Royal Australian Air Force Welfare Recreational Company, Report for 2009-10

Senator IAN MACDONALD (Queensland) (18:57): I move:

That the Senate take note of the document.

I note in this report, although it is a little late coming before the parliament, that the report does in this instance contain a chairman's report. I want to congratulate Air Com_modore Hewitson for the report and for the work he has done in relation to this trust over many years. The trust was established to provide for affordable holidays for members of the Australian Air Force. I must say that, as a senator of some longstanding in this parliament, I had never heard of this activity before. That is perhaps a criticism of me rather than of anyone else. From what I see in the chairman's report, it is a very useful organisation and it is one that I do want to learn a little more about. I understand from the chairman's report that the basis of activity for the trust is to provide affordable holidays for members of the Air Force, and that is a very creditable activity and one which I support. I note that the trust owns 11 units at the Ambassador Hotel on the Gold Coast, six apartments in the Tuscany apartment complex in Merimbula on the South Coast of New South Wales and one apartment in Darwin. The idea of providing assistance to service personnel at an affordable rate is to be commended, although I will look into this a bit further in relation to my role in the opposition in a small way in the Defence area. n the context of that general initiative, the Rotary Club of Surfers Paradise Central has for some years had a foundation going, the Ken Bromley Memorial Foundation, which provides holidays for wounded Defence Force personnel and their immediate families. Again, this is a foundation set up by Rotary and providing, as I understand it, fully recompensed holidays for wounded Defence Force personnel and their families. That is a very creditable approach from the Rotary Club of Surfers Paradise Centralone which, regrettably, does not get the publicity and recognition it deserves. Although Rotary Club members do not seek recognition or publicity, I wanted to say in this parliament: congratulations to them on the establishment of the Ken Bromley Memorial Foundation.

I had the pleasureindeed, the honourof being with the Rotary Club of Surfers Paradise Central recently. I spoke to a very fine gentleman, Colin Bannister OAM, who was very involved in this very creditable community service organisation. I am just sorry that, before that day, I was not aware of it. I am sure most Australians are not aware, and I suspect many members of the defence forces are not aware, of this foundation's activities. I want to congratulate the Rotary Club and, as much as I can, publicise the work of the Ken Bromley Memorial Foundation. I encourage our servicemen who have been wounded in action to contact the foundation. Surfers Paradise is a great place to have a holiday, and the Rotary Club will really looks after those members of the services who contact them to take advantage of what they offer. Congratulations, Rotarians on the Gold Coast. I seek leave to continue my remarks.

Leave granted; debate adjourned.

Back to List