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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 11 Hansard (Thursday, 25 October 2018) . . Page.. 4309 ..

Lastly, children have a right to be heard. Again, I addressed this important point when speaking to my motion yesterday regarding increasing the visibility of children and young people in the ACT system that responds to violence in the home. The Domestic Violence Prevention Council has recommended strongly that this government needs to do a better job of hearing kids’ voices in this space. I again state that I am grateful that preliminary steps have been taken to begin consulting children who have experienced and/or witnessed domestic violence.

At the same time, I suggest that we need to do a better job of listening to children’s voices across the board. I am familiar with cases where the wishes of children and young people in out of home care seem to have been ignored. This is serious when it happens, but children have a right to be heard when matters are considerably less serious too.

For example, a girl in an ACT public primary school recently pointed out that the ACT government had replaced the playground equipment in her school that she frequents. However, none of the kids liked this new equipment as it hurt their legs when they used it. She then asked me a very important question: “Why can’t they ask us what we want? After all, we are the ones using it.” That is a very good question, Madam Assistant Speaker. We should always listen to our children, all the time.

Discussion concluded.


Motion (by Mr Gentleman) proposed:

That the Assembly do now adjourn.

Yerrabi electorate

MS ORR (Yerrabi) (4.08): I rise to update the Assembly on some of the recent initiatives and events in my electorate of Yerrabi. As some members may be aware, the ACT and federal governments have taken a joint initiative to protect and improve long-term water quality in the ACT. This initiative, known as the ACT healthy waterways project, has a budget of over $80 million dedicated to 20 infrastructure projects and two research projects across six priority catchments.

The reason I am highlighting the waterways project in the Assembly today is that Yerrabi is home to one of the biggest ACT healthy waterways sites, and we are expecting construction to begin soon. The Evatt wetlands are part of the developing catchment of west Belconnen and are an important element of improving water quality in the ACT.

There are a number of developments happening on this site as part of the project, including the establishment of an urban catchment and extending an existing swale. These terms may not mean much to people who do not carry the same expertise as those undertaking the project but I can assure members and the community that they

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