Keith Pitt: Why Paul Neville's legacy will be lasting
NINE years ago, Keith Pitt watched Paul Neville standing on the side of Lucketts Rd in Childers, flanked by council and government officials.
Then an LNP candidate for the Hinkler region, Mr Pitt was struck by his predecessor's eloquence in arguing against the road's closure to save local businesses.
It's one of the memories the incumbent Hinkler MP shared about Mr Neville, who he yesterday described as a "local champion”.
"His office trained an enormous amount of people, particularly media advisors who have gone into ministerial roles right around the country at a state and national level,” Mr Pitt said. "Paul's influence can't be underestimated, he's been a very important part of the National Party for a very long time.”
Mr Pitt said Paul was always available to provide advice and displayed a wealth of knowledge, even outside his parliamentary career.
"It was always an interesting conversation with Paul, you always knew where you stood with him,” he said.
"He had a very large influence, particularly around national media and communications... and road safety.
"Road transport infrastructure is the main one... (putting in) all lasting road infrastructure that makes our community a lot safer.”
Community to farewell MP
The funeral of former Member for Hinkler Paul Neville will be held on Saturday.
Mr Neville, 78, died on New Year's Day at Bundaberg Hospital after a long battle with sickness.
Born on March 28, 1940, the grandfather of six has been remembered as a doting family man.
He held the seat of Hinkler from 1993-2013, becoming one of the longest-serving MPs in Australian political history.
Tributes for the National Party icon have poured in from both sides of parliament.
Mr Neville is survived by his wife of more than 50 years, Margaret, children Gaye, Gavin, Sally, Paul and Peter and grandchildren Amy, Micaella, Georgia, Angus, Hugh and Ava.
Relatives and friends of Mr Neville and his family are invited to attend his funeral service at Holy Rosary Catholic Church, Barolin St, with requiem mass starting at noon.