Prime Minister Scott Morrison has released a video of him talking remotely to Cloncurry mayor Greg Campbell this week.
Mr Morrison said Cloncurry had always been a special place for him ever since he first went there as a young teenager with my older brother, to visit my relatives who owned and ran a sheep and cattle station and he has been back to Cloncurry twice since he became prime minister.
He spoke with Cr Campbell for almost eight minutes covering a range of topics including the 2019 floods, Dame Mary Gilmore (Mr Morrison's relative buried in Cloncurry), the impact of COVID and the PM even threw his support behind a Cloncurry poetry competition.
Indeed it was the poetry competition that inspired the conversation.
"We talked about the 'Spirit of the Outback' poetry competition they're setting up to commemorate what would have been Dame Mary's 155th birthday this year," Mr Morrison said.
"Greg wrote to me a few weeks ago asking me to nominate someone for the judging panel. I could think of no one better than my cousin Gillian, Dame Mary's great grand-daughter so I contacted her and she's delighted to be involved."
Cr Campbell said it was now over 18 months since Cloncurry and the wider region suffered the devastating floods which resulted in the loss of hundreds of thousands head of cattle and livestock.
"We've got our fixed crossed for a normal sensible wet season this year and a green Christmas," Cr Campbell said.
Mr Morrison also mentioned "the beautiful poem" that Cloncurry identity and bush poet Keith Douglas wrote about him called "Billy Gilmore's Ringer" and shared the full text of the poem in comments after the video.
Mr Morrison said Cloncurry was first learned about the lifestyle that's so important to those who live in these outback communities, and how much our outback heritage plays a part in who we are as Australians.
"The floods put all that risk," he said.
Mr Morrison asked Cr Campbell if tourism numbers had been affected by the pandemic and the mayor replied that numbers were down,
"But some people are making more of an effort and those that can travel, do travel," he said.
"My cousin from Dalby had never been before but he hooked the caravan up and did the Longreach, Winton, Cloncurry trip."
Mr Morrison thanked Cr Campbell for his "great work" on the drought taskforce with Shane Stone.
"It started as a flood response and then merged with drought and we're now seeing more people working with local communities on how the build-back happens and that was one of the big lessons we learned from the floods," he said.
While it didn't make the final cut of the video, Mr Morrison also asked Cr Campbell whether Guy Sebastian had lived up to his promise to visit there and promised he would follow it up with the singer.
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