House debates

Wednesday, 24 October 2018


Robertson Electorate: 2018 Central Coast Business Awards

7:35 pm

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

In my electorate of Robertson on the New South Wales Central Coast, we've got more than 15,000 amazing small and medium-sized businesses. I think the Prime Minister put it pretty well during his recent visit to the Six String Brewing Company in Erina when he said that business owners on the Central Coast are really living the dream. Our small business owners are—they're living, working and employing other locals in what I think is the best region in the best country in the world.

We know how important a strong economy is—one that delivers more jobs and guarantees essential services—but we also know that a strong national economy isn't possible without local businesses that help create strong local economies. Our businesses are the backbone of our community and are such a big part of what makes the Central Coast the amazing community that it is.

Last weekend, I had the chance to join with the community in congratulating some of our outstanding local businesses at the 2018 Central Coast Business Awards, hosted by the New South Wales Business Chamber. Each and every finalist is really outstanding in their own category, and they are invested in the success of our region. The business awards are a prestigious event on the Central Coast, and they recognise businesses that are excelling in their fields.

I want to pay tribute to all this year's finalists and congratulate each and every one of the owners and their teams on their outstanding achievements. Congratulations to Australian Pest Specialists; Body Corporate Services; Fixx Events and Marketing; Gosford Micrographics and Scanning; Gosford RSL Club; Gosford/Erina & Coastal Chamber of Commerce; H & H Catering; Home Instead Senior Care Gosford; Hotondo Homes Central Coast; Job Centre Australia Ltd; Link Legal and Conveyancing; Nurses Now; Oddball Marketing; Peninsula Village Ltd; Playing in Puddles; Retreat Hairdressing; Ryan & Seton Lawyers; Silverscreen Designer Glassboards; and The Art House at Wyong.

I want to of course also pay special tribute to this year's winners and take the opportunity to share with the House some of the amazing work that they're doing in our region. Laura Prael is the founder of a fast-growing digital agency, LEP Digital Central Coast, and she was awarded the Outstanding Young Entrepreneur Award. Laura is a fantastic business woman on the Central Coast, and she now employs a young, all-female team. This year she took her business international, with some incredible success already.

The Australian Reptile Park's Tim Faulkner was named Outstanding Business Leader for his work as the general manager and head of conservation. Tim is truly dedicated to the reptile park, which is a key tourist attraction on the Central Coast. The Australian Reptile Park also took home the Excellence in Business award, a most deserved recognition of the important role that it plays in our region, employing locals as well as boosting the regional profile of the Central Coast.

The Excellence in Small Business award went to CostSmart, an integrated product management service based in Wyong. CostSmart is all about backing other small businesses and helping them to achieve their business goals in a cost-effective way. Gosford Private Hospital was recognised for its excellence in innovation, leading the way in many innovative health practices that are aimed at delivering better patient outcomes. Local rubber band manufacturer Bounce Rubber Bands, based in Wyong, was awarded for their commitment and excellence in sustainability, and notably their Bounce Back campaign. The Darkinjung Local Aboriginal Land Council was awarded the Excellence in Social Enterprise honour for their ongoing dedication to improving the health and wellbeing of our community and the lives of Indigenous Australians across the Central Coast. The formidable Suzy Miller was awarded Start-up Superstar for her new endeavour, The Opportunity Collective. Suzy's a successful businesswoman in her own right, and she started The Opportunity Collective in 2016 to mentor other women into business leadership positions and connect women in business across the Central Coast. Marketing agency Milestone-Bellanova was named Outstanding Employer of Choice. Having operated on the Central Coast for more than 15 years, founder Barbara Ketley has formed an amazing team and business. The Wyong Regional Chamber of Commerce was named Local Chamber of Commerce of the Year.

I want to congratulate all award winners and wish them luck as they head to the New South Wales Business Chamber State Business Awards in Sydney. We now have some incredible businesses representing our Central Coast region, and I wish them all the best at the awards dinner coming up next month. I also place on record my thanks to Dan Farmer for his considerable work as the regional manager of the Central Coast NSW Business Chamber. He has been an outstanding and formidable leader and advocate: I thank you for all that you have done for our community.