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Monday, 27 February 2012
Page: 1871

Mr VAN MANEN (Forde) (22:01): I take this opportunity today to recognise the efforts of two wonderful organisations within my electorate that I have the honour to visit on a regular basis. The first provides a safe and fun environment for our local youth, whilst the other supports needy families, providing a trolley full of groceries for just $20.

Upper Coomera is one of the fastest-growing areas in my electorate and also in the Gold Coast. It amazes me every time to go down there to see the new houses, the new developments, the new centres and all the building activity and development going on in that area. This area attracts a lot of families and, whilst developers and the local council do their best to design playgrounds, parks and other facilities, this area generally lacks the sporting facilities that are required for the numerous young people in our community. As we all know, keeping our young people active is of critical importance as boredom can lead to antisocial behaviour which may lead to incidence of vandalism or graffiti.

The Gold Coast Compound is an indoor recreation facility for skateboarders, scooter riders and BMX riders. It also caters for musicians, artists and for school excursions for kids interested in those things. The compound provides a community facility in which to perform, develop and enhance talents and skills in order to help young people achieve their goals and dreams. Additionally, GC Compound, as it is more affectionately known, provides a safe, controlled environment with positive role models for young kids.

I recently had the privilege to attend the GC Compound Challenge 2012 scooter event and was able to donate a trophy for the best and fairest rider on the evening. It was a great experience being there to witness all the hard work and determination of all those young competitors, and some of the tricks that they were able to do with scooters were truly mind-boggling. I would like to formally acknowledge the efforts of Tom Herzog, the Director of GC Compound, for his efforts and I look forward to providing my continued support to the GC Compound for the fabulous work they do in the Upper Coomera community, but also in the broader community as people from far afield travel down there to use their facilities.

The second organisation I wish to recognise tonight is Lighthouse Calvary Care. Some of our members here may remember a story which broke on national television late last year on the Channel 7 Sunrise program where a Logan food bank was robbed and vandalised. At the time Lighthouse Calvary Care had been stockpiling food and gifts ahead of one of their biggest community events in the area, the Lang Christmas Dinner, which is put on for more than 200 local needy families who, without the support and invitation to such an event, would have a much poorer Christmas experience. Thankfully the response to the story on the Channel 7 Sunrise program from the members of the wider community was overwhelming. Ron and Debbie Hill, who run Lighthouse Calvary Care, were astounded at the generosity of the community. Whilst the robbery interrupted their planning, the dinner was a huge success. Ron and Debbie Hill, the founders of Lighthouse Calvary Care, are dedicated to helping families in need. They have been working in the local area for nine years to support those struggling emotionally, socially and financially.

What originally started out handing out bread donated by local bakeries on a Saturday morning has resulted in a registered charity which provides over 1,500 trolleys of groceries every week at the cost of only $20.00. Some weekends, I head down to their headquarters and assist with the packing of trolleys, and each weekend there are more people coming from far and wide in desperate need of this service. I am very thankful for the wonderful work that Ron, Debbie, their staff and volunteers at Lighthouse Calvary Care do supporting the people in our community.

I have made it my business to support community organisations like the GC Compound and Lighthouse Calvary Care as they are pillars of strength in our local community and are part of the fabric of the Forde community that makes it such a great place to live, a place where you can experience a true sense of what community spirit is all about. (Time expired)