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Thursday, 27 March 2014
Page: 3482

Mr O'DOWD (Flynn) (12:23): When Malaysia Airlines MH370 went down in the southern Indian Ocean some 2,500 kilometres from Perth it took many lives, including six Australians and one New Zealander, who was actually living in Australia. In the face of tragedy, the families who are left behind must cope with the fact that little is known of how and why the plane ditched into the Indian Ocean. If the authorities can recover the black box then they may solve some of the mysteries surrounding this tragic flight.

Two of the Australian victims, Rod and Mary Burrows, had strong family connections in my seat of Flynn and I now give a brief summary of their lives and pay condolence to their families. Rod was the eldest child of George and Irene Burrows from Thangool, near Biloela, who have just moved to Biloela, and the brother of Greg, Paul and Kaylene. Rod was schooled in Thangool and went away to boarding school at St Brendan's College in Yeppoon for his secondary schooling. Rod worked at the power station at Biloela and at the Moura mine before moving to Melbourne, then moved back to Brisbane where he married Mary in the early eighties. They had three children: Jayden, Karla and Melia. Rod was an electrician by trade but worked at the Energex head office until his retirement. Mary worked at the police academy for about 20 years in an administration role and was going to make her decision regarding retirement when she returned from these holidays.

Both Rod and Mary had been looking forward to meeting the first child of their eldest daughter, Karla, and her husband, Brendan; this was also their first 'grandbaby'. 'Grandbaby' was a word that Sandra used, so I wonder if that is what they did and what they were going to call the baby. They intended to spend about a month at home and had then planned for another five-week European trip.

A little bit more family history: George Burrows, 86, moved with his family from Wondai in the South Burnett area to Thangool in the early 1940s. George continued to live on the property with his wife until they retired to Biloela. Their second son, Greg, and his wife, Sandra, still continue to live on that original property.

A special service for Rod and Mary Burrows will be held at 11 am on Friday, 4 April at St Joseph's Catholic Church at Biloela. When their son spoke to the media he said: 'They always put family first. They worked hard to reap the rewards of their retirement so they could travel and spend time with their families in their retirement.' Rest in peace.

The DEPUTY SPEAKER ( Mrs Andrews ): I understand it is the wish of honourable members to signify at this stage their respect and sympathy by rising in their places.

Honourable members having stood in their places—

The DEPUTY SPEAKER: I thank the chamber.