Page 2405 - Week 08 - Tuesday, 28 June 2005

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statement, trying to get public debate on this, on 18 March 2005.Here we are, some three months later, still no report. This reflects badly on all of us in this place, when we do not deliver. We ought to be people of our word. Is there a division, yet again, in cabinet? Is this the problem? Can the minister not get people to agree on the recommendations?

This was an extremely important report, and the minister said it himself. He acknowledged it. He has met with people. But again we have people out there, stakeholders, people really interested in the outcomes of such an important inquiry—I know that Dr Foskey raised this issue today—it is high time that the minister provided the government response, stopped obfuscating and duck-shoving, and made sure that the people who worked really hard to contribute to the health committee way back then, all that time back then, are given the decency and courtesy of having a response to that report.

I would urge and ask the minister, through you, Mr Speaker, to really get a move on. If he has got that report, then he should seek to table the government’s response this week. It would be most helpful.

Art and craft exhibition

DR FOSKEY (Molonglo) (6.21): So many stunning topics have passed, including one or two that I was going to talk about. Fortunately, I have a wealth of material to talk about, and I have decided to talk bout the art and craft exhibition and sale that was held over the last weekend at the Uniting Church in Yarralumla.

The reason that I want to speak about this is that I see this as one of the many events that go on in Canberra—several of them every day; many of them every week—that provide the texture of the social amenity of this city. I want to describe the art and craft exhibition at the Uniting Church in Denman Street. They had about three large rooms filled with stuff that people have made. When I say “stuff”, that includes everything from dolls houses to knitted clothes, to knitted dolls, to paintings, to photos, to pottery, to all kinds of things, tea cosies, things that probably we last saw in our grandmothers’ homes and for which, sadly, I feel, for a lot of the producers, there is perhaps less of a market than they would like.

Also at the art and craft exhibition there was a concert every day. Apparently people line up, ring up and ask to be given a gig at the concert. The day that I was there I saw a number of women’s organisations, a cappella groups and the like. They sang in the church, which had really good acoustics. I can quite understand why it is that people line up to perform there.

All in all, it was an incredibly classy event, in my opinion. There was food on the Friday night. At any one time anyone who went could have bought a cup of coffee, a cup of tea, at a very low price, a cup of soup, sandwiches, cake and so on. Of course the really important thing is that all this was done by people for no pay. They seemed to enjoy it; it is incredibly well organised. People who produce the crafts pay a certain commission. They get the price and the church gets the commission. So everybody benefits from something like this. Most of all, I think the community benefits. We can have all the glitzy events in the world, we can have our big fireworks shows, our Australia Day events, but what really keeps this city alive are the little events that occur in the suburbs,

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