This year’s state election has not been the same without the big, beaming smile and media stunts of Peter Beattie.
Mr Beattie, who led Queensland for nine years, has stayed out of politics since his retirement in 2007 and his subsequent appointment as Queensland Trade Commissioner for the Americas.
But this week we found him.
Mr Beattie is leading a 13-day trade mission of 16 Queensland companies to Mexico, Colombia, Brazil and Chile – and, along the way, giving a leg-up to award-winning Coolum company SmartRider.
While in Columbia, Mr Beattie presented the country’s horse riding president, Alvaro Uribe, with a set of the company’s safety stirrups, which have been designed to snap open and release a rider who falls from a horse.
SmartRider operations manager Nicole Allmann said she was “tickled pink” when she received an email from Mr Beattie’s office with news of the presentation and a photo of the former premier giving President Uribe the stirrups.
“We knew he was going over and knew that he was going to present our stirrups to someone but we didn’t know it was the president,” she said.
“He’s got another pair there and we’re wondering who he’s going to give those to.”
Mr Beattie wrote that the president was a keen horseman and “absolutely delighted” with the gift.
Ms Allman said she and Smartrider CEO Peter Zillman had attended many trade functions attended by Mr Beattie.
“I was pretty pushy one time and managed to get his card and stayed in contact,” she said.
“He seems to have taken us under his wing, which has been really, really good.”
SmartRider was the 2008 Micro Home-Based Business of the year at the Sunshine Coast Excellence in Business Awards and was an episode winner in last year’s New Inventors program on ABC TV.
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