13th September 2023.
Private Member's Statement - Wollondilly Community Groups Funding.
Today I rise to speak on six major community projects that I wish to highlight as in need in Wollondilly. This small list doesn’t capture everything in need, but the mixture of these projects shows the areas left uncared for and for community groups that give so much it is time to give to them so they can provide even more.
Thirlmere Tennis Club is in need of a Tennis Ball Machine, which will benefit the community through enhanced tennis opportunities. Newer machines allow diverse practice on the same court, including those with disabilities with the opportunity to practise against a machine. It will also aid players in Tennis NSW sanctioned tournaments and encourage senior engagement, supplementing the existing seven weekly tennis fixtures held on weekdays, nights, and Saturdays at Thirlmere Tennis Club.
The Warradale Men’s Shed in Warragamba needs a new home, on council owned land for certainty to create a permanent location for their organisation. Recognised as part of the Men’s Sheds initiative, the Warradale Mens’ Shed plays a role in fostering community resilience. While the organisation has around $40,000 saved for the new shed, by today’s standards this isn’t enough. While Warragamba is remote, it is a growing area with an ageing demographic and so close to the airport, we need more services like the Warradale Mens’ Shed, not less.
Similar to the Warradale Mens Shed, the Tahmoor Uniting Men's Shed (TUMS) focuses on enhancing both physical and mental well-being by providing support and a collaborative project engagement. This shed, like many, focuses on woodwork and they are in need of a new bandsaw. The members recycle fallen timber by cutting it into slabs and blocks for various projects like woodturning and furniture repairs. This tool not only saves time but also minimises waste while fostering a supportive community environment.
From these two Mens’ sheds to a very different shed but much needed one, the Alpine Aylemerton Rural Fire Brigade is in need of a new mower for their station. This station serves as a Wingecarribee Rural Fire Station Training Centre hosting regular visits from brigades in the Wingecarribee and Wollondilly areas for training. It comes at the 70th Anniversary year of the station. The new mower will contribute to the station's overall functionality, allowing volunteers to uphold the station's condition and ensuring a well-maintained environment for training and community events in the outlying village of Alpine.
Like Alpine, Yerinbool and Hill Top have both very few mentions in this place before. The Yerrinbool Bargo Soccer Club hosts members from the Bargo, Yanderra and Yerrinbool townships. Their needs are extensive including CCTV, new facilities and upgrades, as well as improved equipment. It is all well and good to come in here wearing the colours of our national football teams when they achieve so much as the Matildas did, without the club investment the boys and girls of today wont be the stars that inspire so many tomorrow.
The Hill Top War Memorial Hall has been in use since the celebrations after the end of the Second World War when it was constructed in 1947 by returned servicemen and community members. Like many buildings of its age it is now in need of replacement, not due to many performances that blew the roof off but sadly to its ageing condition. The new roof will update the hall's appearance giving it the street appeal and functionality deserving of a valued community facility.
Finally the last project is one that interconnects the villages of Wollondilly and the Southern Highlands and one of constant need. Wingecarribee Cycleways has been a focus in the media with growth in the sport both in mountain tracks and traditional cycleways. With the growth of popularity this has led to unfortunate conflicts. Together we need to work towards a solution and the Council must plan for the future. Integrated cycleway plans should be drawn and I look forward to extensions of the network to provide healthy alternatives, tourism and most importantly, activities for the young people who have spoken so passionately about our area.