Page 3627 - Week 10 - Tuesday, 25 August 2009

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Instead of listening to the animal activists who, like common thugs, trespass, vandalise property, and steal from businesses like the one that employs my fellow workers, and me please consider my future, my options and those of my family. We are proud to be employed, contribute to society and help sustain the local economy.

The letters I received were signed, in total, by 33 people. I would like to put on the record my support for the position put forward by my constituents in relation to their concerns about their employment. I would like to put on the record my concerns in relation to what appears to be an attempt to break into the Parkwood facility earlier this month which resulted in the theft of chooks from the site, which has resulted in a biosecurity lockdown at the site.

I will be speaking more about this in the coming days. I think this is a reprehensible development and I hope that no member of this Assembly or no-one who engages in serious debate on these issues has had any involvement in or condones in any way this unlawful activity.

Community consultation

MR HARGREAVES (Brindabella—Minister for Disability and Housing, Minister for Ageing, Minister for Multicultural Affairs, Minister for Industrial Relations and Minister for Corrections) (5.15): This afternoon I was in my office doing a number of things that just could not wait and I could hear an enormous amount of invective coming through the wires. And one of the repeated themes was criticism of me for lack of consultation. I thought I might take the opportunity to put on the record a statement about some of the consultation processes that I have been through and ask people to compare them, if they will, with those of the only person on that side of the chamber that has ministerial experience, Mr Smyth.

Take Housing and Community Services. I have done seven ministerial forums during 2005, a two-day housing summit, continuous consultation with tenants and stakeholders like the Joint Champions Group et cetera, a roundtable on social housing, a housing industry stimulus package information session and an energy efficiency roundtable.

In ageing, I have done three community consultation forums and I meet with the ministerial advisory council on a regular basis. In multicultural affairs, there have been 13 ministerial forums during 2005, the Multicultural Summit in 2005 and again in 2008. The first one had 450 people at it; the second one had 350 people at it. That is actually more people than Mr Smyth got votes from in the last election, as it happens.

I also did the Multicultural Youth Summit in 2006. As it turns out, I had six months of discussion on the Grassby memorial—yes, I did—with the multicultural community. Do you know, though, the original idea for it came at Mr Grassby’s funeral. The now Senator Humphries said to me, “We should have a memorial to Mr Grassby.” That was the genesis of it. We do not get that from across the chamber.

I have been belted about other things. We had the Ramadan function last year. I talked about this as an opportunity to walk with people. I say a big thank you to Ms Bresnan

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