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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2006 Week 13 Hansard (14 December) . . Page.. 4228..

MS PORTER (continuing):

region four-wheel drive club; Ms Gallagher to Doctors Without Borders; Mr Gentleman to Pedal Power, because I know that he has an interest in saving on the greenhouse gases; Mr Stefaniak to his favourite footy club; Dr Foskey to the save the whale campaign—and the list would go on and on.

But as I was compiling this list I realised that I am the holder of the virtual volunteer doll as given to me last Christmas by the then Treasurer and that I should spend a few moments recognising the huge contribution of the volunteers who work to assist many of these groups that I have been talking about. Firstly, I would like to thank the emergency services fire brigade volunteers and CFU units as they work to prepare for any possible threat to the ACT; I believe some are already in the field in Tumut. I would also like to thank the many volunteers working in the Red Cross, the St Vincent de Paul Society, the Smith Family, the Salvation Army and like organisations and those in health-related organisations like the cancer council, the blind society, the MS Society and the myriad volunteers working in self-help groups. VOCAL is a good example of such an organisation.

There are many volunteers working in groups which endeavour to sustain and protect our environment, such as Conservation ACT and Greening Australia. Some volunteers work to promote and protect our heritage, such as volunteers at the Australian War Memorial, Lanyon Homestead and Calthorpe's House. Sporting clubs in our suburbs would not survive without the great support they receive from the community, parents and others who offer their services to coach, sit on club boards and get involved in a host of other activities.

Little is known about those volunteers in the area of science and technology, like the PC users group and those in the CSIRO. Let us not forget those in amateur theatre and those that bring us the experience of the arts. Without all these volunteers, our life would be much the poorer today.

We all know that over 40 per cent of our population work as volunteers in our community, and obviously I have only touched on a small percentage of those people in that very brief list. Many of these volunteers will continue to work over the Christmas break, putting on Christmas parties and meals and delivering food and gift hampers to those who, without the help of others, would not have any kind of Christmas. Thanks to all those volunteers and may they all have a very happy and safe Christmas and holiday season, and of course thanks to all the community that contribute in whatever way they do to make Canberra the place it is—such a wonderful place to live.


MR PRATT (Brindabella) (6.04): Mr Speaker, I, too, rise to give thanks to the important people around me in this particular job that I do as an MLA. Of course, I start with my constituents and my community. I wish them a safe Christmas. I hope the ACT community will find itself having a safe summer. We know that the drought index and the fire risk are particularly high this year, so fingers crossed. While I am talking about that, of course my best wishes go to the emergency services, the RFS and SES and all of our emergency personnel and volunteers in whom we put our trust; Godspeed through this season safely.

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