Cloncurry’s week of celebrations to mark 150 years is up and running kicked off by the mayor’s gala luncheon and a street party and massive parade on Friday.
Former Channel Nine newsreader and LGAQ ambassador Heather Foord was MC for the luncheon which attracted two federal MPs (Bob Katter and Senator Ian Macdonald), a state MP (Robbie Katter) and the mayors of Cloncurry, Mount Isa, McKinlay, Burke, Carpentaria and Richmond.
Shirley Powley gave a rundown of the town’s history and Cloncurry Mayor Greg Campbell said the town was still going strong after 150 years powered by mining, agriculture, tourism and its position as a transport hub but they could not rest on their laurels and had to follow the example of those that founded the town.
“Our forebears were intent on creating new opportunities,” Cr Campbell said.
“Looking to the future, we’ve got to not settle for close enough but we need to capitalise on the potential we have of being part of the richest mineral province in the world.”
Cr Campbell said the shire punched well above its weight in delivering royalties to the state and noted pointedly there was no representative from the Palaszczuk government at the luncheon despite their “running Queensland from the regions” that week.
“We must be a bit too regional,” he said.
===> Check out all the photos from the street parade here
Glencore’s Australian copper boss and former Ernest Henry manager Mike Westerman also spoke about the importance of mining to the region but also played up the role of agriculture creating communities saying it was sad some places in his native Western Australia had become mining only to the detriment of quality of life in those towns.
“There were country towns with no country people in them,” he said.
That was not the case here and Mr Westerman was also applauded when he said all the current Ernest Henry managers lived in Cloncurry.
Senator Ian Macdonald spoke of his family links to the Cloncurry and also mentioned that Treasurer Scott Morrison would be following in the footsteps of his predecessor Joe Hockey and coming to Cloncurry for the C150 ball later in the week.
Robbie Katter also talked up the contribution Cloncurry has made to Queensland.
“For the last five to 10 years Cloncurry has been the leader in (royalties from) base metals contributed to the state,” he said.
Later the town centre was packed for the street party and parade and Scarr St was blocked off between Shaeffe and King Sts with a stage and plenty of food and drink stalls as well as a couple of thousand people.
There were over 70 exhibits in the parade which took well over an hour to do the circuit of town.
The hospital, quilters and the schools all won awards for their parade exhibits.
Troy Cassar-Daley entertained the crowd with a stage in front of the shire hall and he was joined by local schoolkids to perform the unofficial anthem of the town “That’s Cloncurry” Small Town Culture's Josh Arnold
The C150 fun continues through the week with reunions on Tuesday, a trivia night on Wednesday, a night at the Museum on Thurday, as well as barefoot bowls and a campdraft.