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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 07 Hansard (Thursday, 24 June 2021) . . Page.. 2081 ..

only bins present in the school were general waste bins. During 2020, me and my peers worked with the school to introduce recycling bins to classrooms. While I am very proud of this development, it frustrates me that it took so long. Although the school now has both recycling and general waste bins, it does not yet have proper paper recycling, soft plastic, or organic waste bins, all of which are necessary to create sustainable school environments. It is my understanding that Kaleen High School is not the only school with a lack of sustainable development in this area. If the government was to provide their support and assist in the establishment of effective waste management systems to schools who lack one, it could further improve the ACT’s environment.

A final and particularly important action that I wish to bring to light is the education schools conduct regarding the importance of climate action and sustainable practices. Throughout my education, the only time my curriculum addressed climate change was in my final unit of year 10 science. Any other times in which climate change was referenced occurred not due to the curriculum, but rather due to my teachers’ interests in the topic. I do not believe that this amount of education is enough. With the Earth predicted to be more than 3 degrees warmer by the 22nd century, the current generation of students are expected to live through rising ocean levels, increased natural disaster levels, ocean acidification, and changing ecosystems. Me and my peers will have to watch the loss of the Great Barrier Reef, the extinction of numerous species, and the changing of our planet for the worse. It is more essential than ever for our students to be properly educated as to the importance of climate action. This could be integrated into the curriculum in many aspects, like in history, social sciences, and geography.

(Extension of time granted.)

I also believe that it should be taught at a younger age, even as young as primary school, to foster an understanding and appreciation of the environment throughout education. This is an extremely important topic in the current day, making it crucial for the education system to consider further including climate change in the curriculum.

In summary, Madam Speaker, there are really good quality measures in the ACT schools to foster eco-friendly and sustainable environments. However, there is more that can be done and I hope you will consider these issues in future discussions.

Multicultural affairs—Hindu community

MR CAIN (Ginninderra) (4.55): The last few weeks have presented me with many opportunities to connect with the very active Hindu community across my electorate and beyond. Earlier this month I attended the Hindu temple ground-breaking ceremony in Moncrieff, along with several of my Canberra Liberals colleagues. I would like to thank Dr Krishna Nadimpalli OAM for the opportunity for me and other MLAs from all parties who attended, to address the gathering. It was a pleasure as well to be introduced to Mr Prakash Mehta, president of the Hindu Council of Australia, who arranged a tour of the Florey temple, which I will outline in this speech.

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