28 October 2021
Ms WELLS (Lilley) (10:30): This weekend, our Hindu community in Lilley will be celebrating Diwali, the festival of lights, in Banyo. Over 45,000 Queenslanders celebrate the festival of lights every year, coming together to create new beginnings and celebrate the triumph of light over darkness. To those celebrating Diwali this year, I hope the festival of light brings Lakshmi and that she finds her way into your homes and brings prosperity to your friends and family for the year to come. I am sad that I can't be with you to celebrate this year—I will be in home quarantine after flying home from parliament—but I look forward to joining you in the festivities next year. I would also like to thank the Queensland Hindu Society in Boondall for welcoming Senator Penny Wong and me recently and sharing with us how our Australian Hindu community has been impacted during COVID-19.
I would also like to share with the parliament the concerns of president Rob, the secretary Camille and the Pinkenba Community Association, who have been battling a rezoning proposal that has the potential to dramatically alter the quality of life in their community. A developer has proposed that a block of land directly across the road from a street filled with residential properties be rezoned from a heritage listed area to a light industrial area. The Pinkenba Community Association fully appreciates the importance of progress and development in an industrial area like Pinkenba, but they are understandably concerned about the site being rezoned from what it was to a light industrial area, literally right across the street from their homes. I want to throw my full support behind the Pinkenba community, and I call upon Councillor David McLachlan and the Brisbane City Council to do the right thing by this close-knit community. I've doorknocked Pinkenba a couple of times now, and I know that they are a tough community who are not to be messed with.
I would also like to congratulate Michael and the Common Good, and the Prince Charles Hospital community more broadly, on their wildly successful Giving Day fundraiser. The Common Good raised a staggering $266,000, smashing their target of $250,000. Thank you to every single northsider who donated to this fundraiser, which will fund a whopping 6,060 hours of additional medical research at the Prince Charles Hospital. May I take this time to thank all of the health workers based out of the Prince Charles Hospital and the Metro North health district for their 18-month very hard slog during COVID, looking after the patients on the COVID ward and all of those who've come through the hospital, the testing centres and the vaccine clinics that we have now in places like Boondall. I encourage all northsiders to get vaccinated this week. There are only three days left before you will not have full coverage by the time Queensland opens its borders to our family and friends and to tourists, but also to COVID, estimated to be on 17 December. I encourage everybody to get vaccinated as soon as possible.