As Gold Coasters we are fortunate to live in one of the most magnificent regions in Australia. It is an equally great place to raise a family or to retire, and importantly, is a powerhouse for small and medium business.
Going forward, I have three priorities for the Gold Coast.
The first is to strengthen the national economy, because a strong national economy leads to a strong local economy.
Since coming to government over 300,000 jobs have been created around Australia and we have signed historic free trade agreements with our three major trading partners, namely South Korea, Japan and China.
Our local employment figures have been the envy of the nation and signing three free trade agreements with the economic powers of our region will ensure the Gold Coast continues to grow and our community continues to prosper.
My second priority is community safety. I will continue to advocate for programs and policies that help ensure all in our community are safe from violence.
I have long supported the federal government’s decision to provide $100m to support actions that will reduce violence against women and children and fully endorse the creation of the National Ice Taskforce to help tackle the growing scourge of this insidious drug.
Likewise, stopping the boats, securing our borders and providing additional funding to tackle terrorism means that we can better disrupt those who would seek to harm our community.
My third priority is to deliver light rail.
I have long been a supporter of extending light rail to Helensvale. As far back as 2008 I spoke in Parliament about the enormous amount of sense it makes to extend this east-west connection and create a rail hub in such a rapidly-growing suburb.
I have already spoken to Prime Minister Turnbull about the second stage of the light rail project. He’s a great friend of the Gold Coast and he understands the need for integration with the heavy rail system in time for the Commonwealth Games.
Although public transport is not a responsibility of the Federal Government, this proposal is a priority for our city and I believe we now have an opportunity to reconsider contributing funding to ensure it is delivered for our community.
I’m proud to live on the Gold Coast and will continue to vigorously represent our local interests in Canberra.