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Thursday, 8 October 2020
Page: 108


Mrs ELLIOT (Richmond) (10:55): Today I'd like to share with the House some excerpts from a very important piece of correspondence I recently received from Burringbar Public School, specifically a letter I received from their K/1D class. The letter starts:

Dear Mrs Elliot,

Native animals are super important to Australia. K/1D at Burringbar Public School definitely think koalas and flying foxes deserve to be cared for by everyone.

Poor fluffy koalas and black delicate flying foxes with leathery wings need our help!

Australian bushfires, floods and droughts are affecting flying foxes and koalas. They are dying because their habitat and food are being destroyed.                         

Koalas and flying foxes have to travel further to find new homes, places to live and food. We absolutely must plant more eucalyptus and grevillea trees so we can increase their population.

It's a very persuasive letter. It goes on to say:

Koalas are forced out of their habitat every day and we need to save the koalas NOW if we want to see them in 30 years' time and show our children!

We have to save the bushland being destroyed from new houses been built and trees being cut down. We can help by planting lots of trees.

Koalas are disappearing and we have to help them. They are run over by cars. People need to slow down. People need to read the koala signs and follow them.

We are creating this destruction, now we should help koalas. It's our responsibility to save them. Koalas can't survive on their own and it's all about people. Keep koalas safe, if you don't, they will die!

The class of K/1D conclude their letter by saying:

We need to act now to save these precious native animals so we can all enjoy them for future generations. Please use your power to spread this important message!

Kind regards and with many thanks,

K/1D

Burringbar Public School.

Well, I'm very pleased to be able to advocate here today in parliament on behalf of these wonderful students. It's so important that our children know that they are heard and they understand they can have an impact on issues that are so important to them. Burringbar Public School is one of the many outstanding schools in my electorate, and I was very pleased recently to support the school with a $20,000 grant towards its playground, under the Local Schools Community Fund. I very much look forward to visiting them all soon. I also look forward to reporting back to K/1D that their letter has in fact been read into Hansard in the federal parliament. I hope these students continue to be remarkable advocates for koalas and flying foxes. It's these wonderful students who will grow up to become advocates within and for their communities. They've certainly demonstrated their fine writing skills and a strong call to action, so I'd like to commend the class of K/1D for their excellent letter and I also would like to thank their teacher, Michelle Davenport, for forwarding their correspondence to me.