Birriban Bushcare

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Last week I had the pleasure to attend the launch of Katoomba High School's Birriban Bushcare Group and cultural space.

The group was established as a means of increasing Aboriginal cultural awareness based on the impacts of wet, dry and fire as well as humans on flora and fauna.

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Palliative Care

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Recently I had the pleasure to meet with two palliative care advocates. Dr Yvonne McMaster, a Senior Australian of the Year finalist and inspiring visionary, spent 20 or more years assisting those facing the final stages of their life to live more comfortably and maintain a quality of life. The other was Mr David Wilkinson, who is the Cancer Council's Blue Mountains member of parliament liaison volunteer and president of the Nepean Blue Mountains Prostate Cancer Support Group. Both stressed the importance of holistic palliative care to provide the best quality of life possible, up to the point of death.

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Valley Heights Locomotive Museum

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Today I acknowledge the wonderful Valley Heights Locomotive Depot Heritage Museum team in the Blue Mountains electorate. On 12 August the heritage museum hosted an event to unveil a plaque commemorating Hendrikus Hendrik Trip, known as Rieks, who was a fuel man at the depot in the early 1950s. Rieks was employed by the New South Wales Government Railways. He had one of the dirtiest and most physically demanding jobs at the depot. On 10 April 1953 while walking to the depot along the railway tracks, Rieks was struck and killed by a locomotive. 

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Greyhound Racing Prohibition

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I make a contribution to the debate on the Greyhound Racing Prohibition Bill 2016. I state from the outset that I have never been a fan of greyhound racing. As a young girl from a working-class family in Canberra and then in rural New South Wales, I was exposed to greyhound racing. My father, a woodchopper, would take the family to country shows where greyhound racing would often feature. My grandfather was a punter, and I remember him putting bets on the dogs. 

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Women's Refuge Funding Resumption

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Debate resumed from 4 August 2016.

In reply: I thank the member for Oxley, the member for Cootamundra, the member for Maitland and our fabulous, hardworking shadow Minister, the member for Port Stephens for their contributions. I also acknowledge the Minister for the Prevention of Domestic Violence for her input today. I will address a couple of matters that were raised by the member for Oxley, who said that in this State we had a patchwork of services that were in silos. That was not the case. 

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Gleebooks Blackheath and Varuna Writers Centre

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I acknowledge the efforts of Gleebooks at Blackheath in partnership with the Varuna Writers Centre in Katoomba in organising a fantastic literary event featuring feminist author Tara Moss in the Blue Mountains this winter.

Held at the iconic Carrington Hotel ballroom, and in conversation with the author, musician and academic Kate Fagan, the feisty and articulate Tara Moss discussed Speaking Out: A 21st-Century Handbook for Women and Girls.

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Blue Mountains Train Services

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[Download PDF] I have spoken in this place about timetable problems, maintenance issues, track and signal failures, staffing shortages, Opal errors and inadequate infrastructure for the trains in the Blue Mountains.

Once again I thank the hardworking frontline staff at Sydney Trains, NSW TrainLink and Transport for NSW for their efforts. I thank them for their hard work in the face of funding cuts, incompetent ministerial direction and a Government privatisation agenda that seeks to work the staff ever harder and pay them less and less.

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Little Free Libraries

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I commend the newly established Blue Mountains sub-branch of the Children's Book Council of Australia [CBCA] NSW Inc. for its work in making children's literature accessible in the Blue Mountains. Last November I had the pleasure of attending the launch, which featured a Dragon Detective Quest. More recently they launched the Little Free Libraries. The aim of Little Free Libraries is to encourage children, and parents, to read by providing ready access to books in public places. Readers are encouraged to browse, borrow and return a book, or replace it with a similar book if they wish to keep it. 

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Womens Refuge Funding

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I move that this House:

(1)Notes that nearly 50 specialist workers attended the Blue Mountains domestic violence roundtable hosted by the member for Blue Mountains with the shadow Minister for the Prevention of Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault.

(2)Acknowledges that Government funding cuts have left women's refuges with much less capacity to provide services, and women and children are being turned away.

(3)Calls on the Government to urgently allocate funding to existing services and programs, and ensure that Safer Pathways and the It Stops Here recommendations are fully funded.

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Hazelbrook Public School Teachers

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In late June I had the pleasure of attending a dinner with the staff of Hazelbrook Public School and many from surrounding schools.

The dinner celebrated and acknowledged the dedication of three long-term teachers, all of whom have retired recently. 

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