Australia Day awards- Adjournment

Mr O'SULLIVAN— My adjournment matter tonight is for the Premier, and I ask the Premier to write to three significant citizens within my electorate who received Australia Day awards just recently.

I would like to personally congratulate Bill Baxter, who was appointed as a Member of the Order of Australia in this year's Australia Day awards. His appointment recognises his significant service to the people and the Victorian Parliament. Bill served our state as a northern Victorian politician in both the Legislative Council and the Legislative Assembly. He also served as National Party state president from 2007 to 2009 — when I was the state director he was my president. He was awarded life membership of The Nationals as well. In 1969 at the federal election Bill was the campaign director for the Deputy Prime Minister at the time, Sir John McEwen, in the seat of Murray. Bill Baxter was on the frontbench for The Nationals and the coalition for 28 years. He served as the Minister for Roads and Ports in the Kennett government as well as holding a whole range of other portfolios. He served as deputy leader and eventually Leader of The Nationals in this very chamber, the Legislative Council. Bill has put in many years of hard work for this Parliament and his local community in the north, and I congratulate him on his award.

Don Kilgour was also awarded an Order of Australia Medal for his work within the greater community of Shepparton. Don is a former sports radio broadcaster and was elected as the member for Shepparton in the Assembly in 1991. During Don's time he served as the National Party whip and secretary to the shadow cabinet. He is also an active member of the Shepparton community and is someone who truly loves the community that he lives in. He has very much encouraged people from his area to do the best they can and for his community to prosper in the best way it certainly has. I would like to congratulate Don on receiving his Order of Australia Medal.

Also receiving an award was Peter Francis Ryan from Dookie. He was awarded last week at the Australia Day awards. Peter has been deeply influential in the Goulburn Valley. He is a farmer, an educator and a businessman and has been on a whole range of boards, including that of the Dookie Agricultural College. He was the CEO of GOTAFE and also the chairman of Goulburn Valley Health for four years. Goulburn Valley Health received $168 million for the replacement of the hospital when he was the chairman. He has also been on a whole range of other committees within the area and is very well known in his community, particularly with the Greater Shepparton Lighthouse Project, which is something that he is a very big supporter of.

I would like to congratulate those three National Party giants, and I ask that the Premier write to them and congratulate them on getting their Australia Day awards.

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