Ms PRU GOWARD ( Goulburn—Minister for Mental Health, Minister for Medical Research, Assistant Minister for Health, Minister for Women, and Minister for the Prevention of Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault) (13:01): This afternoon I bring to the attention of the House a number of wonderful community groups and organisations in my electorate of Goulburn. It has been an extremely wet winter, with the southern region experiencing rain for more than half of July. A number of properties, roads and bridges have been flooded. Our local State Emergency Service teams have been kept extraordinarily busy; in many cases they have risked their own lives to save the lives of others. Many of the local volunteers have families and full-time jobs. These women and men have given up shifts at work and precious time with their children to keep the community safe. It is testament to their selflessness, compassion and determination. I am so proud that communities across my electorate have these brave people to call upon in times of need.

The treacherous conditions in areas around the Yass Valley, Cooksvale, Goulburn and the Southern Highlands have resulted in the loss of cars, livestock, property and, sadly, human life. We are blessed with hundreds of volunteers at local SES stations. I thank the teams at Sutton, Collector, Yass, Gunning, Boorawa, Bigga, Goulburn, Crookwell, Windellema, Wingecarribee and Mittagong. Equally, I thank all our emergency service personnel, including paramedics, firefighters and police, for keeping our community safe during this wet and chaotic winter. I acknowledge their stoic response to recent traumatic accidents on the Hume Highway and local roads. We are eternally grateful for their willingness to serve the community and the many visitors to the area. I thank the frontline police and staff of the Hume and Cootamundra local area commands and the paramedics in Yass, Boorawa, Bigga, Goulburn, Crookwell, Windellema, Canyonleigh, Bundanoon, Moss Vale and Bowral. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

I congratulate Lauren Brook, Taylor O'Brien and Amelia Brook from the Moss Vale Girl Guides on their selection to represent Australia at two international girl guide jamborees next year. These fearless, extraordinary young women will be travelling to England as part of a 20-strong Australian Girl Guide contingent. I am proud that they have been chosen to represent us. I understand that only six women are selected from New South Wales. For Moss Vale to fill three of those six positions is a true honour. Lauren, Taylor and Amelia are a credit to their families, the local guiding community and the wider Moss Vale community. Their selection is another step forward in their leadership journeys, and I am proud to support them. I encourage the local community to support them through sponsorship. I wish them all the very best as they collect sponsorship money and prepare for their trip.

I thank the Goulburn community for its unwavering support and generosity toward the Goulburn St Vincent de Paul on Auburn Street. Its premises suffered irreparable damage from a deliberately lit fire at the rear of the Centrelink building. I am proud to tell the House that the community responded immediately with bags and bags of donations of winter woollies and blankets to the Verner Street warehouse and my electorate office. My meeting room rapidly filled and was overflowing with the goods donated by Goulburn residents. A couple of trailer loads were required to transport the goods back to the warehouse. It is important for me to recognise this goodwill in the House. I thank the residents of Goulburn and the surrounding villages for their generosity and community spirit.

Last Saturday night the Goulburn community stumped up over $32,000 at a charity auction in support of SouthCare patient retrieval service. The auction formed part of the SouthCare community ball. I congratulate Tamara Creagh, Kylie Wilson, Troy Cook and Amy Cook on their efforts in creating a great night. I congratulate Moss Vale business Highlands Drive Safe on being nominated as a finalist in the micro business category of the New South Wales Telstra Business Awards 2016. Sue and Murray Tyler, together with their son Chris, established this local business. Over several years of operation, they have received a number of significant business accolades for the professional service they provide to trainer drivers in the Southern Highlands. Their ability to adapt and innovate through legislative, regulatory and industry change is a wonderful achievement. I am pleased that this family business has been recognised as an important part of life in the Southern Highlands.

Mr GARETH WARD ( Kiama ) ( 13:06 ): No community understands the value of giving better than regional communities and no-one understands the Goulburn electorate better than its local member. I pay tribute to the member for Goulburn for recognising important regional community organisations in her electorate, such as the State Emergency Service. Every member of this House appreciates the extraordinary efforts that volunteers invest in times of crisis. I pay tribute to Moss Vale Girl Guides Lauren, Taylor and Amelia. There is no greater example of women in leadership than the member for Goulburn. The member is an extraordinary representative of her electorate and a great ambassador who encourages young women into leadership. I wish those three girls luck as they represent Moss Vale and New South Wales overseas. I recognise SouthCare and the wonderful work it does in the community. I congratulate the member for Goulburn on being such a fierce advocate for these community groups in this place today.


Pru retired
from politics in 2019.
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Authorised by Pru Goward, Parliament House, Macquarie Street, Sydney NSW 2000