House debates

Thursday, 17 October 2019


Wide Bay Electorate: Community Development Grants Program

4:43 pm

Photo of Llew O'BrienLlew O'Brien (Wide Bay, National Party) Share this | Hansard source

It's a real pleasure to be able to stand here in the parliament today in this adjournment debate to talk about some of the wonderful things that are happening in the great region of Wide Bay. Wide Bay is truly blessed with many geographical and physical attributes that make it truly special. Whether it be the beaches of Noosa, the Gympie gold that once saved the state from bankruptcy or the coloured sands of the Fraser coast and the World Heritage listed Fraser Island, they are all special.

But what is truly special about Wide Bay, and what is really the heart of Wide Bay, is its people. Its people are the heart of Wide Bay. They are special. That's why I'm so proud to be a part of a government that's delivering funds through the Community Development Grants fund to help support programs and community organisations that work within Wide Bay to provide services to people in need. Once again, these organisations are primarily run by volunteers—people with a generous heart.

One of those organisations is the Murgon RSL. Some time ago, Trevor Williamson OAM visited my office to tell me about a project that he was absolutely keen on getting up, and that was a drop-in centre for the veterans in Murgon. Trevor is a very busy man. He is also the president of the Wide Bay-South Burnett District RSL—so he knows his stuff. He was seeking $400,000 from the Commonwealth to construct a drop-in centre on a block of land that the RSL had already acquired. I worked with Trevor on how best we could do this, and just before the last election I managed to secure those funds—and it was a great pleasure to do so.

When constructed, it will be a facility that will help our former servicemen. You cannot get a more noble or worthy cause than helping the people who have kept our nation safe—those who have put their life on the line. This drop-in centre will help those people. It is truly in the spirit of those Anzacs who established the RSL back in 1916. This is about former service people coming together. It is about mateship and providing services for those special needs of people in the RSL. It truly is an honour to be a part of a government that is able to provide $450,000 to help bring this to fruition.

Another amazing organisation that the Morrison-McCormack government has recently helped through funding from the Community Development Grant is the Riding For The Disabled Association Maryborough. I really do enjoy going to the Maryborough Riding For The Disabled and meeting up with Noel Ryan, who is really one of the lynchpins there. It is such a special place. They cater for people with disabilities and people who need added help—with people there aged from four to 54. It really is inspiring watching these predominantly young people ride the horses. As somebody who is more of a motorbike man who is petrified around horses, I can still see the confidence that being on these horses gives these young kids mainly.

Recently the government provided $68,000 through a Community Development Grant to help build a covered area for the kids to ride. This will be really valuable to these people. Now they will be able to increase the number of people who can attend and also the number of volunteers and build the organisation. It is something that gives these young people confidence and independence, and there really is nothing more important than that.

As I said before, none of these things would be possible unless we had an economy that could pay the bills. The Morrison-McCormack government manages money prudently and it pays the bills so that we can help community organisations, such as those that I have talked about in my speech tonight.


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