Parliament goes to the people

WHAT a week for Central Queensland!

The sitting of parliament in Rockhampton certainly gave a huge injection to the area, not only in green lights for projects but also media coverage and general business.

Speaker Tony McGrady said there was a buzz of excitement in the town for the week.

"It started from the reception on Monday night where there was a sense of history being made for Central Queensland,'' he said.

"But the highlight for the week was definitely question time on Wednesday night.

"Generally question time is held during the day but we decided to hold it during the evening to allow the public to come and witness what occurs at question time.

"We had about 800 people in the public gallery and the event was enthusiastically embraced.''

Mr McGrady said he estimated about 5600 people came through the Pilbeam Theatre over the three days.

"It is all about bringing the Parliament to the regions.

"The people in Central Queensland are entitled to have parliament come to them rather than parliament sitting only in Brisbane.''

Mr McGrady said the organisation that went into having parliament sit in Rockhampton was enormous.

"Planning for the event began 12 months prior,'' he said. "And I have to thank the support we received from the police, the Rockhampton City Council, the Pilbeam Council and the numerous businesses throughout the area.''

Mr McGrady said the three days were packed with events and displays.

"I liken it to a sort of democratic fiesta,'' he said. "The governor hosted some receptions, we had numerous displays and events and, in the foyer, we had interactive computers where the public could see democracy processes in action.''

Mr McGrady said he was particularly impressed with the youth parliament that was held yesterday in the Pilbeam Theatre. "The standard of debate was exceptional,'' he said.

"Eighty-nine students attended the youth parliament and there was a good sprinkling of observers in the gallery.

"I thought the students performed better than some of our members.



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