Ladies and Gentlemen,
I do apologise for this somewhat rushed visit but as you can imagine Australia is a very large place and trying to get round so much of it in this time isn't always as easy as it might be, but I can't tell you how much my wife and I enjoyed Tasmania.
It has been a great joy and we can't thank you enough for the most wonderfully warm welcome that you've given us today despite the weather. At least we've done something useful by bringing the rain because it is a blessing.
Of course it's one of the reasons why Tasmania is so special and is so productive and has so many remarkable producers of every kind of agricultural produce, not to mention the highest quality wool.
As the Premier mentioned, one of the things I wanted to try and highlight today was the importance of wool as a natural fibre and to remind people of its importance and the importance of the growers and indeed of wool to the whole economy in Australia.
If I may say so it has been a particular joy to see you all as part of the celebrations of The Queen's Diamond Jubilee.
I remember coming to Australia in 1977 and I went round the whole of Australia in 11 days to celebrate again that Jubilee. Now we have a very special occasion with the Diamond Jubilee and I know that so many of you gathered here today have done so much for your own communities in so many different ways-dedicated, devoted, so often unseen and unsung.
The contributions you've made are quite remarkable in so many voluntary ways. If it wasn't for all of you so little probably would happen so this is an opportunity just to say thank you and show enormous appreciation for what you do to make somewhere like Tasmania so special and so wonderful.
I hadn't appreciated, I must say, that the Premier shares the same birthday as me. Which is extraordinary because when I go to New Zealand, where I'm having my birthday next week, not only does the Governor-General share the same birthday as me but also the Prime Minister's wife.
So it just shows, at the end of the day, that you can't do without scorpios.