Today I rise to pay tribute to the late Allan Cook, an outstanding member of our local community who was taken far too soon. Coasties love the beach and, while the rest of us relax on the sand or go for a swim, dozens of local lifeguards stand on duty to make sure we're all safe. One of those lifeguards in our community was local legend Allan Cook. Allan was a dedicated lifeguard on the Central Coast for over 40 years, mostly based at Toowoon Bay. During his time in the blue and white uniform, Allan contributed so much to our community. Allan was a champion for the introduction of female lifeguards and, thanks to him, Wyong Shire Council became the first council in Australia to employ a professional female lifeguard. Allan also advocated for the Disabled Surfers Association, and he was widely recognised to be the driving force behind the establishment of lifeguard towers on patrolled beaches throughout the Wyong Shire.
Allan, sadly, passed away in July 2019, a loss to his family—his wife, Shayne, and his children, Daniel and Hayley, and their partners—and to our whole community. It was only right that we honoured him in the way that he deserved. Last month—after calls from locals, with an application made by his good friend Stephen Prince and with support from Toowoon Bay Surf Life Saving Club, from state MPs David Harris and David Mehan and from me—it was decided that the lifeguard tower at Toowoon Bay would officially be renamed in Allan's honour. That is the same tower where he spent 34 years of his lifeguard career. It's a fitting tribute to local legend and true Coastie Allan Cook. Vale Allan.