G20 “our big opportunity” – Premier

Campbell Newman and Ian O'Connor walking side by side.
Premier Campbell Newman (left) pictured with Professor Ian O'Connor at the opening of the G20 and Development Conference.

Queensland’s Premier has welcomed initiatives at Griffith University to highlight and explain the role and importance of this year’s G20 Leaders Summit in Brisbane.

Focusing local attention on the practical benefits of November’s high-powered gathering of world leaders was high on Campbell Newman’s list when he opened the G20 and Development Conference at South Bank.

VIDEO: Why significance of G20 must be brought home to Queensland community

The conference was organised and hosted by Griffith University and the Lowy Institute for International Policy.

“I’m really pleased to see the universities joining us in this quest by hosting a number of G20 events,” he said.

This sentiment was echoed by Griffith University Vice Chancellor, Professor Ian O’Connor, who said the university was privileged to be sponsoring a wide range of activities that contribute to the G20 agenda.

“We are very hopeful of bringing the significance of the G20 home to our community,” he said.

“Today’s (G20 and Development) conference is another significant event on the G20 calendar and a key contributor to intellectual dialogue in the lead up to the summit.”

Other events planned by Griffith include a Corruption, Integrity Systems and the G20 conference in June; Towards Integrity 20; East-West Dialogue on Tourism and the Chinese; a G20 Scholars Program; a G20 Interfaith Summit and Political Leaders and the Global Financial Crisis.

The G20 and Development Conference brought contributions from leading G20 commentators attending from around Australia and the world. The list included Mike Callaghan AM (G20 Studies Centre, Lowy Institute), Professor Emmanuel Nnadozie (African Capacity Building Foundation), Matthew Goodman (Center for Strategic and International Studies, US), Professor Fabrizio Carmignani (Griffith Business School), Zia Qureshi (World Bank), Professor Tony Makin (Griffith APEC Study Centre), Nancy Waites (World Vision), Sunil Sharma (IMF) and Claire Spoors (Oxfam).

Fiona Simpson MP (Speaker of the Queensland Parliament) and Daniel Sloper (Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and Australia’s Special Representative for the G20) also attended the day-long event.

Vote of confidence

“Securing the G20 was a major vote of confidence for Queensland and our ability to host such a major world event. We intend to deliver beyond all expectations,” Premier Newman told conference delegates.

“It is our big opportunity to showcase our key industries and, most importantly, the economic potential of Queensland to the world.”

He said initiatives around agriculture, tourism, construction, resources, education, science and innovation will highlight Queensland successes and the many investment opportunities on offer here.

“We have a comprehensive plan in place to forge new ties and strengthen some existing ones.

“It is the perfect time to reflect on, indeed to capitalise on the economic benefits that the G20 will bring to Queensland, from the obvious and immediate boost at the time of the summit in terms of hospitality, accommodation, service sectors to the giant spike in international awareness of our state and state capital in the months and years to come.

“A highly successful event will help forge high levels of international economic cooperation and extend our thinking on important issues like development, growth, employment and trade.”

Premier Newman said increased international tourist and student markets could be a future bi-product of hosting the G20 summit, especially by making a strong, positive impression on the 3000 media representatives and 4000 delegates set to visit Brisbane in November.

“They’ll be relaying their experiences of our world-class infrastructure, skilled workforce, and obvious lifestyle advantages back home in their home countries.”