Prime Minister Tony Abbott has told a group of G20 volunteers they will be the “face of Australia” during the pivotal leaders summit in mid-November.
Brisbane was last depicted in the international media through images of volunteers cleaning mud and silt off the city’s filthy post-flood streets.
But in a month’s time, when the world’s most powerful political leaders travel to Brisbane for the G20 summit, Queensland Premier Campbell Newman hopes a very different Brisbane will be shown.
“It’s really important that we put on a fantastic show,” he told a gathering of G20 volunteers in Brisbane on Sunday.
“That we take every opportunity to describe our lifestyle, our culture, the scenery. A myriad of possibilities exist for great stories about Queensland and Brisbane.”
The event, on November 15 and 16, will see an enormous security operation send parts of Brisbane into lockdown.
It will also take place with the help of 600 volunteers who will help promote Queensland.
While special state government legislation granting police extended powers for the duration of the summit has attracted criticism from civil libertarians, Mr Newman hopes to sell the state as a business-friendly destination.
“If you think about it, there has never ever been an event where the spotlight has been so intense on the city of Brisbane and the state of Queensland.”
Prime Minister Tony Abbott also addressed the crowd of volunteers, saying the G20 was the largest gathering of international leaders the country has ever hosted.
“At the heart of Australia is the notion of the volunteer. We are a people who roll up our sleeves and get things done,” Mr Abbott said.
“You are the face of Australia. I look at you and I think `what a happy face’,”
“The group I see before me is very representative of the strength and the diversity of our country. Very representative I’m sure of the optimism, the confidence and the faith in the future of our country.”