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Thursday, 14 March 2013
Page: 2224

Mrs GRIGGS (Solomon) (09:37): I rise today to speak on two recent community events in my electorate of Solomon. On Saturday 9 March, for the fifth consecutive year and in partnership with the United Nations, the City of Darwin and the Northern Territory government, a very purple walk was held in Darwin's CBD in celebration of International Women's Day. Along with the Lord Mayor of Darwin, Katrina Fong Lim; the remarkable Allison Anderson, who is the Northern Territory Minister for Women's Policy; the Speaker of the Northern Territory parliament, Kezia Purick; candidate for Lingiari Tina McFarlane; and Linda Fazldeen, the Country Liberals' second Senate candidate, we had the privilege of marching with many extraordinary women from Darwin and Palmerston. These women come from many walks of life across the Territory. We walked with mums, grandmas, aunts and sisters. These women are the backbone of our community. It was great that we were supported by senior officers from the Northern Territory Police Force.

We are very proud in the Territory that women hold many leadership positions. You might be surprised to know that women make up 50 per cent of our federal parliamentarians, two out of four. Hopefully, at the next election we are looking to make that three out of four. In the Northern Territory Legislative Assembly, 40 per cent are females. In local government, 38 per cent of members are women. I would like to thank the organisers for this wonderful march and once again want to recognise all Territory women for their contribution to our community.

Clean Up Australia Day was on Sunday, 3 March. I again organised an event for Clean Up Australia Day. This day is very important to Territorians. It brings together local residents to clean up their beaches, parks, creeks and rivers. Along with some of my constituents, I spent the morning cleaning up the parks that run alongside the esplanade in Darwin. I would like to thank the tireless volunteers who came out despite the pouring rain to help preserve our amazing parks in the greater Darwin region. There were many other clean-ups across Solomon. I admire all the volunteers for pushing through the terrible weather to get on with the job.

With the little time that I have left I would like to mention that Stuart Blanch, from the Environment Centre Northern Territory, presented me with the 'Call to country' document, with a set of requests from the conservation community to protect the environment from the effects of coal seam gas and shale gas exploration.

I thank Mr Blanch for continuing to bring these issues to the forefront of our minds to ensure our environment is protected. Whilst I do not agree with this request, I do feel it is important to share with you all the environmental concerns that are raised in my community.