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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1996 Week 9 Hansard (27 August) . . Page.. 2653 ..


Motion (by Mr Humphries) proposed:

That the Assembly do now adjourn.

Olympic Athletes Parade

MRS CARNELL (Chief Minister) (5.30): Mr Speaker, I would like to take this opportunity to reflect briefly upon yesterday's parade of Olympic athletes through Canberra's city centre. By all accounts, the parade was a great success and a chance for some 20,000 Canberrans, both young and old, to come to Civic and to support our Olympic heroes. The parade demonstrated quite clearly to the Australian Olympic Committee and its marketing agents that the national capital could turn on an event that would rival any other held around Australia in the past fortnight.

On behalf of the Government, I would like to thank the many individuals and organisations who helped to make the parade such a success. First, there is a big thankyou to Jenny Adams from the Project 2000 Secretariat, who worked very hard over the last couple of weeks to coordinate local involvement in the parade. Mark Owens, the general manager of the Bureau of Sport, Recreation and Racing, and his staff also provided great assistance, as did the many athletes from the ACT Academy of Sport who participated in yesterday's parade.

A big thankyou also should go to a service that often does not receive its share of thanks; that is ACTION and its drivers. ACTION provided transport for 4,000 schoolchildren to and from the parade, at an extremely reasonable cost to government. The Australian Federal Police did an excellent job, as always, in ensuring the safety of both spectators and those taking part in the parade. Australia Post helped out with their motorised posties, and the Department of Urban Services played its part by assisting with barricades and, of course, in the big clean-up. You would all have noticed that the clean-up trucks were there almost before the people had left yesterday.

I say thank you, too, to the teachers and principals who got behind the parade and organised their students superbly, ensuring that there were no problems. Finally, I say a big thankyou to every Canberran who got out there and clapped and waved and cheered our athletes. It was great to see so many kids and to see the enthusiasm in their eyes that the achievements of these athletes have generated - not just for young Canberrans but for Australians as a whole.

In the last couple of weeks, Canberra has had its fair share of knockers, who said that we could not draw a big enough crowd to warrant our own welcome home for Australia's athletes. I know, from speaking to both athletes and the AOC officials yesterday, that the parades in both Canberra and Queanbeyan have certainly silenced the critics.

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