Sarina Community Breakfast
Member for Dawson, Andrew Willcox MP; Member for Mackay, Julieanne Gilbert MP; Mackay Regional Council Mayor, Councillor Greg Williamson, Deputy Mayor, Councillor Karen May, Councillors and representatives; emergency services personnel; distinguished guests; ladies and gentlemen; boys and girls. Good morning, everyone.
I begin by acknowledging the original custodians of the lands on which we gather, and pay my respects to Elders, past, present and emerging. I also extend my respects to all First Nations people here this morning.
Thank you for joining us bright and early this morning. Community breakfasts are unique opportunities to acknowledge the close bonds that exist within regional and rural towns. The warmth, enthusiasm and sense of community that abounds, despite the challenges of the past two years, reflects the remarkable and resilient spirit of Queenslanders.
On that note, I’d particularly like to acknowledge the impressive calibre of our State’s emergency services and frontline personnel, some of whom are represented here today, and the work they do to serve our community and ensure those who need it are provided with care and support. Thank you, for your unwavering commitment and selfless service.
I would also like to congratulate members of the Queensland Country Women’s Association for their support of the community over the last 100 years! I trust many of you enjoyed celebrating this impressive milestone at the QCWA Sarina Branch Centenary Race Day yesterday.
Together, you embody benevolence, and you genuinely care for your fellow Queenslanders. This is truly worthy of commendation.
It is this same generosity of spirit that I believe is so beautifully personified by another special guest this morning, Ms Georgia Beveridge, who did an outstanding job representing Sarina in the State finals of the Queensland Country Life Miss Showgirl Awards. Congratulations, Georgia, you are a fine ambassador for your region.
Part of my role as Governor is to shine a light upon communities and industries of State significance. And so, it is fitting that following today’s breakfast, I will be visiting the Sarina Sugar Shed, which plays such an important role in celebrating and sharing the rich history of sugar cane farming of your region with Queenslanders and visitors from the world over.
The sugar industry contributes a staggering $3.8 billion to the Queensland economy annually and generates more than 1,000 jobs in the Mackay region alone. Our State’s great sugar producing reputation is known across the globe, and that reputation has been hard-won by the work of many – including plenty of you here today – whether you work directly in the industry or indirectly support the local businesses, producers or agri-tourism operators, like the Sugar Shed, that help drive the prosperity of this community.
Following my tour there, I’ll be visiting Sarina Hospital as part of my pledge to visit every public hospital during my term as Governor to thank our healthcare workers for their tremendous efforts over the last couple of years.
I often say one of the great privileges of being Her Majesty The Queen’s representative in Queensland is visiting the regions to support and acknowledge people who represent the best aspects of our State. To that end, I look forward to meeting many of you as possible over the course of this morning’s breakfast.
Thank you for welcoming me so warmly to Sarina.