Page 505 - Week 02 - Wednesday, 13 February 2013

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(2) assures the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples of this Territory that the Assembly regards the past practices of forced separation as abhorrent and expresses our sincere determination that they will not happen in the ACT …

Whether we see today, the fifth anniversary of Mr Rudd’s apology to the stolen generation, as a day of celebration or a day of recognition, it is nonetheless a milestone on the road to proper reconciliation. Aboriginal academic Marcia Langton suggests that a formal apology would achieve two things. Firstly, it would aid in the restoration of a sense of dignity and legitimacy to those who had suffered and, secondly, it would acknowledge the serious harm done by previous governments to a class of people on the grounds of their race.

There is still much work to be done. I note with alarm the fact that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in our community are over-represented in too many areas and make up the negative statistics far too often. There are too many early deaths, too many incarcerations, too many preventable illnesses and too much unemployment amongst our Indigenous population.

We must all work together to build on the work that has been done and must not rest on our laurels. I believe that all sides of politics need to come together to properly address this issue definitively. We owe it to the community to work collaboratively on these issues. I would like to think that members of the Tenth Assembly, on the 15th anniversary of this apology, will be able to stand in this place and have a very different speech to give, a speech full of success and less negative statistics and a story that is one of true reconciliation.

Major events at Manuka Oval

Debate resumed.

MR SMYTH (Brindabella) (4:10): Before lunch we heard some amazing statements. I think the most amazing statement was that there are over 7,500 legal car parks within one kilometre of Manuka Oval. I would challenge anybody in this place to go out on a Tuesday or a Wednesday afternoon when we have had some big events recently and find one of those car parks empty. Yes, there are car parks there. But what are we saying? What are the Labor Party and the Greens saying? Are they saying that on special events days public servants should not go to work so that their car park is free for the cricket crowd? Are they saying that people should not go shopping at Manuka or the surrounding shops so that those car parks can be kept free for the cricket crowd? That is cuckoo land stuff. There probably are 7,500 legal car parks within a kilometre of Manuka Oval and I reckon for most of the time during the week they are full.

That is the whole point. That was the whole point Mr Hanson and I made when we were on the estimates committee two years ago. The committee recommended that the ACT government develop a comprehensive transport plan to ensure that the additional seating capacity within the Manuka Oval can be accommodated. That is what the committee said. What Mr Hanson and I wanted, of course, which the Greens and the

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