CQ mayors unite to celebrate global milestone event
THE chance to celebrate National Day of Singapore was an opportunity the Central Queensland community refused to miss.
While the annual event brings a welcome cause for celebration, this year’s festivities hold extra significance – marking the nation’s 55th year of independence from Malaysia.
Both Rockhampton Regional Council Mayor Margaret Strelow and Livingstone Shire Council Mayor Andy Ireland were last week joined by local councillors to mark the special occasion.
“Both of our councils have a long history of friendship with Singapore through the annual Exercise Wallaby,” Mayor Strelow said.
Unfortunately, wider community celebrations were this year subsequently scaled back as result of the global COVID-19 pandemic.
Mayor Strelow said the CQ region would miss the usual festivities which accompany the event, including the friendly faces of Singapore Armed Forces troops on local streets.
“We wanted to do something together to let Singapore know they weren’t forgotten.”
“Over the coming weeks we’ll be sharing some of the stories of our three-decade long relationship with Singapore, the business success and those genuine moments of friendship that have come about in our community from these visits,” she said.
Livingstone Mayor Andy Ireland encouraged local businesses and residents who had dealt with the Singapore Armed Forces to share their touching stories.
“When these thousands of troops come into Central Queensland each year, it was an opportunity to foster global ties and learn from each other and we’re poorer for it for not having the exercise this year,” he said.
Mayor Ireland said the two councils were united and working together to send the message loud and clear of the troops soon returning to CQ.
Capricornia MP Michelle Landry said she looked forward to witnessing the annual Exercise Wallaby eventually return to the area.
“Even though our two communities won’t be together this year, we value their presence here in Central Queensland,” she said.