Page 109 - Week 01 - Tuesday, 12 February 2008

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and community spirit. There were presentations from Concerned Residents of West Kambah, Clean Energy for Eternity, Go Zero, Armada Solar and the SEE-Change groups. There were also displays by the Australian and New Zealand Solar Energy Society, the Home Energy Advice Team and other sustainability programs, some of which were part of the ACT government’s program. The turnout to the event was very encouraging. It really illustrates the importance of the issue and the importance of community and business participation in addressing climate change. I congratulate SEE-Change for the picnic.

I have said several times in this Assembly, and I have echoed it out in the community, that there is only so much that government can do, both federally and locally. It is the local community that must take and make the decision to act personally on climate change. The SEE-Change group should be commended for the initiative they have taken in addressing climate change. Taken together with the ACT government’s climate change strategy, we are really starting to see positive progress being made.

It is important that people turn off their lights when they are not in a room and switch to compact fluorescent lamps. It is a simple task just to turn off the TV when no-one is watching. Unfortunately, many people just do not do it. There are many simple things as well that people can do around the home or office that can make a substantial difference. A statistic that may surprise some people is that leaving a computer monitor on standby for one year creates the same environmental impact as a car being driven from Sydney to Perth.

The second initiative I would like to mention is an event that is coming up on 29 March. It is an initiative that I encourage Assembly members to support. Earth Hour is an initiative that calls on the community, business and the like to turn off all lights for one hour between 8 and 9 pm. It is a small ask, I think, that will highlight what can be done by the most simple of tasks. Last year I believe approximately 2.2 million people in Sydney took up that initiative. This year the initiative is going global and I will be actively informing our community about this important occasion and hopefully encouraging as many people as possible to take up the challenge.

Community participation is fundamental to addressing climate change. Groups like SEE-Change and initiatives like Earth Hour provide evidence that our community is willing to take action. I call on each member of this Assembly to get out into their electorate and drum up support for these causes.

Italian cultural centre


MRS DUNNE (Ginninderra) (6.18): Last Friday I had the privilege of attending the unveiling of a statue at the Italian Cultural Centre in Forrest. The Italian Cultural Centre is an initiative of the Italian community in Canberra that is giving back to the community in many ways and a celebration of the Italian culture in the Canberra community and in the wider community.

As members would know, the Italian Cultural Centre was built essentially by volunteer labour and donated goods and services. It was opened in 2006, and since

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