Page 3100 - Week 10 - Tuesday, 23 August 2005

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The indigenous plants program run by Melba High School will look at the establishment of an indigenous garden at Melba High School. Kaleen High School Parents and Citizens’ Association Inc won a grant for Kaleen High School’s open grassy woodland landscape project. The project aims to create an open grassy woodland landscape by planting a wide variety of native grasses and wildflowers endemic to the Canberra region at the front of the Kaleen High School.

Macgregor primary school will undertake the Macgregor primary rejuvenate and reuse project. This project proposes to educate students through recycling, composting, worm farms and chickens while reducing waste. The Friends of the Mount Majura Parkcare Group received a grant for rehabilitation of the Majura dams. This project proposes to improve environmental and community value of the two dams at Mount Majura nature park.

The Australian institute of Landscape Architects ACT branch received a grant for its project sustainable gardens workshops and field trips. This project will look at landscape sustainability for Canberra gardens, followed by two one-day field trips. The National Parks Association of the ACT Inc received a grant for the great Australian bushwalk. This project will look at managing and organising one-day public events to expand public awareness of the local environment.

On the outside, a Canberra Youth Theatre production, received a grant. It is a theatrical presentation about the plight of endangered species in the ACT. It is proposed for staging at Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve amphitheatre. Bush Capital Year, by Mr Ian Fraser, a project involving the research and writing of at least 120, 500-word essays on ACT species, habitats, reserves and ecology suitable for compilation into a book also received a grant.

I would like to take the opportunity again to congratulate the successful applicants. I look forward to the outcomes of these grants.

Youth forum

DR FOSKEY (Molonglo) (6.13): After our talk about children and young people today, I thought it would be a good idea to refer to an event that occurred in this very chamber last Friday that was part of a two-day event involving at least 70 year 11 students from across Canberra’s colleges and schools in a study of the constitution and mechanisms for changing it through practical involvement.

While they had a look at the case study of the Franklin River debate and the subsequent influence that had upon the federal election, it was decided to run an exercise on changing the constitution to give the commonwealth jurisdiction over the management of rivers. Mr Gentleman and I were invited to give the yes and no cases on this topic. I have to say that I have never seen such an avid group of young people. As a teacher I have seen many groups of young people, but one is very rarely in the position where they are really involved and engaged. I suppose the schools took the trouble to choose the four or five most interested students from their classes. But I was also interested to discover that only two of the schools represented actually teach politics and civics. That is right across the system, so most of the students probably came from legal affairs and study of society and environment and perhaps commerce classes. I think that that is a real lack. There was

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