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Wednesday, 15 October 2003
Page: 21561

Mr CIOBO (9:49 AM) —I am pleased to rise this morning to talk about a mission that has been in Canberra for the last several days. This year the Gold Coast City Council has once again travelled to Canberra to showcase our city and some of the unique challenges that our city faces. It is also in Canberra to highlight some of the idiosyncrasies of our city and to highlight the way in which many perceptions about the Gold Coast, although well founded, are no longer relevant for a city that is now very dynamic and indeed is the sixth largest city in Australia.

Effectively the theme around this year's mission to Canberra has been to talk about innovation stories from an innovative city. In particular the mission has been highlighting the fact that the Gold Coast is very much middle Australia. It has a population now of 450,000 people. It is the only city that is growing younger, and it is a city that has a growing `middle Australia' population that comprises ordinary mums and dads and their families. It is no longer what it is perceived to be. It has always been perceived to be one kilometre wide and 20 kilometres long—an area known as the strip. Gold Coast City is now much broader than that, embracing, as I said, 450,000 people.

This year's mission is led by the Mayor of the Gold Coast, Gary Baildon. He was ably supported by the Deputy Mayor, Alan Rickard. The mission was led by those two councillors as well as Councillor Jan Grew and Councillor Sue Robbins. In addition to the civic leadership from our city, the mission has been supported by over 20 community and business leaders from the Gold Coast, each of whom has an innovative story to talk about in our innovative city. I would like to congratulate as well the hardworking team of council officers from Gold Coast City Council who coordinated the event and made sure that it ran as smoothly as it has over the past several days. Indeed, all of those travelling with the delegation have had a busy program of meetings. These meetings with various bureaucrats, ministers and shadow ministers mean that our city is now firmly on the map and people are well versed with the arguments coming forth about the unique challenges that our city faces.

This program culminated last evening with a dinner, followed by a function that I held called `Indy drinks'. The actual dinner was an opportunity to showcase three businesses in particular. I will mention two of them briefly. One is Carlton and United Breweries, which is expanding its very large brewing facility to now be one of the largest brewing facilities in Australasia. That is based at Yatala on the Gold Coast. The other is a very successful local company called Bond Wireless. Bond Wireless is having tremendous success internationally in putting together wireless technical applications. I would also like to quickly thank the London Music Group and, in particular, Wozza; the Gold Coast City Council; Carlton and United Breweries; Graham Quinn and Geoff Jones; RG Capital Radio's Nick Scott, for flying down Anna-Maria La Spina to sing at the Indy drinks; and of course Bartercard, for the Indy Girls. (Time expired)