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Speech – Motion of Condolence (25 August 2011)

Mr POWELL (Glass House—LNP) (10.37 am): I, too, rise to pay my respects to the Turner family on the passing of Neil in July this year. My family moved to the electorate of Nicklin unfortunately after the Neil Turner era so my first introduction to the Turner family was actually through Ute. I do not know if Ute will remember, but I suspect she will. On one rather stifling day in early 2009 I was doorknocking in her Blackall Range community and I knocked on her door. Ute kindly offered me a glass of water. We got to talking about politics, juggling politics and family, the education of my kids and a whole lot more. I did not get too many other doors knocked on that morning, but I did meet a very wise woman and received some sage advice and I thank Ute for that. My subsequent interactions with Neil showed me that he was equally capable of dispensing sage advice, just not necessarily with Ute’s hospitality or her diplomacy. I think his first words to me, and this was after the 2009 election and my appointment to this position, were, ‘So who are you young fellow and where did you come from?’
Neil’s contributions to party meetings were always robust and based on his personal experiences. He had a few favourite topics, as the members for Toowoomba South, Southern Downs and others have mentioned, but when he did speak I certainly listened. I think that came from his time as the Speaker. My biggest regret is that I did not meet Neil sooner and I did not get to know him as well as I would have liked to. To Ute and the family, my sincerest condolences. Neil was a wonderful man. He will be missed by the Sunshine Coast LNP community and by me personally.

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