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Press Release: Smart State Branches Out In Hong Kong Disneyland - Roller-Coaster.com.au - Australian theme parks
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Smart State Branches Out In Hong Kong Disneyland September 11 2005

Queensland exporter will blossom tomorrow at the opening of the $5 billion Hong Kong Disneyland.

Premier Peter Beattie and Deputy Premier Anna Bligh today congratulated the exporter, Birkdale Nursery, for selling millions of dollars worth of plants to the newest Disney attraction.

"In July 2004 I visited the Hong Kong Disney site with James McGeoch, Managing Director of Birkdale Nursery and saw first-hand a Queensland company taking on the world," said the Premier.

"Birkdale Nursery continues to gather a national and international reputation for excellence, and is preparing for a global marketing program to promote and sell the pre-historic Wollemi pine in Australia, Japan, the USA and Europe."

"The company has succeeded in taking on the world through teamwork with the Queensland Government," Mr Beattie said.

Birkdale has a joint venture company with Queensland's Department of Primary Industries and Forestry. DPI scientists propagate the pine and Birkdale coordinates its domestic and international marketing.

Deputy Premier and State Development and Trade Minister Ann Bligh said that Birkdale has had a long-standing relationship with the Springwood State Development Centre, the Trade Division and Hong Kong, Tokyo and Los Angeles Queensland Government Trade and Investment Offices.

"The performance of Birkdale in delivering on the Disney project has set the company up for success in winning new business to supply plants to a number of upcoming large scale international projects in China," she said.

The Premier, Deputy Premier and local MPs John English (Redlands) Michael Choi (Capalaba) and Darryl Briskey (Cleveland) visited the nursery before attending the Government's 86th Community Cabinet being held today at Victoria Point State High School.

Mr Choi said he had a particular interest in Birkdale's Hong Kong Disney project as that was where he was born.

He said that the nursery was an outstanding trade example and highlighted the region's proud horticultural efforts.

Barbara and James McGeoch, owners of Birkdale said that State Development was instrumental in assisting them establish a wholesale nursery in Zhuhai, Southern China and in gaining a foothold in this rapidly growing market.

"We are now collaborating with Shenzhen Airtown Development in the creation of a Queensland Botanical Garden which is part of multi-million dollar integrated development focussing on community, education and arts," she said.

"This is being facilitated through the Queensland Government Trade and Investment Office in Hong Kong."

"Some of the plants came from Birkdale and other nurseries in Queensland amounting to $16 million in products and services over a three year period.

"More than 700 sea containers have been shipped from Australia and other countries into Hong Kong over the last three years."

Birkdale's international success has resulted in export business for a number of smaller Queensland nurseries that have supplied plants to Birkdale for export to China and other parts of the world.

Birkdale exports to a significant number of countries and currently sources products from 80-100 other nurseries in Queensland and Australia.

Ms Bligh said that Barbara and James have made a valuable contribution to developing an export culture amongst the Lifestyle Horticulture industry in Queensland.

"Barbara has been recognized as an "Export Hero" and serves on the Premier's Export Connections council.

"This is a smart company making the most of its location and its people. The McGeochs are a fine example of smart Queensland companies taking on the world, securing jobs and growing the reputation of Queensland exporters," said Ms Bligh.