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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2015 Week 01 Hansard (Thursday, 12 February 2015) . . Page.. 333 ..

I encourage all my colleagues and Canberrans to stop and reflect on the significance of the national apology. We should celebrate the memory of that day and the progress it signified. We should also recommit ourselves to meeting our responsibilities around reconciliation and equality for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. In finishing, I would like to acknowledge Gabriela Falzon for assisting in writing this speech for me.

Environment—Mugga Lane tip

MR WALL (Brindabella) (6.07): I rise this evening to place on the record the views of over 100 residents of Macarthur, Fadden, Gowrie, Gilmore and Chisholm regarding the overpowering stench coming from the Mugga Lane tip that they have had to endure and put up with for the entire summer period and in some instances well before that time. These residents have been reluctant to open windows at night, have avoided outdoor entertaining because of the smell and have faced hot summer days with dread because they know the smell will be overpowering.

I have heard from residents who have lived in the Macarthur and Fadden area for over 30 years, since the suburbs were built, that, despite having the occasional whiff of the tip on an occasion over the years, they have never before had to endure such an overwhelming stench for such a lengthy period. Residents undergoing chemotherapy have told me that the smell is particularly bad for them because of their heightened sense of smell. Others with disorders such as sleep apnoea cannot open their windows at night as the smell interferes with the operation of specialist equipment. Families with young children are reluctant to allow their kids outside to enjoy the fresh air because there simply has not been any.

One constituent said:

If it is within your power to convey our utter disgust and dissatisfaction to the minister, we will greatly appreciate it.

That is what I intend to do tonight. I will read a few paragraphs from emails I have received and place them on the record as the experiences the residents of Tuggeranong have endured over the past few months. One email says:

… the stench from the Mugga Lane tip has been so strong and overpowering that it is having an impact on our daily lives resulting in my wife and I at times being unable to sit outside, enjoy relaxing in the front or back gardens and our daily walks around Macarthur have also become unpleasant … At times the smell is so revolting, and to prevent it from coming into our home, we’ve had to keep the windows and doors shut.

I quote from another resident:

… the stench is, at times, unbearable. It was not a pleasant experience on Christmas day and yesterday I almost threw up, so putrid was the stench. It never goes away completely. Our quality of life has been severely impacted without demonstration of care or recompense from the ACT Government. We have heard nothing from any Government Minister on this—but then it’s not a ‘good news story’ so I am not surprised.

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