Chief Minister, Katy Gallagher today hosted His Excellency Mr Mark Rutte, Prime Minister of the Kingdom of the Netherlands along with The Honourable Tony Abbott MP, Prime Minister of Australia to plant a Silver birch tree at the National Arboretum in recognition of the strengthened relationship between Australia and the Netherlands following the tragic events of MH17.
The Chief Minister said she was delighted to join His Excellency Mr Rutte, along with Prime Minister Abbott to plant the Silver birch in the lower part of the Central Valley.
“The MH17 tragedy moved the ACT community greatly through the loss of Canberran, Liliane Derden, and I know the visit by His Excellency will be well-received by all those affected as a result of such an unspeakable event,” the Chief Minister said.
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“The Silver birch is a species of tree that is well represented across the Netherlands in its beautiful woodlands, and I am pleased that we now have this tree to provide a quiet place of reflection for Canberrans and visitors alike.”
The National Arboretum is fast becoming a symbol of the many relationships Australia has with other countries. The Central Valley now hosts a number of trees planted by Heads of Government, Heads of State and royalty, including the most recent additions by the President of Singapore and the Queen Mother of Bhutan.
“It is always an honour to welcome Heads of Government to the ACT and to show them one of Canberra’s most popular national attractions, the National Arboretum, and in time, the Central Valley will be a spectacular reminder of the friendships our country, and indeed, the ACT has overseas.
“It will also continue to contribute to the Arboretum being a repository of symbolic and endangered tree species from across the globe,” the Chief Minister concluded.
(Katy Gallagher Media Release)