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Tuesday, 22 February 2011
Page: 1011


Mr VASTA (4:14 PM) —It is with pleasure that I rise today to acknowledge and thank my community of Bonner for their generosity and commitment to assisting their fellow Queenslanders. So many people from my community assisted those threatened by floodwaters by filling and moving sandbags as the flood approached. I know that so many of those same people offered their time to volunteer in the clean-up. These were ordinary people who just wanted to help in any way they could to ensure their fellow Aussies were prepared for the inundation and then to get them back on their feet.

At the same time, I would like to thank and acknowledge all those silent donors in my community who so generously donated goods for inclusion in the special flood care packages. Flood care packages of sanitary and hygiene products were considered to be a very practical way for people to assist those in areas hardest hit and who had lost everything. This was not only in Brisbane but across the state of Queensland. My office was overwhelmed by the community’s generosity in responding to the call for donations for flood care packages. Given that the floods occurred at a time when many children were also due to start or return to school, the community included school notepads and pens in their donations so that many of those children had everything they needed to start school. My community was truly inspiring in their call to action and these were all people who were selfless in their donation and wanted no acknowledgement or recognition.

Since the flood my office has worked predominantly with the Red Cross to move all those donations out to the people who need them, and I know that they were very gratefully received. We have seen over 100 packages donated and the number continues to rise as people in the community keep donating. I am now working with the Liberal National Party women’s organisation to support those affected by Cyclone Yasi. So often a community’s true spirit is awakened at a time of crisis. From what I have witnessed, this is certainly the case of the Bonner community, but also the Queensland community. This is something that makes me so proud to be a Queenslander.