Gibson fights for hearing impaired

GYMPIE MP David Gibson had a good week in State Parliament, with a big victory in his ongoing commitment to help the hearing-impaired and to have the Bruce Highway upgrade continue apace.

In a mysterious outbreak of what almost appears to be good will, the LNP’s Mr Gibson and ALP Speaker in the House John Mickel traded compliments about the provision of sign language interpreters for the deaf.

And Labor Main Roads Minister Craig Wallace said Mr Gibson’s work to pressure the government over Bruce Highway upgrades marked Mr Gibson as “a man of principle, fighting for his electorate”.

Mr Gibson thanked Mr Mickel and the Parliament for inviting the deaf community to yesterday’s sitting of the House “and for all the work your staff have done making this a good day”.

With an Auslan sign language interpreter on hand, Mr Mickel announced Mr Gibson would explain to parliamentary colleagues the procedure for welcoming members of the deaf community to the debate and to morning tea with all MPs.

And in a light-hearted quip, he ruled “all interjections today will be done in Auslan”.

Putting the more expected hostility of debate to one side, he added that “the chair will not recognise any other sign language!”

Mr Gibson told the house of cuts in police spending on Auslan interpreters, saying this had resulted in one deaf man, suffering from the effects of pepper spray, being left with no communication capacity.

“With no interpreter provided he was frustrated and agitated, which resulted in police using pepper spray in his eyes.”

At the watchhouse, Mr Gibson said “still no interpreter was provided and he was not fully aware of what he was being charged with, nor of his human rights.

“He could not communicate with police to ask for water to wash his eyes, which were hurting from the pepper spray.”

Main Roads Minister Craig Wallace paid tribute to Mr Gibson.

“He has been a vocal advocate for (highway upgrades) on that very, very dangerous section of the Bruce Highway.

“He is a man of principle, fighting for his electorate,” Mr Wallace told the House.

Gympie Times


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