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Wednesday, 12 March 2008
Page: 1593

Mr RAMSEY (9:55 AM) —I also welcome the delegation. Enjoy our country. This morning I would like to bring to this House’s attention a beautiful city in my electorate and a fantastic event. The city is Port Lincoln on the Lower Eyre Peninsula. Port Lincoln is the home of the biggest fishing fleet in the Southern Hemisphere. It is a beautiful, stunning place to visit. To visit Port Lincoln is to love Port Lincoln; it is a fantastic place. It is a growth centre for aquaculture in our nation. It is also the home of the southern bluefin tuna industry and the home of the Tunarama Festival, which has been running for 47 years. This last year it attracted 28,000 people. Port Lincoln is a city of less than 10,000 people, so it is a significant influx.

The festival highlights the region’s seafood, art, wine, music and people and the fantastic landscapes around Port Lincoln. For three fantastic days the four local wineries and seafood producers occupy the yacht club and produce a good amount of cheer. It is a good showcase for our wares. The festival is centred on the foreshore, which is the home of the now-famous Makybe Diva statue—a statue of the only horse to win the Melbourne Cup three times. There are stalls, music and food stores. One of the highlights is the tuna tossing competition, where people throw an eight-kilogram tuna as far as they can. The record is held by a former Olympian, Sean Carlin, with a 37-metre throw, but I might point out that my neighbour, Steven Hitch, from Buckleboo—I live 200 kilometres north of that—has won the competition for three out the last four years. Hitchy, a character at the best of times, says that he is the greatest tosser in the world.

The Tunarama Quest also raises a great deal of money for charity. This is a fantastic quest that has been going on for the length of the festival, and I might point out that this year’s winner in the quest, Alicia Schillabeer, after being told she had won the quest, was overcome with emotion on the stage. Her boyfriend came through the crowd, came up on the stage, popped down on one knee and asked her to marry him—which left not a dry eye in the house, I can tell you.

Suffice it to say that this fantastic festival is organised by about 40 volunteers, who volunteer 3,000 hours a year, and it is supported by 130 local businesses. They received only a $5,000 grant from the South Australian Tourism Commission and $30,000 from the local council, but it is a great celebration of the local community doing what it can to help itself and promoting itself. I congratulate them.