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(generated from captions) target of drive-by shoots in November and January.The Tasmanian Fire Service expecting it could be battling buffers across the State for months to come. There are still 27 active fires burning with some threatening containment lines. Extra resources have begun a ing from interstate as crews battle wind write conditions that are expected to continue through the week. A base camp to cater for an influx of firefighters is being set up near Stanley in the north-west. An additional 240 firefighters from SA, Victoria and NSW will be deployed over the next two to three days. Now the PM Malcolm Turnbull has just stepped for an a - address in rock - Rockhampton.Thank you for this very kind introduction and, waited, thank you for the welcome to country on be half of the lo indigenous people and can I join all of us here acknowledging your welcome, thanking you for your welcome acknowledging your elders past and present and the 50,000 years of custodianship that your people have shown caring for this land on which re on today. Can I also say to you all how fantastic you look. Now are very, very enthusiastic, all of you. You are all in the shade. That is very sensitive. - sensible. There's a baby over there looking fantastic and you know it's framed the television cameras can't see this, it's framed by that beautiful Fran ji Panny tree, so I think this is a beautiful location..I want to - we have Barnaby and I are here on our road trip. It's not Thelma and Louise, it's Barnaby and Malcolm but we're on the road trip and we're having a great time.We share a great passion for water as indeed of course does Michelle as you have just heard. And Ken o doid and of course our Senators who are here, the senators for Queensland and Rockhampton Matt Canavan and of course James McGrath, the assistant Minister to the PM a is here as wellCan I say on the subject of Northern Australia, putting a ministry together is a challenging job because we have so much talent in our party room. The Coalition is very lucky. We have got people from every walk of life. We've got people with the vast range of diverse experiences. It is hard to think of an occupation or profession or background that is not represented in our party room.So we have many more, we have more talent than we can fit into the 42 places in the ministry.But what you can see with respect to Northern Australia is that we have in Josh Frydenberg one of the smart est, young men in the Government, young people in the Government. He is the Minister for energy and resources and Northern Australia and you know he has been spending a lot of time up here. Now, working with him we have another one of the smartest people, younger people in our team, Matt Canavan. So Barnaby and I have put together two of the big est intellects, two of the best advocates, two of the most persuasive people in our government focussed on Northern Australia. And that is an indication of the commitment we have to ensuring that we provide the support, the investment, the promotion of Northern Australia because, believe me, right here in central Queensland, in Northern Australia on the tropic of Capricorn, you are living in THE most exciting part of Australia because you are right here, you are right here in a position poised for extraordinary growth. I often say that we are living in the most exciting times. We are. We absolutely have are. We have never seen change as rapid or as disruptive as we have in the last generation.40 years ago, China was barely part of the global economy. It was almost a closed economy. Now it is the world's largest single economy.And with our Government, led of course by Robb, our brilliant Trade Minister, has accepted the doors of those markets wider than ever. And Barnaby Joyce, the Agriculture Minister, has Daied through them, bear - dived through them, with a large beast under each arm.The cattle prices have doubled as, more than doubled, Barnaby, and sheep meat prices have similarly soared and disclose my interest as a grower of both animals - beef and sheep.And it's been a great example of how our more diverse economy can respond. I recognise there have been setbacks an slowdowns in central Queensland, indeed as there have been in other part of Australia, in WA in particular, as the mining construction boom has slowed down, as tapered off, as it was always going to do. You can't can't keep - that pace of growth was always going to slow down. But what we have seen across Australia, a country that was perceived by many as being solely dependent on commodities for its strong growth.What we have seen is continued growth strong growth. Last year, do you know, there were more jobs created in Australia than in any year since 2006?The last full year of the Howard Government. And well before the global financial crisis. Female participation is at an all-time high. Around we're seeing that d - and we're seeing that because of a diversified economy. So the challenge for Rockhampton, for all of the big cities, up the coast of Queensland, the challenge is to become more diversified so that you are less depends on one industry, one sector than you were before.So you the diversity that is one sect or slows down another sector can take up. That is critical. That is why investment in infrastructure is important. That is why building 34 is important. The knowledge industry is a big industry. CQU is a big employer, a big promoter of growth. This is about growth and jobs.These universities are not - these universities are not some sort of social welfare exercise. This is growing the economy. CQU and the other universities in Queensland, particularly in regional Queensland, are as important to the future of this economy and jobs as any business. This is business. This is our future. Training the young men and women and some of them not so young of today who will be providing the jobs and the economic dynamism in the year ahead.Now, let me say - return to Wade's very eloquent welcome. Often we forget the wisdom of the elders.And as a grand father I often think that people should respect the wids Dom of the elders! Particularly my 2 and a bit-year-old grandson who seems to be very rambunctious. Let me say this to you - Wade pointed out that water is the source of life, and so it is.And he talked about his totem, heralding the coming of the rain and then rejoicing. When it is over.You know, water is the source of life. Most of the water in Australia falls in Northern Australia. The vast majority of it falls in Northern Australia but there is very little relative to that very little water infrastructure. It is important that we look at these water projects. We've got to look at them in a very thorough economically rational way. We have to be rational about this and analytical. I know that Matt Canavan will be bringing his considerable economic skills honed at the productively ivity Commission no less to that task. But we also have to remember that water infrastructure, a dam for example, irrigation system, has to be looked at in many respects as an exercise in creating value in a community and in property. It is not just measured by reference to the cost of the dam and the revenue you get from selling the water. Over years.You think about the uplift in value of all of the property affected.Irrigation can turn land that is of little or no value into land of gigantic value. It can create - it be build communities, strengthen communities so that everyone benefits from businesses and universities, more students to come here.More businesses that supply the farmers and of course the exporters that are then ensuring that those products are going out to the world. So water is absolutely critical. And it has been central to the success of every society, whether you go back to the foundations of civilise ations in Mesopotamia and the Romans right up to today.It is vital. Irrigated agriculture is an absolutely essential, absolutely in dispensable part of our future. It enables us to take advantage of what is going to be and is becoming already this enormous boom and soft commodities.The truth is we have been selling a lot and doing well out of selling the steel to China and iron ore: But the prices will come back as they inevitably would. But we will shortly have half of the world's middle class living in East Asia and like us they want to have good food. They want to have clean food. They want to be sure of the purity and the provenance of their products. We have the ability to deliver that.That is why exports of food products are cr r
making enormous progress.You cr r seeing crayfishermen getting more for their crays. And it's diverse. The important thing is as our economy become s more diverse, it becomes more resilient. I already is. That is why we've seen such strong growth in jobs.It will become more so in the future.All the politicians here today, we are all passionately committed to your progress. We know that your success is Australia's success. We know that our future depends on the advancement of Northern Australia. It depends on the investment. The right investment. Rational investment. But depends on investment in Northern Australia. We are determined to ensure that this, the 21st century, is Australia's century. It is the most exciting time to be an Australian. Especially a young Australian and it is - this is THE part of Australia that is best able, best calculated to take advantage of these great opportunities so close to those northern markets.So believe me, we share your vision. We share your excitement. We share your optimism and we're determined to make sure that this century, this progress, is yours, Australia's. This is the most exciteding time to be in central Queensland. Thank you very much.So that was live from Rockhampton in central Queensland, the PM Malcolm Turnbull speaking there talking up the potential of the beef