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Wednesday, 24 February 2010
Page: 1796

Mr BRADBURY (9:45 AM) —I wish to highlight the achievements of a number of successful local businesses that I have recently had the pleasure of visiting. The Hix Group employs 40 people across its six divisions, which include electrical, solar, plumbing and property maintenance. Lea and Ian Hicks, who own and operate the business, are leaders in the local community—not just because of their commitment to their business and to the local economy but also because of their passion for the things that make the Penrith area vibrant and dynamic and for their active participation in many grassroots and philanthropic causes.

I had the opportunity to visit the Hix Group with the Minister for Employment Participation. We met with three of their newest apprentices, who were employed under the Rudd government’s Apprentice Kickstart bonus. Lea and Ian have a longstanding commitment to investing in the skills of young people. With eight apprentices on their staff, they have long recognised the value of growing the skills base of their workforce and they are among our region’s strongest advocates of skills training for young people.

Lindsay Pie Making is an innovative local company that has been helping to put the Penrith region on the manufacturing map. Based at Emu Plains, Lindsay Pie Making was founded by Tom Lindsay, and, together with daughter and general manager, Danielle Lindsay-Wooldridge, they have taken out a host of industry awards for their Simple Simon pie-making equipment, including Innovation of the Year at the 2009 Foodservice Suppliers Association Australia Awards. They have received numerous other commendations for their entrepreneurship, their work in exports and their reputation as a high-quality employer.

I recently took the Parliamentary Secretary for Innovation and Industry with me on a visit to Lindsay Pie Making. It made me proud to show him the fantastic work that Lindsay Pie Making have been engaged in, which I think demonstrates the innovation and ingenuity that we have in our local community.

Autopak-Vetlab, based in St Marys, is an industry leader in developing formulas for crop production and animal health. Beginning their operations in 1967, Autopak-Vetlab is a significant local employer that has expanded over the decades to become a major manufacturer supplying primary producers right around the world.

During his recent visit to the Lindsay electorate, I was pleased to accompany the Parliamentary Secretary for Innovation and Industry to Autopak-Vetlab to meet with the managing director, Dr Paul Kearney, and his son, Peter, who serves as the group’s business manager. We were able to inspect the company’s new water purification system, which was installed with the help of a Re-tooling for Climate Change grant from the Rudd government. The new system will cut the company’s water use by 32 per cent and its energy consumption by 71 per cent, saving them money and allowing them to stay competitive as we move towards a low-carbon economy. They are a great local example of a company that has invested time and money in research to maintain their competitiveness. These three businesses are outstanding local examples of businesses that demonstrate innovation, enterprise and commitment to our local community.

A division having been called in the House of Representatives—

Sitting suspended from 9.49 am to 10.02 am