Page 2996 - Week 08 - Wednesday, 6 August 2008

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protecting, preserving and enhancing the flora and fauna; educating and informing the community of the historical heritage, cultural, communal and social significance; encouraging community recreation, education or vocational cultural activities within the cottage; investigating the possibilities of a community lease at the cottage; promoting the interests of the friends; and providing a representative organisation of members who support the objectives of the friends of the caretaker’s cottage.

The actions of the former residents of the caretaker’s cottage surely prove that they are certainly not the type of people that the planning minister and some in the media have unfortunately tried to portray them as. Clearly, these people were on a mission, and always will be, to preserve the heritage of that place, and they are to be commended for that. I do hope that Mr Barr may find it within himself to humble himself and send these people an apology. Anyway, I encourage the community to become involved in the friends group, as it is extremely important we do all we can to preserve our heritage, no more so than preserving the caretaker’s cottage at Weston Creek.

Environment—Banksia Environmental Foundation awards

MR GENTLEMAN (Brindabella) (6.05): Mr Speaker, I rise tonight to talk about an event I went to just a couple of weeks ago—the Banksia Environmental Foundation awards. The Banksia awards are an important event that ensures those people who dedicate their time and effort to the issues of the environment are duly awarded. The recognition by the industry, government and community is an important driver that encourages these people and businesses to continue the important work that they undertake.

The Banksia Environmental Foundation was established in 1989. It is a national not-for-profit organisation that promotes environmental excellence and sustainability through its awards program and other associated events. The Banksia environmental national awards are recognised as the most prestigious environmental awards in Australia. The Banksia Environmental Foundation also organises the Prime Minister’s environmentalist of the year award and is in partnership with other environmental sustainability awards.

This year the Prime Minister’s environmentalist of the year went to Professor Rob Adams. Rob is not your typical environmentalist. He was trained in architecture and urban design, and he has been a local government employee for the past 20 years. Professor Adams focuses his vision for Melbourne as an accessible, liveable sustainable city. Melbourne shares with many cities the challenge of addressing climate change while accommodating a growing population, and Professor Adams constantly warns against the temptation to “sit like frogs in an increasingly warming pot hoping someone will find a clever new way to turn off the gas”. A director of design and urban environment for the City of Melbourne, Professor Adams is confident that local government can not only meet the challenge but can lead by example, managing systematic and incremental change and major innovation.

The international award winner was Dr Zhengrong Shi, who I was able to have lunch with a little while ago. Dr Shi is the Chairman of the board, Chief Executive Officer

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