Official Opening Clump Point Jetty

Thanks very much Bill (Shannon), the Mayor of the Cassowary Coast Regional Council and the Deputy Mayor, Bryce Macdonald, other Councillors, my friend and colleague, Andrew Cripps, not only the Local Member but a very senior Minister in the Queensland Government and of course, your Local Federal Member, Bob Katter.

Well this is a great day. I said earlier on, a couple of years ago, mother nature did awful things to this part of the world with one of the worst cyclones Australia has seen since 1917 but today you'd think it is nature's way of trying to make up to us all in having such perfect day.

But this is a significant day. I remember in recent years we have had Cyclone Winifred in 1986, Cyclone Justin in 1997, Cyclone Larry in 2006 and of course, Yasi, 2 years ago. They've been devastating Cyclones for this area but on each occasion the local communities have recovered, they have been very resilient and have come back bigger and better than ever. And it's tremendous today that we are opening this Jetty and the one on Dunk Island as an example of the community fighting back.

This area is just such a special area. For those of you older than I am, and there aren't many here, but it first came into significance when Harold Holt who was, once upon a time, the Treasurer of the Australian Government, used to come to Bingle Bay just down the road a bit to prepare the Budget, the Federal Budget, every year and he put Bingle Bay and Mission Beach on the map back in those days but since then the natural beauty of this area has continued to be recognised more widely.

This day is so significant and one of the highlights of that is the number of significant people here. It is great to see Bob Manning, the Mayor of Cairns Regional Council and Roger Bow, the Mayor of Hinchinbrook Shire joining with us today in this great celebration. The fact Bill, that you have your colleagues here today demonstrates just what an important occasion this is.

Ladies and gentlemen, on behalf of the Federal Government, congratulations to all involved in this wonderful event.

There are two things that we have to do for this area. I know there are many people who probably think that Mission Beach is good as it is, but there are a lot of business people, tourist operators and others who think it would be good to have more people here and I think one of the challenges for all levels of government, including the Council is how do we get more people to recognise this magnificent part of the world, how do we stop being selfish and share it with others and how do we get access to it. And part of the access is not only through the International Airports but by sea and they are challenges that all levels of government will face in the future.

We do in this area, as you all know, as I know living in the north, have another problem in the north with insurance. Today's not the day to talk about difficulties like that but, again, it is something that all levels of government have to address for those of us who live in the north and particularly those of you who invest in this part of the area in your own residences, in your own units or in your own businesses.

And those two things, I think, need to be addressed and then nothing will hold back this very, very beautiful part of the world.

It is a delight to be joining with you all today in this celebration and I am delighted to be here on behalf of Warren Truss and indeed the Federal Government in playing its part in the celebration of today's opening of the two jetties.

Well done all of you.

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