90 Second Statement - science forum
Mr PITT (Hinkler) (13:56): Last week the Assistant Minister for Science, Karen Andrews, and I hosted a community science forum at Central Queensland University to inspire businesses and young job seekers. About 65 people attended the forum, including students from Bundaberg Christian College.
As a former electrical engineer, business owner and farmer, I was very impressed by the level of innovation coming out of my region. We heard from Sweet Sensations Manager Craig Van Rooyen about trialling non-lethal methods of pest management, such as drones, on orchards. Run4 owner Henry Thomas explained how he turned a hobby of designing bicycles into a successful business, inventing the Bionic Runner.
Bargara Brewing Company owner Jack Milbank spoke about isolating yeasts locally rather than importing them. He also spoke about social enterprise beer and crowd-funding campaigns. In the best line of the forum, 'STEM leads to beer,' according to Mr Milbank—a great encouragement to our young students, I am sure!
We heard about the local success stories like Best Practice Software. Lorraine and Frank Pyefinch are committed to maintaining their head office in Bundaberg and are now an Australian market leader in general practice software, with over 12,000 doctor customers.
CQ University lecturers spoke about some of the exciting research being produced by local students on topics such as gambling behaviour, humanitarian infrastructure design and sports related concussion. I hope the forum has shown Hinkler businesses what they can achieve through innovation and encourage a few more people to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and maths.
Just quickly, I would like to say g'day to the students of St John's Lutheran Primary School who are in the House today. I am sure they are having a great visit.