darren.chester.mp@aph.gov.au 1300 131 785
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October 24, 2012

The Nationals Member for Gippsland and Lakes Entrance resident Darren Chester has commended the local community on being recognised as the most charitable community in the nation.

A report examining Australians’ donations to charity found Lakes Entrance residents gave 0.34 per cent of their income to charity last year – the highest proportion of mean taxable income for any community in the nation.

Mr Chester said he wasn’t surprised by the result and paid credit to local residents and the small business community.

“From my own personal involvement with a number of local community groups I am familiar with the generosity of not only the Lakes Entrance community but the broader Gippsland region,” Mr Chester said.

“The result isn’t a surprise but it is a credit to the local residents and small businesses who are very supportive of community and sporting groups as well as local events and activities such as the New Year’s Eve sky show.”

Mr Chester said donations were not always made up by a financial commitment.

“In addition to generous financial donations, small businesses often provide in-kind services and a huge number of local volunteers give up their own time to support community and sporting groups for the benefit of others,” Mr Chester said.

“There is great support for local charities but it’s important that we maintain the momentum and it’s never too late to get involved or offer financial support to local groups.”

Mr Chester said the generosity of local small business was also another reason to remember the importance of ‘Putting Locals First’ by shopping locally and utilising local services.

“Successful small businesses are critical to regional communities where in addition to providing goods or services and creating employment they are major supporters of local schools, community groups and sporting clubs,” Mr Chester said.

“By ‘Putting Locals First’ at every opportunity, we can support the businesses which support our region.

“It’s an investment in the future that will deliver long-term benefits for the whole community.”

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