Reception aboard USS America
Representing the Premier of Queensland, Assistant Minister to the Premier for Veterans' Affairs and the Public Sector, Mr Bart Mellish MP; Government Ministers; Members of Parliament, Commanding Officer HMAS Moreton Commander Fiona Southwood RAN, Consul General of the United States of America, Ms Christine Elder; members of the Consular Corps, Commanding Officer of the USS America, Captain Shockey Snyder; Australian and United States military personnel; distinguished guests; ladies and gentlemen.
I begin by acknowledging the Traditional Owners of the lands and waters around Brisbane, and pay my respects to Elders past, present and emerging, and to any First Nations people here today.
I wish to extend the warmest of welcomes to Brisbane, a major gateway to the great State of Queensland.
Much like the currents that flow through the waters beneath us, the ties between Australia and the United States run strong and deep.
As a representative of the people of Queensland, I’m proud and pleased to note how much our already strong bonds with the people of America have grown in recent years.
We need only look at the number of Hollywood blockbusters being made right here in our backyard. This type of partnering of one of our growth industries with your bigger, more established entertainment sector brings invaluable expertise and employment opportunities to our shores.
And the benefits of growing U.S. interactions with Queensland industries and communities can be seen in many other facets of life and work here.
Sectors such as education, research, health and of course defence and security have all benefitted from our deepening official, commercial and community ties.
And Queenslanders are especially proud of their history in welcoming the ships of the United States Seventh Fleet.
Among those recently making Brisbane its port of call was the USS Frank Cable, which made an unscheduled stop here last March to assist in flood recovery and response efforts.
We are so very thankful for this, and it demonstrates a real affinity for our challenges as a largely coastal community, facing the ever-present threat of inundation by rising seas and a changing climate.
It’s wonderful to be part of such an enduring partnership, and a delight to be among such good friends and allies, and I thank the United States Navy and Consul-General of the USA, Ms Elder, for the invitation to come aboard your magnificent ship.
I wish you smooth sailing and fair winds for the remainder of your stay in our waters. Thank you.