Tuesday, 30 November 2021
I rise on a somewhat lighter note to let Gippslanders know that my annual calendar competition is over, so please stop sending me photographs! Mr Speaker, I know that you as the member for Fisher believe that your electorate on the Sunshine Coast has a few things going for it, but I must say that Gippsland is the best place in Australia to live in, to work in, to visit and to raise a family in.
Honourable members interjecting—
The interjections are disorderly, Mr Speaker! I remind my colleagues that Gippsland is the only place you would want to live. One thing as a member of parliament, though, I'd advise my colleagues is that running a photographic competition is a great way to lose friends because you get so many amazing entries and you get to choose only 13 winners.
On a more serious note, the calendar is intended to promote Gippsland in all its diversity and all its attractions and encourage people to take a break in our region. As we recover from the combined impacts of drought, bushfires and coronavirus, we want our visitor economy to go well this summer. I know that the member for Jagajaga, who has visited the Gippsland Lakes and loves it enormously, will be down to visit Gippsland at her earliest possible convenience.
On a lighter note, I think we need to start with the cover. Hansard won't do this full justice. It is of fairy wrens and was taken by Sarah. If you take a close look, Mr Speaker—and I will give you 20 or 30 copies!—you will see the middle child is really grumpy about missing out on a worm. When we get to January, we are looking at the sea caves at Secret Beach. It's not really a secret because it is actually just out of Mallacoota and we want as many people as possible to visit.
When we flip over to February, we are into the beautiful Mitchell River area of Lindenow. As you know, Mr Speaker, Gippsland produces the greatest agricultural products in the land; it's very important that we reflect that in the February month.
The member for Flynn seems to be interjecting in a disorderly manner!
In March, the winner is Holly Baird from Marlo, who has taken this magnificent photograph of what we call the dogs of the sea, Australian fur seals. It's a very playful photograph.
In April, it's Anglers Rest in the high country. It's of a chilly autumn day in Anglers Rest. If you are in that area on your motorbike, Mr Speaker, please stop at the Blue Duck Inn. I can tell you that the Guinness pie is magnificent.
When we flip over to May, we are on the Devil's Elbow, at the back of the Macalister River flats. As a young boy I grew up visiting the Macalister River flats and my family's farm at Paradise Valley, just down the road. Please take the time to visit my region and check out Paradise Valley or the Devil's Elbow.
In June, this is a lovely reflective piece. It's a very serene piece of Cowwarr Dam, where a lot of people from the Latrobe Valley will cool off during these warm summer months approaching.
In July we have the snow season. We have the stockyards. Just a couple of weeks ago, I drove across Mount Hotham. Would you believe that, at this time of year, we had snow falling in the Gippsland alps? It was a beautiful scene, and one that I am sure you would appreciate as well, Mr Speaker.
August is Ninety Mile Beach and reflections of the Trinculo, which is actually a wreck on the beach. But the one thing I want to remind people who are following tonight's debate of is the Golden Beach fishing competition in late January. Please turn up for the fishing competition. It's a very big highlight of the year in my region.
September is the Sale Common. There's nothing common about 14 cygnets in one photograph, so congratulations to the photographer here, who was Sue from Sale.
Moving to October, it's the grass trees after the bushfires at Cape Conran. I mentioned the bushfires at the outset and how they had an enormous impact on my community, but I want to assure people that the Cape Conran cabins are being rebuilt right now and there are plenty of accommodation options available at Marlo at Cape Conran.
In November, the winning photograph came from Naomi, who took a shot of the Nowa Nowa trestle bridge right alongside the East Gippsland Rail Trail. The East Gippsland Rail Trail is the longest rail trail in my electorate. It runs from Bairnsdale to Orbost, almost 100 kilometres. Our government has provided almost $2 million to upgrade the trail. So we are very pleased to encourage more people to visit the East Gippsland Rail Trail. Finally, in December, there is a photo of the world-famous Mitchell River silt jetties. These are the longest silt jetties in Australia. In fact they're the longest in the world since the Mississippi Delta was impacted by Hurricane Katrina.
Again, we encourage people to come to Gippsland, explore the diversity and see what magnificent options are available to them for a family holiday at any time of the year. For those who've already planned their holidays, I thank you for that; for those who are thinking about where they might spend their holidays this year, I encourage you to visit Gippsland.
I seek leave of the House to table my calendar.