Official Opening of 152nd Heritage Bank Toowoomba Royal Show
Justice Thomas, Members of Parliament, Mayor Antonio, enthusiastic show-goers. Kaye and I are delighted to be with you this evening for the opening night celebrations of this marvellous three-day event. It is invariably a pleasure for us to visit Toowoomba – we are always welcomed most warmly, and this evening has been no exception.
I acknowledge tonight the Traditional Owners of these lands; their contributions, historical and contemporary, continue to beneficially imbue Queensland life.
The Royal Agricultural Society of Queensland has played a central role in the history of agriculture in our State.
Back in two thousand and nine during Queensland’s sesquicentenary, it was particularly pleasing to see that Queenslanders voted the Society one of our State icons – in fact it was voted a Category One ‘State-shaper’, alongside such Queensland greats as Captain James Cook and Sir Charles Kingsford Smith!
That vote of the people clearly demonstrated the enormous community pride in the Toowoomba Royal Show.
The sense of ownership of this splendid annual event is evident not only in its home city, but across the agricultural communities of the Darling Downs.
That sense of ownership is also amply demonstrated in the continuing support from sponsors, exhibitors and volunteers.
More than three hundred sponsors have contributed this year to ensure that the Royal Show tradition continues.
On behalf of all Queenslanders, I thank them, particularly the Heritage Bank and the Clive Berghofer Group, the Toowoomba City Council, the State and federal governments, and the very supportive media.
I also congratulate the show committees, staff and volunteers on bringing the one hundred and fifty-second Royal Show to fruition.
Their hard work, enthusiasm and dedication are vital to maintaining the ideals of the show movement, and the innovative and far-sighted measures the Society has adopted not only augur well for a stable and successful future, but are already producing results.
The statistics speak for themselves: more than fifteen thousand entries; over thirty-five competition categories; and hundreds of events from a world wood-chopping championship to ‘Little Hands on the Farm’ which will help our youngest Queenslanders grow up with an appreciation of the importance of agriculture.
I hope many of them will be inspired to follow the fine example of the Champion Boy and Girl Exhibitors who are here with us tonight.
It now gives me great pleasure to declare officially open the twenty-sixteen Heritage Bank Toowoomba Royal Show.