Constituency Statement – Hinkler electorate

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Mr PITT (HinklerAssistant Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment) (10:11): I had the great pleasure, earlier this month, of attending the 100th anniversary of the iconic Urangan Pier at Hervey Bay. The pier is one of the longest in Australia and has a strong and vibrant history. It was opened as a cargo-handling port to enable the export of sugar, timber and coal, and, in later years, fuel.

The centenary celebrations may not have happened if it was not for the community rallying together to ensure that this crucial piece of Hervey Bay history remains standing where it is today. I also want to acknowledge the various councils that have invested funding to see the pier restored over the years. Congratulations to the Hervey Bay Historical Village and Museum for keeping the stories alive, and to the Pier Centenary Organising Committee for such a wonderful community event.

Another 100th anniversary being celebrated in the Hinkler electorate this year is that of Thabeban State School in Bundaberg. I visited the school last week to present school captains Hayley and Cooper with new flags, and, on request, I signed the old flags, for Principal Ken Peacock, which will be included in a time capsule as part of the centenary celebrations on Saturday, 29 April. I am sure they will see me out!

This important milestone for the school is a credit to the countless teachers, principals, students, parents and supporters who have graced its corridors. But the strength of any school is not in its bricks and mortar. At the heart of a successful school like Thabeban State School is a group of passionate hardworking teachers who inspire and encourage their students to try their best every day. The centenary celebrations are a chance for past students and staff to reconnect with people they made lasting friendships with during their formative years at Thabeban State School. Congratulations to the anniversary committee, to the P&C and to staff for their hard work in organising the celebrations, which I am sure will be remembered for many years to come.

I have been fortunate to secure a number of military sheds for various organisations in my electorate, such as the Burrum District Community Mens Shed, and, in recent weeks, two more have been built. Congratulations to Camp Gregory Veterans Retreat at Woodgate, and to the Bundaberg Vintage Vehicle Club. The veterans retreat is a place for all ex-service personnel, veterans and their families to camp and connect with other veterans. It was opened in 2010 and, before then, it was a place where veterans from the 1968 national service intake would gather. Congratulations to Roger and the team for their continued work at this great facility.

The Bundaberg Vintage Vehicle Club was a successful applicant under the Stronger Communities Program and received funding to prepare the site and lay a slab for its army shed. The shed will provide a much needed central meeting point for the club’s 160 members. Congratulations to Ian Jefferyes, John Sweeney and the committee for making it all happen.

Finally, last week I opened the 2017 Bundaberg Seniors Forum, and it was great to see so many seniors from our local community in attendance. Thank you to Nina Higgins, the organising committee and the Bundaberg Regional Council for, again, putting on such an informative session for the seniors in the Bundaberg region.

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