Last Wednesday, our local State Parliamentarian for Surfers Paradise John-Paul Langbroek presented at our club. “JP”, as he is affectionately known to the locals (and with an electoral margin of over 20%, he is obviously very popular), gave a brief yet informative talk about his work of representing the people of his electorate. He particularly talked about his work as Shadow Minister for the Olympic and Paralympic Games 2032 Candidature, as Shadow Minister Sport and Racing (that suits me well, quipped Chairman Doug Lipp, who is a well known identity in the Horse Racing game… ☺).  But most people would not be aware: He is an Honorary Rotarian (with the Rotary Club of Gold Coast). “I’m proud to be a Rotary Member” John-Paul iterated, “particularly now that the attendance rules have been relaxed, I’m able to participate”.

Recently, JP indeed was active in one of our club’s project, the ‘Sleeping Sanctuary’ (POD), where he met with Immediate Past President Mario Fairlie, Councillor Darren Taylor and others to address the important problem of homelessness on the Gold Coast. “This is not an easy problem to address”, he elaborated, “some people do not wish to be in permanent accommodation”. Of course, it’s not just
homelessness per se, it’s the associated malaises of Methamphetamines, Ice and other drugs as well. John-Paul has a degree in Dental Science (UQ, with Honours) and practiced as a dentist until 2009. One of his maxims comes from his practice days of being careful about what drugs to prescribe: “Every effect has a side effect”.
There are so many facets in his type of work, so a 20-odd minute talk is hardly doing justice to them all. For example “Should Schoolies be held?” he asked. “I’d be surprised if it was officially going ahead” he said. “But then, can we prohibit Unit Owners in Surfers Paradise to rent their units?”. He is currently in talks with the local accommodation providers. Finally, to the 2032 Olympics: “We are in with an excellent chance. Our main competitor is Hamburg, but now recently Qatar has come in. Their major attraction is simply an almost unlimited amount of money they can throw at it. Need another Super Stadium? We’ll build it. Want it air conditioned? Done.  But our experience with the recently staged Commonwealth Games not only does us credit, but the infrastructure which is a legacy of staging them, is exceptionally valuable.
JP closed off with Question Time, albeit not as rambunctious as it would be in Parliament. Your Editor’s  loaded question “In the age of Business at the Speed of Thought, why do we need States?” was deftly deflected: “Because it’s the States which do the work that matters: Health, Justice, Police, Education…  Further, with some 500-odd State Politicians Australia wide, if you want to effect a change of the Constitution to abolish the States: I wish you luck!” [OK, perhaps not in my life time then...☺ Ed.]