Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . .

Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 4 Hansard (22 April) . . Page.. 1219 ..

MR BERRY (continuing):

Mr Speaker, the other thing I would like to do is congratulate the firefighters of the ACT for their commitment to helping New South Wales. According to a press release I received in my office today, at 9.15 last night seven crews, each of an officer and three firefighters along with support staff officers - a total of 34 - left for Sydney. In effect, these firefighters left their families to go to Sydney to help out with the disaster in Sydney. Yes, they are being paid, but that is not the same as being home with your family and friends and working in an environment in which you are comfortable. The work that they are doing is dangerous and they are freely giving of their services to assist the residents of Sydney who have been so badly affected by the disastrous hailstorm there. They have again shown dedication to the wider community.

Many of those off-duty firefighters have been assisting with the industrial campaign to secure them a fair deal in relation to their pay claim. It is a pay claim which they, on the face of it, are going to pursue until they achieve justice. I know what they are going through. It is a long time since I have had anything to do with the fire service, but I am sure that many of my friends and comrades in the fire service would be working in Sydney to assist the residents there. All they want with their wages claim is for the Government to treat them like they treated themselves. The Government thought that their deal was a fair deal and they should apply the same standards to the firefighters and treat theirs as a fair deal.

Mr Humphries: We have.

MR BERRY: No, you have treated them differently. They do not want as much as you want each year. They want less than that and you should treat them fairly. Use the same standards as you apply to yourself. Whatever is fair for you should be fair for them.

MR SPEAKER: Order! The member's time has expired.

Tuggeranong Community Arts Centre

MR WOOD (5.58): I want to speak about one of the great successes in Canberra. Incidentally, it is one in which Mr Humphries himself has had a productive hand. It has also had my productive hand involved, as well as those of other members of this Assembly and of bureaucrats. I am referring to the Tuggeranong Community Arts Centre. It is really going very well. In fact, it has become a model in the ACT and beyond for how an arts centre in the community should work. Activity there has mushroomed over the year or two that it has been open and simply never stops. I did have a long list of the things that are happening, but it was just too long to read out. There is visual arts, there is performing arts, there is theatre, there are exhibitions, there are shows, there is a lot of education and training and, of course, there is a lot of just plain good fun. The young and the old and those in between are actively involved in doing things, all out of the community and drawing from other parts of Canberra as people come in and lend their experience and ideas are fertilised, exchanged and so on.

I am there from time to time and I hear lots of good reports as well as make personal observations. The strength arises - and I have told this to communities in Belconnen and elsewhere that want a replication instantly - because it came out of the community.

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . .