Page 2495 - Week 08 - Wednesday, 29 June 2005

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designed to ensure that medicines are appropriate for the user, and that their overuse or inappropriate use is minimised. In my view, Woolworths’ plans run directly counter to this objective. I would certainly urge members in future debates on this issue to take heed of the points that I have raised here today.

Belconnen’s birthday

MS PORTER (Ginninderra) (6.14): Mr Speaker, I rise this evening to speak about Belconnen’s 39th birthday. Members may be aware that on 23 June 1966 the then Minister for the Interior, Mr Doug Anthony, unveiled the Belconnen foundation stone at the Aranda playing fields and the first sods were turned by large earthmoving equipment to begin the task of developing the new community of Belconnen.

Last Thursday, I was delighted to be invited to join long-term Aranda residents, Richard Lansdowne, Michael Talberg, Tony Hillier, Robert Galloway, John Dowse, Boerge Alexander and former Aranda resident and the man many refer to as the mayor of Belconnen, Mr Graeme Evans. Together we sheltered under umbrellas as the rain tumbled down, and toasted Belconnen’s 39th birthday, drinking champagne and eating lamingtons as the group shared their memories of their early days in Aranda and began their early plans for the festivities to celebrate the big four-0 in June next year.

One of the driving forces behind the proposed celebrations is Richard Lansdowne, who, along with other Aranda residents, is planning a mid-winter fair next year on the Aranda playing fields, the site of the foundation stone. Community groups will be invited to participate. Organisers are hopeful that many of the area’s sporting, cultural and environmental organisations will join together to celebrate this great occasion. Already much work has been done by original residents of the area gathering historic material, and they hope that many Belconnen residents will take this opportunity to join with them to celebrate the 40th birthday next year and will arrange their own events and reunions.

As we stood around the foundation stone, with our plastic tumblers of champers, and nibbled on our lamingtons, as was traditional 39 years ago, it was noticed that the foundation stone was a little worse for wear after its 39 years of exposure to the elements. I undertook to write to Minister Hargreaves requesting that the stone be returned to its former glory, as would befit the 40th anniversary, and have already sent this request to the minister. I am looking forward to a positive response.

This is yet another fine example of the members of our community joining together to celebrate with their neighbours and build an even stronger sense of community. It follows on from three very successful community festivals that are celebrated in Belconnen. These have grown spectacularly since their humble beginnings. I refer to the Charnwood community festival, the Belconnen Baptist Church community fun day and the Belconnen festival held in the Margaret Timpson Park in the town centre—all great examples of the community working together as a whole. I attend all of these events as they occur, and I cannot help but feel the strong sense of belonging that permeates all of these events.

Having worked in the community sector for almost 30 years in Canberra, I know first hand how much community groups are able to achieve when people join together and work to achieve a joint goal. I have no doubt the residents of Aranda, in particular, and

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