Good morning Your Royal Highness, Your Excellencies, distinguished ladies and gentlemen. As the Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasurer of the Australian Government, it is a pleasure to be here representing the Australian Government and welcoming you, with CEO Ross MacDiarmid, to the Royal Australian Mint. And what a place it is - I must tell you I was just given the responsibility of the Royal Australian Mint on the 23rd of December last year so I haven't had the pleasure of visiting the Mint until now and being part of this special day will make my first visit even more memorable.
I was fortunate enough to celebrate the Royal Australian Mint’s 50th anniversary last week and have learnt so much about the Mint’s great work, its people and the role the organisation plays in marking history.
Like right here, right now, between these walls, history is being made. Today marks a remarkable day for four countries – the Cook Islands, Tonga, Vanuatu and Australia. Today we are celebrating the production of brand new coins for these countries. Undergoing coin reform is no mean feat and can be a rather daunting task but the coins that the Royal Australian Mint have produced will be of significant financial benefit to each of these countries and reflect the modernity of these countries.
And very shortly representatives and distinguished guests from the Cook Islands, Tonga and Vanuatu will see all that they have planned for right before their very eyes with the striking of these brand new coins. I would like to thank the Cook Islands, Tonga and Vanuatu for providing this opportunity to work with the Royal Australian Mint and on behalf of Ross and the Mint; I can say we hope this relationship continues on into the future.
These partnerships are an example of how the Australian Government is committed to further strengthening relationships with our neighbouring Pacific countries.
We are now able to assist our neighbours offshore and today is a special day for the Royal Australian Mint as it is a sign of achievement and success.
Congratulations to everyone who has made this day possible.