Ayr Community Morning Tea
Mayor, Cr McLaughlin; 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.
I am absolutely delighted to be here with you this morning.
This is my first official visit to the Burdekin Shire Council area as Governor.
I am on a three-day, three-town ‘vice-regal road trip’ down the Bruce Highway – and yes, your Governor is happy to hear your suggestions for possible ‘road trip’ music playlists!
This morning I received a briefing from Burdekin Shire Council and visited the students at St Francis School. This afternoon, I will read a book about Gavel the Vice-Regal Dog during storytime at the Visitor Information Centre.
There is something so inspiring about meeting the young people of our towns and regions – they confirm a very bright future for our entire State!
Many of my own formative experiences as a young boy were from growing up in Queensland’s regional areas – Longreach, Maryborough and the Lockyer Valley.
Moving around as I did with my parents as teachers, I have benefited from being raised in smaller communities.
Now, as Governor, travelling extensively around the State, I have the great privilege to continue to observe the incredible community spirit which defines regional Queensland.
Australians in particular – grounded in our connections to the land and combatting as we do the pervasiveness of natural disasters – have always been buoyed by the strength of their communities.
This past year – with COVID-19, and accounting for recent woolly weather in this district – has been one of the great challenges of our times.
I know the impact of this pandemic has been felt somewhat differently in the regions from that in the metropolis, and am interested to learn of the impacts of COVID-19 on local export-focussed industries and on visitor numbers.
With its agricultural prowess, geographical advantages, and thriving towns, the Burdekin remains a major contributor to the Queensland economy.
Over the course of today, and as I travel down the coast to Proserpine, I look forward to meeting many more people who give the Burdekin its vibrancy and sense of community. Thank you all for your attendance today. I look forward to talking to many of you throughout the morning tea.