Media Release by The Hon John Cobb MP

Minister for Community Services to Visit Bundaberg

The Minister for Community Services and Nationals Member for Parkes, John Cobb will be in Bundaberg over the next two days.

Mr Cobb said he would be arriving in Bundaberg Wednesday afternoon to accompany local Nationals Member, Paul Neville to an afternoon tea with the Australian Hearing Veterans to commemorate ANZAC Day. Later in the evening he would be speaking about his portfolio responsibilities at a Rotary function.

‘On Thursday, I have the honour of officially opening Agro Trend – Bundaberg’s premier agricultural field day, which this year is also an official ‘Year of the Outback 2006′ event,’ Mr Cobb said.

‘The Agro Trend field day was established by Rotary and first held in 1978. This an anticipated 12,000-15,000 visitors are expected, which is a great achievement and one that the Bundaberg Field Day Society should be extremely proud of.’

‘I know from first hand experience in trying to get a hotel room in Bundaberg that the Agro Trend field day is having a major positive economic impact on the region’s economy.

‘I was surprised and delighted to find out that so many local people were prepared to volunteer their time at the field day. With over 500 volunteers, mainly drawn from local community groups, it is expected to raise up to $40,000 which will be returned to the community.

Mr Cobb said that exhibitor numbers are up 5% on last year’s – to almost 260 and he agreed wholeheartedly with Agro Trend Field Day Society Secretary, Mr Col Reynolds, who said this year’s field day is a ‘real vote of confidence in agriculture’.

‘I am looking forward to visiting Endeavour Bundaberg’s ‘PR Sisson Farm’ later on Thursday morning.’

‘When I first took on the Community Services Portfolio, Paul Neville invited me to come to Bundaberg and see first hand the work done by Endeavour Bundaberg.’

‘I have visited many Business Services around the country since becoming the Minister, however, I have yet to visit a Business Service such as ‘PR Sisson Farm’.’

‘PR Sisson Farm operates with 72 employees. The main business activities include producing cherry tomatoes, chrysanthemums for Mother’s Day flower sales and packaging produce for the major supermarket chains,’ Mr Cobb said.

Mr Cobb said it was important for him as the Minister responsible for disability services to see first hand what was happening in the community and to hear from people about ways to improve the current system.