Page 4265 - Week 10 - Wednesday, 21 September 2011

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from the Sinhala Language School in Canberra, Elena Bozhko-Marshall from the St John the Baptist Russian School, Cassandra Inkley from the St Nicholas Greek Language School, Juanita Tooni from Te Rere O Te Tarakakao, Matelita Koloi from the Tongan Language School and Marisa Maganto from the Vicente Aleixandre Spanish School.

So to all of those who participated in the night and all of those involved in foreign language schools here in the ACT who add so greatly to our cultural diversity I say thank you to you, congratulations on the work that you have done and the best of luck for your future endeavours.

Sustainable House Day

MS LE COUTEUR (Molonglo) (8.42): I rise to talk about a very happy occasion, Sustainable House Day, which was on 11 September this year. Sustainable House Day arose from an event held by the ACT branch of the Australian and New Zealand Solar Energy Society, which I believe started in 1982, although I was first involved in it in the late 1980s. For those of you who are not aware of it, it is a day on which people who live in solar or sustainable houses open them to members of the public so that they can see what they actually can do in a house where they live to make it work, to make it so that it is more comfortable for them and is more sustainable.

I would like to give you a couple of facts about it. Last week’s Sustainable House Day in Australia had over 35,000 people come to visit an open house in their area, which is an incredibly large number of people, given the size of Australia. It is one of the biggest environmental events in Australia. And it is one of the most successful. Last year’s Sustainable House Day did a follow-up survey of the people who went to it and found that 75 per cent of those interviewed had made changes in their houses after they went to Sustainable House Day.

I do admit that a significant number of the people who went to Sustainable House Day obviously were interested in what they might do with their house; so from that point of view a high success rate was probably guaranteed. Nonetheless, in terms of successful things to change what people do, Sustainable House Day is seriously up there and is a great example of the community working together for a better outcome. So I am pleased to talk about something more positive than we have been talking about for the last few minutes.

Lifeline book fair

MR COE (Ginninderra) (8.44): Early this coming Friday morning, Exhibition Park in Canberra will once again be overflowing with eager booklovers queuing to attend the much-loved Lifeline Canberra spring book fair. Hailed as one of the biggest and best second-hand book sales in Australia, the book fair is expecting to attract over 13,000 buyers, both local and interstate, sharing a common love of books.

The book fair offers around 200,000 donated items for sale, including a wide range of fiction and non-fiction books. I am told that Lifeline Canberra is again seeking to break the record it set earlier this year and raise over $500,000, with all money raised

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