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Monday, 13 February 2012
Page: 946


Ms SAFFIN (Page) (21:35): I speak tonight to bring the attention of the House to a wonderful local initiative that aims to raise funds for a local Ballina based school, Biala Special School, and the Royal Flying Doctor Service. We all know and love the Royal Flying Doctor Service, and if honourable members knew the Biala Special School in the way that I do they would love it in the same way that I do. In fact, a family had moved from another state just so that their child could attend this school. The blessing was that it was in Ballina, because they would have moved anywhere in Australia to have their child in the school, but they got the double prize—also being able to live in Ballina.

I attended the launch of Pelicans on Posties on Friday at Biala Special School in Ballina. It was the first time that I had been on an Australia Post postie's bike, which was made especially by Honda. I did not ride it, because I have not got a licence; I just sat on it. Honda is a sponsor—there are a lot of local sponsors and I am sorry that I do not have all their names here tonight—and Honda were there on the day along with some other sponsors. Who are Pelicans on Posties and what are they doing? In their words:

A group of 20 blokes (affectionately called Pelicans) from the Northern Rivers Area of New South Wales are riding original postie bikes from Ballina NSW to Darwin NT to raise funds to support children with special needs along with supporting medical services to the outback.

How did this come about? Again, in their words:

The idea began the same way most great Australian ideas do, over a few beers at the pub. Most years a few friends will get together and go out West for some occasion be it the Birdsville Races, a charity event like the Endeavour Rally or the Variety Bash, ideas were being exhausted.

This year they decided to go one better, they were sick of cars and so opted for postie bikes. Darwin is far enough away to be an adventure and a half and they chose their own worthy causes to fundraise for. It's a crazy idea and it's going to be big! It's so crazy that many people said we'll never do it, crazy enough that it just might work.

I am sure it will work, and I am backing it. I have the route here. They are starting in Ballina. I will not name everywhere, but they are going to Roma, Tambo, Longreach, Camooweal, Barkly Homestead, Renner Springs, Katherine and Adelaide River, ending up in Darwin in July. I said to the 20 blokes—the Pelicans on Posties—that I will raise the awareness of it with my colleagues here whose seats they are riding through and also with the local mayors. Because it is not happening until July I have time to do that, so hopefully they will be welcomed. It is raising money for Biala Special School, which is in my seat of Page, and also for the Royal Flying Doctor Service, which covers a wide area over the seats of various members and is also something that we all throw our support behind.

One of the Pelicans on Posties is Bill McInerney, who is leading the team and who is someone I have known for a long time, one of the good locals. The other Pelicans are Gavin Speers, Dick McInerney, Lee Fitzgerald, Bernie Heckel, John Linton, Brett Cramp, Troy Cramp, Heini Geisel, Mick Koellner, Peter Livingston, Scott Gollan, Monk, Mark Vado, Brendan Byrne, Brendan Bourke, and Pelicans 17, 18, 19 and 20 whose images will be listed soon on the website. The website is www.pelicansonposties.com.au.

We are helping by buying raffle tickets, so we might be able to win one of those bikes made especially for Australia Post—they are not easy to acquire. (Time expired)