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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2015 Week 13 Hansard (Tuesday, 17 November 2015) . . Page.. 4050 ..

badmouthing community councils. It is plain to see that this ACT Labor government is not supportive of community councils and the work they do and does not value the contribution that they make.

When I attend regular meetings of the Tuggeranong Community Council I see the fantastic work that they do and try to do, sometimes against the wishes of the government, on behalf of Tuggeranong residents. The aim of the Tuggeranong Community Council is to provide a coordinated voice for issues affecting the Tuggeranong Valley, and it represents a wide range of residents in Tuggeranong.

One achievement that the Tuggeranong Community Council is very proud of is the decision of the federal government Department of Social Services to stay in Tuggeranong. I know my federal colleague Senator Seselja lobbied hard for that, but the Tuggeranong Community Council certainly played its part in that decision as well.

The Tuggeranong Community Council also lobbied for a greater CIT presence in Tuggeranong, because approximately 75 per cent of students at Woden came from Tuggeranong. Now there is going to be a CIT in Tuggeranong, on Anketell Street, and a lot of that is thanks to the tireless lobbying of the Tuggeranong Community Council. It is also an example of how community councils are effective at representing and advocating for a wide range of people in the ACT.

I am not familiar with all the community councils in Canberra but I am sure they all have their role to play in representing the views of a diverse range of people. I have been to the Woden Valley Community Council, for example. They have done a lot of work in lobbying government departments to stay in the Woden area. We heard today about an announcement in that regard.

Community councils are closely involved in planning consultations. The Tuggeranong Community Council has been very much involved in the clean-up of the lake, Lake Tuggeranong, and lobbying for wetlands or other solutions to the problems we have seen in Lake Tuggeranong.

More recently Glenys Putulny was elected president of the Tuggeranong Community Council. Beverly Flint is one of the deputy vice presidents. In relation to Mr Barr’s comment about gender, I am not too sure exactly what he was referring to because, from my experience of the Tuggeranong Community Council, the Tuggeranong Community Council does have a range of genders represented, as are the people who attend the council meetings, which, incidentally, are held on the first Tuesday of each month at the Southern Cross Club in Tuggeranong, if you would like to go.

Many of our Assembly colleagues have attended those meetings. It is hard to understand why they then denigrate the importance of them. Many times I have heard members of the Labor government talk about how they consulted with the community councils. An example earlier this year was when we talked about the closure of Tharwa Drive. One of the defences that the government put up was that they had consulted with the Tuggeranong Community Council. It appears to be one of those things where the government want to have their cake and eat it too. They denigrate councils when it suits them and they use councils to support their argument when it suits them.

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