Page 4727 - Week 11 - Wednesday, 19 October 2011

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all its aims, but there are a lot more of them than there were. They are now throughout Canberra. There is a Tuggeranong group. In fact, there is one in every area apart from Gungahlin. There is an inner north; there is a Woden; there is an inner south. There is a Belconnen group. It is a decentralised group. Its headquarters are now in Downer.

They are doing a number of projects, because they have been fortunate enough to get a couple of grants from the ACT government. They are doing a vision 2020 project, which is a project to go into ACT schools and see what kids think life could be like in 2020 when we have implemented the 40 per cent greenhouse gas reduction. And they are doing a somewhat challenging program for what was going to be a community solar farm; unfortunately, a couple of days after they got the grant, the feed-in tariff changed significantly. But, as they say, it is positive because it means that instead of just looking at solar they are looking at the whole range of alternative energy. They have not been discouraged. They are hoping for some really good outcomes.

I have only got a couple of seconds left. Let me say that it was great to go to these free events, which all showed that Canberra has a lot of people who are out there in their community having a great time and making a difference for a better world.

Carers Week

MR DOSZPOT (Brindabella) (6.36): I rise to highlight that, throughout Australia, 16 to 22 October is Carers Week. The theme for this year is “anyone, any time can be a carer”. It is especially apt, because indeed anyone at any time can find themselves caring for a loved one, be it a child, a spouse or a close friend. Being a carer is one of the toughest but possibly also one of the most rewarding jobs anyone can take on because it is so often motivated by love and commitment.

I hear so many stories of people who have said to me, “Who would have thought my life would pan out this way?” Each and every time I meet someone caring for another person full time, and so often on their own, I stand in awe and absolute admiration that so many can give up so much for a loved one.

A line in a recent Sunday Canberra Times article said, “Love binds most carers to those they care for.” That same article went on to outline the story of a man bringing up his child alone after his wife had lost her life to post-natal depression. He said of his experience, “Love is just not enough,” and for him and his late wife, it was not. Indeed, in the standing committee on health’s report Love has its limits that is exactly the message from so many carers in the community—love, money and government support can so often never be in sufficient quantity to resolve all issues.

I note in a Canberra Times article today the story of Kate Agyemang, who is raising and caring for her 13-year-old son, who has a range of disabilities, on her own. She highlights the importance of after-school care for teenagers and the older disabled. The rare ability to have a quiet cup of coffee, the reality that she will be caring for her son for many years to come—her story is repeated in every suburb in Canberra and in every town in Australia. I would like to quote briefly from the Canberra Times article where it states:

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