Standing up for Canberra
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Canberra Times: Bile is killing public debate

On the day Ben Chifley was elected leader of the Federal Parliamentary Labor Party in July 1945 the Opposition leader Robert Menzies wrote expressing “very warm congratulations”.

He continued, “At the next election I shall, of course, do my best to get rid of you [but] as at all times, I know that our mutual respect and regard will be maintained. The character of the personal relations existing between us has always been a source of great pleasure to me”.

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The Chronicle: 100 Years, 100 Great Women

I hope you had a chance to have a break, and wish you all the best for a safe, happy and healthy year.

I spent mine at the coast, where I reacquainted myself with my husband, family, friends, Vitamin D and two of my favourite pastimes, cooking and reading. I’m now looking forward to continuing to work for you in 2013 and celebrating our Centenary.
Our Very Big Year has already begun in style, and one event to note is the UN Women International Women’s Day lunch on 8 March.

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The Chronicle: Save Tuggeranong and help businesses propser

The satellite city concept has created a national capital of micro-economies. If Canberra is to continue to grow and thrive, it’s important that each of these micro-economies continues to prosper.

That’s why I’m petitioning for the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs to stay Southside, and my preference is for it to stay in Tuggeranong.

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The Chronicle: Christmas Message 2012

About a month ago, I was shopping at Fyshwick Markets and was approached by a woman who said “I want to thank you for helping me get a house. Since I got that house, my whole life has turned around.”

As I reflect on 2012, it’s experiences like these that stand out. Because the best part of my job is improving the lives of Canberrans, in sometimes visible, but mostly quiet ways. Over this year, I’ve helped community groups get funding and Canberrans get financial support and housing, roads and footpaths fixed and answers to questions.

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The Chronicle: Why Tralee is bad news for Canberra

The short-sighted decision by the NSW Government to go ahead with housing development in Tralee is potentially bad news for everyone living in the Tuggeranong Valley.

My opposition to Tralee is simple. I’m concerned that what will happen in the future is that airplane flights are shifted away from NSW and will be flying over existing suburbs in Canberra’s south.

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The Chronicle: Literacy and Numeracy a key focus for Labor

In my 20s, I volunteered to teach adults to read. And during the training, I learned of their ingenuity in getting through an illiterate life. Like memorising the look of tins on the supermarket shelf. Like getting their friends to order in cafes. Like ringing directory assistance for a telephone number.

Yet, despite their ingenuity, these illiterate adults led timid lives. If they were employed, they were in low skilled jobs with limited or no career prospects. Some of them barely left their homes. 

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The Chronicle: Marymead's Circle of Security

Imagine the distress and guilt of having a child that you don’t connect with or has behavioural problems. Well there are some parents in Canberra who are living with this anxiety each day, which is why the work of the Centre for Early Life Matters at Marymead in Narrabundah is so valuable. 

One of the best parts of my job is seeing first hand how government grants and funds make a real difference to the lives of Canberrans. And earlier this month I met with the committed team at the Centre to talk about how they are improving the lives of parents and kids. 

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The Chronicle: Homelessness

Last week I had lunch with the legendary Liz Dawson who works tirelessly to help the most disadvantaged in our community. Liz was instrumental in establishing Common Ground Canberra, an organisation that provides permanent housing and services for low income and homeless people. 

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The Chronicle: What Canberrans Want

I regularly host Community Forums around my electorate of Canberra where people can talk with me about issues and raise their concerns.

In August, I held three Community Forums and it was fascinating to hear so many diverse and wide-ranging views.

For those of you who haven’t had the opportunity to attend one of my Community Forums, most people who attend do so to ask for information, to discuss issues or to find out where they can go for assistance.

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The Chronicle: Digital TV Comes to Canberra

In just a few days Canberra will wave goodbye to the analog TV signal and hello to digital-only television.

I know many people are already prepared for the big switch off, and are looking forward to the new era of television in Australia.

And while I don’t watch too much TV myself (of course I always watch 7:30 and can’t go past a bit of Masterchef), the switch will give you access to more channels, a better quality picture and better sound.

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