Regional Government House: Cairns Community Reception
Mayor Manning; Councillors; other distinguished guests; ladies and gentlemen.
Thank you for the warm Far North Queensland welcome you have extended to Kaye and me this evening.
It is always a pleasure to visit Cairns, and your hospitality is very much appreciated.
I at once acknowledge the Traditional Owners of the lands on which we gather, and pay respect to their Elders past and present – with encouragement to their young emerging leaders.
The traditional land of Bama people for thousands of years, Cairns continues to be home to Indigenous people from three main language groups and 15 clan groups. Today, about nine per cent of the region’s community is Indigenous.
Over the past decades, Cairns has gained popularity among tourists from all over the world for its tropical climate and access to the Great Barrier Reef.
As one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World, the Reef is undoubtedly a major drawcard, and asset, for the Cairns community, contributing billions of dollars annually to the local economy and employing thousands of people.
However, the city itself also has a lot to offer.
Earlier today, Kaye and I had the honour of touring the site of the Cairns Performing Arts Centre.
Together with the recently transformed Munro Martin Parklands, the development represents a tremendous step forward not only for Cairns, but for all of Queensland.
These projects are excellent examples of what can be achieved through ambition and perseverance.
And – speaking of the rain which has impacted work on the Performing Arts Centre – we must also acknowledge our Queensland resilience and optimism!
While we have been to Cairns many times before, our current visit is part of a commitment to move the operations of Government House from Brisbane to other parts of Queensland for one week each year.
Known as Regional Government House, the program gives Kaye and me an increased understanding of the challenges facing all Queenslanders.
Cairns has continued to evolve since our inaugural Regional Government House was based here in 2015, and there is every reason to be confident about the future.
‘Tropical urbanism’, a design philosophy that is emerging as a defining characteristic of the region’s identity, will make Cairns an even more desirable place to live, work and play.
On behalf of all Queenslanders, Kaye and I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate the people of Cairns on their successes and thank you most wholeheartedly for the contributions you make to the continued advancement and prosperity of our State.