August 6, 2013
Blackbutt’s new medical centre complex on the corner of Pine and Coulson streets was officially opened today.
Member for Maranoa Bruce Scott performed the duty, assisted by Member for Bowman – and former country GP – Andrew Laming.
A crowd of about 150 invited guests gathered along Pine Street for the function.
Mr Scott said Jeff and Dr Daphene Connor had passion and commitment.
He also congratulated them on the fact that the centre had been created through their own personal investment, not government grant money.
“It shows confidence in the Blackbutt community,” he said. “It shows you are here for the long haul.”
South Burnett Mayor Wayne Kratzmann also congratulated the Connors on their achievement.
“It is a great economic shot-in-the-arm for Blackbutt and surrounds,” Mayor Kratzmann said.
He said the building was a testament to what the couple had brought to Blackbutt with their expertise.
The opening ceremony was also an opportunity for the Queensland Rural Medical Family Network to present Jeff Connor – who is the centre’s practice manager – with the organisation’s 2013 “Backbone of the Bush” award.
QRMFN president Hannelie Roux said the Backbone of the Bush Award recognised the contribution made by rural spouses.
Ms Roux read out the nomination for the award, submitted by Dr Connor. She said that without Jeff’s support it was likely she would never have left the coast to try life in a rural area.
Also now open in the front section of the centre is the Blackbutt Pharmacy, which has relocated from further down Coulson Street.
Footnote: The Blackbutt Medical Centre is a true “country practice”. If you feel like riding your horse to town, there’s a hitching rail out the front …