Page 5335 - Week 13 - Tuesday, 15 November 2011

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Lutherans responded well for the financing of this construction, and the foundation stone was laid on 4 June 1961. In September the church building was dedicated for worship and to serve as a spiritual home for the large Lutheran community in Canberra.

The church, at 80 feet long, 36 feet wide and 40 feet high, is certainly a dominating building on the corner of Boolee and Cooyong Streets in Reid. It has an alpine style with timber interior and a steep ceiling. It seats 250 people. Also there is a good size choir loft with a pipe organ which was donated by the West German government in 1964. The most dominating feature of the church is the large crucifix, 18 feet by nine feet. The idea of placing such a huge crucifix to the chancel window above the altar was quite controversial at that time. The crucifix was carved by John Pillig. He was 78 years old when he carved the crucifix and he worked on it for eight months.

At the golden jubilee celebrations Pastor Mark Lischke the President of the Lutheran Church of Australia, New South Wales District, gave the address, while Pastor Gabor Szabo, parish pastor of the Canberra-Queanbeyan parish, was the liturgist. The members of the church council and the Ladies Guild worked hard in organising the golden jubilee celebrations at St Peter’s. Other contributors included Mr Ian Kummerow, the chief organist, and the Austrian choir conducted by Dr Gunter Brandstetter. My congratulations go to Pastor Gabor Szabo and his church community for a very impressive commemoration.

Community sector workers—equal pay

MS HUNTER (Ginninderra—Parliamentary Leader, ACT Greens) (5.41): I would like to bring to the attention of the Assembly today a historic agreement that was announced on Thursday, 10 November 2011. The Australian Services Union and the federal government reached agreement on the Australian Services Union claim for equal pay. This agreement is historic because for 30 years there has been an ongoing struggle to gain parity or a proper wage for community sector workers.

It has been reported that with the assistance of Fair Work Australia the federal government has agreed to fully support the Australian Services Union claim for equal pay. The federal government will now support social and community services workers being paid the same rates of pay that were awarded by the Queensland Industrial Relations Commission in 2009. If Fair Work Australia agrees with the joint position of the federal government and the Australian Services Union, every social and community services worker in Australia will receive a significant pay increase and there will finally be one, single pay scale for every social and community services worker in Australia.

The social and community services sector in Australia is an essential part of what makes our society work. They are the workers who are caring for the young, the frail, the vulnerable, the elderly, the unemployed, the ill as well as many others. I understand, over a lifetime of experiences, that at some point we will all need the help of the workers who are in the community sector. So I hope that this decision will not only be supported by the full bench of Fair Work Australia but also by the ACT government, to ensure that equal pay is achieved here within the ACT.

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