Reception for the Advisory Board of the Committee for Brisbane
Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen, it is Kaye’s and my great pleasure to welcome so many friends of Brisbane to Government House.
I acknowledge the Indigenous custodians of the land on which Brisbane is built, and offer support to Elders and to emerging leaders, whose voices are an integral part of the future of our State’s capital city.
Like most major cities, Brisbane had humble beginnings. When the first house on this site was completed in 1865, the population of the town – not yet a city – was around 13,000.
Brisbane’s history since then has sometimes been a tale of woe – floods, fire. Each time it emerged battered, bruised, but never defeated.
On the plus side of the ledger, in the past four decades Brisbane has hosted a Commonwealth Games, a World EXPO, and a G20 meeting among many other significant events.
Each time, Brisbane emerged with its reputation enhanced.
So much for the past! The focus today is a future built on that past, and that future is the raison d’etre of the Committee for Brisbane.
The population of Brisbane’s larger metropolitan area has grown beyond two-and-a half million, and continues to rise.
As it grows, Brisbane looks forward to a bright and exciting future but also to substantial challenges, to making many important choices about the shape of that future.
Elemental to my role is the promotion of all that is good about our seat of government and our State – its people, potential and industries.
Kaye and I are proud to promote ‘brand Brisbane’ and ‘brand Queensland’ wherever we go: during our recent official travel to the Netherlands and the UK, during our third audience with Her Majesty (who evinces an abiding commitment to the people and places of our State); and when I met the Lord Mayor of the City of London. He subsequently accepted the invitation to be the first City Lord Mayor to visit Brisbane with a trade delegation; fortuitously for our City and State, this will occur at this crucial post-Brexit juncture.
I am keen to establish my credentials now, because some of you might recall in the late 80s that I presided as judge over the ‘World’s Tallest Building’ case. The objection there of course turned on strictly legal grounds! My later advocacy for the new court precinct,I think demonstrates a commitment to advancement and progress in our City.
Brisbane is fortunate that this Committee, with its bywords of ‘independent’, ‘apolitical’ and ‘visionary’, continues to be a prominent voice as policy directions are proposed, considered and debated – including, importantly, the 2032 Olympics bid.
It is a voice which shapes ‘brand Brisbane’, and whose deep commitment to our city is clear in its very name: not the Committee of Brisbane, but the Committee for Brisbane.
The Advisory Board’s broad membership of influential people in the Brisbane community speaks to its ambition and ‘horsepower’. I see many familiar faces!
We all aspire to a Brisbane that is even richer in enterprise, innovation and culture, that is sustainable, equitable, and efficiently interconnected, that supports an enviable lifestyle and is a magnet for visitors.
I wish the Committee for Brisbane every success as it continues to play a robust, influential and respected role in achieving that bright future. I look forward to your presentation, before moving upstairs. Thank you.