Page 2560 - Week 09 - Tuesday, 6 August 2013

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attended to talk about building philanthropic partnerships that will benefit Canberra and the region, and this is the kind of tripartisan approach I would like to see more of in this place.

In my Territory and Municipal Services portfolio there is a new philanthropic project just in its infancy. The Capital Woodlands and Wetlands Conservation Trust has been established to create independent funding for the Mulligans Flat Woodland Sanctuary and for the Jerrabomberra wetlands. This is an opportunity for the private sector to come on board and financially help with long-term funding for a great conservation project which has already seen wonderful collaboration between the ACT government and a number of scientists. It is an optimistic project, especially at Mulligans Flat, which is looking to restore the woodland back to its former state pre-European settlement and to reintroduce species which have not been seen in the area for over a century. It is exciting stuff and just the sort of thing philanthropists can be proud to be involved in.

I thank you, Mr Assistant Speaker Gentleman, for bringing this debate on today. It has been an opportunity for us to reflect on the many positive things that are happening in our city. Certainly as MLAs—and this is something that has struck me very strongly since I became a member—we have an opportunity to see what goes on in the community through the events we are invited to and the constituents who contact us. We all see on an almost daily basis what a high level of philanthropy in that broader sense is going on in the city. I thank the many Canberrans who give of themselves—whether it is time, money or other support—to help those in the community who need that assistance.

MS PORTER (Ginninderra) (5.01): I echo some of the comments that have been made this afternoon by you, Mr Assistant Speaker, and by other speakers and comment on the number of young people I see volunteering in our community and getting engaged in the broader sense Mr Rattenbury and the Treasurer mentioned earlier. For too long we have seen this area of endeavour as something that engages us as we get older or perhaps as we retire. But, in fact, it is something a lot of young people are engaged in, and I am very interested in what the Treasurer had to say about ways we can fully engage them and give them a lot of opportunity.

One of the areas that involves young people that I am particularly interested in continuing is the SPICE program with Volunteering ACT. This is supported largely by small businesses in this city which provide the time and mentoring to young people to help them through the first years of their schooling in high school when sometimes they are disaffected or they are becoming disenchanted or just removing themselves from the school system. The time and effort of small businesses is greatly appreciated to get these young people reconnected with their schooling. Some of them go on to have careers in the areas that they actually have had that opportunity in.

Another great opportunity for corporates to get involved is Greening Australia. When we go up into the Cotter or other places to plant trees, we see many corporate groups up there. It is good to see the families and young people from high schools and university as well as the corporate sector, which proudly works alongside us to get the trees planted and to restore the Cotter to its former glory before the 2003 fires.

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