Monday, 18 August 2014 10:27

29th July 2014 - Speech in Council Featured

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Thank you, Madam Acting Chair. I rise to speak today on three different items. National Tree Day, yesterday.  A private Iftar dinner that I was invited to over the recess and also the ALGWA conference that I had the privilege of attending on behalf of Council last Thursday during the whole day in Warwick. So national Tree Day was yesterday, as all the councillors in this chamber would be aware. My family and myself spent most of the morning there with the Brendon Road Bushcare Group. We had 28 volunteers.  We planted 80 trees, 240 grasses and we had a total of 53 volunteer hours.

It was a huge effort by all the volunteers that came from my ward to work on that particular park in Williams Park. I have to thank the council officers for all the preparation they did prior to this day. They got the ground ready for us, one of our guys volunteers, Frank loves to dig the holes but the council officers had done that already . Then they drop off all this bark for us, mulch for us to spread and I know my husband particularly enjoys that job of wheeling and filling the wheelbarrow with mulch. He does that on a regular basis.

So we had a fabulous day and then one of my staff members, Heidi, came along and also provided the morning tea and one of the other volunteers' husbands cooked the sausages. So it was a really fabulous morning. I had planned to get to the Karawatha Forest for the Peaks to Points walk but unfortunately I missed it because I was still at Brandon Road.

The other thing, like I mentioned, was the Iftar dinner. I was privileged, as I am every year, to be invited to attend a home Iftar which is because a local family invite people like myself to come along into their home to breakfast with them at the end of their Ramadan days. Most of the people from particular the south side, you'll know, Madam Acting Chair, are very familiar with at this time of year for us.

We don't know whose family home we're going into until we actually turn up. We just get an address and that's it. By sheer chance, it was the last night of the Iftar dinners that I had available and by complete fluke I actually managed to sit next to the Police Commissioner. So we had an awesome night and we talked about all sorts of things like G20 and everything like that. Obviously he couldn't tell me too much about it because all of its top secret but we still had a wonderful night.

The family was originally from Turkey so we did have a lot of conversations about the ANZAC, particularly what's coming up next year with the 100 year anniversary.

The final think I want to talk about, Madam Acting Chair, is the ALGWA conference in Warwick that was on last Thursday. I left home at six in the morning and got home at six o'clock that night after a fabulous day there in Warwick. It was cold, in fact it was freezing. So we were in the old city hall there which apparently was constructed in 1888 and there was no heating. So we all sat in jumpers and jackets and everything like that.

Yeah, they do need some restoration, Councillor MURPHY. We need to get them to come down here. We were privileged.

That's how cold it was that I was cold, Councillor SCHRINNER, yes. So Councillor de WIT was also in attendance, obviously, as president of the local government association. She opened the conference. We had Mayor Peter Blundell give us an official address. We had another guest speaker there and I'm sure everybody in this place other than myself knows, and that was Jude Munro. She did a presentation, was a keynote speaker on full, frank and fearless.  She was an awesome speaker, I've never heard her speak before. She's done some amazing things across council Australia wide and my only regret is we didn't get the opportunity to ask her questions. Because I think she could have been there all day. There was another keynote speaker that I thought was fabulous. Her name was  Robyn More. Her subject was dealing with difficult people and I think you'll agree, Madam Acting Chair, that that's a very topical subject for us as councillors here in this place.

She was great, I don't mean to demean her role, what she does, but she also apparently is the voice of Blinky Bill and she did that quite a few times during the conference and she had us in fits of laughter. She's also part of the How Green was my Cactus radio show which I know I used to listen to a fair bit. She does all the female voices and there was another guy who does all the male voices of all the politicians.

She was just awesome. The only other thing—well, one of the other things she does, she does many things, she's a national patron of Make a Wish Australia. I just think this is one of the most wonderful organisations and she was telling us a story about a young boy who had never been deep sea fishing so they organised for him to go out on the boat and then she thought, what happens if he goes deep sea fishing and doesn't catch a fish. She said, that would be dreadful, so they organised for a diver to be out there in the water and they put a fish on his fishing line under the boat.  I just thought, that's the sort of person she is. She's just an awesome person. So I want to thank Council for giving me the opportunity to attend that conference and I know that Councillor de WIT will talk more on that in her report next week. Thank you very much.

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