Monday, 30 August 2021
National Police Remembrance Day
[by video link] On National Police Remembrance Day, on 29 September each year, we honour the courage, commitment and dedication of our police in ensuring the peace and safety of our community. With honour they serve. I commend this motion and thank the member for Fowler.
National Police Remembrance Day is observed in my community every year at Browns Park, where we honour a local constable who originally came from Scotland and gave his life to save two people in Ipswich back in the late 19th century. There is a monument in Browns Park in Ipswich to honour his legacy. But tragically since that time, hundreds of police have given their lives in service, and their families have lived with that sacrifice. We thank them for their commitment.
As a lawyer, I have profound respect and sincere gratitude for those police officers who particularly work in child protection. I want to thank, in my local community, Sergeant Nadine Webster, who got an Australian police medal this year in the Australia Day awards for the work she has done in the crime prevention unit here in Ipswich; and Senior Constable Kerrin Sheedy and all the other constables and police officers in my community who make the Ipswich, Somerset and Karana Downs area safe. It's important we acknowledge the crucial role they undertake. I also want to thank a friend of mine, the president and CEO of the Queensland police union, Ian Leavers, for his years of advocacy on behalf of police, often agitating, irritating and annoying government, but doing the right thing by the police officers who he represents and acting on their behalf and in their best interests. Thank you, Ian, for your service as well.
Every night and day, the men and women of the Queensland Police Service work to protect and support our community. Unfortunately, so many have paid the ultimate sacrifice. I want to thank their family and friends for what they've done. I note that National Police Remembrance Day this year specifically honours a Queensland police constable, Senior Constable David Masters, who was killed trying to intercept a stolen vehicle at 3 am on Saturday 26 June 2021. He was performing his duties as a member of the Deception Bay police station on the Bruce Highway at Burpengary. He deployed road spikes across the highway in an attempt to stop the driver of a speeding stolen vehicle, when the driver swerved and struck Senior Constable Masters, tragically resulting in fatal injuries. Each year we remember people like Senior Constable David Masters.
As I said, for many years I've attended the local National Police Remembrance Day in Browns Park in Ipswich, but I also attended the unveiling of what was then the new Queensland police memorial within the Brisbane City Botanic Gardens. That was in 2019. This memorial provides a place of reflection for families and friends of officers who since 1862 have died serving the community of Queensland, both as a colony and now as a state.
The motion from the member for Fowler also commends the valuable work of Police Legacy, who have looked after the loved ones of police officers who have fallen. In my home state of Queensland, the Queensland Police Legacy was established in 1971 and does a fantastic job assisting the dependent families of deceased Queensland police officers. They're currently supporting 48 Queensland police families and meeting the educational expenses of 78 children.
We want to thank the police for what they've done. We want to thank them for the work they undertake. But this month I will be attending in my home city of Ipswich the Child Protection Week awards. There are many organisations who assist the Queensland police in protecting our local community. They are brothers and sisters in arms. They are allies and comrades of the Queensland Police Service. I thank those organisations who will be honoured and those who have been nominated. I'll be there to support you once again.
In summary, I thank the Queensland Police Service, the police services all around the country and their families and friends. I offer you my thoughts and prayers and my deepest gratitude for the work you've undertaken and for the sacrifice you've experienced.