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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2017 Week 05 Hansard (Wednesday, 10 May 2017) . . Page.. 1633 ..

As well as many members of the Moncrieff community, relatives of both musicians attended the ceremony. Iris, Alan and Raylene Mullins represented the family of Peter Dawson, and Terry and Norm Griffin were there as relatives of Smoky Dawson. Herbert Henry Dawson, known as Smoky Dawson, strongly influenced Australian country music and had many other talents, including yodelling and whip cracking. Peter Dawson was a bass-baritone singer-songwriter and recording artist. His recordings of Advance Australia Fair and Waltzing Matilda made both songs very popular.

Dawson park is a neighbourhood play and recreation space on top of a hill, with views over the entire suburb and surrounding grasslands. It has playground equipment and a shaded play area, providing the entire Moncrieff community with a quality public space to enjoy. As Gungahlin continues to grow at a rapid pace, it is critically important that new suburbs and existing areas continue to have access to green spaces where people can come together to meet, play and enjoy the natural environment around their homes. I trust the Moncrieff community will make great use of Dawson park and the recreational park which is due to be completed later this year.

I also had the pleasure of attending celebrations marking the 70th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Sri Lanka and Australia. These were held on 29 April at Red Cross House in Garran. The High Commission and Red Cross arranged a blood drive as part of the celebrations, to symbolise the strong bonds of friendship and goodwill between Sri Lanka and Australia. It was an honour to represent the Chief Minister and the ACT government in recognising this milestone and to meet His Excellency Mr Somasundaram Skandakumar, High Commissioner for Sri Lanka, along with other High Commission staff and the local Sri Lankan community.

Canberra is the permanent home to a diverse and vibrant multicultural population, of which over 2,000 Australians of Sri Lankan origin and descent provide a valuable contribution to the life of our city. I would like to once again congratulate the High Commission on the unique way of celebrating the 70th anniversary, and thank everyone in attendance for their continued contribution to the local community.

I joined the residents of Gungahlin and my colleagues Minister Fitzharris and Mr Pettersson at the annual Celebrate Gungahlin Festival on 29 April. It was a fantastic day, filled with performances from local arts and music groups, with plenty to see and do for everyone who came along. I had a number of conversations with people about the future of the town centre and how the government’s planning refresh will provide the community with a chance to see the public spaces they use transformed into more user-friendly areas for everyone to enjoy. It was a fantastic day for all involved, and I would like to thank Communities@Work and My Gungahlin for organising what was once again a successful festival. I am already looking forward to the celebrations next year.

Last but not least, I had the pleasure of helping out at the Gungahlin Jets sausage sizzle. The slightly dreary weather did not dampen demand and the egg and bacon rolls flew off the barbecue. As all of us here know, attending community events and meeting with people in our electorates is one of the best things about our role as local

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