The best way to describe Bundaberg is probably on a plate.
Within a 50-kilometre radius of the CBD you will find all the ingredients for a vibrant, colourful and iconic Australian banquet.
You start with a Thirsty Turtle beer, followed by a dark and stormy with a wedge of lime; sea scallops with a chilli and ginger dressing; eye fillet with a garlic prawn topper and roasted vegetable salad; and finish with a fresh fruit salad or chocolate coated macadamia nuts.
You could walk into almost any cafe in the Bundaberg electorate and find locally grown produce on the menu: Alowishus Delicious, Oodies, Indulge, Rosie Blue, Water Street Kitchen, Eleven Acres and Penny Lane Gardens to name just a few.
However, Bundaberg is much more than the country’s premier food bowl; it is also home to value-adding, innovation and entrepreneurship. Manufacturing is alive and well.
The Bundaberg electorate has an impressive story to tell, but it is not without its challenges. In January 2013, when the Burnett River burst its banks, Bundaberg was hit by the biggest flood ever recorded. Over 2,000 homes, 600 businesses and major community infrastructure were destroyed. Military and civilian helicopters winched hundreds of people to safety and Army officers said it was worse than any war zone they had encountered.
I have always been proud to call Bundaberg home, but it was the Bundy spirit that I saw in the days, weeks and months after the floods that cemented my genuine love for our community. Together, we all stood up and re-built our community.
I want to continue showcasing those fantastic people in our region who are doing wonderful things. Bundaberg is such a special place, we have so much to be proud of and have an abundance of people, projects and places which are truly worth showcasing.
I believe Bundaberg has so much room to grow and I will continue to fight for what I know Bundaberg wants, needs and deserves in order to allow our community to flourish into the future.
I want our region to become known for our mateship, positivity, innovation and entrepreneurship, too. We have so much potential for the future.