Page 3644 - Week 12 - Tuesday, 22 October 2013

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Onam honours the legendary ruler of Kerala, King Mahabali, who ruled wisely and fairly and whose people enjoyed prosperity, happiness and equality. On this special day, the Malayalees community invoke the spirit of King Mahabali to visit the people of Kerala.

In keeping with the positive spirit of King Mahabali, this is a very happy time of festivities and feast celebration for Malayalees communities around the world. This celebration includes the buying and wearing of new clothes, symbolising the casting off of bad thoughts and feelings. Community feasting shares the inspiring positive messages of the golden age of their king, Mahabali.

I thank the Canberra Malayalees community for hosting this event and sharing it with Canberrans so that it is now a part of our precious multicultural way of life. It is a tribute to the Indian Malayalees families who have made Canberra their home and who contribute to our city through their economic, artistic, educational and cultural endeavours.

The Canberra Malayalee Association represents a rapidly growing community in our city with proud origins in Kerala. In the past seven years, the Canberra Malayalees community has tripled from around 500 people, to now over 1,500 enjoying Canberra as their home. They have brought special skills here and filled many roles in our community, especially in health, IT, government and the community services sector. They are also contributing to the dynamic cultural diversity of our city.

The Canberra Malayalees are one of several strong, cohesive communities with roots in the Indian subcontinent who have made Canberra home. We are lucky to be able to share and experience some of the incredibly rich varieties of culture from India thanks to the generosity of the communities that have settled and grown here in Canberra. Even with the vast array of cultures within India, there is common ground and a shared respect between our two countries. We share history, a system of government, a region and oceans. India is by far the world’s largest democracy, a growing world power, economically and militarily. It has the world’s largest movie industry, and India now dominates world cricket, even with the retirement of Sachin Tendulkar.

I thank the Canberra Malayalees community for sharing the wonderful Onam celebration, its positive outlook and a little bit of India in all its ancient and modern cultural richness.

Energy—smart blocks

MR COE (Ginninderra) (5.36): I rise today to speak about smart blocks, an interactive online toolkit designed to help residents of high-rise buildings reduce their energy use and therefore the cost of energy. Residents of high-rise buildings use up to 25 per cent more energy than people living in detached dwellings. Up to half of this extra energy use is from common property, including pools, water systems, heating and cooling, ventilation, car parks and hallway lighting. It has also been estimated that there could be a saving of as much as 80 per cent of the energy used for lighting on common property.

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