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Monday, 7 November 2016
Page: 2983

Mr PERRETT (MoretonOpposition Whip) (18:51): Sadly, I rise to speak about Manmeet Sharma, who so tragically lost his life on Friday 28 October in my home suburb of Moorooka at a bus stop that I walk past every morning when I am at home. Mr Sharma, I am told by his community, was a gentle, kind, creative soul—a leader in Brisbane's Punjabi community who, on that fatal Friday, was just going about his business, serving the greater community of Brisbane as a driver with Brisbane transport. Not long after 9 am, as he drove along Beaudesert Road on the 125 route—a bus that goes almost from my home suburb to right outside my office at Sunnybank—Mr Sharma pulled into the Moorvale shops to collect more passengers. There, he became the subject of a horrific and violent act that ended his life, sadly, and shocked Queensland—shocked the nation—and broke the hearts of my community. Our whole community—the Moorooka community and the broader Queensland community—feels a deep sense of grief for Mr Sharma's loss.

I want to pay tribute to those people who were first on the scene, particularly to the tow-truck driver who stepped out with his fire extinguisher to put out the fire initially, the paramedics who attended, the firefighters and the local police, who rushed to Mr Sharma's aid. I particularly note again Mr Peter Buxton, the passing tow-truck driver, who acted incredibly quickly and helped people to safety. I commend him for his bravery. I also commend Mr Aguek Nyok, who smashed open the bus door. He is a taxi driver who was on his rank, saw the smoke coming from the bus and saved at least six passengers' lives. I understand that his nomination by the Queensland Premier for a bravery award is very well deserved. I am thankful that the Liberal National Party lord mayor, Graham Quirk, working with Councillor Steve Griffiths, has agreed to a memorial in Moorooka so that we can remember Mr Sharma. I thank the local council for this commitment. To my good friend Councillor Steve Griffiths, who was instrumental in organising the community vigil full of care, love and respect, thank you for your leadership, Steve, in this difficult time. To Mr Sharma's family, we offer our deepest sympathies and hope that in time the grief you feel does not weigh so heavily on your hearts.