Page 560 - Week 02 - Wednesday, 19 February 2020

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that the government explore ways to encourage broader conversations about death and dying and improved death literacy, including through death cafes. We were pleased to see that the government agreed to a broader education and engagement campaign to encourage discussion on death and dying in safe and accessible environments.

A few things Vickie said have really struck a chord with me. The first is that talking about dying will not kill you. It is as true and as simple as that. The second is that we plan for weddings, we plan for holidays and, in fact, some of us spend a lot of time thinking about these things, imagining what would be best and what we would like, how we imagine it could be. But the thing is, there is no guarantee that a wedding might happen for some of us. There is no guarantee that a holiday might happen for some of us. Yet many of us do not take the time to think about what we want at the end of our lives. We do not take the time to plan for it, despite it being guaranteed to happen.

That is where a lot of our conversation wandered on Sunday. A small group of us gathered at the Oaks Brasserie in Yarralumla. We talked about what to do in the event of death, including sudden death of loved ones. We talked about our own experiences with death, and some of us spoke about how these experiences have shaped what we want for ourselves and for our families when we die. Of course, one of the important aspects of a death cafe is that it is confidential, which is why I am being deliberately vague on the details. But I can confirm that the discussion was constructive, was casual and, while being necessarily about death, was also very much life affirming.

Madam Speaker, death can be hard to talk about and it can be hard to consider, but the more we talk about it and the more we hear other people talking about it the more we can consider it a natural and, equally, important part of our lives, because it is. I look forward to attending more death cafes, and I thank Vickie for her advocacy and for her leadership in this space, and for creating such a warm environment for the attendees to be so open.

Accessible car parking

Woolworths Landcare grants

MS LEE (Kurrajong) (6.37): Before I give my adjournment speech, I had not planned on doing a sum-up speech for my earlier motion, but there are two points that I do have to put on the record. The first is that, during the debate, Ms Le Couteur confirmed to me that she was not supporting Mr Gentleman’s amendment. I thank her for the support. I have to correct the record, because I think at the beginning of my speech, I was under the misunderstanding that she was supporting that amendment.

The second is that, whilst I acknowledge some of the issues that Mr Gentleman outlined and the difficulties especially in getting private car park operators to fall into line with similar rules—and that is why my motion was drafted in such a way, especially in the “calls upon” paragraphs—I received a tweet this afternoon from Robert McMahon, the vice-president of People With Disabilities ACT, and I think it sums up really well why this is such an important issue for that community. He said that disability does not differ between parking sites. That is a very powerful statement indeed and why I brought that motion forward today.

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