Page 2567 - Week 09 - Tuesday, 6 August 2013

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Deafness Resource Centre, Autism Asperger, Bonython Primary School P&C, the Canberra Mothercraft Society, Woden Seniors and Spence Children’s Cottage.

These grants are given each year by the Canberra Southern Cross Club and provide valuable support to our hard-working community groups. The $140,000 presented on Sunday is just a fraction of the Southern Cross’s annual contribution of approximately $1.5 million. For over 11 years, the club has been providing grants to the community, and its continued contribution this year is recognised and valued by the ACT government.

Indeed, I am confident that this is recognised and valued by the Assembly as a whole. Indeed, at the lunch, not only were my colleagues Mary Porter and Dr Chris Bourke there but also Mr Rattenbury, Mr Hanson, Mr Wall and Mr Smyth were all there enjoying the excellent hospitality provided by the Southern Cross Club and lending their support to community clubs.

I note with interest that Mr Doszpot has indeed recognised the model of the community clubs here, but unfortunately he went to the very tired old argument of the connection between the Labor Club and us here in this place. And I just refer to the most recent online publication from the Canberra Labor Club and the contributions that they make to the community.

In 2011, 135 groups were supported, including Volunteering ACT and the Royal Life Saving Society, which provided support to 5,000 Canberra kids. The ACT Eden Monaro Cancer Support Group, the Leukaemia Foundation, TADACT, Sailability and Neighbourhood Watch have all been supported directly by the Canberra Labor Club.

So I find it quite ironic and somewhat hypocritical that those opposite can continue to go into the community-connected clubs, enjoy their hospitality, recognise the support that they offer to community groups but then continue to say that we must be, indeed, an evil beast to also have a connection with those groups that have been well documented to be certainly at a very significant arm’s length.

I say to Mr Doszpot and to all the Canberra Liberals that on the ABC website this afternoon a Queensland candidate Dr Glasson said that if he was in the party room, he would stop donations coming from tobacco companies. And so I do say: what is the position of the Canberra Liberals in this and what will they say in the party room about getting financial support to their federal candidates here in the upcoming election?

Indeed, donations from tobacco companies to Labor have ceased and ACT Labor and federal Labor have no connection to tobacco companies, but the Canberra Liberals continue to have donations supplied and accepted from tobacco companies. So I think Mr Doszpot should really question: he is in the party room here and what will he be saying if tobacco dollars reach into the support of the candidates here in the ACT?

Indian myna birds

MR RATTENBURY (Molonglo) (5.27): On 19 June I opened the Indian myna bird conference at the CSIRO Discovery Centre. The event was hosted by the Canberra

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