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Introduction

A speech by Mr Anthony Howard QC, to open the new RACV Cape Schanck Resort.

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Ms Netta Griffin, President and Chairman, RACV
Distinguished guests
Ladies and gentlemen

First, I acknowledge the Traditional Owners of the land upon which we are gathering and pay my respects to their Elders past and present and to any Elders here with us today.

Well, as you’ve heard, unfortunately the Governor has fallen ill today and been confined to bed by her doctor.  Those of you who know my wife know that she has a very strong sense of duty, so I can tell you she very reluctantly accepted her doctor’s advice and remains most disappointed about missing you all today.

So, I am delighted to join you all for the opening of this magnificent RACV Cape Schanck Resort: an important asset for the Mornington Peninsula, and for the whole State of Victoria.  

As Patron, the Governor particularly wanted to commend the Royal Automobile Club of Victoria for its long-term contribution to our State.  It has been serving Victorian drivers, and the broader community for 115 years, since 1903.  It has contributed to road and car safety, driver education, car insurance and roadside assistance. And it has  even fulfilled a special role as a transport corps, across two world wars.

But standing here today in this beautiful and stunning new resort, it is the RACV’s very substantial contribution to tourism across Victoria that comes front of mind. 

From the humble beginnings of your ‘Touring Department’, formed in 1914, and the early task of compiling a list of country hotels to meet an expanding public interest in roads and touring outside our capital city, you have now created a portfolio of beautiful country resort properties.

These resorts draw Melburnians and guests from elsewhere, whilst your smart CBD headquarters draw those from the country and further afield to the heart of our city.

And now we have this new RACV resort, boasting 120 new rooms, additional conference facilities catering for up to 835 people, with 11 function rooms and a large aquatic centre.

Victorians and others will have yet another good reason to holiday in Victoria, to marvel at this coastline, and to enjoy the entire region.

But it is not only the beauty of this magnificent curved structure, set against the rugged landscape, that we celebrate today.

This resort is anticipated to make a significant contribution to the prosperity of our State as a major driver of economic activity.

It showcases our Victorian architectural talent – thanks to Wood Marsh Architects – in a State that is renowned for its  design credentials. 

It boasts our State’s beautiful natural materials. Castlemaine stone has been used artfully both inside and outside the building, which is nestled amongst 70,000 indigenous plants, which have been planted as part of the project.

Importantly, it creates significant employment both on and off-site for a large number of Victorians.  

Finally, I should mention the restaurant – in addition to its attractive architectural detailing – which shines a light on the best of local food and wine, supporting the local economy through the growers and regional businesses from whom it sources its produce.

This resort really does serve as a reminder of so many things that are great about Victoria. From our beaches to our creative and artistic flair.  From the warmth of our hospitality to our fine local produce and food.  And, of course, great sporting facilities, led by an 18 hole golf course.

So, that leaves me just to thank the RACV for continuing to invest in Victoria.

Thank you to Netta Griffin and the Board for your vision and leadership, and to all those who have made this place a reality.

And, shortly, it will give me great pleasure to unveil – on behalf of the Governor - a plaque in order to declare the RACV Cape Schanck Resort officially open.