Dinner for Queensland Producers
President of the RNA, The Honourable Justice David Thomas and Mrs Jane Thomas; Director-General of the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, Dr Chris Sarra; representatives of some our State’s finest local producers and your partners; a very warm welcome to you all.
I begin by acknowledging the Traditional Owners of the lands around Brisbane, the Turrbal and Jagera people, and pay my respects to Elders past, present and emerging.
Graeme and I are pleased to welcome you to Government House, as we celebrate our State’s incredible food and wine producers—represented this evening, by all of you.
This special dinner gives us the opportunity to acknowledge and thank you for the immense contribution you are making to Queensland’s success, and for helping to build our State’s global reputation for excellence and innovation in the sector.
Consumers here are so fortunate to have ready access to an immense and ever-expanding range of top quality produce.
The focus on locally-grown ensures fewer food miles, and much fresher produce on our shelves…which is so important in encouraging a healthier lifestyle—an issue that remains of great importance to me.
Queensland’s agricultural products are helping to feed the world, with meat, vegetables and fruit currently having a combined export value of over $6.5 billion.
Our viticulture industry is also flourishing, as the unique flavours of our wine growing regions, attract ever-increasing national and international attention for their taste, quality, and innovation—as well as providing a perfect accompaniment to a delicious meal, of course!
However, working on the land is not for the faint-hearted, as some of you would know better than most—Mother Nature and the vagaries of market forces are relentless—and at times, brutal.
Yet, I know that commitment and passion for the sectors in which you work, are significant motivators—in the production phase, throughout the entire supply process and beyond.
Here at Government House, we are also proud and enthusiastic champions for Queensland producers and fresh produce—in fact, in the last financial year, 100 percent of our menus served at our many official functions featured locally sourced Queensland produce. Our wine cellar is also now stocked solely with Queensland wines.
Our talented Head Chef, Mr Paul Newsham—who devised tonight’s menu—is always excited to create dishes that feature Queensland owned and grown, by incorporating seasonal ingredients from as many different localities as he can.
Tonight’s dinner, for example, showcases vegetables from the Scenic Rim and Mapleton, Quinces from Stanthorpe, vanilla from the Daintree and cheeses from the Gold Coast—to name a few…and we always offer local wines and port to our guests.
After dinner, you will have the opportunity to meet Paul and ask him questions.
Until then, please enjoy this taste of Queensland dinner, as our way of saying thank you.