Australia China Business Council (Queensland Branch) Chinese New Year Dinner 'Year of the Dog'
President of the Australia China Business Council Queensland, Mr Stephen Abbott; Mayor of Logan City Council, Councillor Luke Smith; Consul-General of the People’s Republic of China, Dr Xu Jie; State Director of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Mr Derek Brown; Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,
I thank the Queensland Branch of the Australia-China Business Council for its generous invitation to this celebration of the Year of the Dog. I am delighted to join you this evening.
The New Year, in any culture, is a time to look forward with optimism to the coming year.
Those born in the Year of the Dog seem to be well-suited to optimism. They are said to be loyal to family and friends, socially popular, determined, honest, just, and a great source of advice.
I think we all need friends like that, and many of us are fortunate to have them.
But I hope the Chamber will indulge me if I relate these characteristics to its own role in the Australia-China relationship.
This relationship operates at many levels, but much of its ballast, its fundamental stability, is provided by the large number of people-to-people links involved.
Many of these connections are provided by the thousands of trade and investment connections between Queensland and China. And the Chamber can and does promote, encourage, accelerate and maintain these all-important links.
Like those born in the Year of the Dog, the Chamber does this by being a great source of advice, by being determined, by being well-connected, and by retaining the loyalty of its members.
With the Chamber’s support, we can certainly look forward to a productive bilateral relationship in the coming year, and to the investment and employment opportunities that these business links generate in the Queensland community.
I look forward to doing my part in strengthening the relationship, and the benefits that it brings to our State, during my upcoming visit to China.
This will be my first official visit as Governor – though not, I hasten to say, my first visit overall, having enjoyed positive and productive visits to China during my tenure as Chief Justice and also as a tourist, to enjoy the many attractions China offers to visitors.
I acknowledge, with great respect, this Chamber’s long and impressive record in providing invaluable support and expertise to its members in Australia over 45 years.
As Governor and Patron, I congratulate the Chamber on this impressive anniversary.
I thank and congratulate the Chamber’s leaders and members on the role they have played, and continue to play, in deepening and strengthening the vital Queensland-China relationship.
And it is with great pleasure – and optimism – that I wish all Chamber members a successful and prosperous Year of the Dog.