Mr NEUMANN (Blair) (19:44): Last Friday I was delighted to welcome the Acting Prime Minister and Minister for Defence to the 150th Ipswich Show in my electorate, and he opened the show on a glorious Queensland autumn day. I was honoured to be part of the official opening with him; the Queensland Premier, Annastacia Palaszczuk; the Ipswich mayor and counsellors; and local state MPs as well. It was an historic occasion.
The Ipswich Show is one of the longest-running community shows in Queensland. Like many Ipswichians, I grew up going to the show as an annual event. My sincere thanks go to Ipswich Show Society president Darren Zanow and show society patron Denise Hanly and to everyone involved in making this great event possible, including the show society and the more than 400 volunteers. Many thanks. I give a big thank you to No. 35 Squadron, based at RAAF Base Amberley in my electorate, for the flyover of the C-27J Spartan. I timed the ending of my speech to make sure that the flyover got there, and I'm sure that they were more interested in the flyover than in my speech.
First held in 1873, the Ipswich Show has grown from a small country fair to one of the largest regional shows on the Queensland agricultural show calendar, attracting more than 25,000 visitors annually. About 13,000 visited on the show public holiday on Friday. A predecessor of the Ipswich Show was the Ipswich Agricultural and Horticultural Society show. That society was formed on 14 March 1866. Later on, on 28 August 1872, it became known as the Queensland Pastoral and Agricultural Society. The first show was held on 13 May 1873 at a site at Churchill, facing the Bremer River. The show was moved in 1877 to the present site on Warwick Road.
The show society is a not-for-profit organisation. The municipality of Ipswich had just turned 13 when the first show was held. The six categories in the first show were horses, cattle, sheep, pigs, agriculture and miscellaneous. On that day, prizes were given for the two best hams, the two best flitches of bacon and the two best cheeses. At the Ipswich Agricultural and Horticultural Society show in 1868, the Governor of Queensland had to turn back because there was so much rain. It sounds typical in Ipswich. He got so drenched that the Brisbane Courier newspaper reported that he had to turn back to the middle of town for a change of clothes.
It was fantastic to see the show back bigger and better than ever, with a massive program. I held a mobile office as usual for the full three days, and we gave out over 7,000 of my red Shayne Neumann information bags. There was something for everyone, from arts and crafts to local produce, agriculture, performers, fireworks, exhibitions, competitions, rides and, most importantly, many happy, smiling faces. It was fantastic.
It was an honour to be able to take the Acting Prime Minister on a tour of the trade pavilion to see a cross-section of our outstanding local businesses, including Imbibis Craft Distillery, whose artisan gins and liqueurs have won several international awards. Wounded Heroes, also a great organisation in our local community, were there, and I showed the Acting Prime Minister the great work that they do and he had a good chat with them. He even found time to have a chat to River 94.9 on their outdoor broadcast. I heard nothing but positive feedback about his event and also about the show and what it achieved locally. The visitor numbers were a record this year, which is fantastic.
The government have made a commitment of $4 million to upgrade the Ipswich Showgrounds, including $2.5 million for general upgrades and $1.5 million from the government's Disaster Ready Fund to improve amenities such as showers and toilets for use by residents during emergencies. I think that about 11 times in the last 12 years the show society have opened the Ipswich Show during natural disasters, so this is a very important commitment that we're making to the show society. This will support the broader redevelopment of Ipswich Events and Entertainment Centre, which will incorporate emergency relief to provide accommodation and care for residents during natural disasters. During last year's floods, the showgrounds provided accommodation for many, many people.
I thank the show society for what they've done and the great work they did this year. I'm looking forward to the Esk Show this weekend. The weekend before, I was at the Marburg Show and my staff and Labor Party members went to Kilcoy. These shows do a great job in the local community, connecting people and showing the best of our local region.