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Monday, 9 February 2015
Page: 215

Mrs PRENTICE (Ryan) (16:22): Last Wednesday I had the honour of being invited to officially open the new Fig Tree Farmers Market in Fig Tree Pocket. Fig Tree Pocket is a beautiful suburb on the river in my electorate of Ryan, and nestled in the heart of that wonderful suburb is Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary. Lone Pine sanctuary is the first zoo in the world, and the largest, for koalas—over 130 koalas—and it is rated one of the top 10 zoos in the world. It is a wonderful place to bring family and friends. Not only do they have koalas; they have lots of other Australian animals. It has always been a heart of that suburb and a heart of Brisbane. We often see it in publicity when we have visiting dignitaries in town, like those for the G20 or for the Brisbane International. So what a wonderful place to start some farmers markets.

I congratulate Erica and John Parker, who have been responsible for many other local farmers markets in the district. These markets are now going to be held every Wednesday in the afternoon. So, unlike other markets, which are regularly held in the early morning or on the weekend, these ones are going to cater for those people coming home from school or even an early dinner. That was the case last Wednesday, when we saw hundreds of people turn up for this wonderful event, including schoolchildren meeting their father there after school with their mother and having dinner. The great thing about these markets is that Erica and John insist that it is always local farmers' produce; they truly are locals. I congratulate them on this initiative and I thank Robert and Taco from Lone Pine for supporting this great event.