Page 5215 - Week 12 - Thursday, 27 October 2011

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help move the discussion forward. I certainly enjoyed, with Mr Seselja and Mr Barr, co-hosting the event at the Assembly.

Contact 2012 directory

Citizens Advice Bureau

DR BOURKE (Ginninderra) (5.23): Tomorrow I will be launching the new edition of the Contact 2012 directory. I will be doing this at a special morning tea to be held at the Griffin Centre for all the representatives of Canberra’s many community services. It should be a great occasion, complete with a performance led by the local Tongan choir.

The Contact directory has a very important role in the social fabric of our community. It has a unifying role that enables partnerships and networks to be formed by organisations to meet the needs of the community. When I was elected to the Assembly in June this year, it was one of the first purchases I made as a new MLA, and I have been referring to it ever since.

The Contact directory was first published in 1985 by the former Department of Territories. The Citizens Advice Bureau of the ACT acquired production control of the handbook in 1989 and has been looking after it ever since. The directory has grown substantially over the years. It now contains the details of over 3,000 not-for-profit, interest and support groups and community oriented private services as well as many government funded service providers and programs.

I know that many of us still prefer hard copies, but the directory is also published in other formats—a CD-ROM and a free online version, which is available on the Citizens Advice Bureau’s website. The Citizens Advice Bureau is also able to provide organisations with electronic mailing lists for community sector organisations and can provide specialised directories on request.

Of course, the CAB’s information shop provides yet another avenue for individuals to access information, often with the support of a staff member or volunteer. The information shop provides numerous free information guides on various topics, including complaints resolution services, emergency relief providers, crisis and supported accommodation, free legal services and a free meal guide. In addition, it provides free computer access and tax help for low income earners.

In closing, I would like to pay tribute to the tireless work of the staff and volunteers of the Citizens Advice Bureau. Their dedication ensures that Canberrans, newcomers and visitors to the ACT are more easily able to navigate the vast array of information about the region’s many services. Thanks to Liz Horwath and all the staff and volunteers of the Citizens Advice Bureau, especially Susan and Amy, for their efforts in updating the 2012 version of the Contact directory handbook. I am sure it will be well received by regular and new users.

Chief Minister

MR HANSON (Molonglo) (5.25): I rise tonight to just reflect on some of the comments that Ms Gallagher made in her response to Mr Smyth’s motion. She said

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