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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2017 Week 11 Hansard (Wednesday, 20 September 2017) . . Page.. 4044 ..

P&Cs have folded over the past four years. A lack of volunteers has already impacted things like sports and fetes, and a decline in volunteer fundraising will hurt the provision of essential materials in schools. All this is in addition to the work volunteers do directly to support teachers.

A number of possible factors contributing to this decline has been identified. One main factor is lack of time. Cost of living rises in Canberra such as increases in rates, rents and fees have hit average families especially hard, reducing the time that parents have available to lend a hand at school. Other factors include increasing bureaucratic requirements such as needing a food handling certification to run a fundraising barbecue.

The Association of Parents and Friends of ACT Schools, the ACT Council of Parents and Citizens Associations, Volunteering and Contact ACT and the Canberra Preschool Society have joined forces to try to reverse this worrying trend. They are currently running a survey on called “volunteering in ACT schools” to see whether they can more clearly identify the pitfalls, difficulties and barriers faced by potential volunteers.

I encourage all parents of ACT schoolchildren and other concerned community members to contribute to this effort by completing the online survey. Whenever and however possible, please find the time to serve a local school. Our teachers need our help and our kids need our help.

Belconnen town centre

MS CHEYNE (Ginninderra) (6.56): I rise today to put on the record my concern about some decisions affecting jobs and, in turn, workers and residents in Belconnen. The first of these is the announcement that the Commonwealth Superannuation Corporation is moving out of Cameron Offices in the Belconnen town centre to offices in the city. While I note this is a move within the same city and does not fall under the very concerning decentralisation announcement, I need to underline that any movement of offices out of the town centre does have a real effect on people’s lives. I am very concerned that there has been little public notice given about this move to allow the community more broadly to properly understand, appreciate and even debate what is proposed to occur. The furtive way that management has gone about this is a real cause for concern.

I will share with the Assembly a handful of the anonymised comments provided to me from CSC workers about the effect the move has on them. First:

We have a young family with kids in day care, we live and work in Belconnen. Our current arrangements allow us to arrange the day so we both have some flextime to cover the unexpected, and coordinate the drop off and pick up to day care. That balance won’t be possible with the extra travel time into the City.


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