House debates

Monday, 8 February 2016

Statements by Members

Lunar New Year

1:40 pm

Photo of Matt WilliamsMatt Williams (Hindmarsh, Liberal Party) Share this | | Hansard source

Gong xi fa cai! Welcome to the year of the monkey. Today, we celebrate the longest and most important celebration in the Chinese calendar, Chinese or Lunar New Year.

The celebration farewells winter and the year gone by and rings in spring and the fresh year with family and friends. Making wishes for luck, prosperity and good fortune, and warding off evil spirits are all central to many celebrations, which vary across China and Lunar New Year cultures.

It gave me great pleasure to visit a number of local Chinese businesses and migrants over the weekend and wish them a happy Chinese New Year. To the owners and staff at Golden Lakes and Golden West Lakes Chinese restaurants, House of Tien at Morphettville and August Moon at Glenelg East: it was nice to visit your restaurants, and thank you for your kind hospitality over the weekend. Chinese people first came to Australia in large numbers during the Gold Rush in the 1850s and 1860s. Since then, there has been a long history of Chinese immigration to Australia.

Examples of Chinese migration remain in our cities, such as Chinatown in Adelaide, where the pagoda style roofs, red lanterns, restaurants and grocery stores are all found and serve as a constant reminder of the significant contribution the Chinese have made to Australia culturally and economically. You have to look no further than the impact on our food! Everyone in this place no doubt has their favourite restaurant for yum cha, dim sum, dumplings or Peking duck.

From tourism to trade, education and other services, the relationship with China is of great importance to Australia and, with the trade agreements, will be even better. We look for it to continue and grow. I wish the Chinese-Australian community a happy, healthy, lucky and prosperous new year.