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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 5 Hansard (26 August) . . Page.. 1420 ..

MR WOOD (continuing):

They play and sing in hospitals, old people's homes and the ACT Hospice. They give low cost public concerts with a wide range of repertoire. They perform in shopping centres, schools and fetes. In so many ways they enhance the quality of life of the residents of Canberra and enchant the tourists. Canberra's musical children deserve to be nurtured and appreciated, as does the School of Music for this important contribution to the community.

I would like to make one final point. Canberra has become a difficult place to live in the last three years. Cuts to public service and other institutions have made employment precarious for parents. Well-qualified women like myself have been unable to return to the full time workforce and scrape up what intermittent, casual work we can. This uncertain income goes towards music lessons, musical instruments and Youth Orchestra fees. If Canberra ceases to be an hospitable place for our musically gifted children, we will think seriously of moving elsewhere.

The letter is addressed to the Chief Minister. I wonder whether Rosamund Dalziell has had an answer yet.

Mr Alan Hocking

MR BERRY (6.41): I would like to express my appreciation of the brave efforts of Mr Alan Hocking in his rescue of a young girl down at the lake, where he operates a tourist vessel. I dropped in to see Alan a few days ago whilst I was out for a jog, and he described to me the events which took place on the day that he rescued a young girl who had fallen in the freezing waters of the lake. It appears that Mr Hocking was in his vessel enjoying lunch. Some people were on the wharf nearby enjoying the view, and all of a sudden a very small girl fell between the boat and the wharf and disappeared into the water. Mr Hocking quickly left the vessel, plunged into the water, and he found the little girl. From the way he described it, it seemed to me to be fairly difficult, given the circumstances. The lake is turbid at this time of the year, and it is not the sort of water body in which you would expect to find something as small as a little child.

He told me that he drifted underneath the wharf and for a moment he saw a bubble, just one. He then moved further under the wharf and felt along the bottom with his feet. You can imagine how cold the water is at this time of the year. He did not feel much because everything was happening and the adrenalin was up. He was able to bring the little girl up after finding her with his feet. He passed her up to somebody on the wharf. He then got himself out of the water and up onto the wharf and quickly moved to resuscitate the girl, but she brought up some water and pretty soon started to breathe by herself. I understand that Alan's brave efforts are going to be recognised at some time in the near future. He has been recommended for a bravery award. I trust that that comes through well, because this is an act which I think deserves accolades. It was a brave effort. A mother has a child she would not otherwise have if Alan Hocking had not been there.

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