House debates

Wednesday, 28 March 2018

Constituency Statements


10:09 am

Photo of Lucy WicksLucy Wicks (Robertson, Liberal Party) Share this | | Hansard source

I rise today on what is set to be the last parliamentary sitting day for a number of weeks to speak briefly about what for many is one of the most significant festivals of the year, particularly for the many Christian believers in my electorate on the Central Coast. I speak, of course, about Easter, an opportunity for all of us to pursue and reflect on our shared values, the love that we share for our family and friends, the challenges before us and the significance of the events that happened around 2,000 years ago.

A division having been called in the House of Representatives—

Sitting suspended from 10:10 to 10:30

Starting on Good Friday, churches across the Central Coast are celebrating, reflecting, worshipping and welcoming people to their services with open arms. Across the Central Coast, churches big and small in places like Gosford, Erina, Terrigal, Kincumber, Woy Woy and beyond are putting together a whole range of activities for Central Coast residents as they proclaim the message of grace and hope this Easter.

Of course, there are also many other great events happening across the coast, including four days of free activities being run by Central Coast Council at The Entrance. There's free music at the waterfront plaza every day from 11 am to 3 pm, while children will have the chance to meet the Easter Bunny in Memorial Park and receive a free Easter egg, as well as getting to enjoy some arts and crafts activities. Memorial Park will also host the region's Easter Monday festival from 9 am to 3 pm, including market stalls, entertainment, food stalls, a funfair and more.

Of course, many families from around the coast are visiting, and I'd like to take this opportunity to encourage anyone who doesn't yet have plans for the Easter long weekend to join us on the Central Coast. We have beautiful beaches from the peninsula over to Killcare and up to Wamberal. We have incredible bushwalks, and there's plenty of fantastic food and entertainment.

The appeal of the Central Coast is backed up by the latest tourism figures. In the year to December 2017, more than 1.7 million domestic visitors visited the Central Coast according to new figures released today through the National Visitor Survey. The figures show a growth of 15 per cent over the last three years. It's the same trend with international visitors as well, with data that we released last week showing 63,000 international visitors flocked to the Central Coast in the same period. That's an increase of 32 per cent, while spending went up by 91 per cent year on year. I suspect that this Easter long weekend will be no different, with so many expected to come to the Central Coast to enjoy their break.

Finally, if you are travelling on the roads this Easter, please take extra care. Double demerit points are in force in New South Wales, and it's really worth ensuring that you slow down and drive safely for all our sakes. Have a safe, refreshing and happy Easter, and enjoy chocolate in moderation if you can.