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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 07 Hansard (Wednesday, 23 June 2021) . . Page.. 1991 ..

around the suburbs of Evatt, Giralang and Spence, is Palmerville. It was an old station and it is now a fantastic heritage park. These mark some of those early European settlements.

It was on this day 55 years ago that urban Belconnen began. It was Aranda that was commissioned as the first suburb. Like Mr Cain, I draw on the history of Belconnen compiled by my friend Brian Rhynehart, who was also my colleague for many years on the Belconnen Community Council. He has contributed in so many ways and is really quite a living treasure from Belconnen. I will quote Brian directly:

… amid heightened security resulting from the shooting of the Leader of the Opposition, Arthur Calwell, in Sydney a few days earlier, the District of Belconnen—

a name associated with the locality since the days of the early settlers, the name having been taken from a land grant in the area made in 1837 to the explorer Captain Charles Sturt—

was inaugurated by the Minister for the Interior, Doug Anthony. A commemoration stone was laid in the Aranda playing fields.

It was in the next year that the first residential leases at Aranda were offered at auction. In 1967 the suburbs of Aranda, named for an Aboriginal tribe of Central Australia, and Macquarie, named for Major General and early Governor of New South Wales, Lachlan Macquarie, were gazetted before those first to live in Belconnen moved in.

Having doorknocked the streets of Aranda and Macquarie especially several times over, I know there are a number of Belconnen residents from those very early days who still live in these same homes. Since then Belconnen has become home to hundreds of thousands more and it remains the biggest region in this beautiful city that we call home.

Belconnen is characterised by its richness of culture, the absolute diversity that we see right across the region and, I think, a real passion for our home. Once you move to Belconnen and you fall in love with it, you do not just fall in love with it; you become a fierce defender of it; you become a warrior for it. You may not necessarily get a tattoo of 2617 somewhere on your body, but you live and breathe exactly what that means. There is something really special about Belconnen.

I talk about it a lot and to this day I still cannot quite put my finger on exactly what it means to be there. But when you are there, you know exactly what I am talking about. It is special. It is the fabric of the people that make it an incredible place, how lucky we are and how lucky we continue to be to have such a remarkable area to call home. I wish it a very happy 55th birthday in its more modern times.

World Public Service Day

MS VASSAROTTI (Kurrajong—Minister for the Environment, Minister for Heritage, Minister for Homelessness and Housing Services and Minister for

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