Steve Dickson MP, State Member for Buderim
Minister for National Parks, Recreation, Sport & Racing
Member for Buderim

Speeches

WELCOME HOME JESSICA WATSON

It is with great pleasure that I rise to speak about a young constituent of mine from the electorate of Buderim, Jessica Watson, daughter of Roger and Julie, sister to Emily, Tom and Hannah.


Some time ago Jessica decided to attempt to become the youngest person ever to sail around the world. For Jessica, there was much support, but there were also those who thought this feat might be beyond her. We now know that she was more than up to the challenge.  Jessica was born on 18 May 1993. While 1993 might seem a long while ago, it was also the year that Sydney won the bid to host the 2000 Olympics.  That seems like only yesterday.


Last year in Brisbane the boss of Virgin and adventurer, Sir Richard Branson, put forward his support for Jessica and her voyage.  He told us—She’s 16—she’s not a baby any more.  I left school at 15 and started my own business. At 16 you are pretty grown up—she should go for it. 


Sir Richard went on to say—It’s risky, but it could be risky walking over the road, it’s risky in cars, it’s risky on bicycles.  She’ll have the adventure of a lifetime—you only live once and live life to the full.


So last year, on 18 October, Jessica boarded Ella’s Pink Lady and left Sydney Harbour, embarking on a 23,000 nautical mile circumnavigation of our planet. Last Saturday, Jessica triumphantly returned to Australia, arriving in Sydney Harbour.


Jessica had spent a lonely Christmas and New Year’s Eve at sea. On Christmas Eve she wrote this on her blog—Both the air and sea temperatures have dropped a few more degrees and this morning we pretty much sailed right over Point Nemo, which is known for being the point of ocean furthest from any land. You really could say that I’ll be spending Christmas in the middle of nowhere! 


What a remarkable young Australian.


I must say happy birthday Jessica, and welcome back to Australia.


I would like to let the House know that there will be a meeting on the Sunshine Coast on 6 June when Jessica will be coming home and celebrating with the people of Brisbane, I hope, and the people of the Sunshine Coast.  I am hoping that the Premier and members of this House will support Jessica and the people of the Sunshine Coast by supporting this event and helping pay for it on the day.  It is about supporting a great young Australian and we should all get behind her.  


 While Jessica experienced some challenging sailing conditions en route, ironically it was the last few weeks of her voyage in Australian waters that proved to be the most challenging. Fifty-knot gales and 12-metre waves reported as ‘liquid mountains’ bashed Ella’s Pink Lady for days. Now though, Jessica has conquered the elements, the loneliness and the uncertainty.  In that regard, we can all breathe a sigh of relief and marvel at the achievements of this young woman.   


As the local state member representing Jessica and her family and the only member of the Queensland parliament to travel to Sydney and welcome Jessica home, I wish to advise the House that I believe she will be a very worthy nomination for the 2011 Young Australian of the Year.



I must say happy birthday, Jessica, and welcome back to Australia.


I would like to let the House know that there will be a meeting on the Sunshine Coast on 6 June when Jessica will be coming home and celebrating with the people of Brisbane, I hope, and the people of the Sunshine Coast. I am hoping that the Premier and members of this House will support Jessica and the people of the Sunshine Coast by supporting this event and helping pay for it on the day. It is about supporting a great young Australian and we should all get behind her.


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Monday, 9 December 2013 2:38 PM
In addition, the prescribing of DSPs is necessary in order to allow for the application of civil banning orders under the Liquor Act ...

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Steve Dickson MP, State Member for Buderim