Reception for Delegations Attending the Fourth Meeting of the Australia-Indonesia Ministerial Council on Law and Security
I extend the warmest of Queensland welcomes to our very distinguished guests this evening, including Senator the Honourable George Brandis, Attorney-General of the Commonwealth, and the Honourable Michael Keenan, Minister for Justice, on the eve of the fourth meeting of the Australia-Indonesia Ministerial Council on Law and Security.
I extend a special welcome to His Excellency General Wiranto, Coordinating Minister, who is leading the Indonesian participants in this Ministerial Council for the first time in Australia, and I extend a special welcome also to His Excellency Dr Yasonna Laoly, Minister for Law and Human Rights.
It is an honour and a pleasure to welcome you in this beautiful, 152-year old house, which was a private residence, a family home, for decades before it became Government House in 1910.
The spirit of the house is reflected in the spirit of our welcome – combining the official formality and respect that is entirely appropriate, with the ‘family’ warmth and friendliness for which Queenslanders are well-known, as our Attorney-General will attest.
You have arrived in Brisbane at an interesting time, as today is election day for the State of Queensland.
Under our Westminster-inspired system, Governors of Australian States are appointed, not elected, and play no role in party politics.
However, the Governor’s role includes ensuring that the government has the support of the elected members of the parliament.
Elections come and go, but the issues that ministers and officials are considering at your meeting tomorrow are now of continuing interest and concern to our communities. That is because, regrettably, these issues have the potential to affect the daily lives of people everywhere.
Counter-terrorism matters tend to attract most attention.
However, it is important to note that your agenda is considerably broader, taking in other major and often related challenges including transnational crime and cyber-security.
I believe that communities in both our countries will be reassured to know that these matters continue to receive such regular, high-level, attention from the Australian and Indonesian governments, underpinned by strong operational relationships.
This cooperation between Australia and Indonesia clearly contributes to the effectiveness of national, bilateral, regional and international responses to these major challenges. It contributes directly to the protection of our communities’ well-being.
On behalf of all Queenslanders, I wish you a productive and rewarding meeting that further advances these crucial goals.
For now, though, I invite you to enjoy our Government House, our Queensland hospitality. Thank you.