MS LAWDER (Brindabella) (5.14): I rise this afternoon to speak about the Southern ACT Catchment Group, a not-for-profit community organisation formed to represent the environmental needs of the southern ACT community, including Woden, Weston Creek and Tuggeranong.

The Southern ACT Catchment Group is a collection of local residents and community groups who are concerned about the health of the environment around them. The group aims to maintain, improve and protect our natural environment. Some areas of focus for the Southern ACT Catchment Group include community building, biodiversity, weed management, soil health, water quality, European and Indigenous cultural heritage, vegetation loss, and urban land degradation.

Some groups who are members of the Southern ACT Catchment Group include the Farrer Ridge Parkcare Group, Lions Youth Haven, Friends of Grasslands, Tuggeranong Lake Carers, Canberra Environment and Sustainability Resource Centre, primary schools including Bonython and Gordon, Friends of Tidbinbilla, and many other smaller groups within our community.

On Saturday, 2 November I joined with the Tuggeranong Lake Carers, as part of the Southern ACT Catchment Group, to clean up a section of Lake Tuggeranong and spent a few hours filling bags with rubbish from around our lake. We do have Clean Up Australia Day once a year but this organisation knows that it takes more than one day a year to keep our environment clean.

With groups such as this one, it is hard to name and acknowledge everyone that gets involved and helps out. There are many projects happening all the time around the area, and many of the volunteers fly under the radar and come and go as their other commitments dictate. But I would like to emphasise the importance of this organisation and acknowledge the difference that it makes. Even small initiatives such as cleaning the lake for a few hours on a random Saturday, with a handful of volunteers, makes a difference to our community.

I look forward to doing more work with groups such as the Southern ACT Catchment Group in the future. I encourage everyone to do their part to improve and maintain the environment around us. If you would like more information on the Southern ACT Catchment Group, you can go to their website,

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