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Tuesday, 22 June 1999
Page: 7062

Mrs ELSON (10:34 PM) —I have always been a firm believer that all members of this place have a responsibility to do far more than just come to Canberra and express the views of the people who live in our electorates. I believe our most intrinsic responsibility is to help make the local communities we live in and represent even better places. That is not just about securing funding for our local services, although that is a very important part of our job; it is about helping build stronger, more close-knit communities. It is about promoting values we all share, and fostering the sort of community spirit that binds us together and makes people feel very secure.

The truly Australian quality that we have seen so often in times of crisis where we all pull together to help each other—that is the sort of thing I want to encourage in the daily lives of people in the local communities in my electorate of Forde. One way I am seeking to do this is through the Forde Community Contribution Awards. I established the awards in 1996 as a way for local residents to say thank you to the many voluntary workers who are the backbone of our community. These very special people give tirelessly to help others and never ask for anything in return. It is a terrific quality that as a community we should encourage and acknowledge.

Earlier this year I presented the 1999 Forde Community Contribution Awards to 20 very special people. In the forum of this House, the people's House, I want to thank them and recognise them again. Time does not permit me to list all of the many voluntary organisations that these individuals have helped—some for over 30 years—but the people of Forde are very grateful to each of them. They are Jennifer Carpenter of Beenleigh, Jan Vear of Waterford West, Jenni Gibson of Bethania, Seth Brook of Beaudesert, Dorrie Greive of Beaudesert, Frank Hampson of Boonah, Frank Reid of Boonah, Mollie Leonards of Mount Tamborine, Josephine Needham of Jimboomba, Betty Milne-Ward of Buccan, Peter Marples of Loganholme, Reverend Dan Grundy of Beenleigh, Shantelle Cantly of Bethania, Maxine Platell of Rathdowney, Lyn Richter of Rathdowney, David Robbins of Jimboomba, Marie Smith of Bethania, Nikolaas Van't Hof of Beaudesert, and Ronald Venz of Beaudesert.

I am sure these recipients will not mind me singling out just one person: 16-year-old Shantelle Cantly. Shantelle has a remarkable record of voluntary work, helping fundraising for Red Cross, RSPCA, Queensland Cancer Fund and a number of other charitable organisations. She is a shining example for people of all ages. I look forward to helping foster the spirit of voluntary contributions in the next generation by recognising more of our young local achievers in future years.

I was also very pleased recently to recognise another special group of our local residents. The Beenleigh and Beaudesert State Emergency Services team do tremendous and vital work all year round in our local community, but their generosity extends even further than that. I am proud to say that, when so many Sydney residents were affected by the horrendous hailstorms earlier this year, these special people travelled down to Sydney to help them out. To thank them for their efforts above and beyond the call of duty, I was pleased to present them, also, with a special Forde Community Contribution Award. I would like to mention them tonight, and thank Mike Drewett, Yoke Drewett, Dean Wardell, Rebecca Northey, George Winter, Danni-Marie Dean, Karen Troost, Ken Andersen, Christine Machielsen, Cliff Hodgson, Andrew Knaggs, Daniel Power, Chris Thomas and Craig Middleton.

Finally, there is a local business that I also want to recognise and thank. Driza-Bone Pty Ltd are a wonderful and well-known Australian coat company who truly embody the Australian spirit I referred to earlier. During a visit to one of my local Green Corps teams at Tamborine Mountain, I was impressed by how the team kept working hard through all kinds of weather conditions. These young people do a terrific job in restoring the very unique local environment of Tamborine. The Green Corps is a very successful Howard government program giving young people real work experience and opportunities and reap ing rewards for our local community. When I was discussing their terrific work with Driza-Bone manager, Katherine Retter, she was quick to offer one of their quality jackets to each and every team member to help make their work a little more pleasant, especially now it is winter.

It is a wonderful example of the social coalition the Prime Minister is promoting, where businesses work with government and community organisations to do social good and make a real difference in our community. Driza-Bone has set a terrific example for local businesses. Knowing the generous nature of our local businesses and communities throughout Forde, I am sure there will be many other local companies inspired by this act of thoughtfulness. I thank them in advance and again thank the wonderful recipients of the 1999 Community Awards. Our local area is a better place to live because of the efforts of each and every one of them.