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Thursday, 1 March 2018
Page: 2544


Mr BROAD (Mallee) (10:08): Easter time is a month away. One of the great things about living in my part of the world is how beautiful it is. The electorate of Mallee, in the Wimmera, is a third of the state of Victoria and has some real highlights. What I want to say to people out there is that, amongst your busy lives, the Easter weekend is a wonderful thing to start to plan for, and my part of the world is a wonderful place to go to. Of course, we've got the Grampians, one of the great national parks. We're in the process of building the Grampians Peaks Trail with $10 million of federal money. It's a chance to get out, walk, think, breathe, see the koalas in the trees and see the kangaroos jumping around. Take your children and go to the Grampians zoo; it's quite a fantastic place.

We've got the Silo Art Trail: you can drive around now and see giant silos that have got fantastic murals painted on them, and it becomes quite a wonderful thing to drive around regional Victoria. We have the Murray River, this great icon that is beautiful and healthy. If you go to Swan Hill, you can go to the Pioneer Settlement and see the Heartbeat of the Murray laser show where they fire jets of water up in the air and lasers are fired on to them to create a giant screen. Also at the Pioneer Settlement you can learn about those who have gone before us.

You can go to Mildura, where the food is amazing. One of the great things about my part of the world is all the food that's produced. If you go to the supermarkets now you will find that if you buy table grapes—the Cotton Candy table grapes, the green table grapes and the crimson reds—they're all currently grown in Sunraysia; almost anywhere in Australia, if you go and get table grapes now, they're from my patch. By Easter time, the autumn leaves will be on the vineyards as they start to change colour, and it's a wonderful place to take the bikes and go for a ride amongst the vineyards and enjoy.

Can I emphasise to people that life is busy; life is hard; we work hard; we are often in congested cities. But getting out to regional Australia, and particularly regional Victoria, on the Easter weekend is something that Australians should value. There are so many beautiful spots in our patch. I think we get so busy in this place talking about the great challenges that we're trying to address that we don't take enough time to breathe. We don't take enough time to spend with family, do a bit of camping and enjoy some time. And we are so very blessed as a country. So get out to the Wimmera and the Mallee. Get out and eat some of the great food and enjoy some of the great culture. See the lovely silo art, the Grampians peak trail, the Murray River and the Heartbeat of the Murray laser show. It's a wonderful place to be. You'll find the people with a spring in their step and very happy. And you'll feel better for coming to my part of the world.