Page 3761 - Week 12 - Wednesday, 23 October 2013

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The campaign also encourages motorists to allow a little extra time for a pedestrian with a white cane to make the decision that it is safe to cross the road. Sometimes it takes a pedestrian a little longer to ascertain that it is safe and start crossing. The campaign is also about educating drivers on what not to do. For example, do not flash your lights, honk your horn, shout directions or jump out of your car to help a pedestrian across the road. Do not assume that if they are looking in your direction they can see you, and do not stop too far back or too close or in any unusual position as it will just cause confusion. The overall message of the campaign is to use extra caution and be patient, but generally do not do anything differently to what you would normally do.

Guide Dogs New South Wales-ACT is a very valuable and important organisation for many Australians living with low or no vision. I would like to pay tribute to the staff and volunteers at Guide Dogs New South Wales-ACT as, without their passion and enthusiasm, campaigns such as this would not be possible. There are also a number of sponsors that make the campaign possible.

Finally, I would like to encourage everyone to be more aware of users of white canes when using our roads. You can find out more at

ACT Emergency Services Agency—stations

MS BERRY (Ginninderra) (6.00): Madam Speaker, last Friday I was fortunate enough to be able to attend the opening of the new west Belconnen ambulance and fire rescue station, along with my Labor colleague Minister Corbell, yourself and Ms Porter. As Minister Corbell has previously said, the new $12 million state-of-the-art ambulance and fire station will assist in providing enhanced emergency service coverage now and into the future for Belconnen. This project provides the first dedicated ambulance station for west Belconnen and replaces the former Charnwood fire and rescue station. It will house a paramedic crew and up to two firefighting crews, including an urban fire and rescue pumper and two bushfire tankers.

The project was delivered on time and under budget for the community of west Belconnen. I would like to acknowledge the work of the public servants of the ESA for delivering such a great and vital piece of infrastructure for our community. It was also great to learn that the firefighters and ambulance officers who are to work out of this station were involved in the design and development of the station, ensuring the most effective, practical and best practice station was built.

On Saturday my children and I went down to the new station’s open day with several thousand other west Belconnen residents, who were all embraced by the firies, ambos, RFS workers and volunteers. It was a great sight to see all of these dedicated Canberrans taking the time to talk to the families and answer the questions that were posed to them by many of the children and adults who were in attendance. Everyone who was there had the opportunity to explore the pumpers, climb in and around the ambulance and have a chat to the fabulous RFS volunteers.

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