LEICHHARDT MP Warren Entsch visited Douglas Shire earlier this week where he volunteered with Meals on Wheels, spoke to local students and met with constituents on a range of issues.
Mr Entsch first headed to Mossman Meals on Wheels, where he helped wash dishes and prepare meals for local residents who benefit from this invaluable service.
“It was great to catch up with Vanda Scomazzon and her team of volunteers – they do a fabulous job in the kitchen there three days a week organising, preparing and delivering meals to local seniors.
“I’ve promised to help them with a couple of issues that are affecting their operations. For example, they’re now supposed to carry out police checks on management committee members, which is something that I believe the Department should be responsible for as they have the resources.
“When people decide to volunteer their time to a local non-profit like Meals on Wheels, we have to make it easy for them – if it becomes too difficult; it’s a disincentive to take part.”
Meals on Wheels is always looking for volunteers either as deliverers, kitchen hands or in a management capacity. If people are looking for a worthwhile way of contributing to the local community, give Meals on Wheels a ring on 4098 1105.
Mr Entsch then visited Mossman State High School where he spoke to a class of Year 12 political studies students who are currently researching how people can actively participate in society and create change.
“The students are looking into a whole range of issues – from improving cyclist safety to reporting animal cruelty and supporting local conservation initiatives,” Mr Entsch said.
“It was good to be able to give them some feedback on the most effective ways to make a difference in their communities, how to approach their local representatives, and a bit of background on my journey into politics.”
Mr Entsch also met with the Chair of the Mossman Botanic Garden board, John Sullivan, to get an update on the project’s Master Planning and Business Development Planning stages.
“Through a stakeholder consultation process that’s currently underway, the MBG project will be getting input from a whole host of local, national and international organisations that have the skills and expertise to help drive this amazing project,” Mr Entsch said.
“Once the draft master plan is produced in the first quarter of next year, it’ll be open for public consultation and I look forward to hearing what the broader community think of the design.”
In Port Douglas, Mr Entsch called into the Port Douglas Neighbourhood Centre where he heard about the organisation’s current and future activities, and their plans to increase their support for local men who take part in a weekly ‘men’s breakfast’ social and support get-together.
He then caught up with representatives from the Port Douglas Reef Raiders Rugby Club and the Port Douglas Football Club who are currently seeking backing for various projects around their grounds, including upgrading their scoreboards and expanding club room facilities.
“It’s no secret that I’m a huge supporter of local sports – I’d like to see a network of facilities right around Far North Queensland that can cater to local, national and international competitions, training and events.
“Local sports clubs like the Reef Raiders and the AFL club are critical for bringing people together, encouraging participation in physical activities, providing training, attracting teams and competitions to the area, and supporting the local community through fundraising.
“I’m more than happy to see how we can help these local clubs to get the infrastructure they need to continue and expand their role into the future.”