Speech by the Governor of Victoria at the Reception for the International Mining and Resources Conference Delegates
First, I acknowledge the Traditional Owners of the land upon which we are gathering and pay my respects to their Elders past and present.
My husband and I are pleased to welcome you all here this evening to Victoria’s beautiful Government House.
We are particularly keen to welcome to Victoria the very many of you who have travelled from other parts of the world, as well as those from other parts of Australia, to join us here in Victoria for the 6th annual IMARC Conference.
Melbourne is a wonderful setting for your important discussions and meetings. Of course, you will suspect the Governor of Victoria of bias in saying that.
But as this city has been voted as one of the world’s most liveable cities now across many years, I am not alone in that view.
And whatever business you are doing here, you can do it amidst glorious public gardens, whilst eating and drinking particularly well, whether in the city or in one of Victoria’s many beautiful regional areas, and with some major art and sports events close to you, if you have time.
As you most likely know, this State has a long mining industry, starting with the Gold Rush of the 1850s.
As you arrived here this evening, you might have noticed the flag flying on top of our tower: the Governor’s Standard. The design is the same as the State Flag of Victoria, but with the blue background replaced by gold, to represent Victoria's golden past and its promise of a golden future.
The ‘golden future’ was, historically, a reference to our prosperity in a general sense, but it is certainly borne out today with our State being the fastest growing part of Australia, in terms of population, jobs and the economy.
Mind you, these days, with new technologies to again mine the gold deposits in Victoria – it may be that the reference to a ‘golden future’ will prove to be more literal!
In any event, while Victoria does not have the vast mineral resources of some other parts of our country, we are pivotal in supporting the mining industry when it comes to equipment, technology and services.
Many of the largest listed mining, mineral and energy companies, including BHP and Rio Tinto, are headquartered here in Melbourne.
And so it is a pleasure to host Australia’s largest and fastest growing mining sector conference and exhibition here.
This year, you represent some 7000 mining Ministers, policy makers, industry leaders, investors, commodity buyers, technical experts, innovators and educators from more than 100 countries.
And IMARC’s Expo will feature more than 260 METS company exhibits.
You are assured of a stimulating time as the Program traverses challenging topics, including digital transformation across the mining supply chain, clean energy opportunities, new methods of exploration and sustainable practices. Of course, the challenges presented by current geo-political issues will also feature.
Congratulations to the Founding Partners of IMARC, to Minister Symes and the Victorian Government, AusIMM and Austmine and Beacon Mines and Money for collaborating so successfully to host this IMARC Conference and Expo.
I commend them all, in particular, for their introduction this year of the Next Generation Programme, welcoming students, graduates and young professionals. And for the Pitch Battle, in which 20 start-ups will showcase their innovations to leading investors.
I wish you all an enjoyable as well as a successful time in Victoria, starting with your time here this evening. Enjoy the important discussions that we know will start here. But please make sure that you also enjoy the setting and our hospitality.
It is now my pleasure to introduce Minister Symes to address us.