Nominations for Queensland Greats recognise the people and organisations that have helped shape this state

Premier Campbell Newman

Premier Campbell Newman

Premier of Queensland

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Condolences to flood victims
When Parliament resumed in Brisbane last week, it was my sombre responsibility to pass a condolence motion commiserating the six people who died in recent floods and the many others who lost their homes and livelihoods. It will take time and money to rebuild Queensland, but I have no doubt that these floods will be viewed by history as a ‘game-changer’ that made the government of the day stand up and make lasting changes for the better.

Queensland Greats
Ours is a great state with great opportunity and nominations are now open for the 2013 Queensland Greats Awards program. The awards honour individuals and institutions that have made significant contributions to the history and development of Queensland. Last year, I had the pleasure of announcing five outstanding individuals were all highly deserving recipients as the 2012 Queensland Greats:

Professor Ken Donald AO
Deborah Mailmam
Daphne Pirie AO MBE
Sir Sydney Schubert, and
Terry White AO

I also presented the 2012 institution award to Queensland Meals on Wheels, which joins other iconic institutions such as the University of Queensland (2010), Blue Care (2009), and the Royal Flying Doctor Service of Australia – Queensland Section (2008). Their contribution to medicine, the arts, sport and the public sector has helped shape Queensland.

Nominating deserving individuals and institutions for these awards will ensure we continue to recognise and celebrate all that is great about Queenslanders. Nominations for this year close on 15 March and I’m excited about announcing the 2013 Queensland Greats during Queensland Week celebrations which begin 1 June. The Queensland Greats will be recognised with a commemorative plaque display at Roma Street Parkland, Brisbane.

Flashing lights for safety
The government has improved the safety of children and their parents at another 15 Queensland schools as part of our flashing school lights program. The $10million school safety program is on track to roll out flashing school lights to 300 schools over four years.

In October last year we announced there would be flashing lights for 15 schools before the 2013 school year started and we delivered on that promise. The signs are designed to remind parents and other drivers to slow down through school zones and drive to conditions or risk a hefty fine. More than 17,000 speeding fines were handed out in school zones last year – an increase of 40 per cent since 2010.

A study showed that flashing lights were more reliable than Vehicle Activated Signs as they were more reliable and always visible. We have a lot of traffic around schools, with 508,000 students enrolled across Queensland for 2013 and term one now in full swing. I just leave all parents with a friendly reminder to take care around schools. Children can be unpredictable at the best of times – I know from experience – so please drive safely.