Gladstone Industry and Chamber of Commerce Breakfast
Mr Mayor; distinguished guests; ladies and gentlemen. Thank you for taking time out of your very busy workday to accept the hospitality of Government House.
I at once acknowledge the traditional owners and extend respectful greetings to Elders and emerging leaders.
It is my privilege as Governor to support the people and the communities of regional Queensland, and it is an annual pleasure to take the business of Government House on the road in the form of Regional Government House.
This is my second visit to Gladstone as Governor, and it is very apparent how much the industries and businesses of Gladstone contribute to the prosperity of the State as a whole.
From one of the largest bulk commodity ports in the world to some of Australia’s largest alumina refineries and smelters, from world-class engineering, manufacturing and construction sectors to tourism, cattle farming and horticulture, Central Queensland is rightly known as a vital engine room of the State.
I thank you for the work you do in supporting employment, innovation and advocacy for the people in the Gladstone region and beyond.
You are a voice for business and industry, and a place to turn to in difficult times.
And there have been few times more difficult than the current ones.
Gladstone is no stranger to adversity. The floods caused by Cyclone Debbie are a recent memory, and the devastation caused by the 2018 bushfires have left scars on the landscape and the collective psyche.
To add to that, the Gladstone region was drought declared in May last year, and it remains so.
And now, the restrictions brought about by the coronavirus pandemic have impacted every element of community and civic life, with at times disastrous impact on business and employment.
But it is not in the Gladstone spirit to accept defeat.
As you met the challenges of flood and fire, so too are you forging a path forward for industry and business in these challenging circumstances.
I have no doubt that your strength and resilience will pave the way for a very bright post-COVID future. Last month’s announcement that a Gladstone-based company will co-build the Rookwood Weir is but one indication of the trust that is placed in the abilities and skills of the local workforce.
I wish you every success for the future, and look forward to the day that the Brisbane to Gladstone Yacht Race – which I take great pleasure in officially starting each year – can once again unite the people of Queensland – and indeed Australia - in friendly rivalry. Thank you.