Mr HUSIC (Chifley—Government Whip) (11:58): Today I want to celebrate some special achievements in the Chifley electorate by people who have made significant contributions to our community. First, I want to acknowledge the recent retirement of well-respected local surgeon, Associate Professor Mac Wylie OAM. Professor Wylie—Head of Surgery at Mount Druitt Hospital before his retirement—had been part of the hospital’s fabric since before Her Majesty the Queen opened the hospital in 1982. At 72, Professor Wylie is gearing up for a much more relaxed phase of his life, and all the best wishes to him. He is currently enjoying a well-earned break before embarking on a new role with Western Sydney Local Health District as a clinical consultant. In this role, he will continue his 30-year involvement with Mount Druitt Hospital for one day a week. He recently told the St Marys-Mount Druitt Star that his only regret is that there has not been as much service to our local community as he and other staff would like since emergency surgery moved to Blacktown Hospital in 2009. He said that there is a capacity to increase the scope of the hospital and hopefully the new administration will move the hospital forward.
That brings me to the next local institution—Mount Druitt Hospital, which next month marks its 30th anniversary of the official opening by Queen Elizabeth II. The hospital was designed in 1980 by renowned architect Professor Lawrence Nield, who these days is the head of the Heritage Council of New South Wales. The building’s futuristic urban design made the hospital a landmark from the time it was built and the Royal Australian Institute of Architects awarded Mount Druitt Hospital the New South Wales Merit Award in 1993. Today, the hospital is joined with Blacktown Hospital, sharing the same management. Only three of its four operating theatres are in use today, which is a bone of contention amongst many in the Mount Druitt community. There are 120 beds for general medical and surgical use, 62 for paediatrics and 13 day-only observation beds. With the loss of emergency surgery to Blacktown, Mount Druitt hopes to become the centre of excellence in medical imaging. Last week I presented almost 4,000 petitions to the Minister for Health, Tanya Plibersek, the member for Sydney, which I have collected from local residents wanting an MRI licence for the hospital. Only then can Mount Druitt Hospital truly be a centre of excellence in medical imaging.
Next door to the hospital is the iconic Rooty Hill RSL club. Rooty Hill RSL is the largest RSL in Australia. It is a club that ranks in the top 10 of all registered clubs of any format. From humble beginnings in 1964, with a membership of 127, the club now boasts more than 48,000 members and covers nine hectares. It is constantly looking for ways to expand and improve services. Two years ago, the RSL was the first club in Australia to install an environmentally friendly trigeneration power plant in an effort to future proof its growing power requirements in the greenest, most efficient way possible. It was a visionary investment of $4.5 million. It captures waste heat from electricity production and uses heat to cool buildings. It improves energy efficiency, reduces greenhouse emissions and it is said to have reduced carbon emissions by 2,400 tonnes in the first full year of the plant’s operation, making savings of more than $600,000 a year. All credit to the club and its vision for investing in this important equipment.
Last but by no means least, I also want to recognise Featherdale Wildlife Park in nearby Doonside. Featherdale in recent years has become the zoo of choice for many international visitors to Sydney. These have included celebrity visitors such as Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Cruise, Gwen Stefani, Kristen Stewart, Taylor Lautner, Robert De Niro, Matt Damon, Dave Grohl and Smokey Robinson—all hanging out in Doonside. Recently, Featherdale Wildlife Park—and the member for Kooyong would be welcome there if he ever visited Western Sydney—celebrated its 40th birthday. It continues to be one of Sydney’s premier tourist attractions. It has twice been awarded best major tourist attraction, in 2005 and 2009. Besides providing Australian and international visitors with a wonderful experience, I must commend the remarkable conservation work that Featherdale does, particularly with koalas. The Minister for Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities, Tony Burke, has visited Featherdale on a number of occasions and has commended the park for its great work.
My community is much richer for all these wonderful efforts. I am delighted to have the opportunity to put on record acknowledging each of them. Again, I would welcome the member for Kooyong should he visit Western Sydney to see some of these great things. The member for Kooyong is a patron of Melbourne Heart. He would be welcome to come and see the Western Sydney Wanderers, who have just entered the A-League. We are looking forward to celebrating success on our turf at your expense.