Page 2119 - Week 07 - Tuesday, 21 June 2005

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problems with doing that, but there are some commercial units and apparently it is no problem for them to have alterations.

There may be some initial points in relation to this particular complex, but I do understand that there are real problems with vandalism and theft in relation to a lot of the large unit complexes. There are some big security issues there and Mr and Mrs James may well have made some good points about possible changes to the law being of assistance to unit owners to—not so much curtailing, as I do not know if you could ever completely curtail crime—largely alleviate some of the problems that these unit dwellers in our city are facing. The Jameses certainly are not Robinson Crusoe and it appears that their complex also is not Robinson Crusoe in terms of suffering a lot of vandalism, damage and theft to property at the units.

Given that it seems that more and more people are attracted to unit living, which has lots of benefits, I think that it is important that we look at ways to ensure that issues like this are resolved. If there are problems with the body corporate and the laws governing that, suggestions like this need to be taken on board. For that reason, I mention that to the Assembly. It is certainly something that the opposition will be looking at.

Philippines—anniversary of independence

MS PORTER (Ginninderra) (5.10): Mr Speaker, on Saturday night just past I was fortunate to represent the Chief Minister at the celebration of the 107th anniversary of the independence of the Philippines. This event was organised by the Filipino Australian Association and it was a colourful and happy occasion attended by over 400 people. I congratulate the association for this wonderful evening.

The evening marked a period in the history of the Philippines when the citizens rose up and overthrew a regime under which they had suffered greatly, and this freedom was not won lightly. We are so fortunate in this country to have had a relatively peaceful history in the development of our democracy and we are fortunate to have a system of government that allows participation by all citizens in selecting their representatives and in the way we are governed.

As Dr Foskey just mentioned, World Refugee Day was celebrated last Saturday, if “celebration” is the word one should use. I signed the refugee charter on Thursday last and was present at the rally and met some of those recently arrived refugees now resident in Canberra and, thankfully, now outside the razor wires. Why do these people flee their homes? They flee their homes, often leaving many members of their extended family behind, to seek to avoid persecution, but also to find a place where they can have a voice at last in their affairs and can take their place in the community as full participating citizens. Let us welcome them all to Canberra.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

The Assembly adjourned at 5.11 pm.

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