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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1996 Week 8 Hansard (25 June) . . Page.. 2121 ..

MS TUCKER (continuing):

So, I hope, after hearing what Mr Stefaniak and other members of his Government have said today, that I will see a strong reaction from Senator Vanstone in her attempts to find efficiencies in education so that these 300 students do not just arrive at a resource centre which has a few English classes that are run by volunteers. I do not say that it should be our responsibility, but it obviously is if the Federal Government is going to just pull out. We have citizens of Canberra who want to be a constructive part of our society, and we really do have to take responsibility for them.

I would agree with other speakers about the diversity of the people who have come to our country from overseas, including those who have come as refugees, and the constructive influence that so many of them have had. As other speakers have already mentioned so well, they have had extremely traumatic experiences in their home countries, but they have had the courage to come here and start again. I support the valuable and important work of Transact. I know of one girl in this town who saw her whole family raped and thrown off a boat when they were coming here. She was living by herself in Canberra, in a strange country, with no family. If there had not been someone there to support her, how she would have coped is really not worth thinking about.

I think all members here really support the support services for these people and recognise the value of welcoming them to our country; but I hope that I will see that support in real terms. I hope that, if we continue to see cuts in the Federal Government, members will lobby very vocally and publicly to change that Government's stance so that citizens of the ACT who have come from these sorts of backgrounds are properly supported.

Question resolved in the affirmative.


Motion (by Mr Humphries) proposed:

That the Assembly do now adjourn.

Glass Milk Bottles

MR MOORE (5.39): Mr Speaker, this evening I would like to raise a fundamental issue about the environment and remind members of the three Rs - reduce, reuse, recycle. I suggest to members that a most important issue to look at in this respect, before we come to recycling, is reducing the reusing. One of the best examples we have of this in Canberra is the use of glass milk bottles. Indeed, Mr Speaker, we have heard the Liberal Government promising to keep bottles going, as Kate Carnell said on the Liz Jackson show on Friday, 21 June, "as long as is humanly possible". Of course, the rest of us wonder what exactly is meant by "humanly possible". What we really need is a commitment to the environment and a commitment to glass milk bottles.

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