'Thank you to the people of the Mackay region'

After visiting seven communities across four local government areas, attending more than 35 individual program elements and travelling more than 1600 kilometers, the Governor’s 2017 Mackay Regional Government House programme has drawn to a close.

Mackay Regional Government House – which took place from 17 – 23 August – was partly born out of the Governor’s commitment made during his visit to Mackay in the immediate aftermath of Cyclone Debbie, that he would continue to support the communities of the region throughout the long recovery process.

His Excellency said the Regional Government House model – which was first instigated in Cairns in 2015 – enabled a level of engagement with Queenslanders which was difficult to achieve on shorter visits.   

“In addition to our frequent, shorter visits to regional cities and towns – which we make on an almost weekly basis – Kaye and I made a commitment in 2015 to spend a full week each year governing from a regional area,” the Governor said.

“We first went to Cairns in 2015, and last year to Longreach.

“We short-listed Mackay for our 2017 programme in the early months of this year… It was during my visit here shortly after Cyclone Debbie’s landfall that I confirmed to Mayor Williamson our intentions to hold this year’s Regional Government House in Mackay.

“Our presence therefore partly acknowledges the huge and effective effort of a small army of committed professionals and volunteers who assisted with Cyclone Debbie preparedness, and the ongoing recovery.

“We also see our presence here this week as an extension of the Governor’s crucial role in shining light upon communities and industries of State significance.”

The Governor particularly acknoweldged Mayors, Councillors and staff of Mackay Regional Council, Whitsunday Regional Council, Isaac Regional Council and Charters Towers Regional Council for their professionalism in putting together a highly appropriate programme of vice-regal engagements during the week. 

During the week, the Governor:

  • visited Mackay, Airlie Beach, Proserpine, the Whitsunday Islands, Charters Towers, Moranbah and Clermont;
  • visited and addressed four schools, including the Charters Towers School of Distance Education;
  • officially opened Lamberts Lookout and the 2017 Mackay Beach Horse Races;
  • hosted and attended community receptions;
  • received briefings at infrastructure of State significance including a port, a mill, a resource recovery centre and a reservoir;
  • laid a wreath in honour of local Vietnam Veterans;
  • toured islands and coastal communities affected by Cyclone Debbie;
  • visited aged care facilities during Seniors Week;
  • received briefings from and meeting police and emergency services personnel;
  • received briefings from Councillors and representatives of local governments; and
  • visited community organisations including the Mackay Scout Group and the Historic Ambulance Museum at Charters Towers.