Thursday, 1 December 2016
Today I am very proud to launch the inaugural Goldstein Christmas giving appeal. This year we have partnered with Bayside Community Information & Support Service, which is an independent, not-for-profit charity that supports vulnerable community members across most of Goldstein. At Christmas time they distribute 150 hampers and Christmas gifts to clients and committee members who cannot afford to enjoy the extras that most of us are able to take for granted at Christmas. Many of the clients have children and grandchildren and cannot afford to buy gifts for them, so we rely on community support and donations to ensure that children in the Goldstein area have an enjoyable Christmas. I call on everybody in the electorate of Goldstein to reach out to those in need in the community and to donate. I thank BayCISS, and in particular Anne Coughlin, for the wonderful work that they do. Donations can be made in the form of non-perishable food, vouchers, toys or other gifts of appropriate for the children up to the age of 14 and, of course, direct financial donations. All financial donations are tax deductible and go directly to delivery of the Christmas program. No donations are used for administration. We are also acutely aware at this time of year that families are struggling to cover back-to-school costs, so we also welcome donations to the BayCISS education program, which supports families with these costs in mind.
Today I also wish to congratulate councillors elected in both Bayside City Council and Glen Eira City Council. Congratulations to the newly elected Mayor, Councillor Alex Del Porto, and Deputy Mayor, Councillor James Long, along with re-elected councillors Michael Heffernan and Laurence Evans, and newly elected councillors Sonia Castelli, Rob Grinter and Clarke Martin, in Bayside. I would also like to congratulate the Mayor, Councillor Mary Delahunty, and Deputy Mayor, Jim Magee, along with the re-elected councillors Jamie Hyams and Margaret Esakoff, and newly elected councillors Nina Taylor, Joel Silver, Dan Sztrajt, Clare Davey and Tony Athanasopoulos, in the city of Glen Eira. Congratulations, and I look forward to having a constructive working relationship with you during the remainder of our terms, in the interests of Goldstein residents.
Finally, Deputy Speaker, thank you very much: I want to wish everybody a Merry Christmas and a happy and prosperous 2017. At this time of year, with the valedictory speeches of the Prime Minister and of the Leader of the Opposition, we have been hearing how we should all come together in the spirit of giving and charity to build a better Australia for everybody. I would like to echo those sentiments, not just on my behalf but also on behalf of the election of Goldstein, a model community which can take its values to the nation. I think we would be a better country if we all came together at this time of year, for the Christmas season or for whatever festivities you celebrate, to find a constructive way to take this country forward in 2017, together.
A division having been called in the House of Representatives—
Sitting suspended from 11 : 09 to 11 : 41