Page 1826 - Week 06 - Wednesday, 4 May 2005

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I would like to see what the status of the Ridgeway Residents Action Group is and whether they have standing to actually do anything with ACTPLA, given that they have a post office address in the ACT. I think they might have gone through the Environmental Defender’s Office, but they are a New South Wales organisation. They formed a Ridgeway group probably 15 to 20 years ago when there was some considerable movement at Fairbairn Park. Since the early 1990s I think it is only Mr Murmain who is the remaining active member. I wonder whether they have any standing in the ACT to affect an activity in the ACT that ACTPLA is undertaking.

I am not querying their right in relation to noise complaints, although they are largely spurious too. They seem to have diminished a lot. There is a cross-border thing there but, in terms of ACTPLA, I wonder whether they have standing; and, if so, the notice that ACTPLA has given to the Fairbairn Park Control Council and the Canberra Motor Sports Council, it would seem to me, would be null and void.

I urge the government to ensure that this lease goes through and to take whatever steps are necessary to secure motor sport there. I will take this up privately with the minister in relation to a possible conflict of interest that someone in the department might have.

Youth Week and Youth InterACT

MS GALLAGHER (Molonglo—Minister for Education and Training, Minister for Children, Youth and Family Support, Minister for Women and Minister for Industrial Relations) (6.20): I would like to make a short speech about some of Canberra’s active young people and the great work they do. As minister for youth, I enjoy being involved with the annual Youth Week celebrations, which have once again proven to be a great way to involve Canberra’s young people in a variety of activities and programs. As part of Youth Week, it is a pleasure to be involved in two major events—the awarding of young Canberra citizen of the year and the announcement of the recipients of the Youth InterACT grants.

The young Canberran of the year award was awarded to Michael Sheather who has worked tirelessly as a volunteer, whilst holding down full-time work. He is 25 years old and has made a great contribution to the community already, providing his services to the St Vincent de Paul youth program. Michael’s volunteering has already totalled more than 1,000 hours and supported over 300 young people. Michael fundraises and manages the program and also dedicates his time to managing local soccer teams within that program. It was fantastic to be able to recognise his contribution, and I look forward to working with Michael in his role this year as young Canberran of the year.

Also recognised for their contribution as young Canberra citizens were Paul Nicholson and Nick Henderson who were recognised for their work in a group called Bit Bent, supporting young gay and lesbian Canberrans to overcome disadvantage and discrimination. They have done a lot of work to break down some barriers for young people around sexuality and have been real activists for social change in the youth movement.

In relation to the Youth InterACT grants, 14 grants and nine scholarships were presented on the day. They covered a broad range of projects, including the Charny crew from

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