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Thursday, 10 May 2018
Page: 3769

Mr CIOBO (MoncrieffMinister for Trade, Tourism and Investment) (10:03): I rise to speak about the recently completed and I must say very successful Commonwealth Games that took place on the Gold Coast. This was an opportunity to showcase not just the Gold Coast but the south-east corner of Queensland to the world. I want to pay credit to the volunteers, who we call the Games Shapers. There were 15,000 or so, drawn from all parts of Queensland and, indeed, from New South Wales, many of them from my own electorate. They came to do their bit to showcase a very warm welcome, some local knowledge and a bit of good humour about the Commonwealth Games. We had athletes come from around the world, and the Australian team in particular did exceptionally well, scoring something like 198 medals across events. They were a true credit to our country, and it really reflects so positively on them, and indeed on all proud Gold Coasters, that this was, I think it's fair to say, the best Commonwealth Games that have been hosted.

I want to particularly acknowledge the fact that so many local members of the community and businesses also did their part. Although they may not have been officially involved, the community really rallied behind these Commonwealth Games. The spirit in the city was strong. And I've got to say, as the local federal member, with Metricon Stadium in my actual electorate, that it was so exciting to be able to participate in many of the games's activities. Truly, you got a buzz from just walking around, being and mixing with locals on the streets and the many thousands of tourists who came, as well as the athletes, their support staff and their loving family members—all of them just revelling in what was a very successful Commonwealth Games.

It also showcased the close cooperation between the federal, state and local governments. All three tiers worked alongside each other to make sure that the delivery of the Commonwealth Games was very successful.

There were some aspects—and I want to acknowledge them—where local businesses felt that crowd numbers were down because of some of the preliminary campaign in relation to the amount of traffic that people were expecting on the Gold Coast. Whilst acknowledging that that was disappointing for many local traders, in no way, shape or form should it overshadow the overall success of the games.

Recently, I had the chance to host my local sporting champions. At that event I spoke to local schoolkids who are participating, often at elite levels, in local sports, and you could see that they were beaming with pride as they thought that, one day, they too might be Commonwealth or Olympic athletes for their country. So the example that was set by our Commonwealth Games team really is an inspiration for them, as is the superb work of the 15,000 volunteers, and I simply cannot express enough my gratitude for the way in which they held our country up.