Page 3695 - Week 09 - Tuesday, 23 August 2011

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ACT, People with Disability ACT, “Picking up the ‘Peaces’”, Possum’s playschool parent association, Pregnancy Support Services ACT, Print Handicap Radio ACT, RSI and Overuse Injury Association of the ACT, Samoa Catholic church, Serra Club of Canberra, Sleep Apnoea Association, Solace ACT, St Vincent De Paul’s Society, Compassionate Friends ACT/ Queanbeyan, Heartbeat, heart and soul seekers, Legacy Club of Canberra, Leukaemia Foundation, Taylor primary school, Technical Aid to the Disabled ACT, Tuggeranong Link of Community Houses, Tuggeranong 55 Plus Club, Canberra U3A Recorder Orchestra, Variety club car 45 Variety Bash car, Vision Impaired Sports ACT, Weston Scout Group, Weston Winds community band, Woden Seniors, Woden Valley Youth Choir, the Wombat’s playschool, and of course the Woodcraft Guild of the ACT.

If you want to read a list to know about how fantastic Canberra is, that is the only list you probably need to see in the course of a year. And if you want to know how important clubs like the Canberra Southern Cross Club are to the community, you only need to read this list and wonder where they would be without the support of that great club.

ACT Planning and Land Authority—chief executive


MS LE COUTEUR (Molonglo) (5.00): I rise to talk about two things. First, I seek clarification from the Minister for the Environment and Sustainable Development. In question time today, he referred to Mr Savery as the previous chief planning executive. I was not aware that we had appointed a new chief planning executive, although I am aware that there is an acting chief planning executive, so I seek clarification on that.

But I am actually rising on a much more important and sober issue: the famine in Somalia. I have been reading about this, and I imagine all of us have heard about it and seen it on the TV and in the paper. At the very least, I think it should put into context what we are talking about here in the Assembly, specifically in terms of the cost of living debate today: obviously any of the people involved in the Horn of Africa issue would be delighted to have the cost of living issues that we have.

I want to quote from a Sydney Morning Herald article on the crisis. There are 12 million people severely affected by drought; 29,000 Somali children under five dead in the last 90 days; 640,000 children acutely malnourished—and that means, of course, that they are likely to die—and 400,000 people living in the world’s largest refugee camp, which was built for 90,000 people. There is a humanitarian crisis, a humanitarian disaster, there.

Firstly, we should keep the wider picture in mind in all our deliberations in this place: what we do does not affect just the ACT. Secondly, we should look at helping as much as we can. This article has a list of agencies who are accepting money to help. I am sure that all of us here are aware of at least some of the people like UNICEF, World Vision Australia, Oxfam, Australia for UNHCR, CARE Australia, the World Food Program, Medecins Sans Frontieres Australia, the Australian Red Cross, Plan Australia and Save the Children.

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