Innisfail Community Morning Tea
Member for Hill, Mr Shane Knuth; Member for Kennedy, Mr Bob Katter; Mayor Nolan and Mrs Nolan; Councillors; distinguished guests; ladies and gentlemen. We are delighted so many students are here today.
Kaye and I are delighted to be visiting Innisfail for the first time this governorship. Thank you all for your warm welcome.
I at once acknowledge the traditional owners of these lands and extend respectful greetings to Elders and emerging leaders.
I am pleased that the easing of COVID-19 restrictions has enabled Kaye and me to travel to the beautiful Cassowary Coast – and to be in the heart of Queensland’s famous banana and sugar growing region!
As Governor of Queensland, I place tremendous importance on meeting people in regional areas who contribute so resoundingly to our State’s wellbeing.
While Innisfail’s rich agricultural land is renowned for yielding a bounty of ever-diversifying produce, I know you are also known for showing an indomitable community spirit.
Indeed, your town has a long track record of rising triumphantly from the devastations wrought by nature – from cyclones, notably of course the eponymous Innisfail cyclone in 1918 and more recently Yasi, to record-breaking flooding in 2018.
The current pandemic now has your community facing new challenges.
In each case, repairing and rebuilding happens through the efforts of civic-minded individuals, who know this place is worth much more than just the financial contributions of its industries, valued though these are.
The events that shaped Innisfail are reflected in the town’s magnificent Art Deco streetscapes, and in the cultural diversity forged by a rich Indigenous heritage and the lasting influence of immigrants.
It is this vibrancy and energy that attracts residents and tourists alike.
Of course, it also helps that Innisfail is situated on the junction of two impressive wet-tropics rivers, and so conveniently to two World-Heritage areas, idyllic beaches, and even a spectacular Spanish palace in the rainforest!
There are myriad reasons why people should visit Innisfail, and also explore the wider Cassowary Coast. Indeed, Kaye and I have already had a small taste of your region’s treasures, visiting Tully, and this morning hosting a tourism breakfast at Mission Beach, all on our three-day road trip up the Bruce Highway from Townsville to Cairns.
We shortly head to El Arish Soldiers’ Settlement for the township’s centenary commemorations.
Each locality has a deep sense of civic pride, and a people who demonstrate conspicuous care for one another.
It is encouraging to see these qualities thriving in Innisfail. I congratulate the Council for fostering this community spirit, through worthwhile initiatives like the Community Sports Bursary Program, the inaugural winners of which will shortly be announced.
Kaye’s and I only wish we could have met more of you, but unfortunately numbers for today were limited by the coronavirus.
On behalf of all Queenslanders, Kaye and I thank you for your important and valued contributions to our State.