Mr ENTSCH: I rise this afternoon to pay tribute to the local LNP candidates Sam Marino, Linda Cooper, Gerry Vallianos and Edward ‘Nipper’ Brown who contested the recent Queensland state elections in various seats across my electorate.
Obviously the result wasn’t one that they desired but it’s not to say that they didn’t give their all.
All four ran very solid local campaigns but it just wasn’t mean to be.
As those here this afternoon would attest to, when you put your name forward for political office you are doing so because you want to make a difference for your community.
Sam, Linda, Gerry and Nipper were no different.
All four came from diverse backgrounds and all of them had positive things to offer in their respective communities.
What struck me about all four candidates was their leadership qualities and burning desire to serve their respective communities.
Take Linda for example. She stepped down from her very safe regional councillor position to contest the election because she wanted to make a difference.
The same for goes for Nipper, who for the past six years served the community at Mareeba Shire Council.
He too wanted to make a difference.
Sam and Gerry are successful and respected Cairns businessmen in their own rights, but outside of business hours they both hold leadership positions with local community organisations and dedicate a large amount of their time volunteering and serving in their local communities.
It is always easy to forget those who weren’t successful in an election.
I believe it’s very important to acknowledge them, as it is to also acknowledge the eventual winners.
Although they weren’t successful this time around, I know that Sam, Linda, Gerry and Nipper will continue to serve their community, as they have done so before.
There are communities right across Queensland, and Australia more generally, that have their own Sams, Lindas, Gerrys and Nippers all striving to make a positive difference in the community that they call home.
Irrespective of what political party that you are aspiring to represent, I think it is very, very important to acknowledge that they put a hell of a lot on the line when they step out there to wear that badge and look to take on the role.
In my view, one of the very best things that we can say about our country is that those people are prepared to get out there—not just sit on the sidelines and be critical—and give it a go.
I say thank you to all of those candidates who have made an effort, whether they succeeded or not.