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Thursday, 15 May 2014
Page: 4005


Dr HENDY (Eden-Monaro) (12:07): I rise today to talk about some interesting activities and developments in my electorate. I recently attended an event in Bega convened by Alzheimer's Australia New South Wales. It was the launch of a key evaluation report on mobile respite services for the Bega Valley. We heard about what makes this innovative respite service so successful in the Bega Valley Shire. I want to thank many people involved in this work, particularly Barbara Williams, the regional manager; Robyn Faine, the general manager, services; Rebecca Perry; and Jeanette Westmore.

There are some important results and recommendations from this report. The Alzheimer's Mobile Respite Team is currently funded by the Department of Health under the National Respite for Carers Program. The Alzheimer's Assessment and Management Service has been operating in the Bega Valley for more than 10 years. There are two people, June and Nola, in a team working three days a week to look after both the patient and the carer. This helps them individually and as a couple by providing respite and general support. This serves to delay institutionalisation and it leads to a reduction in caregiver burden and depression. It has led to an increase in social support. They also help with information to make choices and transition into nursing homes. I particularly acknowledge local resident Tonia Jauncey, who praised the project in helping her and her husband. The independent evaluation report's key suggestion was that the trial was a success, and Alzheimer's Australia have argued that it should continue and be expanded to other rural communities.

Shifting now to the northern coastal part of my electorate, I want to thank small business minister Bruce Billson for launching the first of a series of small business forums I plan to hold throughout the electorate. The inaugural forum was in Batemans Bay on Monday, 28 April. That just under 60 people were at this event at the Catalina Club on a Monday night in Batemans Bay speaks volumes for the interest amongst small business owners, people working in those small businesses and members of the community. The Q&A format ensured that everyone present could raise matters directly with the cabinet minister. Getting this sort of access to a cabinet minister is very valuable and Minister Billson heard firsthand from locals about our local business environment and the challenges and issues our businesses face. As I said during the election campaign, our small businesses are the lifeblood of our communities. They are the source of jobs, innovation and investment in our towns and regions. I particularly want to thank local residents John and Mary Harper, and John andCaryl Haslem for their great support in organising the event.

Finally, I would like to flag the Braidwood 175th Anniversary celebrations I attended recently. The New South Wales Governor Her Excellency Professor The Honourable Marie Bashir was the special guest. Interestingly, during the day Her Excellency revealed to us that she had lived in Braidwood for a year as a child. Indeed, she had attended St Bede's primary school. What an impressive person Her Excellency is. She spent most of the day in Braidwood and the local community was delighted. Also in attendance of course was John Barilaro, the hardworking state member for Monaro.

The celebrations were capped off with a street parade with many participants in period costume. People got into the spirit of the day and the floats were simply amazing. There was also an art competition as part of the celebrations. The Braidwood Heritage Society are to be congratulated. I would like to single out Judit Kovacs for mention. Parade organiser and Heritage Society secretary, Michelle Grant, also deserves thanks.

Braidwood has a rich and incredible history. Indeed, as these events I have outlined today illustrate, the Eden-Monaro electorate comprises strong communities which epitomise so much of our rich diversity and achievements as a state and as a nation both before and after Federation.

Question agreed to.

Federation Chamber adjourned at 12:12 .