I am deeply saddened to rise tonight to mark the passing of three outstanding and loved community leaders in Gregory.
Many will be aware of the recent passing of the former member for Gregory, Vaughan Johnson OAM. I hope to have more to say about Vaughan's enormous contributions to Western Queensland when this House marks his passing with a formal condolence motion. The outpouring of gratitude and affection for Vaughan across Gregory shows he was well loved not only in Gregory but throughout Queensland and in this place as well.
Sadly, on Australia Day Western Queensland also lost highly respected banker Angus ‘Gus’ McLellan. Quite simply, Gus was Rabobank in Longreach.
Throughout the 10-year long drought, Gus focused intently on getting all his clients through it. His loyalty was renowned. His loyalty to his clients, to Western Queensland and to his work colleagues was legendary.
Angus started in the ag industry back in 1974 as a cadet livestock agent with Winchcombe Carson, moving on to work for Elders and then later Dalgety. This experience gave him deep knowledge of Western Queensland's agricultural industries and a substantial network of key operators in those industries. In 2002 he moved to Rabobank, and his dedication to his clients' welfare throughout the drought made a huge difference.
Gus was 67 when we lost him to cancer. He had put off his retirement until the drought broke and I am sad to say that he did not get to enjoy that retirement.
He was a muchloved husband, father, uncle and community member. I extend my deepest condolences to his wife Karen and his children Angus, Tom and Annabelle.
The Central Highlands has also suffered a great loss with the passing of Geoffrey Kavanagh after a battle with brain cancer. Geoffrey was a truly loved member of the agricultural and irrigators community in the Nogoa Mackenzie and Fitzroy Basin.
Geoffrey had a deep knowledge of the hydrology of the basin and I would go so far as to say he had almost a sixth sense about water flows from rainfall events.
In 2008, when Emerald experienced historic floods, we faced it with the Bureau of Metrology having withdrawn services from the district. The council, the state government and the community turned to Geoffrey who was able to predict with almost uncanny accuracy what the flood flows would be and when they would arrive. I still retain the invaluable charts he developed linking flood heights with local landmarks.
Of course, Emerald's 2008 flood was just the prelude to Queensland's summer of sorrow in 2010. Once again, Geoffrey's expertise was fundamental in managing the second flood in 2010.
We owe him a great debt and I extend my heartfelt condolences to his wife Julie and children Kaydee and Brynn. He will be greatly missed not just for his knowledge but for his contributions to the community and his contributions to agribusiness.
I will miss all of those gentlemen very much.