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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 05 Hansard (Tuesday, 11 May 2021) . . Page.. 1317 ..


Jennifer is 28 years old, working on her PhD at Harvard and months away from marrying the love of her life when a mysterious fever leaves her bedridden. When doctors tell her that it is all in her head, she picks up her camera as an act of defiance and brings us into a hidden world of millions that medicine has abandoned. This is a moving and powerful documentary and an insight into the lives of people who are too often invisible in our community.

The reason 12 May, which is also International Nurses Day, is International ME/CFS Awareness Day is because Florence Nightingale, who was born on 12 May, was thought to have lived with a very severe form of ME/CFS in the later years of her life. I make this speech today to bring to the awareness of members of the Assembly and the community this crippling condition, its prevalence in our community and the importance of taking it seriously. It is not in people’s heads; it is real, and we need to keep our focus on it.

Planning—Kippax group centre flooding potential

MR CAIN (Ginninderra) (5.14): I rise this evening to talk about the ongoing saga of the Kippax shopping centre. What a sorry state of affairs this Labor-Greens government has let this become.

The expression of interest to purchase the parcel of land on Holt playing fields is due to be released this month, some eight years after the government began its so-called community engagement on what the people of west Belconnen want for their local shopping centre. Over that time, the government has continuously ignored many in the community who are concerned about building on the oval and taking away a valued green space. For me, this highlights the inherent problems underlying the Labor-Greens government’s 70 per cent infill agenda and calls into question their green credentials. It is a bit of an oxymoron, Mr Deputy Speaker.

Because this is a really bad piece of decision-making, there is a cloud hanging over the whole thing. The Canberra Times reported on this situation over the weekend:

A report that warned of heightened flood risks at a major West Belconnen shopping centre was kept secret until after the ACT government allowed more residential and commercial development of the area.

The secret report in question is an updated version of a report produced in 2015 which identified the need to undertake significant works to address flood risks whether or not the Kippax shopping centre was expanded onto the oval. The revised report, which is dated 15 July 2020, reiterates the need to undertake a range of flood mitigations, which the Canberra Times reports would cost close to $2 million.

Six years on, the Labor-Greens government has done nothing with the flood mitigation recommendations and instead forged ahead with a variation to the Territory Plan enabling construction on the floodplain.

The government will say that they will include requirements in the sale of the Holt playing fields for any organisation building on the site to implement the necessary


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