Page 1793 - Week 06 - Wednesday, 8 May 2013

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On this occasion, I could not join in the planting because I had a prior commitment—a mobile office, in fact. However, I was glad to be able to join Minister Corbell as he recognised the efforts of the community for so many years. The evidence of that stretched before our very eyes.

Those present to help the formalities were Aunty Agnes and Meredith Hatherly, a volunteer who spoke about her volunteering over many years. On the panel were Kirilly Dickson from ACTEW, Brett MacNamara from parks and conservation—and you may recall that at the time of the 2003 fires Brett lost his home adjacent to the national park—Jason Cummings, the CEO of Volunteering Australia, and me. All of us were volunteers.

The staff and others present were well fed, as usual, by the ACT scouts, supplied with water for the plantings by the ACT fire brigade and entertained by the Cashews, the Burley Griffins and the Lavers. Our wonderful poet Hal Judge was on hand to interpret the celebrations through verse.

Graffik Paint produced a wonderful mural of the landscape during the event and we all were somewhat taken aback to see that beautiful mural unfolding as the formal part of the celebrations were going on. And I would like to thank them in particular for their wonderful artwork.

In closing, I would like to thank all those who were involved in the past 10 years in restoring the Cotter landscape and also on that particular day celebrating such a great achievement. So many plants were planted. I think the minister said yesterday—and I have it here in writing from Greening Australia—that 7,000 Canberrans have volunteered over the past decade, and these volunteers have planted over 300,000 seedlings over 500 hectares.

May Day

MR GENTLEMAN (Brindabella) (6.37): I rise to join my Assembly colleague Ms Berry in celebrating May Day, which occurs on 1 May. It is a celebration of the international labour movement and reflects back to very early days in Australia and to labour marches on workplace rights and rights for workers.

The celebrations here in the ACT included, as Ms Berry reflected, the May Day toast. It was a fundraiser for APHEDA, the international Union Aid Abroad union support group. It was great to see recognised those CPSU delegates that Ms Berry mentioned at the toast.

The May Day rally occurred on Saturday. We had unions represented—the CPSU, United Voice, TWU, ANF, CFMEU, SDA and many more. There were about 400 attendees. This was the first May Day event, as I think Ms Berry mentioned, since the late 1990s. The theme was “standing up for our jobs, our city and our future”, and I think some of that feeling was reflected in our earlier debates today.

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