Lawrence Springborg opens Queensland Shows Conference

Story – ANDREA CROTHERS

QUEENSLAND Opposition leader Lawrence Springborg might not seem the most likely of champion show cooks in state parliament.

Nor might you know he once smashed a Queensland pumpkin growing record and has an envious winning streak in the fat lambs competition.

Opening the Queensland Shows Biennial Conference at the weekend, a three-day event which attracted 140 delegates from across the state’s 129 agricultural shows, Mr Springborg fondly recalled experiences with the local events.

As a young boy, Mr Springborg started off being terrified by the fireworks and hid behind his mother’s legs.

While these days you’re far more likely to see the LNP leader proudly claiming top prize for his fat lambs, it was his “accidental success” in other sections that was most memorable.

Three years ago Mr Springborg won first prize in the fig jam section of the Inglewood Show, beating some of the most experienced show cooks.

His wife had entered a jar from a batch he’d made in response to a pesky bower bird tormenting their fig tree.

The first place ribbon hasn’t been matched since.

Mr Springborg had similar beginner’s luck when he broke a Queensland show record in the giant pumpkin growing competition.

The 304-kilogram pumpkin was produced from a seed leftover from his children’s nomination package.

Mr Springborg said it was critically important for show societies to remember that their events had something for everyone.

“It’s about building foundations of what works for shows in the fabric of your community and being able to adapt,” he said, insisting that critical values needed to adapt in a modern context.

“I see the show movement as absolutely critical in keeping communities together and it does.

“In any society, in any community, there’s a small majority involved in everything.

“There’s a small group of people more motivated than others and I think you need to harness that.”

He credited the remarkable showstopping stories surfacing from the 2015 show season to the “unique chemistry” of different communities and encouraged delegates to embrace what works in their region.

“I’m hoping for more success in the fig jam competition and hoping for more success in the show movement,” Mr Springborg said.

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