Tuesday 19 September 2017
Hansard of the Legislative Council
SPECIAL INTEREST MATTERS
Exeter Community and Services Club
Mr FINCH (Rosevears) - Mr President, governments do a lot to distribute funds to help individuals in need and for community causes. That contribution is infinitesimal compared to the money raised by communities themselves. There are thousands of clubs, as distinct from organised charities, which raise funds around Australia. They are run by volunteers and are much more efficient than some charities because they do not have administrative overheads that can eat into the funds raised.
A very good example is the Exeter Community and Services Club in my electorate, of which I am the patron. The club engages in a wide range of fundraising activities such as trivia nights and what they call 'fish and chip' nights. They provide for clubs to come in and to have fish and chips which are provided and cooked free by the club. Groups can have the fellowship and social gathering that they need to build a sense of community through the Tamar Valley. For a small club of 120 members, 50 of whom have been gathered in the past 12 months, it raised an extraordinary amount of money. When the council decided to buy the Exeter Services and Returned Services League Club, there were two tenants - the bowls club and the RSL. The RSL had this community and services club and they decided to open the bar on Thursdays and Sundays. The bar is opened on these two days and with members going in, they have raised enough money to allow them to give $5000 this year to the Exeter Primary School. They gave $2500 to the high school, which was matched then by the RSL's contribution, which made $5000. They gave $1000 to the West Tamar Junior Football Club. The Gravelly Beach Volunteer Fire Brigade had a trivia night there for Whitelion to which they contributed $250. The Gravelly Beach Volunteer Fire Brigade, which is just adjacent to Exeter, raised a couple of thousand for Whitelion.
In a lot of communities there is a need for wheelchairs. We have a boy, Jesse Ansell, who has a degenerative spinal condition, and $10 000 was given to provide a much-needed wheelchair. I remember going to a function there with Jo Palmer when we gave $5000 to 'Give Me 5 For Kids'. The Gravelly Beach Foreshore Committee was given $500. The club contributes a lot back into the community. Anybody in need and the word will spread through the community and they will look to provide whatever money they can.
A big advantage for clubs like Exeter is that they are in close touch with their communities and our organisation has no problem in deciding where the funds need to go. Like many community organisations they are a focal point and they help to nurture and strengthen those communities. They have grown by 50 new members over the past year. The aim of the club was to support the Exeter RSL sub-branch in all its commemorative activities; to provide financial assistance to the needy of Exeter and West Tamar community; to provide a meeting place for mateship, which is very important; to promote sport within the facility and to assist with junior development in the Exeter and West Tamar districts.
There are the important Anzac Day commemorative services every year, which strongly involve the community. I am always part of helping to organise that. We get good crowds - 400 each to the dawn and 11 o'clock services. Exeter is a community focal point for the West Tamar. We have the Tresca Community Centre based in a mansion-like last century building owned by West Tamar Council. Even in private ownership, it is a venue for various meetings of community organisations.
An interesting history - the member for Elwick might be interested that in the 1950s it was a centre for child migrants from the United Kingdom and a forerunner of the first childcare association of Tasmania. There are very strong links between the West Tamar Council and our community organisations who are always putting their hand up to assist groups contributing to the community.
The Exeter Improvement Committee has done a great job with improving the Exeter streetscape. Exeter Show is terrific and Trevor Clark leads a great show society. Just recently a subcommittee organised a meet and greet, which I have spoken about here. Two hundred people attended and were met and greeted by the Premier; it was a fabulous community night. Community and service organisations in Tasmania continue to gain strength and Exeter is an exemplar.