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Thursday, 25 June 2009
Page: 7308

Mr LINDSAY (12:51 PM) —Some of you will know that our colleague Dr Mal Washer, the member for Moore, was rushed to hospital last night. Mal was able to diagnose himself as having appendicitis. He wanted to go back to Western Australia but his staffer—the nurse, Gloria—would not allow him to fly and ordered him to hospital. I think that is an indication that women rule the world—and so they should!

I have just been to see Mal at the hospital and I can report that he is in fine form and very comfortable, particularly as he just rang up Gloria and said: ‘Quick, come over—I’ve got a drama.’ His drama was that he had lost a button off the fly of his pyjamas and it needed to be sewn back on! So the nurse was there, sewing the button on and Mal is now resting comfortably.

Tomorrow night it will be my privilege to present to awards to two very fine leaders of the Townsville community. These are the Paul Harris Fellow awards, which are given by Rotary for the highest ideals of service. The two members who are receiving these awards are from the Rotary Club of Townsville Daybreak, which happens to be the club that I am an honorary member of.

The first recipient is Rotarian Trevor Hyatt. Trevor has made a significant contribution to the Rotary Club of Townsville Daybreak over the last 12 years. He has been a board member on several occasions, has served as president for one full term, is in the process of serving as president for the current Rotary year and will be joining the district YEP committee for the upcoming Rotary year. Trevor’s enthusiasm for Rotary is well illustrated by his participation in the club’s projects. He is undoubtedly mister reliable—always there. The fact that he has put up his hand to serve a second term as president is evidence of his firm commitment to Rotary and to our club. Trevor also has community service achievements as a judge in the equestrian events at the various shows around Queensland. He is well known as a member of the community in Townsville and is the principal of a long established and respected local locksmiths business.

The other recipient, Betty Stokes, has been a member of the club for 13 years. She has been president of the club and a board member on a number of occasions. She served on the district YEP committee for a number of years and has been very active within the club in youth affairs. Betty is recognised as a quiet achiever who works away efficiently at whatever she undertakes. Betty is known for her reliability in whatever she undertakes and has been a significant contributor to the development and life of the Rotary Club of Townsville Daybreak. Betty is a person to have in discussion when cool, calm and well-balanced judgment is required. Betty’s son, Phillip, was an outbound exchange student recently. Betty and her husband John are certainly well known in the Townsville community, especially in the medical area. Both Betty and Trevor are very worthy recipients of their nomination for a Paul Harris Fellowship.

Tomorrow I will be attending the commissioning of the ring-road in Townsville and the Woodlands to Veales Road four-laning project. I am really proud of these two roads. I had the vision to get these roads built, and now that they are being opened they are just making such an extraordinary difference to our community in Townsville. You can get from the hospital or Lavarack Barracks or the university up to the northern beaches now in two minutes, whereas it used to take probably 15 minutes. It has cut huge amounts of travel time and, of course, it has been constructed to motorway standard. The ring-road acts as the bypass for Townsville, so it has taken the heavy vehicles out of the suburbs and that, in itself, is a very good thing. The benefit-cost ratio was quite significant and, to that end, the road has been very valuable for the local community.

Tomorrow I am having meetings, as well as a meeting in Brisbane on Monday, with the Defence Force in relation to the developing aerospace precinct in Townsville. These meetings will be in relation to the servicing of our helicopter fleet in Townsville, where we have both Black Hawk and MRH 90s based in the city. The 5th Aviation Regiment is Australia’s premier Army aviation regiment and will continue to be, but we will need to maintain these supercomplicated and technological machines that fly about our skies. I am looking forward to getting some good outcomes from those meetings with Townsville Enterprise Ltd and Townsville Airport.