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Wednesday, 21 June 2023
Page: 4918

Mr LITTLEPROUD (MaranoaLeader of the Nationals) (13:30): Running through the Simpson Desert may not sound like a good time to some, but, for the thousands set to descend on Birdsville next week, it's one of the highlights of the year. Birdsville's annual Big Red Bash shot to fame again last year for being the site of a new Australian record for the biggest Nutbush dance. Four thousand and eighty-four dancers busted a move and paid homage to the late, great Tina Turner. Set against the beautiful red sands of the iconic Simpson Desert, in the western part of my electorate of Maranoa, the Big Red Bash offers something for everyone, from musical acts such as John Williamson and the Hoodoo Gurus to sand dune surfing, camel rides, the famous Bashville Drags and Fashions in the Desert.

While the three-day outback extravaganza may sound like it's only fun and games, the event actually raises around $75,000 a year for the Royal Flying Doctor Service. It also brings millions of tourism dollars into Western Queensland communities all along the road to Birdsville and allows tourists to experience the beauty of outback Queensland for themselves. In 2020, after this country had experienced one of its worst bushfire seasons on record, the Big Red Bash made a $100,000 donation towards the recovery effort, all from a little town, Birdsville, of 110 people. I wish the organisers of this year's Big Red Bash all the best for their upcoming event and look forward to seeing all the colour that it brings to the Australian outback.