Resident groups are vital community connectors

Published on Thu 22 June 2017 10:18am

Residents and community groups are a vital part of the social fabric in my electorate. They, of course, depend on the effort and energy provided on a voluntary basis by the people who act as office bearers and give their leadership and organisational skills for the benefit of their fellow citizens and residents. I acknowledge and thank them for their work.

Mr Wilson (10:18am) — Supporting strong and dynamic local communities has to be a shared role between all levels of government in partnership with local residents. My electorate of Fremantle is fortunate to have a number of neighbourhood advocacy groups located across East Fremantle, Fremantle and Cockburn in addition to a range of groups that pursue larger regional issues like heritage preservation and environmental protection. As a representative, it is always valuable to meet with and hear from these groups, especially in the newer and faster growing parts of the Fremantle electorate. They are the forums through which people discuss and resolve local issues.

They make up a network of bonding and bridging social capital. In other words, such groups bring people together who might not otherwise interact. Their work means people benefit from the rewards of shared responsibility and shared effort in a common purpose. I know it is part of my job to support them in their practical and social endeavours.

To give an example of what resident groups contribute, the Yangebup Progress Association, under the leadership of Chontelle Sands, has delivered community events like the annual outdoor Christmas carols as well as providing targeted advocacy in relation to local transport and amenity. YPA has been a strong voice in support of widening the Spearwood Avenue road bridge—a project for which the City of Cockburn has been seeking federal assistance.

I would also like to recognise the newly formed Beeliar Residents Action Group, or BRAG, and their president, Trace Radcliffe. BRAG is intent on bringing greater vibrancy to Beeliar by introducing night markets and working on initiatives to protect the local environment. I thank both BRAG and YPA for their support earlier this month on an event that we held with my friend and colleague the shadow Assistant Treasurer in order to consider and discuss Labor’s Women’s Budget Statement.

I also want to recognise the efforts of the residents’ group known as the community of Aubin Grove, led by Lara Kirkwood. This group has consistently championed the needs of their local neighbourhood. I was grateful for the opportunity to meet with them to discuss the woeful state of broadband in Aubin Grove, one of far too many areas around this country that still has no line broadband. We have worked together to ensure that NBN Co are aware of the dire state of telecommunications in Aubin Grove and of the importance of delivering on the current timetable.

I will finish by mentioning the Hamilton Hill Community Group led by Tobias Busch, because the HHCG made an important contribution to the fight against the Perth Freight Link. They collaborate very effectively with the City of Cockburn on a range of urban design projects and they are playing a key role in facilitating community consultation for the future of the Hamilton Hill Senior High School site.

Residents and community groups are a vital part of the social fabric in my electorate. They, of course, depend on the effort and energy provided on a voluntary basis by the people who act as office bearers and give their leadership and organisational skills for the benefit of their fellow citizens and residents. I acknowledge and thank them for their work.

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