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Monday, 11 May 1987
Page: 2961


Mr TICKNER(10.40) —I have noticed in the course of adjournment debates that we hear a lot of knockers and people being critical of the world around us, but I want to inject a positive note in the debate tonight. I have in my electorate of Hughes a group of people who work extremely hard to improve the community in which they live, not motivated by greed and the pursuit of profit but because of a deep commitment to a cause and to educating the people of Sydney about an important part of Sydney's past-the trams of Sydney. I am privileged to have in my electorate the Loftus Tramway Museum, which is conducted by the South Pacific Electric Railway Co-operative, an organisation that has been in existence since the 1950s. It is run by a group of people who are absolutely committed to the restoration and preservation of Sydney's trams and giving to young children and families the opportunity to ride in these trams, not just in some abstract environment but in a recreated environment of old Sydney town.

I want to take this opportunity to let the people of Australia and members of the House who share my enthusiasm for trams know a little about the great work of the South Pacific Electric Railway Co-operative in my electorate. I am pleased to say that this is not an issue over which the Australian Labor Party has a monopoly. I know that the former Liberal Minister for Transport in the Askin Government-and I emphasise that-Mr Milton Morris, now retired, is and always has been a strong supporter of this musuem. Indeed, Mr Morris's constructive work as Minister made possible a great deal of the development of the Loftus Tramway Museum site.

I have had the opportunity not only to be a close supporter of the museum and its work but also to contribute very positively to the development of the museum by pushing for the allocation of Federal Government community employment program money for this important local project. Only last Friday I had the opportunity to inspect the tramway museum on one of the many occasions on which I have been able to attend the site. However, this time I took with me the Federal Minister for Sport, Recreation and Tourism (Mr John Brown) personally to inspect the site and meet the local tramway enthusiasts. He was very impressed by all the work done on the site but more than that, as a member who has had a great experience in the world of business, he saw at first hand the tremendous commercial opportunities that this site presented. All that will hold back this project are the knockers. I hope that all honourable members will get behind the project and support the local community and my constituents in the work they do.

I want to refer to two particular parts of the future development of the project. First, I refer to the idea of extending the tramway track, which is already partially completed with CEP funds, to the Sutherland railway station and also extend the track further into the Royal National Park to the visitors centre. That would mean that people could come by tram to southern Sydney in my electorate to one of the greatest national parks of the world-in fact, it was the second ever created in the history of the world. At that site they can join me in riding the trams, bringing their families and friends to experience the delight of riding on one of Sydney's trams. As I have indicated, the project is not some abstract idea. The idea is to recreate old Sydney town so that people can really get the feel of what it was like to ride on one of these trams.

I have stressed how important it is that this local project is not some shortsighted, quick quid, profit making project. It is all about community involvement and participation by people from all walks of life. Honourable members would be truly amazed at the diverse range of people who have contributed throughout its history to making this project a success. I hope that the good work done over the past decades will not be lost and that I can convince other honourable members-such as the honourable member for Franklin (Mr Goodluck), who is trying to interject, and who I can see is a tramway enthusiast as I am-to back me in giving the strongest possible support in the national Parliament to the Loftus Tramway Museum.