Afternoon tea for the Premier of Queensland's Export Awards and Trade & Investment Queensland commissioners
Representatives from Trade and Investment Queensland and the Export Council of Australia; ladies and gentlemen.
Kaye and I are delighted to welcome you all to Fernberg – to your Government House – this afternoon.
I would like to begin by offering our warmest congratulations to the recipients of the 2018 Premier of Queensland’s Export Awards, announced in Brisbane last night.
Starting a business takes significant courage, a lot of hard work and, it is fair to say, more than your share of luck.
It is a glorious day indeed when you start reaping the rewards of your dedication and commitment to the cause, and as a State we continue to set only the highest standards of success.
Figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics earlier this year showed the value of Queensland’s merchandise exports rose 26 per cent in 2017, to a record high of 69.6 billion dollars.
Queensland is emerging as a national leader in sectors as wide and varied as education and training, food and agriculture, knowledge industries, mining and resources, and urban development.
The State is now Australia’s second-largest exporter, as well as its fastest-growing, with total merchandise exports accounting for 20 per cent of the nation’s total.
You are the pioneers of our State economy, much like the man who built this house, Johann Christian Heussler, who emigrated to Australia at the age of 32.
While his ventures didn’t always go to plan, Mr Heussler’s perseverance would eventually earn him recognition as a founding member of the Queensland Club, Consul for the Netherlands, Consul for Germany, and an Emigration Agent.
Ladies and gentlemen, I am proud to say you have shown the same pioneering spirit as our forward-thinking founder of Fernberg.
By taking your businesses and your products abroad, you have placed Queensland firmly on the map, further strengthening our position as an innovative and engaging State.
Moreover, you have made key contributions to the prosperity of Queensland by creating jobs for thousands of people.
Today, we gather to acknowledge your achievements, and to thank you for everything you have done, and continue to do.
On behalf of all Queenslanders, I commend you and wish you the very best in your future endeavours.