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Thursday, 21 June 2007
Page: 126

Mr WOOD (9:39 AM) —I rise to inform the House that on Saturday, 26 May I attended the launch of the Ogilvy Rover crew, the senior section of Emerald Scout Group in Emerald in my electorate of La Trobe. This was the relaunching of the Ogilvy Rover crew, which operated in the 1980s.

As a Queen’s Scout myself, I know that the Emerald Rover crew section is about having fun and service to others. The crew meets every week and does activities like tenpin bowling, camping and four-wheel driving. They are also revamping a piece of bushland up at Emerald for camping. It was a great day there on induction day. The members of the Rover crew are as follows: Matt Conway, who is a crew leader and doing a fantastic job; Michael Smedley; Adam Kent; Kylie Wilmot; Aidan Galt; Stefan Rebgetz; Stephanie Davies; Tim Finn; Nic Iorio; Ben Leggett; Sean McDonald; and Janet Granger-Wilcox, who is the Rover adviser. In all there are about 60 youth members in the first Emerald Scout Group, the Cub Scouts, Venturers and Rovers.

I wish to congratulate them for their great work in the local community. As mentioned before, as a Queen’s Scout I am therefore delighted that the Howard government is recognising the contribution of the scouting movement across Australia. Many in this place would be aware that, because of a suggestion made by the Ferny Creek Scouts in my electorate—and I can say that that was previously my own Scout group—that the Australian government should install water tanks at every Scout hall across the country, I was very proud that the Australian government, through the Prime Minister, has committed $17.7 million to provide water tanks to every Scout hall in the nation.

The benefits of the new water-saving initiative will flow well beyond the Scout halls themselves to the entire community, through water savings to the local water supply and for many other organisations and private groups who often use Scout facilities. As well as these benefits, this is a great gesture to Scouts Australia, which next year commemorates its 100th anniversary. To commemorate this event and recognise the contribution that scouting has made and will continue to make to Australia, I am pleased that, in 2008, the Year of the Scout has been called by the Prime Minister and that the Royal Australian Mint will strike a circulation coin next year to commemorate this event.

Given the contribution of scouting to Australia, this is entirely fitting. With about 60,000 currently registered members in Australia and more than two million people like me who have been part of the Australian scouting association over the last 100 years, groups like the Ogilvy Rover crew will help scouting continue to be the largest youth development organisation in Australia. Again I congratulate the Ogilvy Rover crew.