Government House hosted community reception on the Gold Coast
Members of Parliament; Deputy Mayor, Councillor Donna Gates; ladies and gentlemen of the beautiful Gold Coast.
Thank you for the warm welcome you have extended to Kaye and me this evening.
I at once acknowledge the Yugambeh People as the Traditional Custodians of the land on which we meet. I pay my respects to their Elders past, present and emerging, and recognise their connection to culture and the lands and waters of the Gold Coast. And I extend that respect to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples here today.
I have had the pleasure of visiting the Gold Coast in an official capacity more than 20 times since I commenced my duties as Governor of Queensland in July 2014.
Last month, Kaye and I attended the Coolangatta State School centenary celebrations at the southern end of the Gold Coast.
I was particularly proud to be part of the festivities because my late grandfather, Claude de Jersey, was the school’s very first headmaster.
In my remarks, I noted there is little in Coolangatta that would be recognisable to my grandfather.
My observations were not confined to the suburb of Coolangatta, but applied to the Gold Coast as a whole.
From a small shoreline settlement into a sophisticated city nearing 600,000 people – the transformation is certainly spectacular.
Over the past decades, the Gold Coast has become famous for its stunning beaches, and that is as it should be.
Indeed, it is a surfer’s paradise!
But the region is about much more than ‘sun, surf and sand’.
For emerging entrepreneurs, international students and even Hollywood film crews – the Gold Coast is the place to be for an increasing variety of talent.
As we celebrate our shared success – including last year’s Commonwealth Games – the Gold Coast continues to move from strength to strength.
For the past five years, the city’s economy has enjoyed an average growth rate of 5 per cent, and is now valued at more than $33 billion.
These are truly impressive numbers that give us every reason to be optimistic about the future.
On behalf of all Queenslanders, I congratulate you, the people of the Gold Coast, on your achievements and thank you wholeheartedly for your ongoing contributions to the advancement and prosperity of our State.