Monday, 3 June 2013
This morning I would like to speak about the veterans community on the southern Gold Coast. I am very proud to say that we have a very large veterans community. We have four RSLs: the Tweed Heads-Coolangatta RSL, with President Joe Russell; the Currumbin-Palm Beach RSL with President Ron Workman OAM; the Burleigh Heads RSL, with President Chris Keating; and the Mudgeeraba Robina RSL, with President Jim Stathis.
Each RSL held services to mark Anzac Day, and I was very privileged to attend the dawn service at Currumbin, the mid-morning citizens service at Burleigh Heads and the sunset service at Mudgeeraba. This year, I was very humbled to be asked to lead the parade for the Currumbin dawn service with the president, Ron Workman, and I thank him so very much for that privilege. As always, the services were very moving, and each year the crowds are growing, which is excellent to see, particularly the many younger children coming along and participating in the parades and in the services.
Mudgeeraba is also home to the Mudgereeba Light Horse Museum, and I would like to take this opportunity to thank President Peter McLaughlin, Secretary Robert Clinch, Treasurer Laurie Wilson, First Vice-President Peter Atkinson and Second Vice-President Brian Bertwistle AM, as well as everyone associated with the museum for the wonderful work that they do. The museum offers a range of opportunities in line with the national history curriculum, and recently students from All Saints Anglican School visited the museum and participated in a range of activities including a raising-the-flag ceremony and getting up very close to the horses.
The Light Horse Museum have already told me that they will be putting in a submission to the Anzac Centenary grants program, and I encourage other such groups to put in submissions for grants for their projects to commemorate the service and sacrifice of Australian men and women in the First World War.
The McPherson Centenary of Anzac Committee has been established, and I thank Janelle Manders, the managing partner of HLB Mann Judd on the Gold Coast, Phil Roberts, senior lawyer and notary public of Roberts Law, Bren Milsom, secretary of Friends of Currumbin and one of our very well-respected community leaders, and Councillor Daphne McDonald for agreeing to be part of the committee and for their ongoing support to the southern Gold Coast and to our veteran community. Finally, I would like to confirm my ongoing support and commitment to deliver fair indexation for military superannuants. On 5 March 2012 and again 14 March 2013 the Leader of the Opposition personally recommitted the coalition to developing fair indexation for military superannuants. Under our plan the DFRB and DFRDB military superannuants aged 55 and over will have their superannuation pensions indexed in the same manner as age and service pensions.