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Thursday, 25 March 2004
Page: 27361


Mr BRENDAN O'CONNOR (12:35 PM) —I rise to acknowledge the recent election of councillor Mohamad Abbouche to the position of Mayor of the City of Hume. Councillor Abbouche is a well-known community member in the area of Broadmeadows. He has been a fantastic local representative for what is a very multicultural area of Melbourne and he certainly deserves his elevation to this high office. He follows Councillor Burhan Yigit, who performed outstandingly for 12 months in the role of mayor of one of the most important and vibrant municipalities in Melbourne. I have had the great opportunity of working with both councillors and indeed with all the councillors of that municipality. They love their area and they represent it effectively. As you know, Mr Deputy Speaker Causley, local government is the grassroots politics of Australia. It is the government closest to the people, and we do need representatives who put in their all and are sincere about their efforts. I believe that in the case of both of these councillors—and, indeed, the councillors of Hume generally—we are definitely in good shape.

I would also like to comment upon the election last Tuesday evening of Councillor Sam David to the position of Mayor of the City of Brimbank, another municipality that overlaps with my electorate. Again, the City of Brimbank is a municipality that represents a very diverse multicultural population of Melbourne. There are over 50 recognised ethnicities in that area. It is a wonderful mix of people and cultures, foods and music, which enriches Melbourne and this country. I think Councillor Sam David should be congratulated. I know Sam quite well. He is a great local representative. His ward, in fact, is not in my current electorate, but I will be a candidate for the new seat of Gorton, and Gorton will incorporate the ward that Councillor David represents. I look forward to working more directly with him—because we will be representing the same people—in the event that I am elected at the next election. I thank him for the way he has welcomed me to the community and I congratulate him on his elevation to mayor. I am sure he will do an outstanding job. I also congratulate and thank the outgoing mayor, Councillor Dorothy Costa. Again, she is a local representative who has lived in Keilor for a very long time, if not all of her life, and has provided a great public service to that community. I thank Dorothy for her work, and I also look forward to working with her in the coming years, because she will remain as councillor for that great City of Brimbank.


Mr Anthony —Mr Deputy Speaker, I require that the debate be extended.


The DEPUTY SPEAKER (Hon. I.R. Causley)—The debate may continue.