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Wednesday, 13 September 2017
Page: 10327

Mr HOGAN (Page) (19:35): For most netball teams across our region the season is coming to an end, but not for Casino's 15s. This hardworking team of Mikayla Coe, Grace Frasier, Casey Turner, Shakira Wilson, Georgie Shafer, Amber Curtis, Shaniya Smith, Brittney Walsh and Lexie Taylor will be travelling to Singapore to play in the international youth netball championship between 24 November and 1 December. They're going to be accompanied by Coach Deidre Coe and officials Rowan Coe, Dianne Allen, Leah Bennett and Courtney Connell.

The team were invited by Netball NSW to play in the International Youth Championships in Singapore. They were the only team from our region to be invited and they'll play against teams from New Zealand, South Africa, Malaysia and Singapore. For many of these girls it will be the first trip they've had overseas, and I'm told they are very excited to take part in this great opportunity. I'm sure they will do our community proud.

This weekend the Nimbin Roots Festival is on again. The Nimbin Roots Festival is a great event that provides original, raw, underground roots music typical of the Nimbin lifestyle. Even better: it is an affordable and sustainable festival for the community. The festival encompasses genres such as the old blues, Americana, bluegrass, folk, folk rock, Australiana and world music. The event organisers, Lou and Phil Bradley, have created an event that the whole community gets involved with. The event starts on Friday afternoon with the local Bunjalung dancers and finishes on Sunday evening with the presentation of the Australian Roots Music Awards. There will be a dedicated Nimbin community market area hosting 30 stalls and the Aquarius stage, a dedicated Nimbin locals music stage to promote unique, diverse and local music talent. With over 60 of the finest roots music acts from all over Australia and the world taking part, I strongly encourage everyone to get involved.

This week marked another important milestone in Lismore's recovery since the 31 March flood with the reopening of the St Vinnies op shop. Vinnies, like Lismore's other op shops Lifeline, the Salvos and the Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service, along with every other business in the CBD and north and south Lismore, was inundated on that early Friday morning. All the op shops agreed that Vinnies would open temporarily as soon as possible to allow the others to do the repair work before Vinnies would then close down to do their refit. By the Wednesday following the flood, Vinnies was opened thanks in large part to the wonderful work of the volunteer shop manager, Marie Ganter, along with a team of about 30 volunteer and paid staff, including Vinnies CEO Michael Timbrell. Although Marie hates attention, I wanted to acknowledge her because she's spent all day every day since 1 April preparing for this week's permanent reopening.

In the days and weeks immediately after the flood, Vinnies, Lifeline, the Salvos and Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service all worked together to set up a pavilion at the Lismore Showgrounds for people to donate much-needed household items, furniture and clothing that community members could pick up. I would like to thank Sharon Sawyer and Heidi Green from Lifeline, who were in charge of this emergency pavilion; the Lismore Showground trust; and the Lismore City Council. During the five weeks the pavilion was operating after the flood, Sharon and Heidi kept a wish list so they could match the needs of community members with donated items once they came in.

When the pavilion closed, there were 240 people who still desperately needed basic household items like fridges and washing machines. The list was handed back to Vinnies to fill. I'd like to thank the Lions Club of Lismore city, which donated to cash to purchase between 20 and 30 fridges and other household items. I'd also like to thank Brad Goulding from Chandlers Betta Home Living Lismore, who not only helped Vinnies get a good price for their purchases but also arranged delivery.

Natural disasters can make or break communities. Cyclone Debbie and its aftermath hurt our community, but St Vinnies reopening this week is a physical and symbolic demonstration that we are getting back on our feet. I'd like to thank all the volunteers from all of Lismore's op shops for working together for our community.