Ballarat Regional Trades and Labour Council

The member for Brunswick may claim Brunswick as the cycling capital of Australia, but Ballarat is the craft beer capital of Australia, so I think we win.

I would like to acknowledge the work of all regional trades and labour councils, but particularly, of course, Ballarat Regional Trades and Labour Council. The secretary, Brett Edgington, is amazing and does some fabulous work in our community. He is absolutely committed to supporting the working people of Ballarat and protecting their hard‑fought‑for rights. He and his committee also have the job of caring for one of the most beautiful heritage buildings in Ballarat. Brett has opened the doors of Ballarat Trades Hall to those in our community who cannot afford commercial rents and who need a place to meet — for example, victim groups. Ballarat Trades Hall is also home to Victoria’s first Pride Hub.

Ballarat Regional Trades and Labour Council provides really important services and has filled gaps in service provision in our community. For example, when Brett noticed a high number of young people enquiring about pay rates and working conditions, he worked with a local law firm and established the Young Workers Legal Centre. This not only highlighted the issue of young people being ripped off at work but also provided a point of support for them and their families.

Our regional trades and labour councils are incredibly important. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the secretaries and their affiliated unions for doing what can be a difficult and often isolating job.