McVeigh's Toowoomba ties run deep
NEW Toowoomba South MP John McVeigh said his regional centre was "ready to play its part in rebuilding the Queensland economy".
The new Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Minister said he also hoped to take the state forward in his new portfolio industries which his family had a proud tradition in.
Mr McVeigh said his paternal great grandfather Patrick McVeigh carried salt with his own horse team in the 1870s to feed workers on the Grandchester to Toowoomba Railway and he and his maternal great grandfather were among the first selectors on the Darling Downs.
He said he hoped his new role in agriculture, fisheries and forestry would enable him to reinvigorate agricultural education and research centres like Hermitage where his own forebears played their part more than 100 years ago.
"It's fair to say one's political ideals are forged through their life experience," he said.
"I grew up on the Darling Downs and in Toowoomba South, attending primary and secondary school before moving on to study business at USQ.
"Prior to coming to this place I have been fortunate indeed to enjoy a most satisfying career in agribusiness.
"For the past 15 years my colleagues and I have operated a management consulting practice working for Australian businesses and industries in every continent in the world.
"It has been enjoyable to work through these roles in the cane and beef industries in North Queensland, the grains industry throughout southern and central Queensland, in the seafood industry in Moreton Bay and Bundaberg, pork industry in the Burnett, in regional development roles in western Queensland, in value adding in the food processing and packaging, wool, vegetable and cotton industries, in irrigation and engineering and in energy development best practice activities in the Surat Basin.
"I know through this experience that Queensland industries, particularly regional, have a tremendous potential for wealth and employment generation, not only in my home ... but throughout the entire state."
Mr McVeigh thanked Toowoomba South voters for placing their faith in him.
"At the same time I do recognise that as a candidate succeeding the only retiring LNP member in this past election, the foundation for my campaign was set on the record of my predecessor Mike Horan," he said.
"During the past six week I've come to recognise Mike retired from this place as one of the few members genuinely liked on both sides of politics, and certainly revered on our side as one of those who played an incredibly important role over the years in the genesis of this new LNP government.
"I recognise that it is a challenge to represent the interests of one's electorate at the same time as serving as a minister of the Crown - especially in a first term.
"Toowoomba though is where I'm from, it's a place that I love and am humbled to represent in this parliament. And it has a great affinity with the cabinet role I now hold and it has so much to offer to the future of the state of Queensland.
"We are willing to share the burden of challenges with the rest of the state but we must ensure we are not left with all the costs, all the pressures.
"We simply seek our fair share of the benefits flowing from the development of our great state."