Dinner in support of the Queensland Agricultural Industry for National Agriculture Day
Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries and Minister for Rural Communities, the Honourable Mark Furner MP; agricultural leaders and distinguished guests.
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 so pleased you could join us this evening—on the eve of National Agriculture Day—to celebrate our State’s incredible agricultural industry. While this evening you may have noticed the house is bathed in purple light for World Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Day, tomorrow we will be a brilliant shade of green in support of Queensland agriculture.
We are delighted to be hosting this special dinner at Government House as it enables us to pay tribute to a group of people who represent the resilience, professionalism, and enterprise of all of those working on the land across Queensland.
The collective wisdom, expertise and passion you each bring, is truly admirable, and your efforts underpin the strength of an industry that is vital to the fortunes of our state, and our country.
We are so lucky in Australia, to have access to an enviable array of superb produce, but I know that the journey from “paddock to plate” is not always smooth.
It seems that when we finally emerge from one drought, we potentially face another, and in between there are the challenges of cyclones, storms, floods and fire—as we have seen most recently in many parts of the State, not least the ‘tornado-like’ hailstorm that left a trail of destruction through much of the Lockyer Valley last Friday.
Aside from the unpredictability of the weather (and the increasing concerns of climate change), economic pressures, labour shortages and biosecurity remain issues.
Yet, while we acknowledge the many difficulties our farmers face, the story of agriculture in this State is really one of remarkable, outstanding triumph.
The simple days of pick and plough are far behind us, as each sector embraces cutting edge technology and a trailblazing attitude. Innovation, invention and diversification are driving new initiatives, practices and greater sustainability.
And underneath all of this, is the same enterprising spirit that has always been there—represented by those of you who have multi-generational connections to the land you work, and by the rich histories told through beef, bees or cotton.
You all wear many akubras—as farmers, advisors, consultants and advocates—and this depth of expertise and experience is reinforced by the collaborations that support and drive the overall industry and strengthen each sector.
You should all be so very proud of the contributions you are making to growing and supplying our food and fibre (which is earning Queensland global accolades) and for working so hard to advance your sectors.
Here at Government House, we are also passionate about using Queensland-fresh ingredients, and we are proud we currently feature locally sourced produce in 100 per cent of our menus for official functions.
Please enjoy the dinner prepared by our Head Chef, Paul Newsham, and thank you, once again, for all you do to promote agriculture in Queensland.
Happy Ag Day!