House debates

Thursday, 23 October 2008

Constituency Statements

Cook Electorate

9:42 am

Photo of Scott MorrisonScott Morrison (Cook, Liberal Party, Shadow Minister for Housing and Local Government) Share this | Hansard source

There are many things that government can do and, more specifically, there are many things that MPs in this place can do. But, at the end of the day, we should never kid ourselves because the real answers to the issues and challenges in our communities are in the communities themselves. As members in this place we have a role to play in supporting and enabling our communities to provide the leadership, energy and innovation that will make all of our communities a better place to live and raise a family.

I am pleased to report today on two initiatives in my southern Sydney electorate of Cook, in the Sutherland shire, where we are working to make that type of approach a reality—and earlier the member for Blaxland made a reference to one of them. Next July, I will be joining the member for Blaxland and young people from the surf clubs in the shire for a Kokoda trek. The trek follows on from something commenced by my predecessor, Bruce Baird, to build a relationship between the Sutherland shire and Bankstown. It is all about building trust and providing a very different future for the relationship between our communities, based on mutual respect and a shared commitment to our nation, its heritage and its values. Like many members, I was very moved by the Australian Story program last year about a young man who was very prominent in the revenge attacks in Sutherland shire and climbed the flagpole at the Brighton-Le-Sands RSL and tore down the flag. But he was transformed by his Kokoda trek. On that trek he learnt many lessons about what it means to be an Australian. That young man is now a shining example of what can be achieved through that process.

The other thing I would like to draw the chamber’s attention to is the Cook Community Classic, which will be held on Sunday, 2 November. This is an initiative which brings together the four surf clubs in Bate Bay to support the charitable work of four very important youth charities in the shire—Camp Kookaburra, Kids Break Free, Jacaranda House and the Rainbow Club. All of these organisations do important work for young people in the Sutherland shire. The Cook Community Classic is a major surfboat marathon, a ski event, a surf carnival, a community fun day where everyone can get together and raise money to support the clubs, which provide real stability to young people in the shire. There are over 2,000 nippers in the shire who get out there every Sunday and learn the values of thinking about others and providing service to the community and getting all the benefits of fitness and health. They also go out and sell raffle tickets. I would encourage all in the shire to get out and support that event on Sunday week because every single cent raised is going to support those surf clubs and those charities. Those charities focus on supporting people with disabilities, young children who come from families with mental illness, kids dealing with homelessness problems, particularly young women, and kids dealing with substance abuse problems and general antisocial behaviour. It is a worthy initiative and I commend it to the House.


No comments