Mr BUCHHOLZ (Wright) (10:46): It is wonderful to see my electorate so strongly represented this year at the Brisbane Ekka, a wonderful locality. In my electorate, the biggest contributor to GDP is agriculture, and the Ekka is the biggest showcase in Queensland where city meets the bush. It is a wonderful place. I particularly draw attention to the local councils in my electorate—Lockyer Valley Regional Council, under the leadership of Mayor Tanya Milligan; and Scenic Rim council, under the leadership and mayoralty of Greg Christensen—for the work they do advocating in the horticultural space. They have some amazing displays.
The Ekka is an opportunity for our local artists, bakers, gardeners and photographers to exhibit their talents and handicrafts and put them up against the best in the state. It is a chance for our equestrian champions to compete in the ring against the best in the state and for our auctioneers to make their sale and show their wares. Our animal lovers can showcase their dogs, poultry and cattle while our local growers feature their produce, stamping our region's claim to be the 'Salad Bowl of Australia'. The Ekka is an opportunity for like-minded people to connect and forge long-lasting relationships, and often they only get the opportunity to catch up once a year at the Ekka.
Congratulations to the successful exhibitors from my electorate. A special mention to the Haag family from Teviotville, who created a prize-winning Moreton District exhibit, taking out the best collection of exhibits from the districts. And of course special mention should also go to Tom and Joy Surawski from Boonah, who took out the champion pen of three steers and heifers in the prime beef section. Tom, I know, would have already started backgrounding next year's steers for the competition, and they probably already have 30 days under their belt.
Bookending at the Ekka are our own agricultural shows within the electorate. It was my pleasure to open more recently the Boonah and Kalbar shows earlier this year, and the countdown is on for the Canungra show and rodeo on 26 and 27 August; and the Beaudesert Show, which will bring the community together on 8 and 9 September. Local shows are where family traditions are made and childhood memories are passed down through generations. I congratulate everyone who exhibited, competed or attended this year's Ekka, and I look forward to seeing you again at the Canungra or Beaudesert shows.
In closing, I want to thank the tireless volunteers who put in hours to help our show societies become a reality. I want to acknowledge the work that our judges do, which is often a thankless task. I want to thank the stewards and officials who give countless hours volunteering. I want to thank the competitors and exhibitors, who come from all around the state to compete against the best. All of them help the city meet the bush, and I hope everyone has a great Ekka.