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Monday, 6 December 1999
Page: 12906

Mr LAWLER (10:58 PM) —It is my pleasure to inform the House of an important celebration of the New Year which will occur in a city in the far west of my electorate, Broken Hill. The celebration of the new century in Broken Hill is one that I believe parallels much of regional and rural Australia as we move into the new century. Broken Hill has a special place in the history of Australia over the last 100 years. It is a history of overcoming hardship, heat, dust and drought. It is a history of prosperity through hard work and mateship. It is a history of a community. It is, in a sense, a history of us all.

Fittingly, a celebration of Broken Hill will not only be an event enjoyed by the people of Broken Hill but also will be part of a global television event filmed by Channel 9 and televised world wide. The Countdown 2000 New Year's Eve Party is the coordinated effort of the Broken Hill Chamber of Commerce, City Traders and the Broken Hill City Council. It is organised by the Countdown 2000 committee, chaired by Sharon Hocking. The Broken Hill celebration of 1999 will be the celebration of a city that is looking forward to a future almost totally opposite to the future faced by the city 100 years ago in 1899.

In 1999, the great natural treasure vault in Broken Hill is all but empty. The natural treasure which earned Broken Hill its livelihood and which indeed has contributed greatly to the wealth of Australia over the last 100 years has gone. The owners of the last remaining mine have given notice that that mine will cease operation in 2006, yet the people of Broken Hill still celebrate. They

celebrate their past. They celebrate their future. The people of Broken Hill are no strangers to adversity, and the closure of the mine is but one more obstacle to overcome.

The people of Broken Hill and the far west still have what some may say is a distinctive outlook and approach to their own affairs. They still have the stuff of which legends are made. They have as a community formed the Transition 2010 group. The Transition 2010 group is a community organisation that is taking on the challenges of the new century without mining. It is working to make the next 100 years of Broken Hill as prosperous as the last. The Transition 2010 group, led by Executive Officer, Susan Devine, together with Broken Hill City Mayor, Ron Page, and Scott Howe, Ken Boyle and Chris Ellis, recently undertook a trip to this distant seat of government and met with various ministers and departments.

Mr SPEAKER —Order! It being 11 p.m., the debate is interrupted. The House stands adjourned until 3 p.m. tomorrow in accordance with the resolution agreed to this sitting.

House adjourned at 11.00 p.m.