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October 20, 2010

Outspoken Queensland Senator Barnaby Joyce will be guest speaker at a breakfast to raise funds for Bairnsdale’s All Abilities Playground next Friday at the Bairnsdale RSL at the invitation of Federal Member for Gippsland Darren Chester.

The Queensland-based Senator, who is the Shadow Minister for Regional Development, is renowned as a champion of regional issues and he will discuss the challenges facing regional communities and opportunities for future growth, as well as answering questions from the floor.

“It’s not a political gathering, it’s  a chance to meet one of the most influential Senators in Australia and listen to his views on how regional Australia can prosper in the 21st century,” Mr Chester said.

“I invited Barnaby to Bairnsdale because he’s not afraid to speak his mind and he has a strong reputation for standing up on behalf of regional communities and demanding our fair share.”

Mr Chester said he was looking forward to the breakfast which will showcase the All Abilities Playground as an initiative worthy of local support.

“The All Abilities Playground is much more than just a playground – it is a great design that will be fun for all children to enjoy with special features to allow children with disabilities to share in the experience,” Mr Chester said.

“It will provide opportunities for all local young people to enjoy a healthier lifestyle and will be a worthwhile tourism asset with families travelling through the region more likely to stop and spend money in Bairnsdale with such a facility on offer.”

Mr Chester recently made a $1000 personal donation to the All Abilities Playground and met with committee member Tim Bull to discuss fundraising opportunities.

“Along with supporting grant applications to State and Federal Governments, I’m encouraging locals to support fundraising events and make whatever donation they can afford to help the organising committee,” Mr Chester said.

Mr Bull was instrumental in establishing the East Gippsland Specialist School in Bairnsdale and considers the playground project a challenge for the entire community.

“It was community pressure that forced the government to take action to develop the specialist school and I’m determined to also help this project to succeed,” Mr Bull said.

“We’ve got an excellent team on the playground committee. We have the support of the Shire which recently hosted a Mayoral Ball and we’ve developed a range of different ways for locals to make a financial contribution including a fundraising breakfast.”

Breakfast booking details: Friday, October 29, 7.30am to 9am, $25 per head, Bairnsdale RSL, Forge Creek Road, 5152 3928.

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