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Tuesday, 14 June 2011
Page: 5954

Mr MITCHELL (McEwen) (16:09): Last weekend I had the pleasure of attending the 15th Annual Alexandra Truck, Ute and Rod Show. On Saturday night I attended the sponsors dinner held at the Mount Pleasant Hotel where we enjoyed good local food and the company of all those who have invested in this great show's continual growth and its future. It was a great opportunity to pay tribute to the volunteer committee, which is led ably by its president, Matt Ellis. Matt is a great local who is a true champion in the community. We took the opportunity to warmly thank two members of the committee who have been there since day one. Gordon Simpson and Andrew Embling are the only two originals left on this fantastic event. This event can only succeed with the strong support of the whole community, and that was evident by the army of volunteers who worked and planned to bring this sensational event to fruition.

As I said, 2011 marks the 15th year the show has been operating in Alexandra. This year the proceeds from Saturday night and Sunday went to the purchase of specialist medical equipment used in men's examinations, to be used in the men's health ward of the new Alexandra District Hospital. This new hospital was built because of the work and support of the former Brumby government. The show has supported committee groups throughout its 15 years, with local volunteer groups cooking and selling some 200,000 sausages in that time. I am sure there would be a few hardened arteries, but it was great being out there in the fresh air and enjoying the smell of sausages cooking while seeing what the committee had to offer.

There were thousands of visitors to the show on Sunday. The local streets, including the main street, were blocked off to allow many hundreds of vehicles on display to be enjoyed by the crowds who flocked there on Sunday. They saw things such as trucks of all persuasions, hot rods, street machines, vintage cars, some displays of logging trucks and an 80-metre-high crane, as well as tradeshows for the automotive and heavy vehicle industries. Music was by a local artist and there was a live broadcast by our community's favourite, UGFM. For families there were skilled axe men and women in the traditional woodchop and show bags and rides for the kids. This fantastic event is widely supported by locals and small businesses that came together to showcase all that Alexandra has to offer. This community has faced some serious challenges since the 2009 Black Saturday fires. In true country spirit they came together and got through the challenges by providing support, friendship and community spirit to see Alexandra grow.