His Excellency the Honourable Paul de Jersey AC, Governor of Queensland (middle) with mayor Tracy Dobie and St Joseph's school captains Hannah Debnam and Jared Hitchener.
His Excellency the Honourable Paul de Jersey AC, Governor of Queensland (middle) with mayor Tracy Dobie and St Joseph's school captains Hannah Debnam and Jared Hitchener.

Governor pays tribute to Granite Belts ‘resilience and compassion’

QUEENSLAND’S vice-regal couple have toured drought and fire impacted areas of the Southern Downs, as well as hearing first-hand from families who lost everything in the recent blazes.

His Excellency the Honourable Paul de Jersey AC, Governor of Queensland, and Mrs Kaye de Jersey visited Stanthorpe and surrounds on Monday morning.

Governor de Jersey was the guest of honour at a Queensland College of Wine Tourism, where he personally met with emergency services, business owners, homeowners and producers.

“It’s a credit to the fire and emergency services that so many houses were saved, thankfully without a single life lost,” he said.

“I thank them and commend them for an outstanding co-ordinated response to this catastrophic event.

“Indeed, it’s testament to the region that there were so many spontaneous acts of assistance from so many community members, associations and businesses (after the event).”

Governor de Jersey also joined Southern Downs mayor Tracy Dobie on a tour to Storm King Dam.

“Its present depleted condition is very worrying, although we were reassured by what the mayor told us to what’s in train in that regard.

“The dire affects of this horrific record-breaking drought are being felt right around the entire Southern Downs region and indeed many areas of our state.

“While lack of water is suffered most keenly on your renowned farms and wineries, this drought is causing financial hardship and emotional heartbreak for all.

“Councillor Dobie has given me a detailed briefing on many initiatives the council has implemented to both mitigate the current water crisis and to provide longer term water security through major infrastructure projects.

“I’m encouraged by your council’s hard work and determination as it works alongside local agencies, community groups and all levels of government to help find solutions to this complex and challenging situation, at the same time as leading the post fire recovery plan.”

Governor de Jersey praised the Granite Belt’s never say die attitude.

“Your strength and resilience are remarkable and your compassion for others is admirable.

“I know you have not lost hope.”