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Monday, 2 May 2016
Page: 4064

Mr COLEMAN (Banks) (20:28): I am very pleased to have the opportunity to participate in this debate, giving me as it does the opportunity to highlight a number of very important community organisations in my electorate of Banks that are doing great work across our area. I certainly would like to take the opportunity to thank them for their efforts.

Just this past Saturday afternoon, I attended the Beverly Hills Eagles Cricket Club's presentation at Olds Park Sports Club. The Beverly Hills Eagles Cricket Club have a long-standing tradition of playing cricket in the area. I want to thank their president, Gary Crowder, and secretary, Elizabeth Chipman, for all their efforts. Congratulations also to Ilyaan Raza of Under 12A, Anthony Rock from the Under 12B and Damien Ha from Under 16B, all of whom won the Banks Outstanding Sporting Achievement Awards. To everyone at Beverly Hills Eagles Cricket Club, congratulations on another successful season.

Also on Sunday I attended the Bankstown Sports Little Athletics' presentation day. Bankstown Sports Little Athletics are sponsored by Bankstown Sports Club, who do a great job sponsoring many sporting clubs and other clubs in our community. They had the good fortune to train and compete at a great facility at Bass Hill. It was actually built as a training facility for the Sydney Olympics in 2000. It was great to get down there on Sunday to present awards. There were kids from the ages of five or six right up to 17. It is a very active and successful club. I would like to congratulate all of the winners. To the club president, Steven Jones, and Leanne McDonald, the secretary, I very much enjoyed my visit and look forward to visiting again soon.

Earlier in April, I attended the Advanced Diversity Services Table Tennis Championship held in Hurstville. A little known fact is that Hurstville is arguably the table tennis capital of Australia. We have many, many people who play table tennis in Hurstville. We hosted the national championships a couple of years ago. Advanced Diversity Services did a great job in putting together this event, alongside the St George and Sutherland Shire Table Tennis Association, who look after table tennis in the southern regions of Sydney. There were players from high schools across St George and Sutherland. I would like to thank Antoinette Chow, CEO of Advanced Diversity Services, and also my friend Connie Chan from the St George and Sutherland Shire Table Tennis Association. Table tennis is a fantastic sport. Australia, as a nation, gets stronger every year in our international events. One of the really strong centres for table tennis in Australia is Hurstville, in the heart of the St George district.

One of the privileges in our role as a member of parliament is the opportunity to attend Anzac Day services. I have a very active range of RSL sub-branches across the Banks electorate. Our community has an immense respect for those RSL sub-branches, because the reality is that many of the members of those sub-branches literally risked their lives in defence of Australia in different conflicts. I have not done that. Most of us have not done that—but they have, and, because they did, we are here. So, we should never miss an opportunity to thank them and acknowledge the depth of their service. On 17 April, Mortdale RSL Sub-Branch held a service at the Memorial Gardens on Boundary Road. It was attended by many ex-service personnel sub-branch members. I would like to thank Royce Lockhart, who did a lot of the work in putting it together, and John Delaney, the sub-branch president. It was also good to see the Riverwood Hornets from the Australian Air League there, as they do so often in helping out at important community events in our area.

Also in relation to Anzac Day, I attended Lugarno Public School for its Anzac Day ceremony. Every year, Lugarno Public School puts on a very respectful and well-organised Anzac Day commemoration. They invite along the gentlemen from the Riverwood Legion Club who served in World War II in Korea and in other aspects of our military defence. It is nice to see the Riverwood Legion gentlemen there as representatives of that generation who fought on our behalf and little kids as young as five or six at Lugarno Public School really reflecting on the importance of Anzac Day. They do a great job. There are always a number of songs which can become quite emotional. It was a beautiful occasion. I would like to thank the relieving Principal Allyson Bartley, who did a great job with this year's event.

Also in Lugarno, which is in the heart of my electorate, I want to thank my friends at the Lugarno Progress Association. The LPA is one of the longest standing organisations anywhere in Banks. It has been around for many, many decades. For no goal other than the advancement of Lugarno, the progress association regularly gets together in a local hall to discuss important issues to the suburb and then, frankly, does something about them. It is no debating society. It is a group of very practical and action-oriented people. One of the projects that we have been able to complete in the Green Army area in recent months was initially suggested to me by the Lugarno Progress Association.

We had a situation down there at Murdoch Crescent where, over the years, an old walking track had fallen into disrepair because trees had fallen over it in storms and there was various debris on the track and so on. For years, probably decades in fact, that trail has been unusable. You could not walk on it. So the Lugarno Progress Association said, 'We should clean this up and make it useable again.' Through the auspices of the Green Army and the cooperation of the New South Wales Parks and Wildlife Service, we have achieved that. That trail is open again. It is a great walk between Murdoch Crescent right through to Evatt Park, along the Georges River. It has beautiful views; it is a very relaxing spot. I want to thank the Lugarno Progress Association for bringing that my attention. They put that issue on the map, and I am pleased we were able to get that done.

Also in my electorate of Banks, we have a strong community in the Salvation Army. The Salvation Army at Hurstville, which, until the recent redistribution, was in my electorate, and also the one at Panania are very active in providing a wide range of services in their areas. They include things like financial counselling for people that have fallen on difficult times, child care and fellowship for older residents who are looking for companionship. They run a number of outings and so on for them. At Hurstville, they have a Chinese-speaking congregation. Hurstville is the largest centre of the Chinese Australian community in New South Wales, and the Salvation Army is working closely with the local Chinese Australian community on a whole range of matters. I would like to congratulate Majors Peter and Gail White, who were recently inducted as the new corps officers at Hurstville Salvation Army. I would also like to thank Diane Cameron, the welfare manager, for all of her hard work at Hurstville.

Another great organisation in the south-eastern corner of my electorate is the Connells Point Progress Association. The Connells Point Progress Association meets down at Connells Point Sailing Club. They focus on the issues that are of most relevance to the Connells Point community. The environment is an extremely important issue in the Connells Point area. It was very pleasing that through the Green Army we were able to do some clean-up work at the Poulton Park area in Connells Point. It is a beautiful location, but it had run into some environmental issues over the years. It was pleasing to be able to address those issues.

Another issue that the Connells Point Progress Association raised with me was speeding on Kyle Parade, which runs through Connells Point and Kyle Bay. This was a real problem for the local community. Over a number of years there have been a number of accidents. Frankly, the configuration of the road somewhat contributes to the problem, because it is a long, winding road. Unfortunately, it tends to attract some people who want to drive along it at speed. One of the things we worked on with the association was to get were some traffic-calming devices. I want to thank Kogarah City Council for the sensible attitude they took to that issue. It was pleasing that we were able to put those speed humps in place on Kyle Parade through Kogarah City Council. Whilst the speeding problem is not completely solved, it has certainly been reduced. I am pleased about that, and I want to thank the Connells Point Progress Association.

Another really important community organisation in my local electorate is the Southern Region Chinese Business Association. As I said earlier, I am very fortunate to have one of the largest populations of Australians of Chinese background of anywhere in our nation. Many of the members of the local Chinese community are very active in small business. Hurstville is a great economic centre, in the region, with hundreds of small businesses and very large numbers of people employed.

Five years ago the New South Wales Southern Region Chinese Business Association was founded. The focus of that association is to work on issues of interest to the local Chinese-Australian business community. The association is very active and plays quite a significant role in raising various matters of concern. I would like to congratulate the Southern Region Chinese Business Association on its fifth anniversary. In particular, I would like to pay tribute to Nancy Liu and Benjamin Jiang, who are real driving forces within that association, and I would also like to pay tribute to all the other members of the executive.

One of the issues that the executive has raised with me on a number of occasions is the issue of safety in Hurstville. People in Hurstville just want to go about their business. They want to go to work, do their shopping, go out to dinner or whatever the case may be. The unfortunate reality is that there have been incidents of crime in recent years: petty theft, break-and-enter and so on. The Southern Region Chinese Business Association has been very forceful in advocating the need for those issues to be addressed. The St George local area command has taken note of those concerns and, in recent months, has increased the level of patrols and activity in the Hurstville CBD. I was very pleased to raise that issue with the police on behalf of the Southern Region Chinese Business Association, and I am pleased progress has been made on that most important of issues.

On 5 April I hosted a veterans' affairs forum at Panania Diggers with the Minister for Veterans' Affairs and Minister for Defence Materiel. I want to thank the Panania Diggers for hosting that event, and, in particular, its president Gary Murray. Panania Diggers plays a very important role in the Panania area, and, indeed, the broader Georges River region of Bankstown. It sponsors many of our local sporting clubs: East Hills Baseball Club, Panania East Hills RSL Cricket Club, Panania RSL Soccer Club, St Christopher's Junior Rugby League and St Christopher's Cricket Club.

This is a club that is both a hub for the local community where people come to visit, but it is also a hub that contributes back out to the community. If you drive along past Kelso Park on a Saturday morning or a Thursday night you will see hundreds of people playing various sports. Many, if not most, of those clubs will have been supported in some way by Panania Diggers, so I do thank them for all of their efforts in the community. One of the really good things about the club is the family-friendly environment. The club did show great foresight, some years ago, in creating an area that is very appropriate for young families, with play equipment and so on. I do want to thank Panania Diggers, and, in particular, president Gary Murray, for all of their efforts.

Also in Panania I recently visited St Christopher's Soccer Club. St Christopher's Church in Panania, and Saint Christopher's school are very important institutions in our local community. St Christopher has also lent its name to a number of sporting clubs that participate in the broader community competitions. Recently, at Panania Diggers, I met with the committee of the St Christopher's football club. I had a very frank and interesting conversation with the executive. I want to thank Steve Michael, the president and all of the executive members who were there that night. This club has a great community spirit. It celebrated its 40th anniversary in 2014. As part of its fundraising activities it organises golfing days, fundraising barbecues, coaching expos and a number of other activities. The play, of cause, down at Marco Reserve. There are a number of issues down there. Frankly, some of the facilities could be better. I certainly look forward to progress on those matters.

I also want to acknowledge and thank ROAR, the residents organisation at Riverwood. I recently visited ROAR in early April. I had a great chat with the residents, as I always do. Neale Owen is Chair of ROAR. He does a great job in bringing together local residents in the Riverwood area. A number of issues are important to residents. Congestion on local roads is one. There are various phone reception issues in the Riverwood area and various other issues in relation to housing that are particularly important. It is a very dynamic group. I would like to thank Clare Baillieu for all of her contributions to both ROAR and to the broader Riverwood community, and all of the other residents who are so active in that region.

Another very strong community in my electorate is the Toastmasters community. We have wide range of very active Toastmasters clubs. I went down to Oatley RSL early in the month and participated in one of the meetings of the Oatley Toastmasters. It was a lot of fun. Their various activities are designed to test people's speaking capacity and improve it, because, of course, that is ultimately what it is all about. It is a very good thing for people to be engaged in learning more about public speaking and their capacity to speak in public. In a sense, regardless of what your field is, being able to speak publicly is really important. It was good that everyone got feedback on their speeches on the night, including myself. It really was a lot of fun. So I do thank the Oatley Toastmasters for having me on that evening.

I would also like to thank Maso's at Mortdale for their recent Anzac service. Each year, Maso's holds an event traditionally on the Sunday before Anzac Day. It was, again, a particularly well-attended event. I would like to thank the club for hosting that important function. Maso's is a very central club in the Mortdale area in my electorate. At the Anzac Day commemoration, we were entertained by bagpipe players. There was Scottish dancing and various other activities. I would like to thank Ian Manley, the club president, and everyone else who was involved in what was a traffic commemoration of Anzac Day—so, another tremendous community organisation in my electorate.