Page 2605 - Week 07 - Thursday, 18 June 2009

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by principal Lyn Woodbury and members of the P&C who are keen to be part of the safety house initiative.

There was a good cross-section of the community. Family groups attended, including kids and teenagers, parents and grandparents, each group bringing with them an issue relating to the community, not always just criminal activity. Many at the meeting spoke of the need to galvanise the community and build community spirit. It was reiterated how important it is to get to know your neighbours. Milan from the Theodore 5 Star supermarket relayed the sorry tale of chronic criminal activity occurring in and around his shop. Milan raised his concerns about what he calls the revolving door of justice—criminals that are arrested for crimes are back at his shop the next week laughing at him and ready to rob, or assault or intimidate him again.

Some heartfelt stories were heard, including one man who was fed up to the back teeth with ongoing criminal activity and disrespectful attitudes of some people. Everyone at the meeting expressed their appreciation for the job that the ACT police do, but all were critical of the lack of action from the Stanhope-Gallagher Labor government, and there was no-one from the government there to refute these claims. While she was formally invited, Ms Burch chose not to attend the meeting. Minister Hargreaves was also missing in action, and there were a number of issues raised in terms of housing that sorely needed the attention of the minister. People were hoping that he would be there to address those issues. A Neighbourhood Watch committee was formed out of this group of concerned residents, which will be headed by Mr Russell Morrison. I understand that another meeting will take place at the Calwell Club next Saturday at 4 pm.

Neighbourhood Watch performs a vital role in our community, and I have been privileged to be involved in the inception of Calwell’s Neighbourhood Watch committee. The Calwell Neighbourhood Watch committee, one year old this week, is comprised of local, dedicated volunteers and it meets regularly to discuss issues of concern to Calwell residents while working in partnerships with ACT Policing, business owners and residents. I have seen first hand how Neighbourhood Watch has the ability to galvanise a community, creating a community spirit that does not just revolve around criminal activity. I commend the residents for their initiative and encourage all other communities to do the same.

Bubble Day

MR COE (Ginninderra) (4.16): During May I attended some Bubble Day celebrations at a few schools in Belconnen. I was fortunate to be able to join students at Melba preschool, Weetangera primary school and the Cranleigh school. The month of May is Autism awareness month, and this year during the week of 18 to 22 May Autism Asperger ACT coordinated a number of activities to raise awareness and understanding of autism spectrum disorders. I was pleased to be able to attend the International Autism Day event hosted by Autism Asperger ACT at Canberra Stadium and sponsored by Canberra Stadium and All Leisure Hospitality. The event also featured awards for families, individuals and professionals.

This year was the first year that Bubble Day was held. It has been named Bubble Day because blowing bubbles is an activity that helps children with autism spectrum

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