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Remarks at the Stockman's Hall of Fame Grand Parade: Speech, Longreach, Queensland

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Remarks at the Stockman's Hall of Fame Grand Parade, Longreach, Queensland July 27, 2013


It is a real honour for me to be here today. This is the heart of Australia. It may not be the population heart but it is, in many respects, the spiritual heart of our country. But for the work that people in country Australia do, all of us that live in the cities would

not enjoy the prosperity, we would not enjoy the life that we currently have.

Yes, it is great that the mining industry has done so well in recent decades but we should never forget agriculture because one day the mining boom will end, but people will always need to eat. That’s why the farming industries of Australia and the great

cattle industries of Australia are so incredibly important.

I am very conscious of the fact that cattle is still a $12 billion a year industry; that Australia is the world’s biggest cattle exporter; that something like 200,000 Australians make their livelihood from the red meat industry and I am determined to ensure that that

has a big future, not just simply a glorious past.

It is interesting when you think of our country, what are the motifs? Who are the people who we think of as exemplifying our spirit? And it has always tended to be the bushie and the solder, because whether you are a bushie or a soldier you have got to cope

with adversity, you have got to cope with difficulty, you have got to improvise, you have got to adapt, you have got to take the rough with the smooth and you have got to rely on your mates.

That is where the Outback Hall of Fame is so important because it is a celebration of the bush spirit, a celebration of the outback

spirit, which has done so much to shape the way we Australians think of ourselves. In many respects, the Stockman’s Hall of Fame is to bush Australia what the War Memorial is to military Australia. That is why I am very happy to be here to celebrate 25

years of the Stockman’s Hall of Fame, and why I am very happy to help officially open this inaugural horse and heritage expo here at the Stockman’s Hall of Fame.

These are tougher times for our country than we have enjoyed in the recent past and government money is not as readily

available today as it was five or six or ten years ago, but I want to give you all the assurance that should there be a change of government, should a Coalition government take office later in the year, we won’t forget country Australia and we won’t forget the

symbols of country Australia, because it’s hard to have the substance if you don’t nurture and nourish the symbols as well.

That is why an incoming Coalition government would make available to the Stockman’s Hall of Fame $5 million for necessary repairs, for an Outback Entertainment Centre and for an indigenous heritage precinct because it is very important that we

remember that black men and women and white men and women worked together to make our country what it is today. We must remember all of our heritage and that will happen under a Coalition government.

The Stockman’s Hall of Fame has been very important at preserving our stories, very important at celebrating the ethos, very

important - if I may use this phrase - at ‘keeping the dream alive’ and I want to make its future better than its past. That is why I am so thrilled to be here and ladies and gentleman thanks for making me so welcome.


© Tony Abbott MHR 2010 | Authorised by Tony Abbott MHR, Level 2, 17 Sydney Rd, Manly NSW 2095

Tony Abbott Federal Member for Warringah | Leader of the Opposition

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