As a harbourside electorate, North Sydney is home to a number of sailing clubs. They play a wonderful role in encouraging residents, particularly young people, to take to our beautiful waterways. Our community was therefore devastated to learn that one of those clubs, the Lane Cove 12ft Sailing Skiff Club, had endured what must have been one of its nightmares. Last Sunday, a devastating fire razed to the ground several of its storage sheds and the boats they housed. Over 60 children and teens are among those whose boats have been lost. These boats are typically handmade and many of them have been handed down from sailor to sailor over the years. I know from the countless hours my own father spent tending to his prized Heron that these boats are labours of love and a real source of joy and bonding for the families who regularly sail.

It is a deeply upsetting time for those associated with the club. In these dreadful circumstances, I am proud that our community is rallying to help. The club quickly established a GoFundMe page, and as of this morning 150 people have donated over $25,000. It’s a phenomenal start and no doubt this has put some wind in their sails. I hope many more will join the fundraising efforts.

On Sunday I spoke to the club commodore, Max Gundy, and the Mayor of Lane Cove, Pam Palmer, to offer my support. We will be exploring whether any federal grant programs can assist the club as they rebuild. In moving forward from these awful events, I know the club will have our entire community behind it.