Mackay Civic Reception
Member for Mackay, Julieanne Gilbert MP; Member for Dawson, Andrew Willcox MP; Mackay Regional Council Mayor, Councillor Greg Williamson, and Deputy Mayor, Councillor Karen May; emergency services personnel; distinguished guests; ladies and gentlemen; good evening.
Thank you Elder, Mr Phillip Kemp for your Welcome to Country, and to Mr Patrick Thaiday and the Mackay Torres Strait Islander Dancers for your traditional dance performance that so powerfully connected us to Indigenous culture and country.
I too, would like to begin by acknowledging the original custodians of the lands on which we gather, the Yuwibara people, and pay my respects to Elders, past, present and emerging, and this extends to any First Nations people joining us today.
Graeme and I are delighted to be visiting Mackay for the first time in my role as Governor of Queensland. We are grateful for your kind welcome this evening, and thank the Mackay Regional Council for hosting us in this incredible venue.
Your region is such a special part of our State, and I am not surprised you are so proud to call it home.
Since the very first sugar mill opened back in the mid 1860s, your region has embraced a spirit of industry that has grown to encompass a wide and impressive range of commercial sectors.
With the Port of Mackay recently boasting its greatest trade year by volume, there is no doubt that Mackay contributes significantly to the economic fortunes of our entire State.
Graeme and I are looking forward to paying a visit to the Mackay Bulk Sugar Terminal—for me, an essential part of the Mackay experience.
However, this region represents so much more than its outstanding export credentials—vital though these are.
This is also a vibrant, modern city, offering those who visit and those who live here opportunities to enjoy art, culture, and diverse recreational activities, as well as the incredible beauty of the Pioneer Valley, rainforests, beaches and waterways.
In talking to Mayor Williamson and local Councillors, I am truly impressed by all of the positive initiatives already underway, or planned, to make it even more attractive to residents and tourists.
Revitalising public spaces, such as the Seaforth Esplanade; and generating fresh ideas, such as the Pioneer Valley Mountain Bike Trails, together with the expansion and redevelopment of the Mackay and Sarina Hospitals are each so important, because they help improve health and wellbeing for all—an issue still very close to my heart.
However, integral to the success of any of the ventures I’ve mentioned is the passion and determination of its people.
This is where Mackay really shines. I know that every one of you here tonight has made an incredible contribution to your hometown, whether it is through your small businesses, community activities or volunteering efforts.
Your individual differences and diverse interests are the building blocks required to create such a rich, vibrant environment—with compassion for others at its core.
I know this is what makes Mackay a strong, connected community, and I thank you for working together to forge such a brilliant future.