Keith Pitt MP Federal Member for HINKLER

Constituency Statement - Hinkler events

Mr PITT: Mr Deputy Speaker, as I'm sure you and everyone else in the chamber are aware, last week the city of Hervey Bay was declared the world's first Whale Heritage Site. Local media reported that the prestigious title was awarded by the World Cetacean Alliance, the world's largest partnership working to protect whales, dolphins and porpoises. But wait till you hear about the competition, Mr Deputy Speaker. Other candidates for the title included The Bluff, Durban, in South Africa, a former whaling station turned tourist attraction; Vancouver Island North, in Canada; New Zealand's Marlborough Sounds; and US drawcard Nantucket island, the former centre of the whaling world and home of the great literary work Moby-Dick.

Around a hundred delegates from around the world attended the four-day World Whale Conference in Hervey Bay. Fraser Coast Tourism & Events general manager Martin Simons said the status would be a huge brand booster, particularly in Europe and the US, and had the potential to generate millions in extra tourism dollars in coming years. Hervey Bay was the first region in Australia, would you believe—the very first—to offer commercial whale-watching experiences from boats, back in 1986. I will congratulate the Perry family, the first ones up and at them. The whale-watching fleet is the backbone of the tourism economy in Hervey Bay and a very important part of generating jobs in that local area.

The Veteran Car Club of Australia's National Veteran Vehicle Rally was held in Bundaberg recently, with around 300 participants and over 130 vehicles, which makes this the largest gathering of those veteran vehicles in Australia. We had participants from the UK, the US and New Zealand. The gaslight parade—not the sort that those on the other side might be thinking about at the moment—in the Bundaberg CBD included a car which once belonged to Bert Hinkler's sister Queenie. Owner Chris Sorenson, a member of the Bundaberg Veteran Vehicle Club, still has the original papers for the car, which showed it was the second car to ever be registered in the town of Bundaberg.

We know that October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. So last week my office hosted a pink morning tea to help raise funds for breast cancer awareness. It was a great opportunity for people to come along from the community. I have to congratulate Anne Howard from my office, who went all the way, pink wig included. As a point of interest, she's married to John Howard—not John Winston Howard, but another John Howard who I'm sure is just as eminent. Congratulations to Anne and all of my team, and thanks to Rebecca from the Queensland Cancer Council, who also came along.

Breast cancer remains among the most common cancers in Australian women, excluding non-melanoma skin cancers. Around 17,000 women are diagnosed with breast cancer each year and one in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer by the age of 85. So a quick shout-out to the more than 400 participants who will be taking part in the Hervey Bay Relay for Life this weekend, 19-20 October, at Ralph Stafford Park.

Authorised by Keith Pitt, Federal Member for Hinkler, 41b Woongarra Street, Bundaberg QLD 4670

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