Mr HAYES (Fowler—Chief Opposition Whip) (10:55): On 10 June, I had the privilege of attending the official opening of the very first Vietnamese aged-care facility in New South Wales. What started as an ambitious dream by some very caring doctors in my community has become a reality through the Australian Vietnamese Aged Care Service, a not-for-profit organisation established to care for the financially disadvantaged, frail and lonely within our community.
Since its establishment, I have personally witnessed the progress AVACS has made and the dedication of its team of volunteers, who have worked tirelessly to develop this important and much-needed aged-care facility that will provide essential services to the elderly within the Vietnamese community. I'd particularly like to acknowledge and congratulate the board of AVACS for a truly significant achievement—its President, Dr David Tang; Vice President, Dr Hao Vu; Treasurer, Dr Vinh Nguyen; and Secretary, Dr Vinh Tran—along with fellow board members Mr Quang Luu, Mr Thanh Nguyen and the incredible Dr Diep. These doctors actually took on the financial risk in this project.
In 2013, AVACS was granted a $12 million interest-free loan for the project in the aged-care round under the former Labor government. But, since then, AVACS has undertaken significant community activities, raised additional funds for the development and built community awareness regarding aged care and the vital need to provide appropriate aged-care facilities for the Vietnamese in our community.
In south-west Sydney, there is a significant unmet demand for residential care services for the Vietnamese community. AVACS, therefore, has a very significant role to play. It will not only address the needs of the elderly Vietnamese but will also create significant employment opportunities in my local area. The development of this project is also another example of the compassion and generosity of the Vietnamese Australian community and their commitment to helping those in need. Once again, I'd like to commend AVACS, its board, its management team and all those associated with the running of this facility. It's certainly a very, very important development in my community. It is delivering on cultural and linguistic services sensitive to the needs of elderly Vietnamese Australians.