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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2008 Week 03 Hansard (Wednesday, 2 April 2008) . . Page.. 909 ..

Mrs Wensing is herself a lace maker and I believe she actually taught Vicki Taylor, who is the coordinator of the group from Armidale, to make lace.

What is interesting about this exhibition is that it shows lace in all its forms. Lace is usually seen as a very proper art. There is old-fashioned traditional lace and there is also what we see in what looked like Aboriginal burial poles that are sitting on the floor of the exhibition room. When that exhibition was taken to Belgium those cylinders of lace were actually suspended from the ceiling. It is interesting that now they look like burial poles. I think that is a good look for us because we have the wonderful burial poles at the National Gallery which provide a reference. I was very happy on Monday night to share the opening of the exhibition with the Belgian ambassador, Mr Frank Carruet. Belgium really is the home of lace and the exhibition was there last year.

I am pleased that the group is running workshops. Today a woman who had heard about the workshops and the exhibition came along and sat for a whole day and learnt how to make lace. It is really important to these people that this skill is carried on and that is one of the reasons why they are here. It is a collaboration between New England women and Canberra women and between traditional and modern lace making techniques.

I also want to talk briefly about the walking school bus. The walking school bus is about to run out of funding. I believe it will be in June. I quite often walk with the school bus because it is a way of seeing how things are going and meeting children from different schools. On Monday I walked with the bus in Holder with a group of St Jude’s children. Of that school of 200, about 30 children regularly walk on the school bus on Mondays and Fridays. Thirty children out of 200 is a very good percentage and it reminds us that when it is safe children will walk to school.

I totally commend to the education minister and to the transport minister that they very, very seriously consider the funding applications that I am sure are being made to them for the continuation of the walking school bus program. It can only grow. It is growing as people become more and more concerned about the impacts not only of greenhouse gases from driving a car the short distance to take children to school but also the obesity issues that arise when children spend their time in cars and do not have a chance to walk or ride their bikes.

I know that there are thoughts about extending the walking school bus to bikes. I think that would be a good thing but I can see that logistically it would add quite a few difficulties to the process. We might as well just stick with what we know works at the moment, the walking school bus, and explore ways to extend that into other forms of transport later on. So the walking school bus is good. Give it a tick.

Industrial relations

MR GENTLEMAN (Brindabella) (6.09): Last week marked the second birthday of Work Choices, the unfair industrial relations laws forced into place by the Howard government. To mark this historical occasion, Julia Gillard met with the Governor-General to discuss the dissolution of AWAs. From this discussion

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