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Tuesday, 22 February 2011
Page: 1017


Mr BUCHHOLZ (4:38 PM) —I rise to inform the parliament and all Australians of the situation as it is unfolding in the Lockyer Valley, which is in my seat of Wright, after the horrible devastation that was endured in the electorate as a result of the recent floods in January. My community is slowly rebuilding in the Lockyer. The council is doing a marvellous job up there with stretched resources. They will rebuild the roads. Our priority at the moment is to rebuild the people.

It is our intention to try and get these people, who have been so adversely affected by the floods, back into some form of normality and routine. Our focus at the moment, and it may sound odd, is to try and get their local pub, which was absolutely demolished, back into some type of repair. It was not just a meeting place where people could come and share their stories; it was a place where people used to hold local meetings, where the CWA used to meet and catch up. For a community of 200 or 300, the pub is an important piece of infrastructure, as is the local shop. Every piece of equipment in the shop was destroyed or washed through open walls. Then there is the local garage—its fuel pumps were inundated. Our focus is to get those businesses in the Grantham area back up and running as soon as possible.

The paddocks are slowly returning to some semblance of commercial viability, with small crops beginning to be planted. Fields are starting to resemble horticultural paddocks, as opposed to a couple of weeks ago when they looked like absolute rubbish tips strewn with motor cars and, in certain cases, full houses that had been swept many kilometres down the road.

I acknowledge the fundraising efforts that have been undertaken for the electorate outside the electorate. In particular, I acknowledge the group of Canberra businessman who held a fundraiser here in Canberra. Organised by Michael Tabart, it was hosted at the La Scala Italian restaurant by Gab, his family and his wonderful staff in conjunction with Greg Robson and Angie Clairvoyant from radio station 2CA. The function was also promoted by Sir Ian Botham and Stuart MacGill. In one evening, with these generous people putting their hands in their pockets, we were able to raise $40,000 for my little electorate—that will be well received. I thank those people around Australia who have exercised random acts of kindness in donating cars—we have received 12 cars so far. With around 200 cars being washed away in my electorate, I put a call out to all Australians: if you have a spare car lying around, I can use it; please contact my office. (Time expired)