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Thursday, 13 September 2018
Page: 9026

Dr McVEIGH (Groom) (11:07): I've often spoken in this House in relation to successful small businesses in my electorate of Groom, and I do so today about a particular firm which has just this year reached a milestone of 125 years. It is a significant achievement indeed, an achievement worthy of celebration, which is what we did just last week for Groom & Lavers, the first law firm established in Toowoomba, in 1893. Since that time, it has certainly established itself as one of the region's most trusted and highly respected law firms.

Generations of families in our region have retained the services of Groom & Lavers, and it is especially significant for our region that one of the founding partners was Sir Littleton Groom, after whom the electorate of Groom is, of course, named. Sir Littleton was elected to the Australian federal parliament in 1915 following the death of his father, William Henry Groom, who was the first federal representative from our region. Sir Littleton went on to many ministerial positions, including Attorney-General, and he was also Speaker of the House during his period in parliament.

Here we have a firm, Groom & Lavers, that exemplifies the efforts of small businesses in our region, spread across so many industries, in this case professional services, and shows what such firms do for the fabric of our community and our society. Between them, small businesses in our electorate represent the largest employment sector of all in our region.

I want to congratulate Groom & Lavers on all their years of service. I was very pleased to be there to celebrate the milestone. In particular, I offer my sincere congratulations to Andrew Taylor and Amanda Boyce, today's partners in the firm, which operates out of Toowoomba and also the beautiful township of Oakey, just west of Toowoomba. One hundred and twenty-five years of faithful service to our community is most significant indeed.

It is for these reasons that I'm particularly proud to be a member of the Morrison government, so focused on supporting small business—again, the largest employer in our economy, not only in my electorate but, of course, right across the country, particularly in regional Australia. We need to continue to support them. We need to continue to see these sorts of milestones reached, as has been the case with Groom & Lavers.