Afternoon Reception in Support of the Kingaroy Community
Member for Nanango; Mayor, Cr Otto; distinguished guests; ladies and gentlemen; girls and boys.
I at once acknowledge the traditional owners of these lands, and extend respectful greetings to Elders and emerging leaders.
Thank you for welcoming me to wonderful Kingaroy. This is my first official vice-regal visit here and I am delighted to have the opportunity to meet you all today.
Most Queenslanders need no introduction to your famous town.
We grow up knowing Kingaroy’s peanuts are the best quality in the world – and I have no doubt my visit to the Peanut Company tomorrow will confirm as much!
The iconic silos that greet tourists represent this town’s tremendous spirit of enterprise and industry.
Indeed, since its earliest days, Kingaroy has prospered from the enormous efforts of a hard-working community.
The region’s fertile soils and ideal climate have seen it develop as one of the State’s key food production areas.
We regularly and proudly serve high quality produce from the South Burnett on our dining table at Government House – including our house sparkling wine from Clovelly Estate just north of here!
This acclaimed local agricultural production has also been admired by previous Governors who visited Kingaroy.
During his 1943 visit, our State’s longest serving Governor, Sir Leslie Wilson, would have witnessed the extensive crops of navy beans being grown to supply the defence forces, in particular the US troops based in Queensland at that time.
Just as those past Governors observed, today I see Kingaroy continuing to thrive as a result of a dedicated, positively aligned community working together.
Indeed, I have my own particular fondness for this region. I was a toddler at Coolabunia where my father was the school teacher. They were the 1950s – primitive by today’s standards.
My enduring memory is of the workmen painting the ‘school house’. No doubt they thought me a tenacious pest. As a 4-year-old, I am sure I saw my goal as being a house painter! I returned to the School for its centenary in May 2016 – what a marvellous School, in a marvellous region!
One of my brothers also married a daughter of Ray and Isabel Moore, and I visited their peanut farm, near ‘Bethany’, many times over my early years.
In towns like Kingaroy, ensuring prosperity does not come without challenge and effort.
Droughts, floods and fires – not to mention a pandemic – deleteriously impact incomes and batter resolve.
Overcoming these limitations requires optimism, drive and passionate fellowship.
Today, I see myself surrounded by people with these qualities. Your combined efforts are reflected in the extensive range of agricultural, business and tourism enterprises currently being undertaken in the region.
Earlier I met with the Mayor and Councillors who briefed me further on local plans to secure a strong future for the people of Kingaroy and the surrounding district.
Tomorrow I will have the pleasure of visiting the Pottique Lavender Farm, and, of course, will be paying a visit to the renowned Peanut Factory, before continuing on to open the Nanango Show.
On behalf of all Queenslanders, I would like to thank the South Burnett Regional Council and the people of Kingaroy and the surrounding districts for the tremendous contribution you are making to our great State.
I hope the coming year brings you good health and prosperity, and I look forward to meeting many of you throughout the course of today’s afternoon reception. Thank you.