Page 3762 - Week 12 - Wednesday, 23 October 2013

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I have to say that I do feel a touch of sadness that the old fire station in Charnwood is being decommissioned. I have fond memories of the station from when my father was stationed there. I very much hope that, once these premises have been cleaned up, we can find a way for the space to continue to be utilised by the community. I will be speaking to my colleagues in the weeks ahead about what will become of the old station, as well as with the west Belconnen community about their ideas for its future use.

The new co-located station is a wonderful facility and it will serve our west Belconnen community well into the future.

Canberra—centenary events

MR GENTLEMAN (Brindabella) (6.03): I had a fantastic weekend with the Centenary of Canberra Rally event and also the Spin event over the weekend. I thought I would provide members with some detail of the centenary rally. We had more than 350 vehicles participate in the event. It began early on Saturday morning at Jervis Bay at the gates to the national park. This celebrated, of course, Canberra’s link to Jervis Bay, it being the ACT’s port.

We kicked off around 7.30 in the morning with a small ceremony to flag off participants. We then proceeded over to HMAS Albatross at Nowra where we were welcomed by the base commander, Captain Gordon Andrew. We had a number of participants and cars gather around whilst we had a lovely breakfast. We were joined by people from Nowra to have a look at the vehicles and the flag off.

We then drove from Nowra on the old Nerriga Road up past Nerriga and we were welcomed at the town of Tarago. Some cars were quite slow, of course. The oldest vehicle was a 1912 Overlander; so it was not very fast. But all cars behaved themselves.

Mr Coe: What were you driving?

MR GENTLEMAN: Yes, I will get to that. All cars and participants behaved themselves, even the Ferraris, and you know the Italians. We were cautious about that. I drove a 1950 Holden, which was purchased for the chief fire officer of the ACT in 1950. There were several Holdens in the event, including Greg Spencer’s, who you would have heard on ABC Radio on Saturday mornings. He has purchased an FJ Holden and restored it as well. There were many Holdens and many different types of vehicles all through the event.

We were met at Tarago by the townspeople and presented with a gift—a lovely birthday cake for the ACT, which was shared among participants. As we went through each of the townships—from Jervis to Nowra and then Nowra to Tarago—we were greeted by more participants along the way. We gathered strength as we moved along. Of course, whilst we were at Tarago we were able to speak to the townspeople and get their engagement in the centenary rally.

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