Source: Australian Minister for Regional Development
20 March 2019
Joint release with:
Federal Member for Wide Bay
Subjects: Funding for Maryborough Independent Riders workshop
Journalist: So tell us about this project and the funding?
Llew O’Brien: A couple of weeks ago I was really privileged to be here for the official opening of the Independent Riders workshop which does an amazing job helping young people in difficult circumstances, both socially and through giving them skills for further employment. So when I was here at their official opening as a guest, I did make the comment that I’ll be back and I’ll bring the chequebook next time. And that’s what I’m doing today and I’m really pleased and privileged to have the Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack with me. I rang Michael, we had a talk, and we organised for some vitally needed funding here.
This is about helping the youth of Maryborough. As I said the other day at the opening, this is about doing it with real people, people they can connect with. It’s about creating a passion for something—in this case, motorbikes. So when they think about coming in here, they don’t think about oh, you know, I’ve got to drag myself in for another session of whatever. They’re thinking I want to get in there and I want to work on the bikes, I want to finish the project from yesterday and get the next one started. And with that, they’re getting here on time. And they’re learning safety skills and workplace health and safety. So they’re learning these things while they’re enjoying it. It’s a huge, huge honour for me today to announce $20,000 from the Community Development Grants for upgrades to their security, for laptops, for welding gear and a range of other items.
Journalist: So how wonderful is it to see money being contributed to this project?
Michael McCormack: It’s fantastic. In the national scheme of things, $20,000 isn’t a lot of money but it means the world of difference for this particular workshop, the world of difference for Cath and for Fish who are making such a difference to the young people’s lives who come through the front doors here; who are looking for the sort of support and encouragement and care that this workshop provides—and hope for the future. These young people—we just met a young fellow by the name of Kevin. Kevin just bounces out of bed—he can’t wait to get here, working on the motorbikes but more importantly giving himself hope and encouragement for the future, supported by the wonderful people here, the wonderful people at this team. $20,000 is going to mean such fantastic difference for the upgrades here so that they can continue to provide that hope and encouragement to the young kids in the future.
Journalist: And it’s a bit of a quirky idea as well to get the kids in and get them actually building a bike?
Michael McCormack: Well it is. Llew O’Brien is good on a motorbike. I’m not. I need four wheels. If they made them with five it would be even better. But Llew knows what it’s like to get one of those motorbikes and go round the corner. He loves motorbikes, but he also loves to see young people having the support that they need to be their best selves. And that’s why when Llew came here to the official opening and saw that there was a need, he then approached me. He said we just need to give these people a bit of a hand-up. They’re not after a handout, they’re just after a hand-up. We’ve provided that: $20,000 is going to make the world of difference. I know it will be securing this workshop’s future.
Journalist: Thank you so much.