Member for Brindabella, Nicole Lawder, joined the children at Holy Family Primary School in Gowrie today, for fun morning reading activities. The highlight was being part of the annual National Simultaneous Storytime organised by the Australian Library and Information Association.

Ms Lawder said “Every year, a picture book, written and illustrated by an Australian author and illustrator, is read simultaneously in libraries, schools, pre-schools, childcare centres, family homes, bookshops and many other places around the country.”

“Last year 686,324 participants at over 6,129 locations read the same book at the same time. Hopefully this record will be broken in 2018” said Ms Lawder.

This year at exactly 11am on Wednesday 23 May Australian readers shared Hickory Dickory Dash written by Tony Wilson and illustrated by Laura Wood.

“It is a fun event with a serious side. It aims to promote the value of reading and literacy” said Ms Lawder.

It also promotes the value and fun of books, promotes an Australian writer and publisher and promotes storytime activities in public libraries and communities around the country.

One of the objectives of the program is to provide opportunities to involve parents and grandparents to participate in and enjoy the occasion.

“As a Grandmother who loves reading to my grandchildren, I love the opportunity to read aloud to young people” said Ms Lawder.



Media Contact Deborah Seccombe

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For weeks, Moncrieff residents have been pleading with the Labor-Greens government to clean up excessive rubbish and litter that is polluting their neighbourhood.

Of note are the polystyrene waffle pods that are flying around Moncrieff.These pods are lightweight and susceptible to breaking down. Whenever there are strong winds, the pods and other rubbish from around the suburb end up littering parks, waterways and reserve areas.

Moncrieff residents have lodged multiple complaints to the government but aren’t getting any response.


Quotes from Member for Yerrabi James Milligan:

“I am hearing from a lot of Moncrieff residents who are pretty unhappy.

“They have asked the government over and over again to provide basic services to remove the litter, but the government isn’t doing enough.

“They are expected to pay excessive rates, but the government never follows through on its end of the bargain which is to provide basic services.

“This is just one more issue in Moncrieff that the government is choosing to ignore. Moncrieff doesn’t have a bus service, it doesn’t have a reliable bin collection service, and it isn’t getting the basic maintenance required to keep the suburb clean.

“The government needs to clean up its act and start delivering services that residents are already paying for.”


Quotes from Shadow Minister for Urban Services Nicole Lawder:

“Sadly, the concerns of residents in Moncrieff are not unique. On a daily basis, we hear the frustration people have when trying to get the government to fix street lights or remove rubbish in common areas.

“This government is happy to collect rates and taxes from residents but is loath to deliver basic urban services.”

Seniors encouraged to get connected to boost wellbeing

Older Canberrans are encouraged to get involved in their local community to help combat loneliness and promote general wellbeing, Shadow Minister for Seniors Nicole Lawder said today. 

Ahead of Seniors Week 2018, Ms Lawder is encouraging all Canberrans over the age of 50 to ensure they are plugged in to their local community to enrich their social experiences.

"As we head into ACT Seniors Week, it is important to remember the vital role older and elderly Canberrans play in our community," Ms Lawder said.

 "They have helped make Canberra the place it is today, and still have so much more to offer.

 "Sadly, many older Canberrans feel disconnected and lonely. In fact, I often hear loneliness is one of the leading causes of concern amongst the elderly.

 "But it doesn’t have to be this way. Canberra has well established community groups designed to combat loneliness and boost general wellbeing.

 "The Canberra Seniors Centre is doing fantastic work to bring older folk from all walks of life together, uniting them in friendship.

 "The club creates a great environment where seniors can connect and participate in a range of activities like exercise and dance classes, building computer skills, painting and crafts.

 "Today, it’s jazzercise! What a fun way to get kick the blues and get connected," Ms Lawder concluded.

Ms Lawder will be available for comment at 12pm at the Canberra Seniors Centre, 10 Watson Street Turner.

Canberra Seniors Centre Vice-President Pat Gration will also be available for comment.

Seniors at the club will be participating in a jazzercise class from 12pm.









City of Canberra” finds a home - but not in Canberra



While I am pleased that the Beyer-Garrat 6029 locomotive has found a new home, it is disappointing that that home was not in Canberra, Shadow Heritage Minister Nicole Lawder said.

The new owners of the locomotive, formerly known as the
City of Canberra, have struck a one year storage and use agreement with Transport Heritage NSW and the NSW Rail Museum.  

“While it is good news that the 6029 Locomotive has found a home in Thirlmere near Sydney, it is unfortunate that it has been lost from Canberra,” Ms Lawder said.

“Important parts of Canberra rail history were lost when the Australian Railway Historical Society ACT Division went into liquidation.”

The famous engine 6029 once operated in Canberra and was on display in Canberra but was acquired by private owners in November last year. The locomotive was sold as part of the ARHS liquidation.

The 6029 entered service in NSW and the ACT in 1954 and retired in 1972. In the 1980’s it was restored to operational condition and operated as a heritage train for the Canberra Railway Museum. It received renewed mainline accreditation in December 2014, named City of Canberra with the first public trips taking place on 28 February 2015. It is the largest operational steam locomotive in the Southern hemisphere.

“The new owners were keen for anyone who had worked with the locomotive to maintain their involvement.

“Fortunately, Thirlmere is not that far away from Canberra.

“I hope there will be opportunities for the locomotive to visit Canberra in the future.

“It is important that we do not lose active connections with these important parts of our transport heritage,” Ms Lawder concluded.

Media contact Deborah Seccombe:


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Extent of weekend flooding may have been avoided


 Neglect of Canberra’s essential stormwater assets may have exacerbated the damage caused in yesterday’s flood, Shadow Minister for Urban Services Nicole Lawder said today.

Last month, the Canberra Liberals raised concerns with the government’s failure to maintain Canberra’s essential stormwater assets following an Auditor-General’s report on the issue.

The report, Acceptance of Stormwater Assets, found that:

  • Flood risk mitigation work is not being undertaken, despite known risks;

  • Some stormwater infrastructure cannot cope with major rain events;

  • The government has no plans to review stormwater infrastructure; and

  • In-fill development is increasing the risk of flooding but the government is not taking action.

The Auditor-General’s report also said that established areas of Canberra had not been reassessed since development, “despite the fact that there is known flood risk in some locations” (p79, 4.94). It also noted that:

“There is an increased risk because the stormwater infrastructure in many established areas of Canberra will be unable to cope with major rain events. This is because the stormwater network has not been augmented to help manage increased or more concentrated flows from:

  • In-fill developments, such as multi-unit high rise developments (p80, 4.96)

“There are no scheduled reviews of the condition of the stormwater infrastructure in established areas.” (p82, 4.101) and that;

Where flooding occurs because of a failure of the part of the Government to augment the stormwater infrastructure to help manage increased flows as a result of developments approved by the Government, there is an increased risk of claims for compensation from people whose properties have been flooded.” (p.81, 4.110)

Quotes from Shadow Minister for Urban Services Nicole Lawder:

“My thoughts go out to all Canberrans who are cleaning up the mess caused in yesterday’s flood.

“The event showed us the devastating effects of the government’s inaction.

“While not as flashy as light rail and shiny laptops, maintaining stormwater assets is a vital, taxpayer funded service that the Labor-Greens government has neglected. 

“I have requested an urgent briefing from Minister Fitzharris to ensure this is an isolated event.”


Media contact Deborah Seccombe:

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