Dinner with Regional Mayors - 22 November 2023
Mayors and your partners; Deputy-Director General, Department of State Development, Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning, Mr Joshua Hannan; Executive Director Local Government, Ms Emily Harrigan; CEO of the Queensland Reconstruction Authority, Major General Jake Ellwood DSC AM CSC (Retd); Ms Sarah Vogler and Mr Angus Sutherland from the Local Government Association of Queensland; distinguished guests, good evening.
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 at Government House this evening, particularly as many of you have travelled some distance to be here.
I am fortunate to have met most of you previously, but tonight’s special dinner allows me to reinforce my gratitude for the significant work you each do to serve your regions—and, of course, in this I include the Mayoral spouses, and the state government and LGAQ, that offer such critical support and advocacy.
As Governor, I have been privileged to visit many diverse parts of Queensland, which each contribute—in unique and deeply important ways—to the overall prosperity of our State.
Everywhere I go, people I talk to are always so proud of the places they call home, but I know your roles require a careful balancing act between protecting and strengthening the attributes of a region, while also driving necessary investment for sustainable growth.
This takes exceptional leadership—reflected by your passion, commitment and energy—and in the practical skills, knowledge and expertise you bring from your experience across a range of other sectors.
Through long-standing connections to your regions—enriched by active involvement in community-based activities such as sporting clubs, cultural and charitable organisations—you have developed a valuable understanding of your localities.
In times of triumph and tragedy, you are there, guiding your councils and your constituents with immense vision and innovation, and with the courage needed to face the unexpected, and what often feels like relentless challenges, with amazing positivity.
I am sure Major General Jake Ellwood would agree that the efforts of the Queensland Reconstruction Authority have benefitted greatly from the considered insight and direction of such strong local leadership.
Yet yours is far from a predictable 9-to-5 job, and together with responsibilities to family and friends, and to your own endeavours and enterprises, there are considerable demands on your time.
So, I once again thank you for making the effort to be here, as along with Graeme, and on behalf of all Queenslanders, I commend you for your outstanding contribution to shaping Queensland’s fortunes.
We hope you all enjoy this evening’s dinner, made from fresh Queensland-sourced ingredients, which are the very best sort, of course!