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Date: Wednesday 5 March 2014

Date:  Wednesday 5 March 2014

I had the pleasure of officially welcoming and congratulating 110 of Bankstown’s newest Australians at Council’s Citizenship Ceremony on Thursday. Australia is truly the ‘lucky country’, blessed in every way, and far removed from the suffering and unimaginable hardships faced by innumerable millions of people around the world. I thank St Therese Catholic School Captains Grace Bourke-Winfield and Alexander Peli, and Vice Captains Christian Sinicropi and Angelina Farag for their heartfelt speeches on what it means to be an Australian, and encourage all of us to remain grateful for the privilege of living in this great country.

On Saturday, I took part in a community rally held at Warren Reserve Punchbowl organised by Robert Furolo MP to protest the NSW Government’s failure to upgrade Punchbowl Station. The main issue is accessibility, particularly given the number of mothers with prams, elderly residents and others with mobility challenges that rely on the station to go about their daily lives. I urge the NSW Government to install a lift without further delay, and in other ways adequately support residents and invest in our city.

I thank Councillor Linda Downey for representing me at the International Women’s Day event hosted by

Immigrant Women’s Health Service on Saturday. Council is strongly committed to supporting and empowering women; amongst other things we’ve provided more than $120,000 in grants for women’s initiatives over the past five years, and run award winning programs, activities and workshops throughout the year in conjunction with local committees and community organisations.

I also thank Deputy Mayor Scott Parker for representing me at the official Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs season launch on Tuesday, and I join Bankstown’s many doggies fans in wishing the team the best of luck for 2014. Let’s hope we can bring the premiership home this year!

The Bankstown Library and Knowledge Centre is almost complete and I am very much looking forward to the official Community Open Day, which has just been confirmed- Sunday April 6! Festivities will kick off in Paul Keating Park at 11AM and I will be opening the doors at 12PM. There will be face painting, story telling, a costume parade and other exciting highlights for the kids, and I can’t wait for residents to get their first look at one of Australia’s most impressive facilities of its kind, right here in the heart of our great city!

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