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Central Queensland

Rockhampton 2005 Regional Parliament

The Central Queensland sitting of Parliament was held in Rockhampton from 4 to 6 October 2005 at the Pilbeam Theatre. The adjacent Rockhampton Art Gallery was transformed into members' office space for the duration of the sitting.

The electorates of Rockhampton, Fitzroy, Keppel, Gladstone, Callide and Gregory were included in the Central Queensland region for the purposes of the sitting.

An exhibition highlighting parliamentarians from the Central Queensland region since 1860 was prepared for the sitting and gifted to the Rockhampton City Council.

As occurred in the North Queensland sitting, the sitting program reflected the usual business of Parliament when it sits in Brisbane with the exception of the program for the Wednesday which commenced later and included the Question Time session in the evening. Again, the evening Question Time session proved the most well-attended session of the Parliament with an estimated 500 people coming to view democracy in action.

About 3000 school students from 57 schools visited the Parliament in Rockhampton. Attendance by students from regional schools was enhanced by an Education Queensland subsidy scheme. A Youth Parliament involving schools from the region was conducted in the chamber following the sitting.

Rockhampton's Walter Reid Cultural Centre was the venue for a range of community engagement activities and displays conducted in conjunction with the sitting. These included:

  • parliamentary artefacts, documents and photographic images from the parliamentary archives and 19th century heritage O'Donovan Collection highlighting the history of the Central Queensland region
  • paintings of the six Premiers who have come from the Central Queensland region
  • the 2005 Centenary of Women's Suffrage Display commemorating 100 years of women receiving the right to vote
  • the Department of Communities “Get Involved with Government Online” display and shortlisted photos for the Premier's multicultural photographic awards (with the ability for people to use an online voting system to vote for the People's Choice Award); 
  • Electoral Commission of Queensland sample elections.

The play Citizen Jane—which examines government and parliamentary processes in an educative and entertaining way—was also presented over the three sitting days in the Walter Reid Cultural Centre auditorium.

Other events conducted in conjunction with the sitting included an art competition, a state reception and free lunch-time public barbeque.