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Wednesday, 12 February 2014
Page: 292

Mr BRENDAN O'CONNOR (Gorton) (10:45): I would like to remark upon some wonderful festivities that were recently held in my electorate of Gorton for Australia Day. I had the privilege of joining the Mayor of Melton, Councillor Bob Turner, and others such as the Member for Melton, Don Nardella, and the Australia Day Ambassador, Sally Nolan, in welcoming some of our newest citizens to the electorate.

One hundred and eighty new Australian citizens from 48 different countries attended the ceremony at Willows Historical Park in Melton. It was a truly diverse and rich affair, with our newest citizens hailing from right across the globe: from Albania to Chile; from Jordan to Malaysia; from New Zealand to Zimbabwe; and from Germany to Burma. They have now joined one of the fastest growing and dynamic municipalities in the country. Indeed, during the years 2011 and 2012 the City of Melton experienced the fifth largest growth across our nation.

I strongly believe Australia is a country that has flourished because of the hard work of new Australians. We welcome the talents, diversity and vitality that these new Australians bring to our great country. I have every confidence in their ability to make this country even better. I warmly wish everyone involved in the celebrations all the very best for the years to come but, in particular, our newest residents who have chosen to make our great community their home.

As has been the case in previous years, Melton City Council's Australia Day celebrations were hugely successful. I want to acknowledge and extend my congratulations to the council staff and everyone who played a hand in making it happen.