Speech by The Hon Jenny Macklin MP

Official opening of the Yuendumu Pool

Location: Yuendumu, NT

****Check Against Delivery****

Thank you for inviting me here today to open this fabulous new swimming pool in Yuendumu. I would like to acknowledge the traditional owners of this land where we are gathered today.

I know that on Saturday a young man passed away in Yuendumu. He was known as a great captain of the Yuendumu Magpies and a wonderful musician.

He was also a Jaru Pirrjirdi worker with Mt Theo and he made everyone happy.

His family decided to go ahead with the pool opening today on behalf of Kimanjayi so we can remember him.

At the same time we celebrate this new pool, his family wants us to celebrate his life.

This pool is a significant achievement for the whole Yuendumu community. Congratulations on your hard work and determination to get the pool built.

I happen to know there have been a few people in the pool already.

Apart from those who have been cleaning the pool in the past few weeks and apart from the lifesavers and pool managers who have jumped in to try it out, I understand there was a bit of a test run at the weekend.

But for most of you today will be the first time so you will be happy to know I’m not going to speak for long.

I want to say thank you to all those people who have been working so hard and so long to have the pool finished and opened. I hear you have been waiting a long time for this day – some say as long as 30 years.

Thanks to the members of the pool committee, and those working at the Mt Theo Substance Misuse Corporation, as well as other members of the local community.

As well as a lot of effort, a lot of money had to be raised.

The Yuendumu community diverted around $400,000 of mining royalties to the pool fund.

Congratulations on using your royalty money to benefit the whole community. Mines won’t last forever but by using the royalty money for projects like the pool, the benefits will be long-term.

And the swimming pool committee raised another $400,000. And the Kantor family was very generous.

The Australian Government contributed $1 million and the Northern Territory Government has provided $800,000.

It demonstrates how effective partnerships can be and I am very keen to see more of them.

Alongside the building and funding process, the Royal Lifesaving Society of the Northern Territory has been working hard to train local people as lifesavers pool to keep swimmers safe.

Training in Alice Springs and Sydney, ten local people now have their Bronze Medallion qualification and all will work at the pool.

The community has also signed a Shared Responsibility Agreement with the Australian Government in support of the “yes school, yes pool” policy.

With the long, hot summer stretching ahead I’m sure being able to swim in the pool will get more kids into class.

But that’s enough from me. It’s great to be here to declare the Yuendumu pool officially open. And in just a few moments you will all be able to jump in.