I rise to inform the House that, regretfully, in the coming days I will be travelling to Central Queensland to pass my respects to the family and commemorate the passing of someone who I believe to be an icon of the Australian bush—a man whose growth in the industry has known no bounds. I speak of no other than the respect that I have for Graeme Acton and of his tragic passing last week.
Graeme's iconic status within the Australian and regional cattle industry is superlative. His loss will be an enormous void to be filled by the next generation that comes through. Graeme's growth within the cattle industry was somewhat unsurpassed. His family enterprises are within the top few holdings of Australian cattle families. Those acquisitions were made in extremely tough times—through vulnerable times of drought. They were made when commodity prices were tough and in the adversity of harsh weather conditions, in a sector where these industries are price takers with no certainty of the end value of the product.
But Graeme stood above the pack. He stood above the pack with reference to his boy-like—his unique feature was his voice. It was akin to a baby calf sometimes. You always knew when Graeme Acton was coming. His voice would announce him well before you got a visual on the man. A tall man; a man of strong carriage. A man of great values. A man whose commitment to the bush was unwavering. A man whose commitment to the sport of campdraft was unsuppressed. His personal investment into the sport at his residence, a couple of thousand acres outside Rockhampton that he named 'Paradise Lagoons', included establishing Australia's premier campdraft facilities. When you think of campdraft in the bush, it is an iconic sport; Graeme took the sport to a professional level with three arenas. It was truly remarkable.
In the time remaining to me, I would like to pass my sincere and humble condolences onto the family and friends of Graeme Acton. His generosity knew no bounds with the very quiet way that he supported many, many, many charities and interest groups around the nation. I suggest on Monday all of those people will remember the great things and the contributions that that man made to our country.