Official Opening of the Redeveloped Munro Martin Parklands
Mr Craig Crawford MP, representing our Premier; Members of our Parliaments; our Mayor, Councillor Bob Manning; Councillors; distinguished guests; ladies and gentlemen; girls and boys. Kaye and I are delighted to be back in Cairns, and to join you on this important day for the Cairns community.
I at once, with respect to Elders, acknowledge the Traditional Owners of the lands around Cairns.
It is a particular pleasure to be at this magnificent redeveloped space in central Cairns.
The long-standing name of these parklands acknowledges the sisters Janet Munro and Margaret Martin. In the 1940s, Margaret’s niece Margie donated from funds from Janet and Margaret’s estate for the beautification of what was then known as Norman Park, Cairns' first recreational reserve, named in 1890 after Queensland’s then Governor, Sir Henry Norman.
This project carries forward the spirit of the Martins’ generous support for public recreation spaces that the whole Cairns community could enjoy, and it is a great source of pride to continue the tradition of Governor involvement with these Parklands.
The lawns, gardens and open-air arena take full advantage of two of the glories of Cairns – its tropical climate and the friendliness of its people.
The Parklands now provide a first-class amenity that will serve this city well for many decades to come. I congratulate the people of Cairns on this splendid new acquisition.
Fittingly, the opening celebrations have a strong community focus, with activities for groups including schools, seniors, and families, and a series of free concerts like tonight’s.
If the sold-out events in this opening week are any guide, the Cairns community is already embracing this renewed public space with great enthusiasm.
If the number of national and international entertainment groups performing here in the next few months is any guide, the excellent new facilities here are already attracting attention near and far.
It is fitting also that, on this night of the official opening, a Queensland icon in the performing arts, Opera Queensland, is staging Rossini’s The Barber of Seville, featuring an opera chorus drawn from the Cairns community.
Kaye and I look forward to seeing and hearing this irrepressibly happy work on this happy occasion.
Before the overture starts, however, I extend my wholehearted thanks to the Mayor, other Cairns Regional Councillors, Council executive and staff, contractors, contributing artists and all others who have helped rethink, reshape, and rebuild Munro Martin Park into such a marvellous public space.
I will shortly cut a ribbon and unveil a plaque as part of tonight’s ceremony, but for now it is with great pleasure that I declare the redeveloped Munro Martin Parklands officially open.
Have a great evening. Thank you.