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Monday, 2 March 2015
Page: 1734

Mr VAN MANEN (Forde) (10:339): I would like to take this opportunity today to commend the initiative shown by one of our local chambers of commerce in addressing the issue of vacant shop space in and around the heart of Beenleigh. The BeNew Beenleigh. Let Great Things Happen project is being run by the Beenleigh Yatala Chamber of Commerce. The newly established BeNew Beenleigh working committee are committed to finding short- and medium-term uses for buildings in Beenleigh's CBD that are currently vacant, disused or awaiting redevelopment. BeNew Beenleigh aim to find artists, entrepreneurs, cultural projects and community groups to use and maintain these buildings until they become commercially viable or are redeveloped.

The overall goal is to generate activity in the buildings and in the Beenleigh CBD to address the perception that Beenleigh is closed for business during the redevelopment project. The Beenleigh CBD is open for business. I would like to thank the efforts of the Beenleigh Yatala Chamber of Commerce President, Lawrie Dore, Vice President Anje Peiper, Treasurer Lisa Walker and Secretary Aydan Marriott for this initiative, and also committee members Kerry Armstrong, Neil Sanderson, Isaac Martinago, Leanne Taylor, Tony Hope, Stephen Johnson, James Herbst and, last but not least, Michael Rose. I would also like to thank the local business owners for their patience during the CBD upgrade.

The project will transform the physical heart of the CBD into a place of cultural exchange and activity. I have been championing this project since I was first elected in 2010, and it is great to see this long-awaited project is now well underway thanks to a funding partnership between the government, the local city council, the Queensland government and Energex.

Whilst on the topic of the Beenleigh CBD redevelopment, I recently toured the site with representatives from Logan City Council and the project managers, BMD. With the removal of the old infrastructure, the centre of town has now been expanded to make way for a spacious, new community hub. The undergrounding of electricity and other services is well underway, and construction of the intersection in the public realm is just around the corner. With weather permitting the project should be completed by September 2015. If you are planning to visit either Brisbane or the Gold Coast towards the end of the year, I would encourage you to take the time to stop and come and visit our newly developed CBD—just 45 minutes from the Gold Coast airport and 30 minutes from Brisbane. Due to its ideal location—between two international airports—the Beenleigh region has much to offer businesses and residents alike.