Page 3642 - Week 12 - Tuesday, 22 October 2013

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Many students were also provided with the opportunity to participate in excursions to the dam to facilitate their learning on the topic. This practical exposure to the environmental topics covered by the program help the students to gain a great in-depth understanding of the issues involved, the consequences of mismanagement, and the importance of protecting our natural heritage and diversity.

There were many interesting facets in the construction of the new dam, one of which was an initiative by ACTEW to position the camera trained onto the construction site from the beginning of construction. It posted a photo of construction every 180 seconds, giving an insight into the progress of construction. It is available to the public, and this excellent idea facilitates public knowledge and interest in the project.

Along with the image feed, the Friends of the Cotter Community Group was established to provide a network of communication to members of the public who make regular use of the area for recreational purposes. Members of the group get regularly updated on progress in the area, invitations to various events in the area and the opportunity to comment on and contribute to plans for different projects in the area. Public input into projects of such magnitude as the new Cotter Dam are important due to the possible impact on residents and patrons of the local area and the positive ideas and other input which are so often obtained from various members of the public of the ACT.

The new dam continues on its path of being completely filled, and it is fantastic to know this project is having a really positive effect on the public and the recreational aspirations of Canberrans as well, of course, as major positive impacts on natural diversity in the region and conservation efforts for which so many people volunteer their time and efforts.

I commend all for the effort which went into the construction of the new dam, and I also commend the efforts of the staff of ACTEW who organised a wonderful event to celebrate the opening of the dam.

Guises Creek rural fire brigade

MR SMYTH (Brindabella) (5.29): I wish to bring to the attention of the Assembly the 25th anniversary of the Guises Creek rural bush fire brigade. The anniversary was held on Saturday, 12 October. We had a lovely dinner, and a number of the members of the brigade contributed information and photographs. They have published a book, History of the Guises Creek Rural Fire Brigade 25th Anniversary 1988-2013. The book is dedicated particularly to two members of the brigade who are no longer with us—Tony Morrison and Bob Moore. Tony and Bob were the first two presidents of the brigade and occupied that position for a total of almost 23 years. In terms of service to the community, both Tony and Bob certainly did more than their share of looking after their local area and looking after all of us in the brigade. They were both off the land and were dab hands at putting out a fire. As we joined they gave us all a lot of good advice and a lot of great assistance.

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