Official opening of the Les Wilson Barramundi Discovery Centre
Member for Townsville, Mr Scott Stewart MP; Mayor Jack Bawden and Councillors from Carpentaria Shire Council; Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen.
I at once acknowledge the traditional owners of the lands on which we gather. I pay my respects to their Elders, and indeed all Elders with us, and those who have travelled to be here today.
Thank you Councillor Jack Bawden, Mayor of Carpentaria Shire Council for welcoming Kaye and me for our second visit to Karumba, and joining me to officially open the Les Wilson Barramundi Discovery Centre.
I was struck by the earlier incarnation of the Barramundi Centre when I visited in 2016- and ended up a tad moistened! At the time the Mayor told me of this planned development.
The Mayor will confirm I was told enough on that day to offer to open this Centre. So in a sense I have been with you at the start and the completion. I am most privileged so thankyou.
This is an exciting day indeed. Although the expanded Centre has been open for a little while now, today gives us the opportunity to pause for a moment and to celebrate the wonderful work of all who have contributed to the success of this Centre.
Fishing has been an important industry in this area and I am particularly pleased to officially open this Centre knowing that the practices used here are helping to support sustainable fishing in Queensland.
Indeed, it is thanks to the pioneers and visionaries that we are fortunate to have this remarkable Centre.
This is the only hatchery in the world to breed the Southern Gulf Barramundi. And thanks to this Centre, visitors can see and discover more about barra and fishing, with tours, exhibitions and displays about the history, life-cycle and habits of this iconic fish.
I note the many ways that this Centre will have an impact: as a destination for tourists, a place to welcome and educate visitors about barramundi and sustainable farming, an education facility with links to James Cook University, and of course a beacon to fisher-folk everywhere!
Many of us are conscious about what we eat, where it comes from and the journey from source to plate. At Government House we take great pride in serving quality Queensland produce to our guests, and promoting the work of our Queensland producers.
It is thanks to Centres such as this that Queenslanders can and should be proud of the wonderful heritage of what I think many of us would agree is our iconic Queensland fish.
I am also pleased to hear about the Karumba Barra and Blues Festival taking place this weekend to celebrate the Centre’s official opening. Events like this bring communities together to celebrate and I hope the many visitors to this annual event also enjoy exploring this upgraded Centre.
With Mayor Bawden, it therefore gives me great pleasure to declare the Les Wilson Barramundi Discovery Centre officially open.