Official Opening Cherbourg Water Treatment Plant Upgrade and New Reservoirs & Community Lunch
Mayor of Cherbourg, Ms Elvie Sandow; Deputy Mayor Mr Tom Langton; Director-General, Department of Communities, Housing and Digital Economy, Ms Clare O’Connor; Chief Executive Officer Cherbourg Aboriginal Shire Council, Zala; Councillors; Elders; community members; ladies and gentlemen.
I thank the Wakka Wakka Dancers for their Welcome to Country and would also like to acknowledge the original custodians of the land on which we gather today, the Wakka Wakka people, and pay my respects to their Elders past, present and emerging.
It is a great pleasure to be joining you to celebrate the opening of the Cherbourg Water Treatment Plant Upgrade and New Reservoirs.
This is not only the first piece of major infrastructure I have had the honour of opening since being sworn in as Governor, but a water treatment facility was also the first for former Governor, Paul de Jersey, so perhaps today I am also observing a rather specific Vice-Regal tradition!
Just a year ago, Cherbourg and the South Burnett were fully drought declared shires, and although this region is no longer officially in drought, I know you are all very aware of how precious water is.
This enhanced facility is of vital importance to the growing Cherbourg community, because the mighty new dual two-megalitre concrete reservoirs will now ensure access to a reliable water supply well into the future.
These upgrades will also continue to deliver on improving the health of people living here by dealing with wastewater effectively and safely.
I therefore congratulate the collaborative efforts of Council, project managers Gripfast Consulting, and the contractor Water Treatment & Filtration Services, for completing the project within twelve months despite being pummeled by fires, floods and a pandemic.
Additionally, I thank the State Government, who worked with local government to see the plant open in 2018—with this original work furthered through the Indigenous Councils Critical Infrastructure Program.
It is truly a remarkable achievement.
Today is another positive milestone in the history of Cherbourg—a community that prides itself on its strong bonds to the land and the wisdom of its ancient traditions, and also its deep respect for the people who are living here now, and those who have come before.
This is a place that has seen incredible hardship and challenges over its history, yet since its beginnings, has been a place where people have come together, despite their differences, to build a true community.
I know—from meeting with Mayor Sandow and Councillors earlier today—that Cherbourg is continuing to embrace new initiatives encouraging better outcomes for all.
I am encouraged to hear uplifting stories of the community uniting to solve problems, to create opportunities, and importantly, promote a reconnection with traditional culture, particularly for young people through endeavours such as youth forums, the Cherbourg Youth Festival, sporting events and mentorship.
For now though, I must turn back to the job at hand, which is to thank and congratulate all involved in seeing this life-giving and life-changing facility becoming fully realised.
It has been a significant journey for everyone, but today, you can be enormously proud of your efforts. It is my deepest pleasure to declare the Cherbourg Water Treatment Plant Upgrade and New Reservoirs officially open.