Page MP praises Woolgoolga Sikhs
THE federal politician preparing to represent the Northern Beaches has paid a glowing tribute to Woolgoolga Sikhs in Australian Parliament.
In his speech to parliament, Page MP Kevin Hogan acknowledged the importance of the 2000 Sikh residents living in Woolgoolga and surrounds.
Mr Hogan paid tribute to the early Sikh migrants who left behind their families in the late 1800s and developed a love and attachment to Australia and its people.
Initially, many worked as labourers on banana plantations, but later acquired leasehold and freehold banana plantations.
"The Sikh story is a wonderful story and it's what makes Woolgoolga very unique," he said.
"They have been instrumental in establishing a blueberry co-op, which had $120 million turnover last year, and employ many people in our region.
"The establishment of the Sikh community would not have been possible without the welcome and the encouragement of the community."
As of Monday, a post of the speech on Parliament's website had attracted more than 200,000 hits.
Mr Hogan became the federal MP for the Northern Beaches following electoral redistributions in January.
He will be in Woolgoolga this week.