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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2006 Week 5 Hansard (9 May) . . Page.. 1420..


MS PORTER (continuing):

raised far more dollars on the actual day of the event when fellow members of Young Labor began calling for his eyebrows to come off as well. Luckily he was saved by Mr Barr, who made additional donations to ensure that one of our party's youngest members would retain at least a few of the hairs on his head. I took particular pleasure in auctioning off Josh's precious sideburns to the highest bidder, and he was relieved when both were finally removed. I thank Josh for being prepared to submit himself to what I fear will be a particularly cold winter for him.

I also congratulate the other ACT Young Labor members who had their heads shaved: Bernard Philbrick, Ben Sakker-Kelly and Daniel Hughes. Mandy Sharplin from Kate Lundy's office was also brave enough to have her beautiful hair shaved off.

ACT Young Labor raised more than $1,500 for the Leukaemia Foundation, and they are to be congratulated on this excellent total. An exciting result of this high total was that Mr Hargreaves was forced to follow through on his promise to remove his beloved moustache, an incident which was met with huge applause from the audience and I know is well recognised by all members here.

However, on a more serious note: this is a cause which is very much worth supporting. Leukaemia can develop in any person, at any age and at any time. More than 2,000 Australians are diagnosed every year; that is, roughly six people each day. I encourage members who are unable to attend the Shave for a Cure event to visit www.worldsgreatestshave.com to make a donation.

On an even more serious note, I recognise the momentous event that occurred this morning, an event that the whole nation and even many parts of the world have been holding their collective breaths over. Of course I talk of the rescue of Todd Russell and Brant Webb after their 13-day and 14-night incarceration in the Beaconsfield mine. We all rejoice with their families, colleagues and their community. At the same time, we remember Larry Knight with sorrow and send our condolences to his family, as we do to Richard Carleton's wife, Sharon, and her family. Life is full of highs and lows, as we know, and the roller coaster of Beaconsfield has given us first-hand experience of that, if ever we needed it.

I finish by joining Mr Gentleman in recognising Dr Peter Veenker and wishing him well in his retirement. I congratulate him on his fine career and thank him for his work and his achievements whilst Chief Executive of the CIT. I believe his farewell party went on well into the evening; I was sorry I had to leave to attend another commitment.

Public housing

Government—expenditure

MR SMYTH (Brindabella—Leader of the Opposition) (6.17): Seeing the executive director of ACT Housing in the gallery at question time reminded me of a different time. It was a time when the government had so much money that it had to try to hide it. Yes, I am speaking of the infamous $10 million for fire safety upgrades in ACT Housing properties. For new members, and for those of you who would rather forget, let me remind you what happened. I refer to a report in the Canberra Times of 24 April 2003, where the caption under the picture says, "ACT Treasurer Ted Quinlan admitted he should have chosen a different way to cover public housing costs".


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