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Wednesday, 25 February 1987
Page: 749

Mr MARTIN(7.23) —This Sunday it will be my very great pleasure to visit a town in my electorate called Thirlmere to participate in an event which has developed some great significance for that very small town. In fact, a musical extravaganza is being put on by the people in Thirlmere in the Miners Memorial Music Shelter. In October last year it was again my pleasure to attend the official opening of that development, which has been put in place through a very large and, I also suggest to honourable members, a very important showing of community spirit.

Some honourable members would know-certainly the honourable member for Throsby would know, having once represented that area-that Thirlmere is a small village located to the west of Picton. It has amongst its many charms the railway museum which has been developed over a long period for steam buffs, for historians and for people who have an interest in that form of transportation. As well, it has a very interesting streetscape. I am pleased to see that the Minister for Arts, Heritage and Environment (Mr Cohen) is in the House because I understand that his counterpart in New South Wales has taken some interest in the streetscape at Thirlmere because of its historic significance. Indeed, it is my understanding that the Heritage Council of New South Wales is taking such an interest in that streetscape that it will be looking at preserving it and ensuring that all the buildings constructed along the main street of Thirlmere conform to the rustic appearance that presently exists.

More importantly, as I have indicated, the question of the construction of the Miners Memorial Musical Shelter has stood testimony to the community spirit that exists in that small village. Many honourable members would know that, over a number of years now, Thirlmere has provided homes for a large mining community that has worked in the Burragorang Valley. It was largely through community effort, particularly the miners at Tahmoor and the people who lived in Thirlmere itself, that this Miners Memorial Musical Shelter was actually constructed. The Joint Coal Board also has to be commended for making a substantial donation to the construction of this shelter where `Music in the Park' is conducted on a regular basis. This provides an opportunity for the townspeople in Thirlmere to get together in a social environment on a Sunday and to just reflect on the contribution that has been made to the local community by the miners who have worked in that area over a very long period.

The Miners Memorial Gates were put in place largely as a testimony to the husband of one of the most outstanding citizens in the Thirlmere district; that is, Mrs Agnes Chalker. Unfortunately, some years ago her husband was killed in the mines. In memory of her husband and other miners who have given their lives in working in that very dangerous occupation these gates were fashioned to go across the front of the Miners Memorial Music Shelter and, as I have indicated, were officially opened in October last year.

Tonight I would like to commend and to make particular mention of those people in the local area of Thirlmere who have contributed to the development of this facility. As I have mentioned, Mrs Agnes Chalker has been the driving force behind this. I commend the miners from the Tahmoor colliery and a range of other people and organisations, including the Joint Coal Board, some of the local councillors on Wollondilly Shire Council, in particular Ron Traynor, voluntary workers from the Tahmoor Colliery and the Tahmoor Washery, the Deputy Mayor of Camden, the Macarthur Country Tourist Association, the Thirlmere business centre and a number of other people who are located in that area. The fact that they have been able to get together to make available a facility that the local community actively uses, rather than building in memory to somebody an edifice that nobody takes any great notice of or puts to any use, is a very good thing for the area. The people of Thirlmere are to be commended. It is with a great deal of pleasure that I will be going there this Sunday to participate in the latest of these Sundays in the Park. I am sure it will be the forerunner of many great events.

Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER —Order! The honourable member's time has expired.