ELERMORE VALE MEN'S SHED
Debate resumed from 15 September 2011.
Ms SONIA HORNERY
(Wallsend) [10.15 a.m.]: I thank members on both sides of the House for their enthusiastic and intelligent contributions to this debate. It has been a fun and positive motion for all members and I congratulate them on their contributions. The theme of this motion was the launching of the men's shed at Elermore Vale, congratulating all the men involved with the launch and congratulating the neighbourhood centre on the initiative. I do that again and acknowledge and thank the contributors to this motion. I particularly thank the member for Dubbo, who has made some wonderful contributions, including the following:
The New South Wales Government supports and celebrates men's sheds as a community initiative.
I am sure that as a community we all celebrate men's sheds, and I am pleased that the Government does so. I hope this will mean financial incentives in future for those men's sheds that need it. The Leader of the Opposition spoke twice in the earlier debate and was very enthusiastic about men's sheds. I thank him for taking the time from his busy schedule. He talked about the important role of men's sheds in our communities and he made an interesting comment. He said that men's sheds have become fashionable, or the "in thing". I do not know whether all the blokes involved with men's sheds at Wagga Wagga would think that they are in fashion but, hey, it is a really nice thing to think about. It is a good in thing and if that is the in thing we are on the right track.
The Leader of the Opposition also mentioned the vital tasks that men's sheds perform for the community. He talked about some of the things that the volunteers do for the community, such as fixing things and restoring furniture. Such services are greatly appreciated by people who do not have much money and community organisations that do not have the ability to fix or restore things. As a person with not many manual skills, I really appreciate it if somebody helps me. Good on all men's sheds for doing that, for fixing things and restoring furniture. I also thank the member for Wagga Wagga for his kind and supportive comments on this important subject. He spoke about the origins of men's sheds and he identified that men's sheds arose because of the need for men to get together on important men's health issues.
Another important point he mentioned was the fact that men's sheds mentor young people—I think mostly they mentor young men. That is important because some men in our society grow up without a male role model and these retirees are willing to foster and encourage young people to improve their skills. Well done to the member for Wagga Wagga. I again thank Mr Mostyn, the manager of the Elermore Vale Community Centre. Lester's enthusiastic staff worked tirelessly with him and the community, in collaboration with the Men's Shed group, to make the shed a success. They deserve accolades. I conclude my remarks by referring to the comments made by Mr John Fitness—to whom I referred in my introductory remarks—about men's sheds:
I have recently retired as a Patient Transfer Officer at JHH [the John Hunter Hospital], and I encourage retired men to get involved in the Men's Shed. It is a way for retirees to utilise their life-long skills and to give back to the community.
That says it all.
The DEPUTY-SPEAKER (Mr Thomas George):
I visited a men's shed recently and I was told that since the ladies had been allowed to come in the morning teas had improved immensely.
Question—That the motion be agreed to—put and resolved in the affirmative.
Motion agreed to.