Independence Day Reception Onboard the USS Ronald Regan
Minister Furner, representing the Premier of Queensland; Minister Dutton, representing the Prime Minister; Members of the State and Federal Executive Councils and Parliaments; Ambassador; Major General Elwood; Air Commodore Tyler; Commander Savvakis; Rear Admiral; all other distinguished guests.
I at once acknowledge the traditional owners of the lands, and importantly recognised today, waters, around Brisbane, and pay respects to their elders and future leaders.
As the representative of Queensland’s Head of State, I am very honoured, with my wife Kaye, to be pier-side with you all this afternoon. We are doubly delighted to celebrate Independence Day in such distinguished company.
This is our second visit aboard the USS Ronald Reagan. We first stood here two years ago, representing the people of Queensland at a highly memorable Big Top reception, shortly after Talisman Sabre twenty-seventeen.
We are greatly honoured to welcome it back. It is an even greater honour to welcome you all, the serving men and women of the USS Ronald Reagan, to Queensland’s magnificent capital, sunny Brisbane.
Rear Admiral, Captain, the people of Queensland have a special warmth and appreciation for the US-Australia alliance.
Indeed, I know they attach great importance to it.
We see this every year during the moving commemorations of the brave souls, American and Australian, who halted the Japanese advance so close to these shores 77 years ago during the Battle of the Coral Sea… and I know, Mr Ambassador, how greatly you value these solemn commemorations.
The depth and genuine warmth of our relationship is revealed also in the economic, trade, cultural and sporting ties which bind and animate our people.
It is also on display during expressions of peacetime cooperation and capability like Talisman Sabre.
To our Ambassador and Consul-General, thank you for honouring our State, and all service personnel – Australian, American – involved in Talisman Sabre, through your presence here today. Ambassador and Consul-General this is your second visit to Queensland in as many months – the first included a State dinner at Queensland Government House – reaffirming the great spirit which denotes the bonds between our nations as exceptional.
To the Rear Admiral, the Captain and all the men and women of the USS Ronald Reagan, as Governor, I once again speak for all Queenslanders in warmly welcoming you, with Kaye, to our shores.
I now invite Ambassador Culvahouse Jr. to the microphone.