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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 07 Hansard (Thursday, 24 June 2021) . . Page.. 2082 ..


The Hindu community in Ginninderra and the wider Canberra district will no doubt benefit from this wonderful new centre. The centre construction is close to completion, and I look forward to attending its opening soon.

Last week I visited the Hindu Temple and Cultural Centre in Florey, in company with Mrs Elizabeth Kikkert MLA. We were hosted by several representatives of the Hindu community: Mr Prakash Mehta, national president, Hindu Council of Australia, who I mentioned earlier; Mr Kanti Jinna OAM, vice president, Hindu Council of Australia; priest Pundit Acharya Prakash Pandey; and Mr Basu Banka. I thank all of them for their company.

Last Monday I participated in a yoga session as part of the International Day of Yoga held at the Legislative Assembly. This was organised by Dr Nadimpalli on behalf of the Art of Living Foundation.

I have had great pleasure in getting to know the Hindu community across my electorate and in the rest of Canberra. I want to thank them for their many contributions to the Canberra community, and I look forward to continuing to work with them and for them.

Belconnen—community engagement

MS CLAY (Ginninderra) (4.57): I want to say a few words about one of the most unexpected pleasures I have had in a really unexpected job—that is, just getting out and about in Belconnen. I have lived in Belconnen for most of my life, but I have had this great excuse to discover places I never knew about and to meet people I have never met before.

I have been running coffee catch-ups on Fridays, and I have now managed to get around to most of the suburbs. They have been fun. People take me at my word; they rock up and have a coffee. Sometimes they have a problem; sometimes they just want to have a coffee, which is really nice.

One of the memorable cafes that I went to was in Lawson. It was a little street cafe. They did not quite have the infrastructure yet, but that did not hold them back. They were set up and running, anyway. We have managed to get around to Hawker, Cook, Florey, Kippax, Charnwood, UC, Latham, Melba, CBD, Belco, Evatt, Lawson, Jamison, Fraser, Bruce, Holt, Aranda, and Spence. That has been a lot of fun.

I have managed to do a few pub catch-ups, which is also fun, at Lighthouse, Bolt and a few of the other great venues that we have in Belconnen. It is good to hear that we have had a bit more support for live music in Belconnen recently and for our entertainment venues.

I have been out building mountain bike trails on Bruce Ridge, which was fun, and I have done a lot of Landcare at a lot of places like Mount Painter, in Evatt, and with the Ginninderra Catchment Group in McKellar. That has been really good. It is a great, practical way to see what is going on with our land. Honestly, I am learning a lot. I am still very nervous to pull up any weeds because they look very similar to the native


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