Local

Mr TONY SMITH (Casey) (17:41): Today in this grievance debate I want to talk about the importance of the centenary of Anzac, particularly for local communities. Quite rightly, over the coming months and indeed the coming four years we as a nation will, 100 years on, reflect on the contribution and the sacrifice of so many Australians in battles from Gallipoli through the Western Front to war's end. All of us here in this House know and reflect at critical times like Anzac Day and Remembrance Day on just what a massive contribution it was. From a population of just on five million, 400,000 served, 160,000 were injured and 60,000 were killed. Those national statistics tell so much, but it is really only when you look at the individual contribution of communities—in country Australia, in electorates like mine that comprise both country Australia and outer suburbia, and in electorates like…
Mr TONY SMITH (Casey) (16:35): I rise this afternoon to make mention of two important community events that occurred in the Casey electorate in the last week or so. Last Friday, I had the honour of attending the opening of the Montrose & District Men's Shed. All of us in this House know the great work that groups of volunteers do to raise community passion and the funds needed to open Men's Sheds, and that has certainly been the situation in the Montrose community. With some help from the local council and Councillor Len Cox, the organising committee were able to obtain the old Montrose fire station, that was no longer in use. It was originally built in the 1940s, and for a number of weeks and months they have been restoring that fire station so that it is fit for purpose as a new home for the Montrose &…
Mr TONY SMITH (Casey) (13:15): I rise to speak in this address-in-reply, the first item of business for the 44th Parliament, and in doing so thank the people of Casey for their support and endorsement at the election on 7 September last year. The electorate of Casey underwent a redistribution between the 43rd and 44th parliaments. In political terms that reduced the Liberal margin in Casey from a little over four per cent to about 1.9 per cent. The electorate increased in size basically threefold, taking in all of the Yarra Valley—the towns of Steels Creek, Yarra Glen, Healesville—and all of the towns along the Warburton Highway, just to name a few. It meant that the campaign was a very different campaign to previous campaigns in the smaller electorate of Casey. The result that we received on election day saw a swing of more than five per cent to the…
Mr TONY SMITH (Casey) (12:01): I rise today to make mention of a number of school leaders in the Casey electorate. As all members here know, leadership presentations are an important time for our local schools, and last Friday I had the privilege of congratulating school leaders and presenting certificates and badges at their assemblies. First, to Ruskin Park Primary School in Croydon, I have had the pleasure of being at this leadership presentation every year since my election back in 2001 with principal Elle May Laikve. I want to make mention of the school captains, Emma Williamson and Josh Tilker; the house captains for Red House, Margot Toynton and Connor Tisch; Blue House, Maija Siljander and Jaydyn Carter McMurtry; Green House, Alicia Woodman and Alan Lopez; and Gold House, Wendy Wang and Cooper Foulis. The Casey electorate, Mr Deputy Speaker, as you well know, is a very diverse electorate…
Mr TONY SMITH (Casey) (16:19): I rise this afternoon to congratulate and pay tribute to a former constituent of mine, Matt Haanappel. I have got to know Matt fairly well in the last couple of years. He was recognised on Australia Day for his contribution to sport and community, with a Medal of the Order of Australia. Matt is from Croydon Hills, formerly in the electorate of Casey, and has cerebral palsy. He competed in the London Paralympic Games, where he won a number of medals including a gold medal as part of the 4 x 100 metre freestyle relay. He also works as an official ambassador for the Cerebral Palsy Education Centre in Glen Waverley in Victoria. I have had the pleasure of meeting Matt on a number of occasions. He is a passionate and positive member of the community. Since his award, he has won numerous other events,…
Mr TONY SMITH (Casey) (13:31): As all members of the House would be aware, we have just had the fifth anniversary of the tragic Black Saturday fires in Victoria and there have been a number of memorial services for those communities. I wanted to speak in the House today about one event that occurred in the Yarra Valley and has occurred for the last three years, and that is a memorial cruise from Lilydale, through Yarra Glen to the Healesville railway station. This has been organised by three dedicated members of the community—Stacey and Troy Kinsmore, and Wendy Bennett—in memory of their friends Kate Ansett and Steve Fisher from Toolangi, who were killed on that terrible day five years ago. It is their way of keeping their memory alive and it is their way of raising money for the CFA. For the last three years they have had this cruise…
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