Page 3492 - Week 09 - Thursday, 20 August 2009

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As members of the Assembly would be aware, there is a significant Chinese community in the ACT. My deepest sympathies are extended to those relatives and friends of the victims and affected residents who are in the ACT.

Sam Wong AM, the chair of the Canberra Multicultural Committee Forum, is coordinating local efforts to support the ACT-based family and friends of the victims of this tragedy and those affected. Mr Wong has indicated that he will lead local efforts to set up an appeal to support the affected communities. Mr Wong’s hard work and dedication on behalf of the Chinese community in these circumstances is a testament to his ongoing commitment to the wider ACT community in his role as chairman of the CMCF.

People who wish to make a donation to the recovery efforts are able to do so through Taiwan’s Mega International Community Bank. I commend TECO for the work they have done on this and I urge all members to support the Chinese community at this very difficult time.

Watson Blinds and Awnings

Australian sustainable schools initiative

MS BURCH (Brindabella) (4.16): I would like to speak briefly on two things. Yesterday I spoke about the contribution that the local business sector makes in the ACT and I would like to talk briefly about a successful local business. Last Saturday I had the pleasure of joining John and Pat Watson, their families, many of their wholesalers and their staff when they celebrated 41 successful years for Watson Blinds and Awnings. The night was also an opportunity for them to celebrate their first gala recognition and awards night.

Operating in Canberra for more than 41 years, Watson Blinds and Awnings launched the gala awards to acknowledge the support of their industry colleagues. Awards were presented to local and regional businesses in the blind and awning industry in a number of categories. Watson Blinds and Awnings have served the Canberra region for more than four decades. It is really rewarding to see how they have grown to be such a recognised local business, bringing benefits to the ACT and to the regions around us. But it is also good to see the local business acknowledge the participation and support of their other local providers.

The second matter I would like to briefly speak on is the Australian sustainable schools initiative. AuSSI ACT now works across 21 of the 27 ACT Catholic schools, 11 of the 17 independent schools and 71 of the 83 government schools. The AuSSI program is a great program that works with schools on sustainability and being more environmentally aware. On average, AuSSI schools are reducing energy consumption by 35 to 45 per cent, water consumption by 40 to 50 per cent and waste to landfill by 65 to 75 per cent. So I think that they are doing great work.

In my electorate of Brindabella, I am very pleased to say that recently enlisted schools to the AuSSI program, that have taken the total up to 103 schools, include Calwell high, Caroline Chisholm school, Fadden primary school, Gordon primary school, Monash primary school and the Sacred Heart primary school. I wish those schools well.

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