Page 3614 - Week 11 - Thursday, 22 September 2005

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What was really great about this event was that it brought together people who have been using that centre for many years. To commemorate that, there was a big sheet of calico put up and people wrote their thoughts and feelings about the Griffin Centre on it. You have to understand that it has, for lots of people, really been an important social gathering place.

When I first came to Canberra in the mid-1980s, I went to a number of events at that place. People might remember the Africa nights that were organised by Maxwell. He had a very polysyllabic name, so I cannot give you his full surname.

MR SPEAKER: Nemadzivhanani; is that the one?

DR FOSKEY: Probably. He is no longer in the ACT. I think he is back in South Africa, being part of politics there. That was my introduction to it, plus many meetings in those rather bare, concrete, base rooms. Another symbolic event that occurred was that a lit candle was taken over to the other building, in the sense that people wanted the spirit to live on. There is a lot of trepidation about the new building. People are going in with the right spirit and they will work to try to take that community spirit that they had in the old Griffin Centre over to the new Griffin Centre.

The other event I want to comment on very quickly is the ACT Assembly open day. Like most of you, I participated in that. I believe 90 people came. I just want to say what a good event it is and how the people that I spoke to were very appreciative. Perhaps most people have low opinions of politicians, but it is important that they see that we are just ordinary people doing a very difficult job. They love to see the place, its accessibility.

The staff that were here that day—and they were here in great numbers—were magnificent. Margaret Jones, who probably had a lot to do with it, was absent but her presence was felt in the beautiful touches. Something that Margaret does really well is make an event high class. All the materials are of a really high standard and everything Margaret does is excellent. So to her, thanks.

I also want to say how it shows the importance of—and there has got to be something in this—the reception room remaining a place for people to hold meetings and gather because that is something we lack in this town, especially with the end of the Griffin Centre. We lack those kinds of community meeting spaces. The reception room is a great place to have meetings. It was a good place that day to have our displays. Congratulations to all concerned.

Kingston foreshore

MRS BURKE (Molonglo) (6.21): There has been much talk in recent times about the future of Canberra, what we should look like as a city, who we are and what we stand for. I believe that we need to be innovative, creative and energetic in building our city as well as preserving our heritage. Over the past months I have been calling on both the federal and territory governments to get behind the real prospect of revitalising the eastern end of the Kingston foreshore into becoming an historical or heritage precinct. That, I believe, would enhance and complement the arts and culture precinct at the

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