Page 4603 - Week 12 - Wednesday, 31 October 2018

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I was also pleased to again be invited to the Hackett Community Association’s annual flagship event, the Party at the Shops, which took place over this past weekend. This is one of my favourite community events of the year. There is always a huge turnout for the amazing food and cakes, the performances by local school bands and dance groups, and the awesome activities for the kids, including face painting and jumping castles. Unfortunately this year I was scheduled to be out of Canberra at the time of the event, but my wonderful volunteers attended on my behalf. Armed with our art and craft supply, my team sought input from young Canberrans on the future planning of our city, which Mr Gentleman would be pleased to hear, and were able to talk to other community members in order to pass any issues back to me.

I am told that the Party at the Shops was as successful this year as it has been in previous years, if not more so. I am also told that the team’s stall was well attended and that the kids of Hackett loved making pasta jewellery just as much as the kids of the inner south. I thank Chris Mobbs and the Hackett Community Association for inviting me to attend and for providing the Hackett community with such a fun event every year. The Party at the Shops is a catalyst for the connections that build a sense of community.

While I was unable to attend the party at Hackett shops, I am looking forward to being able to enjoy the party at Downer shops which is coming up on Saturday, 17 November. Those who have not yet visited the revitalised Downer shops should consider marking this date in your diaries. Downer is a unique example of Canberra’s early suburban history, and I am pleased to see the community embracing that history alongside the change that is happening as our city grows. I am looking forward to talking to Downer residents about the future of their community, with the shops at its centre.

Spring in Canberra is the ideal time to get out and enjoy our city’s wonderful parks and open spaces. I am pleased to have been able to update the Assembly on some of the ways the Kurrajong community is embracing these opportunities and making our city an even more vibrant, friendly and fun place to live.

Belconnen showcase

MS CHEYNE (Ginninderra) (5.41): I rise tonight to talk about the fantastic Belconnen showcase which was held at the start of this month on 3, 4 and 5 October. This three-day festival really lived up to its name in terms of showcasing Belconnen and, in particular, the Belconnen town centre.

It started as a germ of an idea. Soon after I was elected, it became quite apparent to me that there is so much happening in the Belconnen town centre. There are quite a lot of changes underway. We had a brand new Belconnen town centre master plan, and now draft variations to the Territory Plan are underway based on that master plan. There has been a huge injection of residential development there and, with that, residents and plenty of new businesses coming, but also some businesses going.

It just seemed like a fantastic opportunity, and one that we were missing, to connect people, to get people in the right spaces at the right time to talk with each other, to

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