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Tuesday, 14 October 2008
Page: 9051

Mr RAGUSE (4:03 PM) —I would like to make a few comments today about an important community organisation. I would like to speak a bit about this group today because of perceptions that our communities have about clubs. As we know, very strong in the media at the moment is the issue of young people and so-called binge drinking. When we hear these stories they are generally related to activities that surround the clubbing experience, but a number of community organisations, and in particular the Beenleigh Sports Club, have said to me that there is a real concern about the terminology and the perception that clubs are all the same. I am here today to say that that is not the truth. We do have nightclubs that have a whole range of issues that we as a government know about—and I am sure that the opposition shares with me some of the concerns we have about the excesses of some of their activities.

Today I want to talk about the Beenleigh Sports Club and put on the record that this is a community organisation, a sports club, that provides much of the entertainment that most clubs provide for our communities, but I want to particularly note that the Beenleigh Sports Club is a very responsible organisation in relation to their patron care and the role that they play in ensuring that their patrons do the right thing, whether we are talking about drinking or any of the gambling activities that might occur in the club. That is another issue, of course, but the reality is that sports clubs or community organisation based clubs are getting bad publicity through a number of areas of the media at the moment, and I would like to remind the House that this is something that we need to consider.

I will give you an idea of the work of the Beenleigh Sports Club and what they do for the community. They put about $100,000 back into the community. It is not a large club, but that is quite a significant amount of money going back to support the local schools, the Guide Dogs, the RSPCA and different organisations like Legacy. This is not unlike all of the other clubs—the social clubs, the RSLs and others—that provide this particular service to our communities. We need to understand that there are those nightclubs which bring a lot of disrepute to clubs where the term ‘club’ might be a very positive statement for our communities.

In closing, I would like to congratulate the Beenleigh Sports Club and its staff. It is a significant club, providing a lot to our community and working with our community to provide great resources and great activities for not only young people but also people of all ages. (Time expired)