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Monday, 10 September 2018
Page: 8472


Dr McVEIGH (GroomMinister for Regional Development, Territories and Local Government) (10:59): On occasion, we members of this House rise to mark the passing of leading citizens from the various electorates that we represent, and on some occasions it relates to a good friend. I rise today in relation to the passing of Professor Steven Raine of Toowoomba, whom we buried after a wonderful ceremony—a very meaningful ceremony—at Burstows funeral home just last Friday. There was a massive crowd and, given Steven's legacy, people tuned in from around the world.

A Brisbane boy and UQ graduate, Steven came to Toowoomba in 1995 as associate head of the University of Southern Queensland's faculty of engineering and surveying, in the area of agricultural and environmental engineering. He went on to hold a number of key leadership positions in our wonderful university—for example, acting dean for the faculty of engineering and surveying and, most recently, executive director of the Institute for Agriculture and the Environment, from 2013, now known as the Institute for Life Sciences and the Environment. I had a great deal to do with Steven when he was in that role, although I'd interacted with him over many years. It was a great honour indeed to help him and the university establish that centre, to collaborate with the department of agriculture in Queensland and to facilitate coordination with the Grains Research and Development Corporation.

Steve had a great vision for our region. He was involved in irrigation and soils research. He focused on the sustainability of the cotton, grain, sugar, fruit and vegetable industries, and he was recognised for his efforts around the world. His focus on the co-existence between agriculture and the resource sector was a tremendous legacy for our country, not just for Queensland, and he was recognised very much as an industry champion. He was very much involved in Food Leaders Australia, again in an effort to focus on the future of our region; the GasFields Commission Queensland; and the Inner Darling Downs Community Consultative Committee for the Inland Rail. He was a bike rider of some repute, he was focused on Fiat motor cars, and he was recognised as an academic and researcher extraordinaire and, as I said, an industry champion without peer.

'Steve had an irrepressible enthusiasm and was known for his energy and drive. He will be fondly remembered as a person with warmth, compassion, integrity and dignity.' So said the USQ Vice-Chancellor, Professor Mackenzie, last week. I was touched by Steve's warmth and compassion from time to time in my life. We will truly miss him. Vale Professor Steven Raine.

The DEPUTY SPEAKER ( Mr S Georganas ): In accordance with standing order 193 the time for constituency statements has concluded.