Page 2652 - Week 09 - Tuesday, 25 September 2007

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The second topic I wish to talk about briefly is an event that I attended on 13 September, the successful applications for 2007-08 for the heritage grants projects. I would like to thank my Assembly colleague Mary Porter for hosting the event. I would also like to express my gratitude to members of the ACT Heritage Council and to Dennis and Maree Rose, who are the current residents of Well Station Homestead. I had the personal pleasure of presenting Val Jeffrey with the grant for his project, the maintenance of the Tharwa community hall. This grant occurred before Mr Pratt made his statement today about the government leaving Tharwa with little hope and after a budget allocation of $9 million for a new bridge.

The heritage grants program is a very important source of funding for community based heritage projects provided by the government. For the 2007-08 program, $269,000 has been allocated in the budget. Twenty-one individual projects and seven community heritage partnerships projects were approved, from a total of 38 applications. The tangible benefits of the grants were made clear to me when I visited Well Station Homestead, which was a recipient of a grant in the 2006-07 program. The aim of this grant was to mend and preserve the original structural integrity of the homestead. The ongoing work on the homestead is coming along nicely and is due to be completed in mid-October this year. It is a very impressive project and I encourage other members to spend some time visiting it. I take this opportunity to commend the work of the heritage grant projects program, and the support that the ACT government has provided to it.

The Jammed—film screening

MRS DUNNE (Ginninderra) (4.44): Last night I was privileged to host a film night for a special showing in Canberra of a new Australian film The Jammed. The Jammed is a small-budget, independent Australian film which began its life in commercial release in a very rocky way but is now obtaining considerable critical acclaim, as well as acclaim from the public who see it. It was described by one reviewer from the Age as “the best Australian film of the year”. I think that the 150-odd people who turned out to the Dendy Cinema last night would be pretty much in agreement with that.

It is a pretty unusual step for a member to have a film night like this. Often, political parties and organisations do this as fundraisers, but this was not a fundraiser. This was a film night designed to raise the community’s knowledge of and give attention to the issue of trafficking of women into Australia—people who are trafficked here to work illegally in brothels and people who work here under considerable deprivation. Members would probably be aware that I have taken on this issue as an area of particular interest. In some ways it does not relate to our work here in the Legislative Assembly but there are important issues here for us.

Back in about 1997, we passed legislation across Australia to amend the Criminal Code to create the specific crime of trafficking for sexual servitude. At the time many people thought that the work had been done, but it has become increasingly clear over the years that that is not the case. When I took this issue up some years ago, probably in 2003, my husband said to me at the time, “Really, what we need to sell this story so that people will understand what it is and what is happening is for someone to make a film about it.” At the time, and I often regret it, I pooh-poohed the idea and said:

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