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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 08 Hansard (Tuesday, 3 August 2021) . . Page.. 2175 ..

the Chief Minister, in making that decision as Treasurer to fund it. Money is a necessity to make the community work and that is why we pay our rates and our taxes, so that exactly this sort of activity can occur. I also put on record my thanks to Weston Creek Community Council for their additional effort over many years in advocating for the needs of this area, particularly previous chair Tom Anderson and deputy chair Pat McGinn.

We all know that the issues associated with the oncoming commercial centre, the bridge, the driver behaviour on the main road and the need for many more facilities will go on. I am so pleased that the humble but determined Monique Brower, detail king Ryan Hemsley and all members of the executive team have committed to this work, and I am really looking forward to working with them as they go forward in this very important community work.

I put on record that my concerns for the area have started to peak again over traffic, given the delays that we now know will come with stage 2A and all the major arterials coming from the south side into the city. I hope that there is early work being done to manage that traffic flow, given that the bridge is not yet here across the river.

Given that Minister Berry is here, I thought it would also be worth putting on record conversations that I have had with members of the community council about the Evelyn Scott School. It would be awesome, once they have their hall open, if they could open it to events as well.

MS DAVIDSON (Murrumbidgee) (11.52): It is wonderful to hear that the Molonglo Valley Community Forum is being supported to become a community council. The role of community councils is important in enabling local residents to have their voice heard on issues relating to planning and development, as well as local services, social inclusion and strengthening communities. As an MLA for Murrumbidgee and a regular at local community council meetings since 2006, I am very pleased to see the Molonglo Valley Community Forum recognised and funded as a community council for the growing suburbs of the valley.

Every community council develops its own way of engaging with the community and advocating on issues to government. While still a very new community council, Molonglo Valley Community Forum has already shown that it is a council seeking to raise the voices of a diversity of residents across different age groups, cultural backgrounds and interests. Meetings have been streamed live for those unable to participate in person, an important way of supporting participation from people with caring responsibilities or physically distancing because of COVID.

The different approaches taken at some of the meetings include panel discussions, presentations from directorates and MLAs and workshopping ideas. This has led to some very interesting and engaging meetings and, I believe, has contributed to some of the successes they have already achieved in successfully advocating for access to community facilities and improvements in planning and development. look forward to continuing to engage with the Molonglo Valley Community Council on a range of issues. While many community councils have a focus on planning and development it is important to remember that a community is its people, first and foremost.

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