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Thursday, 22 June 2023
Page: 5106

Ms WELLS (LilleyMinister for Aged Care and Minister for Sport) (09:45): Last weekend I held my 27th mobile office since the 2022 election. I was pleased to meet the Sankaranarayanan family from Aspley: Ganesh, Sanka, Akshara and Aadhi, along with their grandfather Thennavan. Thennavan was visiting from India and came to say thank you for the assistance that my electorate office gave to help him obtain his visitor visa. When grandmother Sundara passed away suddenly, the family returned to India for the funeral and applied for an Australian visitor visa for Thennavan on compassionate grounds so he could go to Australia and be with his family while he grieved the sudden loss of his wife. Sanka got in touch with my office, who were able to guide the family through what can be a confusing and complex visa process. As a result, Thennavan's tourist visa was approved within a few days, and I was able to meet the whole family in person at the mobile office at Sandgate on Saturday. It's positive evidence that the Albanese Labor government's action on the backlog of one million unprocessed visas left by the coalition is making a real difference for Australian families like the Sankaranarayanans. Since the election, the backlog of unprocessed visas has been cut from one million in July to about 570,000, with 5.4 million temporary visas processed since Labor came to government.

With the winter parliament break fast approaching, I'm excited to get back home to my electorate, Lilley, where the fete and festival season is now underway. Last weekend the Sacred Heart Primary School fair celebrated the school's 130th birthday. I was pleased to attend the official opening, along with the acting principal, Sarah McDonald; parish priest Father Joseph; and the member for Sandgate, Stirling Hinchliffe.

First festival cab off the rank in Lilley is the much-loved Einbunpin Festival at Sandgate, which celebrates its 31st anniversary in July. Einbunpin is a celebration of the Northside community that attracts thousands of local residents each year. I will be practising my mullet throwing skills in anticipation of this annual rigour. Events like Einbunpin would not be possible without the dedication of hundreds of community volunteers and the festival organisers at the Deagon Ward office led by my good friend Councillor Jared Cassidy. As the federal member for Lilley, I thank you for all of your hard work to make the Einbunpin Festival a reality each year. I look forward to seeing you all there.

Over the weekend I joined hundreds of Northside families with Celeste, Osh and Dash at the Nundah State School winter fair for a day full of fun, with many food stalls, far too many baked treats for my children and rides. Congratulations to the epic Nundah State School P&C for yet another successful event.