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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2006 Week 5 Hansard (10 May) . . Page.. 1509..

MS PORTER (continuing):

Last year I had the pleasure of attending the party in the park in Hawker, where I live. It was a wonderful opportunity for my husband and me to spend some time with my stepdaughter and her husband and our grandchildren. The children had a wonderful time, of course, jumping on castles and getting their faces painted, while we grown-ups greatly valued the opportunity to relax with each other and catch up on each other's news and offer each other support. Families of all kinds are important in our community, I think we would all agree, and they are important in building community. We should be encouraging opportunities for families to spend time together, families of every description. Also, open events such as party in the park give everyone a chance to become involved: the single person, the elderly, the young.

Mr Speaker, as I said previously, I am very proud to be part of a government that realises the value of close community connectedness and a government that works towards the goals of strong community links and partnerships. I am proud of my government's commitment to the community inclusion fund and social plan, our other commitments to building community and, last but certainly not least, our commitment to the 'round town program. As I have said, the program is a perfect example of the way government can encourage our community to get together and support each other. I look forward to seeing these programs continuing in the future and to seeing the wonderful results of these programs evident in our community.

MS BURKE (Molonglo) (5.57): I rise to speak to this motion for the 21/2 minutes left. I guess I agree with the primary thrust of the motion put forward by Ms Porter, but I would like to add something here. I am not trying to be a knocker; I would not do that. Lots of people get a lot of good entertainment out of the many things that have been put on. But I would add that, whilst most of the events staged have been positive, I would hope to see the government putting as much energy into community consultation. I want to say for the public record that, whilst governments should spend a great deal of time, as this government certainly has done, on what happens around town as it can be beneficial to the community and pull communities together, I think that what pulls communities together even more, as I know Mrs Dunne has alluded to many times, is a better form of community consultation.

I thank the government for putting it on, but the 'round town program needs perhaps to be arranged around special days, such as Mother's Day, Father's Day, cultural events and sporting events such as triathlons because, unfortunately, lots of people do not turn up to certain events, such as the one at Eddison Park last Sunday. It was a little sad that there were only a couple of people there. I think that we can learn from that, but I would say that I think we need to make sure when we are trying to engage with the community that it is not so much about having picnics in the park as about trying to talk with, commune with and consult with people for better outcomes for the whole of the community.

Motion agreed to.


Motion by (Mr Corbell ) proposed:

That the Assembly do now adjourn.

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