On Saturday evening I had the pleasure of enjoying the official opening of the 2011 Vietnamese Tet New Year Festival at Fairfield Showground. The annual festival is a spectacular celebration of Vietnamese culture and a fitting way to welcome in the Year of the Cat. Congratulations to Thanh Nguyen, President of the Vietnamese Community Association (NSW Chapter), the Board and everyone involved in organising the event. Federal, State and Local Government representatives were amongst the dignitaries including Deputy Mayor Khal Asfour.
On Wednesday morning I joined Premier Kristina Keneally MP, Minister Jason Clare MP and Alan Ashton MP at Bankstown Airport for the announcement that Quickstep will be relocating their operations to Bankstown. Quickstep's work will involve the company supplying aircraft components for the Joint Strike Fighter. I welcome this announcement, particularly given the significant boost that such a large manufacturing company will bring to our local economy.
Later that afternoon I was pleased to attend the official opening of Peppertree Cafe and Catering in Bankstown. Peppertree Cafe is an innovative project of the Bankstown Multicultural Youth Service with a primary aim of providing training and employment for young people in the local area. Congratulations to the team at Peppertree and I wish them every success. Minister Jason Clare MP conducted the official opening.
On Friday I called into the Bankstown SES Headquarters to farewell SES volunteers from across NSW before they travelled to northern Queensland as part of the Taskforce to assist with the recovery from Tropical Cyclone Yasi. The volunteers were due to stay in our city overnight before flying to Queensland on Saturday morning. Minister for Emergency Services Steve Whan MP and SES Commissioner Murray Kear were also on hand to farewell the SES volunteers.
The Bankstown Community Directory has recently been updated and copies of the 2011 edition are now available at all five of our local libraries or from Council's customer service centre. The comprehensive and easy to use guide is a practical resource for residents and visitors and includes a listing of services, organisations and agencies that serve the Bankstown community.