Mr CHRISTENSEN (Dawson) (09:43): Thank you for the opportunity of allowing me to speak on a constituency matter. Given this jacket that I am wearing, I am grateful to the Speaker that I have not been ejected and grateful to the members opposite that they have not raised a point of order as yet—and the member for Higgins for a comment that this is perhaps the flashiest outfit in parliament. I do not know whether that means that you need sunglasses at the moment. The jacket, perhaps a little more tropical than a Peter Allen special, is louder than traditional dress in this place for a reason. There is a method in this 'couturial' chaos. It is not exactly haute couture; it is a bit like bas couture. The jacket was made especially for me by local constituents, because they knew that I would be talking about an important tourism event in this place this morning.
As most of would be aware, the tourism industry has been suffering from a downturn for some time. Operators are looking for more assistance or understanding from all levels of government. There are people in organisations in my electorate who cannot wait for something. They are going out and making it themselves. They have worked hard to improve tourism products and create innovative events to help the tourism industry survive and, hopefully, grow.
I would like to highlight one of these new events in particular—and this goes to my jacket—the first Mackay Beach Race Day which is the perfect combination of horseracing and the tropical lifestyle. The jacket is a symbol of the tropics and the fun lifestyle we have in Mackay. Organisers of the beach race day have embodied the spirit in a landmark event on the Australian social calendar. The spirit is also embodied in this suit. While the jacket is loud, colourful and tropical there are also some pants to match—and thank God I am not wearing them! I will keep the pants in the closet until 26 August, because on 26 August thousands of Australians will descend on Mackay to attend this nation's one and only beach horseracing event.
Australians love horseracing and we have seen that borne out in the many late nights put in by fans to watch Black Caviar make history in England during the early hours of Sunday morning. Beach horseracing in Mackay will also make history, because as far as I am aware beach horseracing only happens in two countries: Spain, at Sanlucar de Barrameda, and Ireland, at Laytown. Mackay will be the third place in the world to do serious beach horseracing. The residents of the Mackay region will support this event in their thousands, and I believe that race day fans from all over Australia, given the momentum this is picking up, will take the opportunity to escape the cold and visit the tropics which, I strongly suggest, is why I am wearing this suit.
It is a unique event and I look forward to seeing some of our southern colleagues, perhaps those opposite, donning a tropical shirt—maybe not as colourful as this—to help Mackay make history. For more information you can simply google Mackay Beach horse racing. I congratulate all of those locals and sponsors who are making this event possible.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER (Hon. BC Scott): The member for Dawson looks resplendent.