Dedication to Norah Head Air-Sea Memorial
04 December 2021
Good morning, everyone.
I'd like to start by acknowledging the traditional owners of the land on which we meet, the Darkinjung people, and I would like to pay my respects to Elders past, present, and emerging.
I would also like to acknowledge everyone who has joined us here today, including: Toukley SL, their President Bob Wilson and his wife Narelle, Jenny Vaughan from Norah Head Ratepayers Association, John Hinks from the Norah Head Boat and Recovery club, Daniel O'Brien from the US Small Ships Association, Marine Rescue NSW and State Member for Wyong, David Harris MP.
I also give my special thanks to Bill Hignett, Unit Commander at Marine Rescue Norah Head for inviting me to give a dedication today.
We’re here today to honour the memory of the Royal Australian Navy Air Sea Rescue units of the Second World War.
During the Second World War, Australia’s Air Sea Rescue service operated 20 ships, right along this Coast up until 1966.
In this time, they conducted many search and rescue operations off our coastline.
After digging through their archives over the past few years, Marine Rescue Norah Head has uncovered some incredible stories and photographs of these rescues, including one of people on the beach standing with their raft after they were saved in 1942.
The servicemen who conducted these search and rescue operations deserve nothing short of a dedicated memorial to honour the lifesaving work they did.
This memorial was installed last year, thanks to a Federal Government grant under the Saluting Their Service program.
I’m told this memorial is the only one of its kind in Australia, dedicated to these ships and crews.
It exists because of the hard work and dedication of Marine Rescue Norah Head, a highly valued community organisation made up of more than 50 active members.
They continue the work of the Air-Sea rescue crews, by monitoring the radio waves from morning to night, keeping us all safe.
If a boat is in trouble, Marine Rescue Norah Head will radio their crews and dispatch a team to help out.
I’m proud to stand here today, to remember the servicemen who kept watch over our coastline and protected locals for many, many years.
They made sacrifices to protect us all.
So today, we remember you, we honour you and we thank you for the work that you did.
May future generations of Coasties continue this tradition and honour you for many years to come.
Raise Our Voice Submissions
07 October 2021
This year, I'm taking part in the Raise Our Voice Australia campaign, giving young people the chance to speak up in Parliament. I asked young people across the Coast to write a short speech about what they want Australia to look like in 20 years and I received some fantastic responses.
Sarah Baric, 20
I would like to see equal rights being upheld for Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islander Peoples in 20 years. The Indigenous Youth suicide rate is more then double the rate of non-Indigenous Youth, Indigenous Australians are more likely to be incarcerated and Our First Nations People’s are experiencing higher rates of mental health concerns. These are just a few things to help paint the picture of the inequality our Indigenous Population experience. I would like to see the government change this. While vital steps are being taken to change this picture, there is not enough focus. We need more Indigenous voices in parliament. In the picture of Australia in 20 years, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People’s will have equality.
Jayden Delbridge, 16
Mr Speaker in 20 years, we have new world leaders, new values, new beliefs, but one of the biggest changes is our shift in respect for those who we leave, who become the generation of tomorrow.
In 2040, we live in a world we have more information at our fingertips than ever before. We live in a world where technology has become one of the biggest components of our life. What does this mean?
It means, finally, we value the opinions of our future generations; the generations that will inhabit the earth when we move on. The generation that world leaders now respect and seek advice from. The generation of tomorrow are listened to, respected, appreciated. Their unique insights prove invaluable to shaping our tomorrow. Our future generation reminds us why we serve in this place.
Whilst in 20 years, many of us will say our last goodbyes, we leave our society, our nation, our world in a better place for those who say their first hellos.
A Roof Over Your Head
26 May 2021
The Government has had eight long years to fix the problems of housing affordability on the Coast and it’s just gotten worse.
It’s harder to rent than ever before, it’s harder to buy than ever before and there are more and more people couch surfing or living in their cars.
That’s why I invited Jason Clare MP, Shadow Minister for Housing and Homelessness back to the Coast in March to hear first-hand from locals about the growing housing crisis.
Vacancy rates are as low as 0.1 per cent in parts on the Coast and rents have climbed by over $100 a week in just the last few months. In some cases, tenants are paying $430 a week for a small studio apartment.
And, homelessness on the Coast is a growing but often hidden problem as women, families and young people couch surf or live in their cars. Last year 10,000 women and children across Australia were turned away from refuges because there wasn’t a bed.
Finding a safe place to live is even harder for the most vulnerable, including older women given the shortfall of 3,500 homes leading to an average wait time of ten years for social housing.
To fix these growing problems won’t be easy and it will require leadership from the federal government.
In this year’s budget, the Government missed a once in a generation opportunity to help renters and buyers and those living in housing stress or insecure housing on the Coast.
A future Labor Government will create the Housing Australia Future Fund to build affordable housing now and into the future in places like the Central Coast.
This will change lives and create jobs.
Over the first five years, the Housing Australia Future Fund will build 30,000 new social housing properties, including homes for women and children fleeing domestic and family violence and older women on low incomes who are at risk of homelessness.
The fund will build affordable homes for the heroes of the pandemic – frontline workers like police, nurses and cleaners that kept us safe.
Our housing plan is good for jobs too.
This plan will create over 21,500 full-time jobs each year.
And one in 10 construction jobs created will be for apprentices.
A plan that helps more Aussies buy a home, helps Australians who rent and helps put a roof over the head of more homeless Australians.
This is a Future Fund that will give more Australians a better future.