Page 1540 - Week 05 - Thursday, 7 May 2015

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There is a whole range of reasons why parents need access to child care. They might only have a small amount of work, or they may be looking for work. I sincerely hope the federal government will take this into account when they deliver the budget next week. We do not want to see a situation where it is harder for families returning to work, which could potentially leave working parents, particularly those working casual or part time, with less or no support.

Salvation Army Red Shield Appeal

MR COE (Ginninderra) (4.24): I rise this afternoon to promote the 2015 Salvation Army Red Shield Appeal. The Canberra appeal was officially launched yesterday and will take place over the weekend of 30 to 31 May. I had the pleasure of attending the launch yesterday, which was a wonderful event. I note that my colleagues Mr Smyth and Ms Lawder were also in attendance. The event was emceed by Virginia Haussegger, and Mark Donaldson from the ABC gave an inspiring address about his story. We also heard the story of Nigel MacDonald before and after joining the Salvation Army and how he serves the Canberra community in that role.

The Red Shield Appeal raises valuable funds to promote services for the most vulnerable people in our society. Throughout Australia the Red Shield Appeal has supported homelessness services for over 11,000 people, provided 50,000 meals for the hungry, helped over 1,100 women affected by domestic violence and assisted over 130,000 people in disaster-affected situations.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Salvation Army Red Shield Appeal. This is a magnificent achievement. I know that the efforts of the Salvation Army through their Red Shield Appeal have made a momentous impact on Australian society over the last 50 years. The Salvation Army have set themselves a goal of raising $74 million in this year’s appeal. Here in the ACT the Canberra branch has set itself a target of raising $180,000. I wish the Salvation Army at a national and local level the best of fortunes in reaching those targets.

I acknowledge everyone involved in the Canberra branch. They work tirelessly to ensure the appeal runs smoothly and professionally. In particular, I acknowledge the committee of the Canberra Red Shield Appeal: chairman Mr Peter Leahy AO, Mr Alan Williams, Mr David Marshall, Mr Finn Pratt, Mr James Wilson, Mr Peter Barclay, Mr Peter Crowley, Ms Chris Faulks, Ms Anne Kowalski, Mr Paul Walsh, Mr Todd Wills, and Ms Jenine Yokom.

The appeal is truly a testament to the best of Australian volunteerism and charity. Each year the Salvation Army relies on an army of volunteers to doorknock the local street, block or suburb in order to collect money from generous Australians. I congratulate and thank all those who will spare their time or money throughout this year’s appeal in order to improve the lives of some of Canberra’s and our region’s most vulnerable people.

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