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1st May 2024

I rise to speak to the House of the many happenings in the Nambour community. Firstly, I would like to inform the House of the 40th anniversary of Nambour Little Athletics, a significant achievement for the club. It was a damp day, but it certainly did not dampen anyone’s enthusiasm. I would like to congratulate foundation member Keffed Cordwell to whom I had the privilege of presenting a 40-year badge. He is a stalwart of the club and maintains the grounds to an Olympic standard. I would like to recognise the 13th birthday of the Nambour Men’s Shed. It was a pleasure to enjoy a lunchtime barbecue with President Bob Ward and members, as well as foundation members Mark Wall, Jim Simonsen, Col Tessmer, Alan Cavanagh, Tony Bell, Wayne Ratcliffe, Shane Ratcliffe and Tony Oakhill. They contribute much to our community.

On a sombre note, I attended the dedication of the memorial for Ben ‘BJ’ Hunter. BJ was a young man whose life was tragically cut short. He was a promising young footballer at the mighty Nambour Crushers Rugby League Club and a hard worker on a local lychee farm. I commend the efforts of Tarsh Gardner and Leith Hensley from the club for pulling together the community, including the Men’s Shed which made the bench and others who created a lovely garden of reflection. I was touched by the humility of Natalie Gorzalka and Chris Hunter, Ben’s family, in accepting this memorial to their son.

Anzac Day is a national day of mourning and remembrance for our fallen service men and women. This year is the 80th anniversary of the heroic act of Pilot Officer Jim Hocking. Whilst conducting night training, the plane he was captaining suffered catastrophic engine failure. Jim stayed at the controls while his six crewmates parachuted to safety. He manoeuvred the failing aircraft away from the English village of March, also saving those souls. I thank our police, QFES, QAS, SES, RFB and other volunteer groups that ensured the many services in our region went well.

In Nicklin, we remember our fallen. We remember all of our community. We band together and we commit ourselves to fulfilling their legacy.

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