Official Opening Cardwell Foreshore 9th November 2013


Well, thanks very much Greg Valetta from 4KZ, the Voice of everywhere from Townsville to Cairns and beyond And Greg in acknowledging you, can I acknowledge the work that 4KZ and the ABC I should add, did during the time of Yasi. We often forget just what a significant role the radio stations in particular, play in times of calamity.

Ladies and gentlemen this is a great day and it is a magnificent event, it is a magnificent day. It is almost as if Mother Nature said, well we did the wrong thing by Cardwell a couple of years ago but we're going to make up for it today with the sort of day we have out here.

I think that the completion of this wonderful Cardwell Reconstruction Project is really a monument to the resilience and courage of the people of this community. It's also a monument to the way the community has fought back and has demonstrated that natural calamities will not hold this town back. So, ladies and gentlemen can I start by asking you all to congratulate yourselves on your part in making sure that Cardwell will never give up.

Ladies and gentlemen, I remember a couple of years ago being with Tony Abbott, the Prime Minister, he wasn't then of course, but with the current Prime Minister in Tully immediately following Yasi and I came down here afterwards and when you saw Cardwell at the time, if you didn't know the people here, you would have thought that Cardwell was finished. But you have shown, the people of Cardwell have shown, that they will always bounce back and today, as I say, is a monument to that.

I've been very proud over the years to be helping in this area and I remember 6 or so years ago when the Howard Government similarly made significant contributions following cyclone Larry and we attended many ceremonies like this. Bill (Shannon), it's not just one cyclone you've had to go through, it's two and I particularly want to mention Bill Shannon and the Cassowary Coast Council. They've done a magnificent job in leading the communities, not always everyone has agreed with you Bill but a lot of work has gone on and there has been real contribution, real leadership by yourself and the Cassowary Coast Council.

Could I also, at this stage recognise Andrew Cripps, your Local State Member. Andrew's been here also through the two cyclones and, ladies and gentlemen, whilst it's you, the community that makes these restorations happen, it doesn't happen without advocacy at the right levels and Andrew, and particularly now as a senior Minister in the State Government, has really made a significant contribution to what you see before you today. And I can also recognise Bob Katter, as he said, for the work that he did in this connection as well.

Ladies and gentlemen, the Federal Government, which I represent today, has contributed some $27 million to this whole project, the State Government some $14 odd million too and I know the Council, not so much in actual cash Bill, but with a lot of effort and a lot of cost to the Council has made a very significant contribution.

Not only is it great to see Cardwell restored better than it was before, but in line with the Queensland Government's approach, it's now more able to survive any future natural calamities that might come this way.

The foreshore here, the road through town, is a fantastic example, a great gateway to Far North Queensland. I've travelled many roads on the east coast of Australia over many years, and this stretch of roadway along here is one of the most scenic you will find on the highway anywhere and following the reconstruction it is even better than it was before. I'm sure that will bring new economic activity to Cardwell and indeed to the whole of North and Far North Queensland.

Ladies and gentlemen, can I conclude, by again thanking the people of Cardwell for their resilience and courage. Without your staying power, without your real Australian attitude, this reconstruction and todays happy launch would not have happened. It's a magnificent facility we see before us, congratulations to all of those involved, the Council, the State Government and the Federal Government for the contributions of money, the people who have actually done the work, the Local Council workers and the Queensland Government Project Management, all of the Contractors, all of those who've contributed in any way to what you see before you today, Congratulations.

And Ladies and gentlemen, with that, on behalf of the State and Federal Government and the Cassowary Coast Council can I say Welcome to the new Cardwell Reconstruction and if it is such a thing to do, can we all together say "These New Works are Officially Opened, may they be enjoyed by everyone and may they bring new wealth and prosperity and recognition to this wonderful seaside town".

Thank you very much.

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