Dinner in support of Mayors from Flood-Affected Regions
Thank you all for joining Graeme and I this evening, as we welcome you to Government House.
I begin by acknowledging the original custodians of the lands on which Government House stands, the Turrbul and Jagera people, and pay my respects to Elders, past, present and emerging.
Graeme and I are honoured to welcome you to Government House this evening, after honouring a period of mourning for Queen Elizabeth the Second.
The Queen’s recent passing gave us all pause for reflection on the values of community service and leadership.
And this dinner gives us the opportunity to express our deep gratitude for your leadership and support of communities across this wonderful State – both during the good times and amid the many challenges thrown your way.
Even in the very best of times, running a local council is a mammoth task.
The disastrous floods that severely impacted Queensland earlier this year placed enormous additional demands on you personally, on your families, and of course, on your communities.
Through my conversations with you, and our visits to several flood-affected areas including many of your own regions, Graeme and I gained further insight into the extreme and even life-threatening situations that rapidly unfolded.
We were humbled by the bravery, selflessness and resilience of those affected by the floods, and of those coming to their aid.
A natural disaster demands a rapid and coordinated response, which hinges on capable leadership. I commend your ability to rise to the challenge during these times.
In the aftermath of any catastrophe - whether it be flood, fire, drought or pandemic - it is vital to congratulate yourselves on what went well, and to share thoughts on how to better prepare for the next time.
I am conscious that with another La Nina having been recently declared for the coming summer, your residents may be understandably anxious. While we join you in hoping this latest threat of natural disaster does not eventuate – at least, not to the same devastating extent – I know you will continue to work together and support each other.
I hugely admire the work you do, and, of course, this admiration extends to your partners who are present with you this evening. A Mayor’s job is difficult, and personal support is vital.
The role also relies on smooth and continuous communication across numerous sectors and all layers of government.
All the while, business initiatives and programs to better the lives of the local population must be fostered and developed.
So, while this is not a working dinner, I am sure you will have plenty to discuss while we enjoy the wonderful Government House hospitality.
Thank you, and bon appétit.