House debates

Wednesday, 28 March 2018

Constituency Statements

Flynn Electorate: Community Events

11:19 am

Photo of Ken O'DowdKen O'Dowd (Flynn, National Party) Share this | | Hansard source

As Easter approaches, the excitement builds across all corners of Flynn. The Central Highlands Easter Sunflower Festival in the west has been going for 42 years, Emerald being the main centre in the Central Highlands. In Proston, in the South Burnett area of my electorate, they will have the Regatta in the Park. This is always well attended by the people in the South Burnett and the North Burnett, who enjoy the weekend. There is also the popular Gladstone Harbour Festival, which has been very popular for many, many years—it's been going since about 1948. It includes the Brisbane to Gladstone Yacht Race, which is a very famous sporting event in Australian history.

Although my electorate of Flynn spans twice the size of Tasmania, there are many events, too numerous to mention, that will take place throughout the electorate. Distance does not stop locals wanting to celebrate Easter, and communities from all corners of the electorate come together as family and friends to celebrate the occasion.

The Central Highlands Easter Sunflower Festival is 42 years old. It's on the Central Highlands, as previously mentioned. It's a week-long festivity, with the biggest day celebrated on Easter Saturday. It starts with the Easter Parade, followed by the crowning of the 2018 Central Highlands Sunflower Queen and Princess. In the evening, there is a rodeo event which attracts many horse men and women from all over Central Queensland. In the afternoon there is horseracing at Pioneer Park.

Gladstone Harbour Festival has been around since 1948, and it's very spectacular. A lot of carnival activities take place on the marina, but I guess the yacht race from Brisbane to Gladstone is the highlight of the whole Easter week. It nearly had a disastrous beginning in the early years. In 1949, a big cyclone had hit Gladstone. It wiped out every church in Gladstone, but every pub was left standing. I don't know what that message was! But it's a fact that we survived that and the race has gone on every year since then. It has really been of great moment—it's second only to the Sydney to Hobart race.