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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 09 Hansard (Thursday, 16 September 2021) . . Page.. 2676 ..


Question resolved in the affirmative.

Bill agreed to in principle.

Leave granted to dispense with the detail stage.

Bill agreed to.

Adjournment

Motion (by Mr Gentleman) proposed:

That the Assembly do now adjourn.

COVID-19 pandemic—workers and volunteers

MRS JONES (Murrumbidgee) (6.15): I am very pleased to speak for the last time that I need to speak today. There are so many to acknowledge for their service to our city over the last month, in particular. I refer to the diligent Canberrans who have done their best to follow the health advice and directions and, in doing so, no doubt averted unnecessary pain and suffering for the vulnerable in our city. COVID-19 has the capacity to sweep through society so quickly, and the current Delta strain can, we fear, quickly overwhelm the health system’s capacity. I give thanks from the heart to everyone for doing the right thing, as tough as it is and it has been. I do not diminish how difficult it has been.

Many in the community sector have given their time and resources again and again to assist those that I know are in need. Our frontline uniformed and health services have backed our city up once again, from police to paramedics, nurses and doctors. Our public servants, who keep the whole machine of government working—not just for Canberra but in many cases for the whole country—have blended parenting, working from home and keeping it together for weeks and weeks. I thank you.

I want to acknowledge the huge-hearted Garry Malhotra and his team of volunteers who have fed thousands and thousands of Canberrans. Garry is part of our highly successful Indian diaspora in Canberra, who have demonstrated so much thought and skill by feeding the masses.

I was very fortunate to spend a morning assisting with packing boxes with vegetarian curry and rice for delivery a week or two ago. Garry posted his Helping Hands initiative to the Canberra Notice Board Group. He is a humble man and his family spent the first couple of weeks and a great deal of their own money setting up this project at the golf club site in Narrabundah. They have fed people who are alone at home, all the way through to health workers at the testing centres. It has been impressive to watch this work grow, as the needs have become better known, to include pureed fruits and vegetables for babies, and hampers for older Canberrans in need. It has been a genuinely amazing grassroots community response, growing from the ground up. It goes to show that what can start with a small seed can grow into a huge tree supporting so many.


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