Premier Mark McGowan has confirmed that the Quokka will not become part of WA’s emblem regardless of how photogenic the cute macropod is, in a humorous opening speech at the West Australian of the Year Awards.
In his welcoming speech to a record audience at Friday night’s awards, where close to 800 people dazzled in ballgowns and tuxedos at Crown Towers, Mr McGowan said under his government, the quokka was not going to make it onto the state’s emblem.
“In my government, the quokka is going to be for photo opportunities only,” he said. “How good is the black swan and the numbat … in my opinion our black swan and numbat are heaps better than the other states”.
Mr McGowan joked that the numbat had “it all over the hairy-nosed wombat of South Australia” but conceded it probably would not beat Tasmania’s Tasmanian Devil.
He also pointed out that when it came to marine fauna, WA have every other state beat with the Whale Shark, joking that there would be no question who the winner was between WA’s Whale Shark and Queensland’s Clown Fish or New South Wales’ sea dragon.
Mr McGowan feigned shock and outrage as he revealed on stage that WA did not have it’s own state mineral or precious stone, and stressed “we are looking into this”.
Twenty-eight people were nominated for this year’s Western Australian of the Year Awards, an unprecedented number.