Blair Country Shows 2014 - Constituency Statement
It is that time of year in Blair where we have many agricultural and country shows. Let me congratulate the following people: President, Rob Krause, and Secretary, Lyndell Blanch, from the Marburg Show Society; President, Trevor Wessling, and Secretary, Althea Hutch, from the Kilcoy Show Society; President, Marcia Cruickshank, and Secretary, Micky Hasted, from the Ipswich Show Society; President, Michael Jess, and Secretary, Greg Pease, from the Esk Show Society; President, Noel Kammholz, and Secretary, Janine Schultz, from the Lowood Show Society; President, Peter Eggleston, and Secretary, Lynne Teske, from the Toogoolawah Show Society; and President, Barry Embrey, and Secretary, Kate Lenihan, from the Rosewoood Show Society.
The shows that are held in Blair have long and proud histories. Each has been held for over 100 years, and the Ipswich show is approaching its 150th anniversary. The histories of the shows and their communities are marked by good times and bad, by war, drought and flood, and their stories are of cohesion, commitment and endurance. They share many common features but each reflects the history, character and environment of the country areas.
Show weekend is a much anticipated high point of the year for these communities. You see the smiles on the faces as you drive into town. The shows bring a lot of noise and colour and there is a bit of electricity in the air. I loved listening to the primary school kids from Mount Kilcoy State School singing Advance Australia Fair at the Kilcoy show. Also, I loved talking to the young people from West Moreton Anglican College who do agricultural studies and proudly showed their school colours and showed off their best cattle. I also enjoy having burgers and tea with the blokes and women from the Rotary Club of Ipswich City, bacon and egg burgers, of course, with the Toogoolawah State High School P&C and you cannot go to the Marburg Show without having vegetables and silverside prepared by the local CWA from Glamorgan Vale. It is the smell of the country—actually, sometimes you get it on your boots! The shows draw thousands and thousands of people to these country towns. It is good for the economy and good for the environment as well. Also, I never leave without biscuits, often by the Esk Girl Guides, and a few jars of jam and a pocket full of raffle tickets—that is for sure.
Since the last election, I held my 59th mobile office at the Lowood show and the 60th in Toogoolawah. This weekend I will be at the Rosewood show. I was very proud to open the Lowood show recently and fortunately it did not rain—it nearly always rains at the Lowood show. But people always come in for a chat and to raise issues, and I can tell you that they are pretty vocal about their displeasure about this budget, particularly the GP tax, the hike on petrol excise and also the raising of the pension age in the budget of betrayal that the Abbott government has undertaken. I want to congratulate the volunteers, the judges, the stewards, the people at the ticket gate, the CWA ladies, who I reckon cook the best in Queensland, the St John's ambulance and so many, many more.