Mr TARZIA (Hartley) (16:58): Last night, I had the pleasure of attending the North Eastern Community Hospital Auxiliary meeting, which comprises of 14 hardworking members and, let me just say, you will never meet a more hospitable, warm, positive and tireless group of people who do fantastic work for the local hospital (the North Eastern Community Hospital) as well as the adjacent nursing home.
Over the past 25 to 30 years, they have raised in excess of a quarter of a million dollars, which has provided many extras for both the hospital and the aged-care facility. They meet on the third Monday of each month and they are always inviting more and more people to come on board and partake in the great community initiatives that they undertake, one of which is fundraising. They have a kiosk at the local hospital and all proceeds from the kiosk go towards upgrading the equipment for the hospital and the adjacent nursing home. I saw last night that the kiosk sells a variety of new baby gift baskets, a selection of newborn clothes, toiletries, magazines, cards—all kinds of goodies. There is something there for everyone.
They also organise a series of events throughout the year. Last night, they were good enough to have a bit of a meet and greet with coffee, tea and scones afterwards. It was a delightful night. They also arrange many other things, like fashion parades, quiz nights, theatre evenings, Chinese banquets, and lamington and slice drives—delicious, I must say. They also raise a lot of money through Entertainment Books, and they do a whole heap of fundraising by way of selling raffle tickets throughout the year.
They are a fantastic local community group. Without groups like this, we simply could not have the fantastic fabric that we have in our society. Obviously there is a time and a place for government to provide services but, without these voluntary community groups, we would not be able to move forward, especially in that hospital. It is a private hospital, but let me say that private hospitals are not necessarily all affluent, and this community group does wonderful fundraising work to support not only the staff but also the families whose family members attend the local hospital, and anyone who frequents the hospital.
I want to thank the North Eastern Community Hospital Auxiliary ladies and, as the local member for Hartley, I will certainly do whatever I can to advance their cause in whatever way, shape or form I can.