Page 5034 - Week 13 - Wednesday, 28 November 2018

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Another particular highlight for me was our funding for better quality play spaces to support children’s physical health and wellbeing. We are building even better schools and supporting our hardworking teachers. We are improving access to local health care with funding delivered for the new Weston Creek walk-in centre. We are delivering upgrades to our local centres like Kambah and upgrades to roads around our growing city, including the construction of the new car park on Mount Taylor that is supporting so many more people to enjoy the bush capital that we love.

The year 2018 has been a landmark year for Woden in particular, seeing the redevelopment of old and empty buildings, the new dining precinct on Bradley Street underway, and our government’s major commitments to enhancements to public spaces like the square through the Woden experiment, new footpath and cycle path infrastructure, investments in the new Woden interchange and progressing the extension of light rail from the city to Woden. Importantly, we have also started the work on the future of community facilities in Woden.

I have also been very proud of our inclusive Canberra that is open to the world and that celebrates and is strengthened by our multicultural community. In this Assembly we have worked to protect LGBTQI students and teachers in schools, and our government has delivered a comprehensive plan to improve housing affordability and to tackle homelessness. Everything is within a budget surplus, the highest economic growth in the nation and the lowest unemployment rate. So it has been a very big year.

During the year I transitioned to the ministry. It has been a real delight to engage in that role with the many community organisations who do such important work to support our most vulnerable people in Canberra, and to meet with a huge diversity of multicultural groups that make such a significant contribution through the incredible number of events and celebrations that bring life to our city.

I thank those who have worked in my office with me over the year, both as a backbencher and during the transition into the ministry. I thank my staff: James Koval, Ethan Moody, Monique Blasiak and Thomas McKernan; and the staff who have joined me since I entered the ministry, Martin Greenwood, Sarah Niall and Alexandra Craig.

I thank our fantastic departmental liaison officers, Karen Kennedy, Emma Swan, Erica Hurrell and Rowena Mele.

Thank you to TCCS director-general Emma Thomas and deputy directors-general Jim Corrigan and Duncan Edghill, and your staff, for your work throughout the year. In the Community Services Directorate I welcome Rebecca Cross, our new director-general, and thank deputy directors-general Bernadette Mitcherson and Jo Wood and your teams.

I thank you Jacinta Evans and the inclusion and participation team on their work throughout the year, particularly on the multicultural summit last week. I hope they are taking a break before the Multicultural Festival in February.

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