Visit to Emergency Services Stanthorpe
Councillor Pennisi, CEO Mr Dave Burgess, SES Controller, Mr Michael Bell, Members of the State Emergency Services and distinguished guests.
I would like to begin by acknowledging the Traditional Custodians of the land on which we gather today, and pay my respects to their Elders past and present. I extend that respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples here today.
Thank you so much for inviting Graeme and me to visit you during our time in the Southern Downs and Goondiwindi Regional Council areas. I was very keen to ensure that I could meet with you as I have done with other Emergency Services groups in the last month.
When I think of emergency services I can’t help remembering those images from 9/11 and the twin towers – people fleeing the danger and the emergency services, running towards the danger. That for me characterises how I think of you as first responders, running towards the fire, advancing into flood waters to save people, giving critical medical care in perilous circumstances and facing down dangerous and violent situations – And through all this, you provide compassion and understanding as you deal with people on their ‘worst day’.
To say that over the last months you have been ‘a bit busy’ doesn’t adequately describe what has happened in our State. I am trying to avoid using the word ‘unprecedented’ not only because it has become overused (and it has!), but perhaps because it has us considering – that what was ‘unprecedented,’ might now become the ‘norm’.
It is during the crises that have beset us in recent years: the pandemic, fires, floods, extreme weather along with more localised events and emergencies; that we as a community immediately look to you as first responders – And you never let us down.
This brings me rather neatly to what I really want to say to you today.
One of the great honours I have as Governor of this State – is that I may speak on behalf of the people of Queensland.
And so, on behalf of all Queenslanders I thank you, every one of you and those members who cannot be here today. I thank you for your dedication, for your service….and for your willingness to run towards the danger.