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Wednesday, 20 October 2010
Page: 1009

Ms SAFFIN (7:15 PM) —I want to talk about some of the wonderful events that I have been able to attend in my electorate of Page over recent times. I attended one in September, when a palliative care volunteers support service invited me to meet with the palliative care volunteers. I was able to listen firsthand to the stories about the wonderful job that they do. It is very exacting work and it is all voluntary but it is also wonderfully enriching. I was able to hear some of those stories. The service has been operating for six years now, all voluntary, supported through Libby Shearer, the manager of volunteer services community programs in Grafton, and supported widely throughout the community and also supported by some of our service clubs. They have given vital support to that service over the years, as some of the clubs do right across our communities. So I want to thank them for the work that they do and for having me there as their guest. I am following up for them to do some advocacy around better services for palliative care. It is one of those issues that really is just care and it is part and parcel of what happens in health. Yes, we always need volunteers to supplement and to complement, but the North Coast Area Health Service does provide some support to the service as well.

Another event I went to was with Uniting Care Ageing, the official opening of their palliative care suite in Lismore. It was an opening and naming ceremony of a special room like a unit, wonderfully done and organised through the Lismore-Caroona auxiliary. It is Kalina Palliative Care Room. It also got a special name on the day, Waratah. It is a special room for end-of-life and the opening was something the whole staff and community and the residents were involved in. Mollie Strong gave the address on behalf of the Uniting Care Ageing North Coast regional board. She is also the state president of the Hospitals Auxiliary for New South Wales and does wonderful work in that role.

I also was going to attend the Kyogle Pastoral, Agricultural and Horticultural Society event. Unfortunately there was lots of rain but we are resilient and still pressed on. I want to thank the president, Les O’Reilly, and secretary Wendy Piggott, but I did not have a voice so I could not actually go and open it.

Mr Secker —That would be a first.

The DEPUTY SPEAKER —You seem to have regained your voice.

Ms SAFFIN —That is right. I regained it in time to get here. I had been around a lot of smokers, which I had not been for a long time, and it affected my voice. The event went off really well. The state member was able to be there. I am only sorry I could not be there, but I wanted to talk about it.

This weekend in Lismore we have got the North Coast National, held at the showgrounds over a few days. It is celebrating its 125th anniversary and promises to be one of the biggest and the best. I want to thank all the people involved in it, particularly John Gibson.

A couple of other events happened a few months ago but it is my first opportunity to mention them. Casino is a beef capital of Australia and we have Casino Beef Week. It has  a wonderful committee, again volunteers, headed up by Stuart George, who is a councillor and Deputy Mayor of Richmond Valley Council. He did a really great job this year of making it successful. It is a very important industry in our area. We have a big processing centre there, the Northern Meat Cooperative. It has nearly a thousand employees and that is a big employer in a small but growing and thriving country town. Casino is also host to Primex, which is regional Australia’s premier primary industry exhibition. It has the largest agricultural machinery and commercial sectors that cater for almost every aspect of primary industry. That is a wonderful event which goes over a whole week. It was very successful. I was able to have a stall there along with other people, meet up with a lot of friends and make new friends.