Australia's oldest man inspires senator
AS TWO parliamentarians barnstormed the southwest last week, they could not go past a pit stop to Pinaroo retirement village to visit Australia's oldest man.
Queensland Senator Amanda Stoker and Member for Warrego Ann Leahy were on the road inquiring about aged care facilities and zonal taxation in the region, but a visit to Dexter Kruger soon became the highlight of their trip.
At 108 years of age, Mr Kruger had no trouble entertaining his guests, from claiming he was arguably Kilcoy's greatest son to sharing life values that the parliamentarians could apply in the chamber.
Senator Stoker said Mr Kruger was an inspiration.
"He is fun, smart and cheeky. Gosh, to be that switched on at that age says something pretty impressive about the life you learn doesn't it,” Senator Stoker said.
Ms Leahy said they visited Dalby, Chinchilla, The Gums, Glenmorgan, Westmar, St George, Mitchell and Roma and could not miss the opportunity to visit the oldest man in her electorate, let alone the country.
"It's an immense privilege to have the oldest man in Australia in my electorate, and it's an immense privilege to actually know him and to be able to talk with him,” she said.
"We've been talking to councils and aged care facilities, as well as inquiring about zonal taxation, which has been an issue with population drift and it has been an issue that has been raised regularly with me by local commun- ities because they want to grow their communities.
"It doesn't matter what shire you are in, it is a consistent theme across the board.”
Ms Leahy said Mr Kruger reaffirmed the importance of quality aged care facilities.
"When you look at the change that he's seen over his lifetime, I think it is really inspirational because he has seen so much happen,” she said.
"And we do see drought out here and how tough it is for people but also I think it strengthens our resolve as members of parliament to make sure we have first class aged care facilities in our region so that those people who have done it tough and have paid their taxes all their lives can live in a real quality aged care facility.”
Senator Stoker said Pinaroo was a "top shelf”.