South Australian Police Officer of the Year | SPEECH


Mr VAN HOLST PELLEKAAN ( Stuart ) ( 15:15 :00 ): I rise today to make a speech to this parliament that gives me great pleasure, that is, to advise that Senior Constable Danny McGurgan from Cadell in the electorate of Stuart has today been announced as South Australia Police Officer of the Year. This is a fantastic award sponsored by the Rotary Club of Unley, and I commend the Rotary Club of Unley for the ongoing work they do in this area.

South Australia Police Officer of the Year is an outstanding award and there could be no better recipient than Senior Constable Danny McGurgan. He is a person from Cadell, and he works in the Waikerie Police Station. He moved to Cadell at the age of 12; he is 52 now, so he has a strong foundation in that community. He is an absolutely tremendous man with regard to police, family and community.

This award for police officers is for a range of very positive contributions, including performing significant acts of courtesy, kindness, understanding or courage, or handling a complex and difficult situation with humility. The award also recognises an officer’s voluntary work outside their policing role. Danny McGurgan volunteers for just about everything going on in this area at the moment. He is so highly regarded, in fact, that this year on Australia Day he was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM)—an outstanding acknowledgement. He was also the Mid Murray Council’s Citizen of the Year this year, which is another wonderful award in recognition of his community work.

Danny is perhaps most well known recently for his work to save the Cadell ferry. Members of this house who were in parliament last year (and, hopefully, new members who were not here) would be aware of the government trying to take away the Cadell ferry. There were an enormous number of reasons why that was a dreadful thing to do: it was completely inappropriate for the community, for emergency services, for the school, for local primary production businesses and for regional development in general. It was also completely inappropriate because the government did not pursue its own internal consultation processes. Minister after minister was asked in estimates a couple of years ago, ‘Were you consulted about this decision?’ and they all had to say no.