Page 1574 - Week 06 - Thursday, 2 July 2020

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club has also cited an ongoing planning saga, which I am sure Mr Gentleman is well aware of, over the future of the site, which has been dragging on for nearly four years.

Gaming areas in our clubs should have reopened at the time they reopened in Queanbeyan. It never made any sense to do otherwise. I warned those opposite that this would result in the closure of clubs, and I was correct.

At the start of my speech I suggested, with tongue firmly in cheek, that Mr Barr and Mr Rattenbury should be congratulated for this achievement. We have already seen in this chamber today that sometimes subtle and ironic humour goes over the heads of some members, so let me make it abundantly clear. Kaleen Sports Club is closing the doors and this is absolutely the result of the various policies pursued by this Labor and Greens government, who do not believe in putting money in poker machines. I could say putting money in poker machines would not be on any list, if there was a list, but we will not go there. What a shame.

Belconnen—hospitality businesses

MS CHEYNE (Ginninderra) (6.45): I want to highlight the successes of two small Belconnen hospitality businesses during the pandemic, the successes of which are all the more remarkable because they opened during the pandemic.

The first is Café MAMÉ, which softly opened—really softly—on 20 March, thanks to the restrictions that had started to be enforced. I had been keeping an eye out for it for several weeks, after they had been posting tantalising images of their creations on their Instagram account, and it was not just me, it seems. Café MAMÉ soon had a very loyal following, and I was very quickly part of that too. Despite their unassuming location, tucked next to the supermarket, there is always plenty of movement in and around the front door, always complying with the physical distancing restrictions which have been in place, of course.

It is not hard to see why they have such a following. Owners Ji and Amy have glossy pastries on full display and the coffee orders never seem to stop, a sure sign of a place that is serving good coffee. Outstanding sausage rolls, cinnamon donuts and cupcakes are a common feature, including gluten free and vegan options. Occasionally there is a special on offer, and I have particularly fond memories of their cream cheese, blueberry and maple syrup croissant.

But it is not just good food and coffee that keep people coming back; it is the extra effort that is put into making the experience special. There is the everyday warmth but also the extra effort. On Mother’s Day, every person who ordered at the cafe received a fresh rose, neatly wrapped. Just recently they catered a morning tea that I hosted to thank teachers at St Thomas Aquinas in Charnwood. Not only was the food superb but Ji himself helped carry the many goods to my car over several trips.

After just over three months it is not hard to see why it is a welcome and well-loved feature of Melba and Belconnen more broadly. I congratulate them on their success in what could not be more trying circumstances.

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