Registered Clubs Funding
I join my colleagues in giving accolades to our clubs for the fantastic work they do in our communities. When Maitland and other areas in the Hunter, including Port Stephens, suffered significant damage during the April superstorms, the clubs played a vital role. They were hampered by the inability to provide full recovery centre services because they did not have showers and in some cases did not have generators, but at least food and bathroom facilities were available. It is good to see that there is some funding to address this need but we would like to see more money for our local clubs. I note that the Karuah and District RSL Club is seeking funding and it would be good to see the program extended to that area. A siren has been installed at the Karuah and District RSL Club because during the recent storms extreme difficulties were experienced when alerting the community of a safe place to go. The club has extended its premises to include showers and more funds are being sought for generators.
In my electorate of Maitland the only recovery centre available was a community hall. The bathrooms were down a hill near the oval. People would have to walk for 10 minutes in the rain to reach them. That is not acceptable when all people want to do after a flood experience is to have a hot shower and clean up. Some clubs are ready and willing to ask for help and it would be great if they received it. It would be good to formalise the role of registered clubs so that the five kilometres sign-in rule can be waived.
The Opposition acknowledges that clubs in the Hunter helped out during the recent floods. In 1989 the Workers Club in Newcastle suffered significant damage. Clubs are an important part of our community fabric. They suffer with us, celebrate with us and support our communities. ClubGRANTS is a fantastic initiative, which I am pleased to support in my electorate. It would be great to see funding extended to other areas such as Port Stephens, Maitland and the wider Hunter, which throughout the past nine months has suffered from flooding. The clubs play an important role in our communities and it is time to reward them.