Official opening of the Cairns Performing Arts Centre
Mayor Bob Manning and Mrs Claire Manning; Deputy Prime Minister and Mrs McCormack; the Honourable Leeanne Enoch, representing the Premier of Queensland; elected representatives of State, Federal and Local government; ladies and gentlemen; girls and boys.
Thank you to our MCs for tonight’s introduction, and also to the talented performers who have already taken the stage.
I too acknowledge our elected representatives, and the Traditional Custodians of the lands on which we gather.
What a spectacular occasion!
Kaye and I are abundantly delighted to return to Cairns – to beautiful Far North Queensland – and we are so honoured to join you all this evening.
When I visited this site in August it was alive with building activity.
Upon this return, there is great excitement in the air once more – excitement for a concert rather than construction! – as we officially open this dynamic community space.
I extend our enthusiastic gratitude and congratulations to everyone involved in its concept and its creation – what a remarkable achievement, and what an incredible asset, primarily for the vibrant city of Cairns, but also for the entire State of Queensland, and especially Far North Queensland.
What we see here tonight is more than an investment in infrastructure, important though that is – it is an investment in arts, in culture, in community.
And what a diverse and evolving community it is.
Over the past 40 years the population of this great region has trebled.
It is certainly easy to understand why so many from Australia and abroad are keen to call Cairns home.
But while such growth presents opportunities, it also brings challenges.
It demands we take the long-term needs of a changing community into consideration.
That is why I applaud the development of a cutting-edge performing arts facility that has been designed to meet the needs of this city for the next 50 years and beyond.
Cairns is well on its way to becoming one of the arts and cultural capitals of Queensland. Did I say ‘one’?!
The Cairns Performing Arts Centre will ensure this reputation continues to grow, with versatile spaces offering local and international artists the chance to explore and share their creativity with us all.
On behalf of the people of Queensland, it gives me great pleasure to be here tonight for this historic moment, a grand and inspiring celebration for Cairns and for our State.
I warmly congratulate the people of Cairns, the State and the Commonwealth for their very significant financial contributions to this facility.
In just a few moments I will join some of our other special guests in declaring CPAC officially open, as we mark a significant moment in the history of Cairns and a bold, confident step towards its future.
I wish you all a wonderful evening, and a most joyous, restful and rewarding festive season.