Government House Hosted Business Breakfast
Member for Hill, Mr Shane Knuth; Member for Kennedy, Mr Bob Katter; Mayor Nolan and Mrs Nolan; distinguished guests; ladies and gentlemen.
I at once acknowledge the traditional owners of these lands and extend respectful greetings to Elders and emerging leaders.
I am delighted to have this opportunity to meet and speak with representatives of regional chambers of commerce and of local businesses.
You know only too well the challenges to enterprises large and small, all over Queensland, posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Different business sectors have felt the impacts in different ways.
However, tourism and those that supply to the industry are clearly among those most seriously affected, and in this part of Queensland tourism accounts for a significant proportion of regional economic activity.
There has been some good news in that respect with the lifting of intra-State travel restrictions several weeks ago. And a relaxation of conditions under which businesses in general, including those important to tourism, can operate.
Kaye and I and my staff have been making a modest contribution to local businesses on our three-day road trip up the Bruce Highway, from Townsville to Cairns – only our second regional trip since travel restrictions were eased – including by choosing accommodation in Ingham and here at Mission Beach.
We are grateful for the warm welcome, hospitality and professionalism we have encountered everywhere.
I hope that coverage of this visit on the Government House website and social media will encourage others to follow in our footsteps.
Yesterday we also spent time in Ingham and Tully, and later today we will visit Innisfail and El Arish, the latter to take part in a commemoration of the establishment of the Soldiers’ Settlement there exactly a century ago today.
The veterans who settled in El Arish in the 1920s showed what hard work and determination could accomplish.
And there is no shortage of hard work and determination among businesses here – in tourism and agriculture but also other fields – as they strive to ride out difficult circumstances and preserve enterprises into which they have poured so much heart and soul.
I thank you wholeheartedly for your enduring commitment to your businesses, and to driving forward the local economy, and our State’s economy, to the benefit of all.
Your businesses are central to the well-being of local communities and I am sure that, as in other parts of Queensland, those local communities are doing their best to continue to support you.
I extend my best wishes to you and your families, and to your staff and their families, both now and in better times to come.