PORT KEMBLA MARITIME CENTRE
Ms NOREEN HAY
(Wollongong) [5.47 p.m.]: I am pleased to inform the House of a wonderful event that occurred on a gloriously sunny day in my electorate of Wollongong. On Saturday 24 October 2009 the Port Kembla Maritime Centre was officially opened by Premier Nathan Rees. As usual, whenever there is a function and visitors come to Wollongong, the sun shines and it is glorious and the view is second to none. Hundreds of people were in attendance. Locals, such as the Mission to Seafarers, put on buses to move people from the car park so that aged, frail and disabled people could get access to the waterfront without distress. The centre is a landmark building reflecting the current development and innovation taking place at Port Kembla. The centre brings various port-related agencies together under one roof in a new state-of-the-art facility.
I acknowledge that the Minister for Ports and Waterways, Mr Tripodi, has done great work in relation to the port of Port Kembla. He comes down often, usually bearing gifts—thank goodness—to ensure that the port gets more and more trade. On the day the Minister for Ports and Waterways attended the opening of the Port Kembla Maritime Centre with the Minister for Transport, and Minister for the Illawarra, David Campbell. Hundreds of people turned up to participate in events and jumping castles were provided for the children. As I said, it was a wonderful family day.
As well as providing the headquarters for the Port Kembla Port Corporation, other tenants include NSW Maritime, the New South Wales Water Police Force, and the Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service. This is not just another government building; it is a community building. On the day the community revealed that it wanted to be part of this centre, and it was part of it. The services housed in the building are for the use of the community, to assist the future growth of the port and to maintain the Illawarra's strong maritime history.
Richard Davis performed the welcome to country ceremony in front of hundreds of locals who attended, as well as the Minister for Ports and Waterways, the Minister for the Illawarra, the member for Kiama, and the Chair of the Port Corporation, Nick Whitlam. To reinforce the community message and to celebrate the opening of this wonderful building, a Maritime Community Day was organised by the hardworking staff of the Port Kembla Port Corporation, in particular, Sandy Rae and Sally Hall, under the ever-watchful eye of its Chief Executive Officer, Dom Figliomeni. Local community groups, service clubs and government agencies joined together to showcase what Port Kembla had to offer.
I acknowledge and thank Australian Customs and Border Protection, the Australian Hydrographic Service, Australian Seabird Rescue, the Lake Illawarra Volunteer Coast Guard, the Australian Maritime Safety Authority, volunteers and friends of the Breakwater Battery Museum, Port Kembla Surf Life Saving Club—in particular, for its outstanding and plentiful free sausage sizzle for the community—Svitzer, and the rotary clubs of Corrimal and Bulli. I thank the Port Kembla Maritime Area Command for giving community members an opportunity to see firsthand the Nemesis
, the largest purpose-built police boat in the Southern Hemisphere, and the pride of the fleet of the Marine Area Command.
Members of the Wollongong Local Area Command and the Lake Illawarra Local Area Command who were in attendance were proud of the police resources and facilities that were displayed for the benefit of the community. Members would be aware that I always advocate for and highlight the positives of the Illawarra and, in particular, Wollongong, the electorate I am privileged to serve. The spirit of community at the community fund day, which was evident amongst locals and visitors alike, reinforced for me the wonderful place in which I live and the wonderful community I represent. I have said on at least 100 occasions in this House that Wollongong, the number one electorate in New South Wales, is second to none.
The New South Wales Government continues to invest in Wollongong. We are grateful for the jobs, the industry that has been created, and the car imports that that industry has generated. We are also grateful for the showground grandstand and for investment in the hospital. This Government has invested across the board in my electorate. I am proud to be a Labor member of Parliament representing the Wollongong electorate. I invite everyone to visit Wollongong and to see what a wonderful place it is.
Ms SONIA HORNERY
(Wallsend—Parliamentary Secretary) [5.52 p.m.]: I am pleased that the sun was shining on Saturday 24 October for the member for Wollongong and her constituents. It sounds as though it was a wonderful day. I am pleased that the Port Kembla Maritime Centre—a landmark building—was opened. I congratulate the member for Wollongong, who I am sure worked hard to earn this wonderful state-of-the-art and landmark building.