Today I rise to celebrate the generosity and resilience of our regional communities. Recently the Wangaratta and District Men’s Shed in my electorate of Indi fell afoul of an online scam, robbing them of $25,000. This was money raised from donations and community events and included grant funding. It was money for much-needed upgrades and to ensure the men’s shed could continue to play its important role in our local community. This was a devastating blow, and I was shocked to learn of it, but unfortunately this story is not uncommon. Scams are a growing and pervasive risk to individuals, businesses and community groups alike. More must be done to address this risk, and I was pleased to meet with the Consumer Action Law Centre last week on exactly this issue.

But I’m not going to speak about the scam today. I want to talk about what happened next. Shed members and the local community of Wangaratta have organised a GoFundMe page and will host a community market fundraiser this Sunday, 18 February. This is an opportunity for our dedicated and caring community to show how much they appreciate the men’s shed. It will be held from 9 am to 1 pm at Shanley Street, Wangaratta. There will be more than 100 stalls, with delicious food and drinks, and all proceeds will go to the men’s shed. I encourage everyone in north-east Victoria to head along to the market in Wangaratta this Sunday. It’s for a great cause. Get behind our men’s shed and let’s make good of this terrible situation.

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