Longreach luncheon for drought assistance stakeholders
Mayor Warren; Queensland Drought Commissioner, Mr Vaughan Johnson; ladies and gentlemen.
Thank you for taking the time to attend this luncheon today.
I have the utmost admiration for those who live and work in rural, regional and remote areas.
In many ways you represent the best of the Queensland spirit – resourceful, resilient, optimistic and strong.
You often endure the worse the elements can throw at you, and, in true Queensland fashion, you keep on going.
Having lived in regional Queensland I know first-hand how devastating weather events can be.
I am also acutely aware of the weather’s impact on people’s lives, and that it takes an emotional toll as well as a financial one.
But the one thing as sure as the fact that there will be drought, is the fact the rains will come again.
We don’t know when it will be, but we pray it will be soon, and it will be plentiful.
Until that time, it is important to know you are not alone.
You have the support of every level of government, and of all the people of Queensland.
The multi-billion dollar Future Drought Fund, announced last week at the National Drought Summit, includes additional money for mental health initiatives, and I am conscious of the significant need that exists for those services.
I know many of you here are directly helping with drought relief, and on behalf of the people of Queensland, I thank you.
Thank you all for welcoming me so warmly to your community once again.
My thoughts are very much with you, and I hope – as happened after my visit to Longreach in June 2016 – this visit will be immediately followed by record-breaking rain!