Monday, 14 April 2014

Mascot RSL ANZAC March and Commemorative Ceremony

The pouring rain did not deter the hundreds of people who marched and attended Mascot Memorial Park yesterday afternoon for the Annual ANZAC Commemoration Ceremony organised by Mascot RSL who were joined by Botany RSL.

As Police closed Botany Road to traffic, the March led by The Clan MacLeod Pipe Band and the flag bearers, I and my parliamentary colleagues, Michael Daley MP Member for Maroubra, and Matt Thistlethwaite MP Federal Member for Kingsford Smith, were honoured to join our Veterans, their families and the families of the fallen.

The wonderful community spirit was so evident despite the falling rain. People young and old participated in the march. There were soldiers, scouts and cubs, girl guides, school children from Mascot Public School, St Therese Mascot, and J J Cahill Memorial High School, residents of Windgap, and local councillors. There was also Pagewood Botany Football Club generously providing a free sausage sizzle to the hundreds of children.

It was touching that so many in the Mascot, Rosebery and Botany Community were there to honour the memory and sacrifice that our serving men and women have given to Australia in the name of freedom. Lest we forget.

Sunday, 13 April 2014

Redfern RSL Commemoration of ANZAC

It was extraordinary how the rain just stopped this Sunday morning just as The Redfern RSL Commemoration of ANZAC ceremony was about to commence at Redfern Park.

The printed order of service contained on the front page contained a reminder to all those blessed to be living in a free society, a quote from 1817 by US President Thomas Jefferson; "The Price of Liberty is 'Eternal Vigilance".

Chaplain Stephen Estherby RAN lead the prayer service and the very moving ANZAC Address was given by Michael Wilkinson, the Sub Branch Vice President. Attended by our veterans and the family of veterans and the fallen, Cr John Mant representing Sydney City Council, as always I felt privileged to stand with the men and women who gave us our nation .. our freedom .. to  honour the memory of those who paid the ultimate price in the name of freedom. Lest we forget.

Friday, 11 April 2014

2014 Rotary Police Awards

Police Award Winner with the dignitaries 
I was delighted to attend the 2014 Rotary Police Awards last night held to recognise outstanding the Police Officers in the Eastern Beaches and Botany Bay Local Area Commands at the Lakes Golf Club at Eastlakes.

Attended by Police Minister Mike Gallagher, Shadow Police Minister, Michael Daley MP, Kingsford Smith MP Matt Thistlethwaite, Coogee MP Bruce Notley-Smith, Randwick Mayor Scott Nash, Botany Bay Deputy Mayor George Glinatsis, Acting Assistant Commissioner Karen McCarthy and many other distinguished guests all came to pay tribute to the outstanding service of police officers in our area.

The Rotary Police Officer of the Year awards are an opportunity for Rotary to recognise outstanding Police Officers in the Local Area Commands that cover our communities. Risking their lives daily to keep our community safe, and being so accessible and responsive to community needs is a hallmark of our Local Commands.

I thank Rotary Clubs of Maroubra, Randwick and Botany Bay for honouring our local police, as I thank Botany Bay City Council and Randwick City Council for sponsoring all police officers in attendance.

Botany Bay Business Enterprise breakfast

Ron Hoenig MP & Small Business Commissioner Robyn Hobbs
I appreciated yesterday attending the Botany Bay Business Enterprise breakfast and meeting with local business men and women. At the breakfast we were given the opportunity to meet and hear from the newly appointed Commissioner for Small Business, Ms Robyn Hobbs.

I believe it is important to remain up to date with local business news, and speaking directly with our local business people was invaluable for gaining insight into current issues and trends.

The Botany Bay Business Enterprise Centre is a non-profit organisation that offers free advice to people that require assistance with business planning; to small businesses experiencing hardship and to those wishing to expand their business. Importantly, the Botany Bay Business Enterprise Centre is community based, so breakfasts such as this are vital for community engagement and networking.

I was pleased to see Deputy Mayor George Glinatsis and Cr. Christina Curry and the General Manager from Botany Bay Council in attendance. Their presence indicates the council's support of the local business community.

I thank the Botany Bay Business Enterprise Centre for their invitation and for the opportunity to meet with so many of our local business people.

Paul Thomas - your community says thank you

Paul Thomas
Mr Paul Thomas, a Mascot local has recently been honoured in the NSW Legislative Council for his dedication and commitment to not only our local community, but also to the wider international community.

Mr Thomas has not only been an active parishioner of St Therese’s Church in Mascot since 1962, he has also delivered home communion to the sick and fragile for more than 30 years. 

Mr Thomas sponsors over 50 children, a deed that most of us would find humbling. 

I am certain that Mr Thomas contributes to our community without the consideration of gaining recognition; however I believe that it is important that these acts do not go unnoticed.

I look forward to joining Mr Thomas with his friends and family at a reception in his honour at Parliament House in May and I thank my good friend The Hon. Shaoquett Moselmane MLC honouring such an outstanding citizen in this way.

I congratulate Mr Thomas on the recognition of his outstanding work. On behalf of our local community I thank him for his tireless commitment to bettering our community.

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Plans to charge to attend NSW hospital emergency departments is just economic zealotry

Refusal by Liberal NSW Premier Barry O'Farrell to rule out a plan by his Liberal Federal colleagues to introduce a fee to attend NSW hospital emergency departments is a worrying sign.

With reports today asserting that the Abbott Liberal Government has a secret plan to allow State Governments to impose a charge on patients who report to hospital with what turn out to be less serious ailments, Mr O'Farrell needs to come clean with our community.

This is nothing short of a hospital tax that would work alongside the Liberal Party's proposed $6 tax to visit a GP.

Labor's NSW Shadow Health Minister, Dr Andrew McDonald is a highly respected paediatrician that still practices on a pro bono basis. His views on health policy should not be taken lightlyHe says;

“This is crazy health policy that will impact on every person in NSW.”

“Our hospitals are cash free zones. It would cost more to collect the revenue than the revenue that would be received.

“The reason patient costs in emergency departments are high is precisely because most patients who attend do so for a reason – they know their problem is not one for their GP.”

Dr McDonald added that he was concerned people could be deterred from reporting to hospital for what turn out to be serious risks to their health.

“Mums and Dads with sick children will be whacked with a tax to visit the GP – and now a tax to visit the hospital,” Dr McDonald said.

“Once this principle is established – there is nothing to stop a $6 tax from turning into a $36 or even $60 tax.”

This is just the latest round of economic Zealotry. These economic zealots put an actuarial cost on human life, then cut health services and now want to charge for services to deter people form accessing those health services. These Liberals are just a frightening prospect. They give out Knighthoods but want to charge the sick indigent when they go to a hospital. 

Mascot RSL ANZAC Day March this Sunday

Ron Hoenig MP at Mascot Station reminding residents about Sunday's ANZAC Day march
I was out early this morning at Mascot Railway Station reminding Mascot residents of the annual Mascot RSL ANZAC Day March this Sunday 13 April which Leaves Baxter Road at 2.15pm for Mascot Memorial Park, Cnr of Botany Road and Coward Street.

The Commemorative March which is usually the Sunday before ANZAC day is a week earlier due to Easter. At Mascot Memorial Park the Commemorative Service will be held and the laying of wreaths. After the conclusion of the ceremony a free sausage sizzle will be provided at my request courtesy of Pagewood Soccer Club.

I urge all residents to attend. I always regard it as a privilege to stand with the men and women who gave us our nation .. our freedom .. to  honour the memory of those who paid the ultimate price in the name of freedom. Lest we forget.