Ray Stevens MP – May Newsletter 2018
Congratulations to all competitors and thank you to the hard working volunteers involved with the Commonwealth Games. The much talked about traffic snarls and headaches, mooted loudly by Mr Beattie, fortunately did not occur, however the other side of the coin was the significant decrease in general holiday takings for our local businesses who had stocked up and hired extra staff to cater for the expected high demand. Although most disappointing for local businesses it was nonetheless a fantastic performance by the Aussie Teams and great coverage of our wonderful Gold Coast!
If the Palaszczuk Government and Peter Beattie, Chairman of the organising committee, hadn’t scared away visitors from Brisbane and Gold Coast residents with their prophets of doom messages about transport gridlock before the Games started, local businesses I am sure would have done far better throughout the trading period of the Commonwealth Games.
Eco-Tourism – Part 2
On the back of my remarks last month it is heartening to read that local business leaders including ‘Destination Gold Coast’ chairman, Paul Donavan support the obvious and that is that we need to expand the Gold Coast tourism offerings. Eco-tourism is a ‘natural fit’ and as Tasmania has realised there are many benefits to both locals (employment) and visitors. The Gold Coast City Council also recognises and supports the need to embrace greater diversity of our sight-seeing destinations whilst also safe guarding our environmental treasures.
I have a personal interest as it was my idea twenty years ago in 1998 but the Springbrook cable car is a must-happen eco-tourism experience that only needs State Government approval to go ahead right now. Unfortunately, the Labor Government relies on Green preferences to win elections in Queensland and while the Greens say no, Labor says no too.
Wonderful news that Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has committed one billion dollars in funding from the Federal Government for the upgrade of the M1.
There are no excuses now why the Palaszczuk Government cannot match this funding to ease the intolerable congestion that is getting worse by the day. The only respite users of the M1 had was during the Commonwealth Games, but unfortunately the heavy gridlock has now returned.
Even if the State Government agreed to funding today, it would take several years for the M1 to be completed, by which time it will be unbearable and of great detriment to the economy of the GC.
There are no excuses, there are no reviews or enquiries that can be sustained, it needs to be fixed and it needs to be fixed right now.