Page 4217 - Week 14 - Tuesday, 26 November 2013

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Before the centenary, the Chief Minister saw that this year was not just one year of parties, to paraphrase, but a year to leave a legacy. And many of the projects established for the centenary of Canberra will continue beyond 2013—“parties at the shops”, “you are here” and Fashfest, to name a few. The Canberra legacy will also stretch well beyond our borders, with dollars for Dili funding vital community and school infrastructure in Timor-Leste.

The momentum of this year’s celebration will continue beyond 2013. Back in 2011, for the Canberra Day oration on 12 March that year, the creative director of the centenary of Canberra, Robyn Archer, stated her vision: “Seed now, blossom in 2013, flower for another hundred years”. The events of 2013 have demonstrably raised the pride of Canberrans in their city—and, hopefully, that of the millions for whom this capital exists. It showcased the national capital through a sensational program of events and has established a lasting legacy of community value.

The importance of our centenary celebrations as we move into the next century is that it has created very clear opportunities for Canberrans, indeed all Australians, to recognise how we came to be here, celebrate what we have achieved as a city in the last 100 years, and recognise our strengths. Most importantly, it has enabled us to look forward with ambition and pride to the future of this city, the nation’s capital and our home.

MR SMYTH (Brindabella) (4.00): I thank Ms Porter for the motion. Centenaries come around once every hundred years, and it is important that we get them right. The subject of debate is the importance of Canberra’s centenary year as we move into our second century, and over the last couple of years I have questioned how the centenary would be celebrated, how we would evaluate the effectiveness of the centenary and what would be the lasting legacy. The centenary website lists the visions and goals. The vision is noble:

All Australians proudly celebrate and share in the Centenary of Canberra, our nation’s capital–the city that tells the story of our country's freedom, spirit, achievements and aspirations.

That is not an unreasonable vision. But then it goes on to list the goals, and it would be interesting to go through the goals one by one to see whether or not even at this stage in the 11th month of the celebrations what we have achieved, and therein lies the rub for me. I asked many times last year how the government was going to measure the outcomes of the centenary and how and what will happen. Indeed, it was about this time last year at the tourism awards that Mr Barr announced there would be a committee to review what had happened. I look forward to seeing what that committee reviews.

The six goals are:

Increase the pride and ownership of Australians in their capital.

Fully engage the community of Canberra, the Capital region and the broader Australian community in the celebrations.

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