House debates

Thursday, 30 November 2023

Constituency Statements

McMahon Electorate: Fairfield West

10:08 am

Photo of Chris BowenChris Bowen (McMahon, Australian Labor Party, Minister for Climate Change and Energy) Share this | | Hansard source

I want to tell the House about a very important new book Fairfield West:From Rural to Residential, which was recently published in my electorate. I want to congratulate: Florence Callicott, for authoring the book; Florence and Margaret Shears, who are the editors; and the Fairfield West history group for this very, very important book and—I'm sure honourable members would agree—a very substantial history of the fine suburb of Fairfield West.

As I write in the foreword, other parts of our community have received more attention in the history books, like Fairfield itself and Cabramatta, so it's high time that Fairfield West got this attention. Fairfield West is, of course, a very important home to many in our community, and it has a vibrant history. There's much here. There are some things in here I knew about and some things I learnt when I read this book. Despite the fact that my office has been in Fairfield West for the last 11 or 12 years or so, there is always something more to learn.

Of course, we know about the history of the Kmart store in Fairfield West, which was New South Wales's most successful Kmart store when it closed, and now my electorate office is on its site. Very famous in the history of Fairfield West is the time the elephants from the visiting circus walked down Hamilton Road.

But there are many other great things in this book. There's the great history of the King's Hall. There's the great history of Fairfield West Public School. Of interest to the Minister for Sport, who joins us in the chamber, is a great section on the history of Westfield Sports High School, which has produced many fine Australian sportspeople, including the former captain of the Australian cricket team, Michael Clarke; many Olympians, including Dani Stevens; and many Matildas. Westfield High School is, of course, a block down from my electorate office. I'm a regular visitor there, and I'm very proud of it.

Florence Callicott, nee Stimson, and the Stimson family are a very important part of our history. Several mayors of Fairfield and other local government areas have been members of the Stimson family. I was also recently pleased to attend the reopening of the fountain in Fairfield, which was established many decades ago and then was lost. It was recently found in a tip and Fairfield council restored it. I was pleased to join the mayor, Frank Carbone, and members of the Stimson family as it was put back in its rightful place, in The Crescent in Fairfield.

I commend Florence Callicott and the Fairfield West Old Timers History Group for their very fine history of Fairfield West. I will leave a copy in the waiting room of my electorate office. I try not to keep my constituents waiting too long, but occasionally there's a small delay. At least they'll have something to read as they're waiting for their constituent interviews. Given my office is in Fairfield West, it's a very fine thing to have in my electorate office. I congratulate Florence and all involved.

Photo of Alicia PayneAlicia Payne (Canberra, Australian Labor Party) Share this | | Hansard source

In accordance with standing order 193, the time for members' constituency statements has concluded.