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Thursday, 22 March 2012
Page: 4081


Mr ROBERT (Fadden) (09:53): Saturday 24 March is, of course, the day when Queensland goes to the polls after an extraordinarily long period of campaigning, with an announcement prior to the cessation of parliament in extraordinary circumstances. In my seat of Fadden there are numerous state seats but what I want to focus on this morning is the seat of Broadwater. I want to bring to the attention of the House some of the pressing issues in this seat and some of the issues that have been overlooked by a very tired, very longstanding and out-of-date Labor government. The seat of Broadwater is named because it actually straddles the Broadwater—a Broadwater that is now so clogged, so silted up and so urgently in need of dredging that economic benefits are now being lost in abundance.

We saw a GHD report come out a few years ago which the government commissioned but failed to release. That GHD report was subsequently leaked and showed that there are hundreds of millions of dollars in direct benefits that will come out of dredging of the Broadwater, which has not occurred under the current Labor government and under the stewardship of the current state member for Broadwater, Ms Peta-Kaye Croft MLA. We have seen a request for tender for a superyacht terminal on the Gold Coast, which would bring enormous net worth in terms of the number of superyachts that would arrive and their spend per person and per boat. We saw a tender process put out publicly—a number of people put forward their tenders. One was selected, it was then scrapped. A second tender process came out. Only one group was invited to tender of which they tendered. Then the government scrapped the process to the point where those economic benefits are now being lost.

We have seen the marine precinct at the end of the Cooma River which has now gone from literally 3,000 to less than 1,000 employees as a direct result of not only the GFC but the failure to dredge the Broadwater and provide opportunities for vessels to use the Cooma River and use the refit facilities at the marine precinct.

It is a crying indictment of what the state Labor government has not done. When this government came into power there was a Broadwater authority—a group of informed, concerned resident locals that oversaw the Broadwater, its management, its diversity and its economic potential. That Broadwater authority, of course, was scrapped. All revenues raised from boat registrations, of which the Gold Coast in this area is the highest per capita in the country, have just gone into consolidated revenue.

There is no question: it is time for a change in the Broadwater. We need a candidate of the likes of Verity Barton, who is running for the Liberal National party in the area, who will focus on the core needs of the community and the economic potential of the community, and ensure that Broadwater is dredged—the river is dredged—so that we can receive and use the benefits that will come from those activities.