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Speeches

FeNaClNG Festival

I am thrilled today to take this opportunity to speak about this year's FeNaCING Festival, which I attended in Karratha in the Pilbara earlier this month. The annual FeNaCING Festival is organised by the volunteers of the Karratha Dampier Lions Club, and this year the festival celebrated its 43rd birthday. The name of the festival is derived from the chemical symbols of the periodic table: Fe, meaning iron; NaCI, meaning salt; and NG, meaning natural gas, these being the industries that have driven the success of Karratha—very fitting.

This year's festival attracted over 30,000 visitors. The festival celebrates community diversity, increases participation and contributes to the vibrancy of the local communities of Karratha, Dampier, Roebourne, Wickham, Point Samson and also the wider Pilbara community.

The festival is the main fundraiser for the Karratha Dampier Lions Club, which puts all money it raises back into the community. This year, the club was able to donate $60,000 to the St John Ambulance transfer centre, which is located at the Karratha airport, along with numerous donations to all of the local schools. It is a fun festival, which has something for the whole family, from wide-ranging stalls, displays and children's workshops—I particularly loved the arty umbrellas—to float parades and sporting and community groups' performances. About 200 stallholders participated in the festival, showcasing small businesses, along with other community groups and organisations such as schools, emergency services and also the Pilbara Regiment of the Army, which I particularly enjoyed spending some time with. Local produce and products were on display, which illustrated that the Pilbara matches it with the best in the country when it comes to innovation, creativity and quality.

Visitors from right around the country attend, with many interstate regulars labelling it—and do not be offended, Madam Deputy Speaker—better than the Darwin Royal Show and have affectionately named it the Pilbara Royal Show. The local schools combined to perform an ensemble, and Karratha Primary School demonstrated their musical prowess through their choir. This year's family night entertainment featured Australian rockers Mental as Anything on the Saturday night and country musician Troy Cassar-Daley on the Sunday evening—all of this for free. How wonderful that is for the people of Karratha and the wider community.

I congratulate the Karratha Dampier Lions Club on such a wonderful festival and cannot wait for the next festival. I encourage all those here, including the member for Solomon, to maybe come to Karratha next year and start saving up—you will not regret it.

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