. Now, our community response to the bushfires proves we can put that right behind us. At the time of the fires there were many helpers and many heroes. We are “survivors” rather than victims. We’ve survived because we have been the beneficiaries of an amazing community response. We could not have imagined the help we would receive in re-establishing our lives and our homes.

The spirit, generosity and desire to join together in building and creating a bright future are among our community’s greatest strengths. This strength has led to great progress in the recovery effort, progress that may have seemed impossible when we surveyed the damage in January 2003. I am proud of what we have achieved. Homes have been rebuilt, infrastructure has been repaired, and bold plans have been put in place for the future. Of course, much remains to be done, but the resources are in place and work is well and truly under way. The strong partnerships we have built with the community, along with my government’s determination not only to rebuild but also to improve on what we lost, guarantee that the recovery effort will continue to be a great success. I move:

That the Assembly takes note of the paper.

Debate (on motion by Mr Stefaniak) adjourned to the next sitting.

Motor sport

Discussion of public importance

MR SPEAKER: I have received letters from Ms Dundas and Mr Stefaniak, proposing that matters of public importance be submitted to the Assembly. In accordance with standing order 79, I have determined that the matter proposed by Mr Stefaniak be submitted to the Assembly, namely:

The state of motor sport in the ACT.

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