premiers-reception-mainQueensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk last night hosted an annual reception at Parliament House for the state’s Indian community leaders and the business community, in which she honoured the life of bus driver Manmeet Alisher, who died last month in an unprovoked attack when an incendiary device was thrown at him.

The 29-year-old was killed in this shocking attack when he stopped to pick up passengers in Moorooka. Anthony O’Donohue, 48, who had previously received mental health services on Brisbane’s Southside, was charged with his murder.

The premier said the festival of lights Diwali, which celebrates “light over darkness, knowledge over ignorance, and hope over despair” acquired special significance after the incident.

Premier Palaszczuk had earlier said that last night was an opportunity for the Indian community to come together at Parliament House, and for the premier and the Queensland government to not only thank the Indian community for their contribution to the state but also to remember the life of late Manmeet Alisher.

Premier thanked the Indians for their contribution to the Queensland economy and saw the opportunity for more economic growth and significant trade and investment opportunities. She added that India is a major investor in Queensland’s emerging and established markets and that “tonight we reaffirmed that our state is open for business”.

“My government recognises and values the significant contribution the Indian community brings to Queensland and the long-standing and strong relationship the Queensland and wider Australian community shares with the Indian community and businesses,” Premier Palaszczuk added.

Minister Grace Grace, Deputy Premier Jackie Trad, Opposition leader Tim Nicholls, Indian Honorary Consulate Archana Singh, Indian High Commission representative Sonal Bajaj, Dr Maha Sinnathambi, FICQ President Palani Thevar and other ministers and a number of MPs attended the reception. The speaker also stressed the importance of Indians contribution and the opportunities existing between India and Australia.