Page 4962 - Week 15 - Thursday, 15 December 2005

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issues related to the provision of emergency helicopter services and obviously, as I mentioned earlier, parking.

If such a plan does not exist, then obviously one should be developed. The process should include adequate consultation with the people of Garran so that their concerns, as outlined at that quite large meeting I attended, are taken into account. I seriously hope that the territory government will give regard to the concerns expressed by those residents and also residents of other suburbs in relation to the flight paths of helicopters. I have made representations to Mr Truss, who I believe is the federal minister responsible, in the hope that they may look at regulating the process without impacting on the important work provided by emergency services.

Finally, in the spirit of the season, I would like to thank my own staff, led by Ian Wearing. He has done a first-class job in providing me with economic advice and, in the current state of play, that is a full-time and a half job. I also thank the media for their coverage of the perspective I have offered on various issues.

I thank the people who have made my life easier here. Without exception the attendants are people of great courtesy who assist wherever possible, and I thank them. I want to thank the Hansard folks and the various others that the Leader of the Opposition cited. I want to place on record special thanks—and I can safely say that I speak on behalf of Dr Foskey and Ms MacDonald—to Andrea Cullen, secretary to the public accounts committee, who has done an exceptional job while faced with difficult personal challenges.

Finally, I would like to thank my family for their support. Today, for the first time in her life, my 12-year-old came to question time. She was a little amazed at what her father does as a daily pursuit, but my colleague Mr Seselja assured her this was not the normal routine. I wish all members and the Speaker and staff a happy Christmas and New Year.

ACT Motorcycle Riders Association—annual toy run


MR GENTLEMAN (Brindabella) (5.21): Christmas is a time of giving. It is a time usually associated with giving gifts to family and friends, sharing our time and cheers with our loved ones and consuming copious amounts of our chosen poison. But for 25 years now Christmas has meant so much more for those dedicated members of the ACT Motorcycle Riders Association. It means the organisation of their annual toy run.

This year they celebrate 25 years of giving to the families of Canberra. This wonderful cause raises much-needed funds for those less fortunate. The toy run is cleverly named because, in additional to financial support, the MRA toy run collects donations of toys for those children who may otherwise have missed out at Christmas. I was fortunate again this year to lead the ride, along with the president, Ms Robyn Major, and Senator Kate Lundy. As we rode into Garema Place, many members of the community were there to meet us, including Jacqui Burke. I note for Hansard that, next year, once she has obtained her licence, Mrs Burke has made a commitment to ride her own bike. We will not forget that, Mr Burke.

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