Barcaldine Community Afternoon Tea to Mark the arrival of the Spirit of the Outback and Vice-Regal and Heritage Carriages
Thank you, Mr Chairman.
I at once acknowledge, with respect to their Elders, the Traditional Custodians of the lands around Barcaldine and the Central West, and I thank Mr Fogarty for his Welcome.
Nearly 124 years ago, in October 1892, Messrs Macarthur, Hartley and Nixon – the police magistrates in Barcaldine, Blackall and Isisford respectively – waited in similar circumstances as you all patiently are this afternoon to greet the arrival by special train of our State’s seventh Governor, Sir Henry Norman.
The Rockhampton Morning Bulletin reported that it was a particularly busy time for Barcaldine, the District Court being in session. I suspect – I hope – that’s not what brought you all out today!
Unfortunately, due mainly to time constraints, Kaye and I won’t be venturing over for a reprise tonight!
But like Sir Henry, Kaye and I are truly delighted to be with you all – it is wonderfully uplifting to be greeted by such a dynamic cross-section of the genuine, big-hearted people of our vast State, in a town so inextricably linked with the development, and social fabric, of our State.
You may have noticed the Commonwealth Standard flying over the Station here today. That means the Governor – who as of 3.50pm yesterday is Administrator of the Commonwealth, our Governor-General being overseas – is in town, and I can tell you, with Kaye, he is extremely proud and honoured to be here!
We seek very much to afford unceasing support for our regions, especially as there may be some lack of opportunity available, for one reason or another, including through drought, compared with Queenslanders from the metropolis.
And I note there have been decent falls in some areas around here, but achingly not all areas, this last week.
Despite all this, the spirit of the people of our West and Central West is enlivening quite frankly. Your genuine, enduring concern for one another, your commitment to community – these aspects, they enrich us all, and for that, we say, wholeheartedly, “thank you”.
On a matter slightly less sentimental, it would be remiss of me not to thank publicly the passengers aboard the Spirit of the Outback – I live in hope they will forgive their Governor, currently Administrator, for prolonging their journey today, albeit for a short time, so that Kaye and I may take time to meet many more of you!
We thank Queensland Rail for organising this wonderful community celebration, and the Mayor and Council, and all of you, for your support and turnout here this afternoon. Thank you.