Page 169 - Week 01 - Wednesday, 15 February 2006

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integrate and support people to live in the community. This is absolutely vital to the development of an inclusive society that welcomes and values the contribution of people living with a disability and accepts them amongst its own. I think we should also acknowledge the good work that Koomarri does in raising the profile of people with a disability, in presenting them and allowing them to present themselves as positive contributors to our community.

Koomarri is really the big kid on the block of disability services. It has admirable relations with a number of businesses and clubs, in addition to government support and conventional fundraising. The disability sector is not well resourced when you consider the level of need, so any operations that can attract additional funds from outside the public funding loop are valuable indeed. Furthermore, that process in effect engages people who are otherwise disinterested in the sector.

It is true, however, that the day-to-day situation for smaller organisations is quite different from that of Koomarri, and one of the challenges we face is to give those smaller organisations similar cause for optimism. This is not to denigrate Koomarri, but it is important to see where Koomarri fits into the sector as a whole. Perhaps the next 50 years or so will see Koomarri working with other community groups to help establish supportive communities that are about work and creativity for all members, whatever their ability.

MS MacDONALD (Brindabella) (5.30), in reply: I would like to thank Mrs Burke, Mr Hargreaves as minister, and Dr Foskey, for placing their support on this motion. As I said in my opening speech, I did not think it would be one that would cause a great deal of division. But, as I also said, I thought it was worth while highlighting the work that Koomarri does, and that is what I hope we are doing here today.

I note the comments that Dr Foskey made in terms of trying to design work specifically for the individual, and I believe that that is what Koomarri does to the best of its ability. It is certainly the case that the work that Koomarri does is a long way from the old sheltered workshops, where there was not meaningful work being performed. So it is good to see places like Ezi Iron in operation, and the other organisations that Koomarri operates that I mentioned.

I confess to every so often taking my clothes down to Ezi Iron to get them ironed. I have to say that I do not really enjoy ironing very much, so it is nice to have Koomarri and Ezi Iron there to perform that function. I am sure there are a few other members in this place who have utilised the services of Ezi Iron. Maybe Koomarri should set up a service called “Ezi Cook”, because I think there are a few members in this place who would take up that service if there were some nutritious meals that could be taken home. That would not be too hard a one, and I might suggest it to Margaret. But, seriously, I thank members for their support of this motion and I commend the motion to the chamber.

Motion agreed to.

Bushfires—threat to urban edge

MR PRATT (Brindabella) (17.33): I move:

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