Queensland MP of sport and housing a passionate surfer
Surf Scene with Andrew McKinnon
YOU can count the real surfers who are members of the Queensland State Government on your left thumb and I mean real surfers that can surf on a shortboard. The Minister of Sport and Housing Mick De Brenni is the only real surfer in the Parliament and relishes the opportunity to surf when he can find time from his hectic workload.
"I've just got a JS 6'3” Monsta Box. It's made me surf so much better,” he said frothing like a grommet.
Minister Mick was a late starter to surfing but like anyone that starts it didn't take him long to get hooked.
"I started to teach myself how to surf when I was 23 years old, "he said.
The member of Springwood lives a long way from the beach which probably makes him keener.
"I grew up a fair way from the surf in Rochedale South, Logan. Once I got that feeling only a surfer knows, I spent the next few years surfing between Kingscliff and Cabarita Beach, and later at south Stradbroke and Duranbah.”
As a beginner, his surfing heroes were Dean "Dingo” Morrison and Mark "Occy” Occhilupo. De Brenni was in two minds whether to travel the world and go surfing or go into Politics.
"I guess it was an easy decision because I knew that I wanted to make the world a better place, and I figured that I could fit surfing in around that. Which has got harder and harder as the years have passed!”
De Brenni is passionate about politic, sports and surfing and Australia's commitment to the 2020 Olympics.
"Now that surfing has been internationally recognised and become an Olympic sport, I'm really keen to see Queensland kids get every opportunity to be their best and one day represent their country. The quality of the South East Queensland coast means we breed good surfers and I want to make sure we have plenty of role models like Kai Tandler and Raya Campbell, who are being supported through our QAS program.”
Since 2015, the Palaszczuk Government has invested $1 million into surfing in Queensland.
Last month De Brenni announced that the State Government were providing an additional $150,000 worth of funding for Olympic hopefuls like Kai and Raya.
He is also responsible for housing policy and building, maintaining government assets, the stadiums and procurement policy to the tune of $18 billion a year.
He will be unveiling a major sports policy shorty that involves Queensland's first ever Sport and Active Recreation Strategy.
"So that every Queenslander gets to have a go at sport, whether it's surfing on the coast or mountain biking. "says the Minister who is a keen bike rider as well.
He admits that politics can be a very stressful environment and says surfing helps him relax. "Once you're in the water you feel very detached from it all. It's my therapy and gives me balance.”
He's introduced his son Charlie, 5, and daughter Scarlett, 8, to surfing. "I've taken Scarlett surfing a few times now and she loves it. She's absolutely fearless on the waves, she takes it very seriously too - always wearing her swimming goggles when she goes out there - such a classic!”
Mick says surfers understand themselves and the planet deeply and should be in politics.
"The more people we have in public office who understand that, the better off we all will be.”
Here, here Mick hope you get some good waves in the Christmas break.