House debates

Wednesday, 28 March 2018

Constituency Statements

Macquarie Electorate: Science at the Local

11:28 am

Photo of Susan TemplemanSusan Templeman (Macquarie, Australian Labor Party) Share this | | Hansard source

Sunday afternoon in the Blue Mountains doesn't always mean a bushwalk. For 70 locals in early March, it was the first of the 2018 series of Science at the Local at the Springwood Sports Club, which I was proud to launch. It is the fourth year of the community science event, assisted by a small amount of federal funding and backed by the Springwood and Winmalee neighbourhood centres, the brain child of Western Sydney University bushfire academic Hamish Clarke and Springwood High School science teacher Kevin Joseph—a great example, which you won't see anywhere else, of scientists bringing their science down to a level that even I can understand. They share their knowledge in a really accessible and interactive way.

The first one for the year looked at cancer research with Professor Graham Mann from the Westmead Institute for Medical Research, and Paolo Escudero from Western Sydney University explored how infants learn speech even before speaking. It is vital that the decisions we make in this place are informed by good science and it is vital that the community gets to know about that science so they understand why we are making the decisions that we do. I'd urge Blue Mountains residents and visitors to check out the Science at the Local program for the year. The next one is on 20 May, and it's about how we inherit dad's diet—that's a bit of a worry—and myth-busting the NBN. I think I can guarantee that that one's going to draw a crowd.

It is that time of year again, when the Hawkesbury Show rolls into town, and I'm getting ready for three days of fairy floss, dagwood dogs, Ferris-wheel rides, watching the showjumping and the hacking, and seeing the CWA and Macquarie Towns Arts exhibitions in the pavilion, which I have to say put to total shame any effort that I have ever made to bake a cake or take a photo. This year, the Hawkesbury Show will run from Friday, 20 April, to Sunday, 22 April, and, like last year, I'll be there with a stall and a team of wonderful volunteers. With an incredible team from the Hawkesbury Agricultural Show Society, this is the biggest show in the state outside the Royal Easter Show, but it has all the charm of a country show. You know that even the small parking fee you pay is actually raising funds for local causes, thanks to groups like Rotary and the Hawkesbury City Chamber of Commerce, who are volunteering their time.

The special thing about the Hawkesbury Show is you can do it really easily in a day with the kids or the grandkids. Forget the traumas of having to get to Sydney and the hassle with parking. This one is an easy drive from anywhere in my electorate. So, if you're looking for something to do that weekend, the Hawkesbury Show is the place to be—and of course I urge you to stop by the Susan Templeman stall and say hi.