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 at Hinchinbrook Shire Hall Ingham

Ingham Community Morning Tea

Member for Hinchinbrook, Mayor Jayo, ladies and gentlemen, girls and boys. Kaye and I are delighted to be with you all in Ingham today. We are particularly excited so many school students are here.

I at once acknowledge the traditional owners of these lands, and extend respectful greetings to Elders and emerging leaders. 

Today marks day two of our three-day journey up the Bruce Highway from Townsville to Cairns. We arrived in Townsville yesterday, and drove straight here, so we could spend the night in Ingham. We have just come from the impressive Ingham State School, and earlier today we received a Council briefing. We have been blown away, frankly, by the warmth of our welcome!

Our Vice-Regal road trip – complete with Crown numberplates and the Governor’s Standard pennant on our hired Kia people mover – is a wonderful way for Kaye and me to experience, first hand, the heart-warming communities and immense natural beauty of this very special part of Queensland.

We are delighted our visit coincides with the exciting, round-the-clock activity of the crush. The harvesters, cane trains and mills are a powerful demonstration of the vital role that sugar plays in our State economy. 

The beautiful coast, the forests and waterfalls of the hinterland, and the magnificent TYTO Wetlands are all evidence of the growing importance of tourism. Kaye and I hope, in our own small way, we may encourage more Queenslanders to embark on similar driving tours.

It has been such a pleasure for us to discover that, despite repeated natural disasters and fluctuations in the sugar price, the Ingham of today is the same as that found by other Governors when they have visited – a strong, resilient and welcoming community.

My most recent predecessor, Penelope Wensley, remarked as much when she visited in 2009 in the aftermath of horrendous flooding. 

The strength of the community was also evident back in 1931, when Ingham was visited by our State’s 14th Governor, Sir John Goodwin, and Lady Goodwin. Then there was an official welcome at the railway station (including a band of Scouts!), visits to the hospital and ambulance centre, a public welcome and concert in the Shire Hall, an elaborate morning tea with the QCWA, and presentations of bouquets to Lady Goodwin on no fewer than three separate occasions! No pressure!  

Ingham has once again extended an exceptionally warm welcome. Kaye and I thank you for that and for the invaluable opportunity this visit has given us to hear from the community about matters that concern you most. We look forward very much to meeting and chatting with you further over morning tea. Thank you.