Turnbull toasts locals and Tassie

IT was a whirlwind visit that lasted just over an hour but New Norfolk put on a show last week for the first visit by a sitting Prime Minister to the town in nearly 20 years.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull was guest of honour at a community breakfast in Bronte House at Willow Court on Thursday.

More than 200 people, including Premier Will Hodgman and several southern mayors, filled the historic building to hear an engaging speech by the Prime Minister and have a chance to shake his hand or grab a selfie.

Mr Turnbull was introduced by Federal Lyons MP Eric Hutchinson, who talked up New Norfolk to the Prime Minister, much to the delight of the audience.

“On your first visit to Tasmania I am very pleased you are in the electorate of Lyons and I am very pleased you are in the largest town in my electorate which is New Norfolk,” he said.

Mr Turnbull then delivered an unaided speech.

He said it was the “most exciting time” to be Tasmanian due to the world economy “growing at a pace never seen before”.

He singled out Tasmania to benefit enormously from the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement.

“There is nowhere in the world where you could more talk about a clean, green economy where you are producing the best food, the best wine …” he said. “Tasmania is phenomenal [and] well positioned to take advantage of the China-Australia agreement.”

MalcolmTurnbullNewNorfolk2

Derwent Valley Mayor Martyn Evans presented the Prime Minister with a basket filled with local produce and invited him to return.

Mr Turnbull then worked his way around the entire room and the kitchen, where he met Magra CWA members.

He even signed some copies of Spycatcher, the famous book about the MI5 secret service, a book the British government tried to ban and which Mr Turnbull defended as a lawyer in the 1980s.

After his visit, the PM tweeted: “Great to meet you today & a big thank you to the ladies from the CWA who prepared a fine breakfast for us all.”

This article was originally written for The Derwent Valley Gazette

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