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Thursday, 25 July 2019
Page: 1105

Mr TIM WILSON ( Goldstein ) ( 11:41 ): Since 1921, Australian Rotary clubs have united men and women with a shared belief in securing a more inclusive society which promotes fellowship, integrity and goodwill. Building our social fabric is critical to securing this great nation ' s future. It is part of its past, its present and our future success. Our government has invested a record amount of money in local projects that help associations build that sense of community. But the reality is that money from Canberra is not the solution. Critically, as Liberals we realise that this great nation should be governed from the citizen and community up, n ot from Canberra down. It ' s for that reason that we celebrate the Australian Rotary clubs and their incredi ble community-building success. All of Australia ' s 30,000 Rotarians including my mother deserve recognition for their contribution.

Today I would particularly like to acknowledge the outstanding leaders of Goldstein ' s Rotary community. At the Rotary Club of Sandringham, which I visited only recently , they were engaging with the community in consultations for the establishment of a new community garden. I would like to congratulate Ian Wells and Gar r y Thompson , who were elected president and vice- president of the club. I was lucky enough to attend a recent meeting , as I said, and the friendly atmosphere and community spirit on display were fantastic something I ' m sure is common to all of Goldstein ' s Rotary community. At the Beaumaris Rotary club we also had incredible contributions from community members who have done wonderful work in years past and present. I ' d also like to recognise all the other community members who have assisted at the Rotary Club of Glen Ei ra, the Bentleigh Moorabbin Central Rotary Club , the Rotary Club of Hampton and the Rotary Club of Brighton , as well as the Brighton North Rotary club all have made a contribution over the previous year.

What these community groups and these Rotary clubs do is hit the ground running. As many of you will know, they have made an incredible contribution towards the eradication of polio across the world t hrough their efforts and innovation , and by raising money at local community activities. One of my favourite things to do on a Saturday morning is to go to the local Rotary market down at Trey Bit Reserve , as well as the one at Brighton North primary . Our local Rotary clubs organise community markets , which are an opportunity for st all holders and others to come together to sell their wares but also raise money for important community activities and events. Each one of those makes an enormous contribution to the work we can do to strengthen our local community and make sure that we get the best out of our community ' s success.

What I see every time the community invests in developing the talent and the capacity of Rotary clubs is that it builds the social bonds across lots of community organisations. Very regularly , I get community groups coming up to me and say ing they want to do important work and bring together sometimes local shop s and trading groups as well as other community organisations and schools. The Rotary clubs are always the first point of contact that you connect with. They have resources available. More critically than that, they have willing volunteers and participants and are in a position to make a contribution, whether it's from something as simple as community establishment, as I said, of a local market or in organising volunteers for things for things like barbecues.

When you get elected to this place, people say that one of the biggest challenges you have is controlling your weight because you might be enjoying too much food and drink, depending on the circumstances, and that even includes some of the members opposite. But, of course, we also know there's a big risk every time you turn up to one of those community markets and there's somebody selling a sausage for only about two bucks. There is the temptation you have and the guilt if you don't buy one. I had that only last weekend at the community market in Sandy.

We want to thank them for their incredible contribution and everything they're doing. It makes a huge difference to our community locally but also to the state and to the nation. I know that regularly they hold nationwide conferences which bring together huge numbers of people who do great work and share in that success. We want to extol them and encourage them to keep doing so. You are the backbone of this great country, you are what makes it great and you are what makes it successful. In between what government does and what the private sector and the market economy do sit volunteer organisations and volunteers, who are so critical as part of sewing the stitch of our social fabric, binding people together and being able to make and strengthen the bonds of this great nation.