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Thursday, 6 April 2000
Page: 15522

Ms GAMBARO (12:26 PM) —I rise to speak about the recent elections held for the Redcliffe City Council in my electorate of Petrie. Firstly, I congratulate Councillor Alan Boulton on his re-election as mayor of Redcliffe and all of his councillors who were all returned. That is absolutely unprecedented in the history of the Redcliffe City Council elections. Anyone who is familiar with the area would have noticed the great changes that have been going on in Redcliffe. An extensive advertising campaign has renewed tourist interest in the area and now we have a huge number of day trippers from Brisbane visiting the peninsula every weekend.

Mr Deputy Speaker, Redcliffe, arguably, has the best seafood in Queensland. I know that you are quite often in the chair when I speak about the seafood delights of the area, but the local restaurants and cafes that serve the excellent Moreton Bay bugs, mud crabs, prawns, whiting and numerous other types of fish—

Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER (Mr Nehl)—Is this a commercial?

Ms GAMBARO —It is a commercial because I am proud of the Redcliffe Peninsula. The Redcliffe seafood festival and the sun girls competition recently attracted 20,000 visitors to a Marcia Hines concert on the foreshore. We have brought back the sun girls and they are ambassadors for the city. Local businesses have been doing very well from the increase in tourist numbers and many new developments are going ahead on the Redcliffe Peninsula.

It is interesting to note in this climate that the state member, Ray Hollis, who is also the Speaker of the Queensland parliament, who should be supporting employment and growth in the area, has criticised Mayor Alan Boulton's administration for their excellent initiatives on the peninsula. I was quite appalled to hear some of the comments by Mr Hollis, who seems set on returning Redcliffe to the bad old days when Redcliffe was a depressed area. It is interesting to read the letter to local residents from the state member, Ray Hollis, criticising the Redcliffe City Council for their hard work promoting prosperity and growth on the peninsula. Most of us are very pleased to know that we have a council which is determined to attract investment and subsequent local employment to an area that has seen some very hard times in the past. In fact, it was not long ago, when I became the federal member, that Redcliffe was called `Deadcliffe'—a terrible name which I hope we will never go back to.

Mayor Boulton and his council have worked hard to reduce crime rates in the area, develop the foreshore, upgrade and build the new jetty, and produce television advertisements which promote Redcliffe as a terrific place to visit, through the vision business advisory group that has been set up. The people of Redcliffe recognised the hard work done by this council when they re-elected them a couple of weeks ago. It is a shame that our state member has blamed the council for a number of things. He has also blamed the council for increased property values causing an increase in rates and rents for low income earners and pensioners. He must not have read his own government's property valuations when he said that, because they came out two days after the Brisbane City Council elections—surprise, surprise—and the values for most areas of Brisbane were hiked up by as much as 36 per cent. Unfortunately, on the Redcliffe Peninsula, they dropped by 6.5 per cent. So the state member for Redcliffe was wrong, wrong, wrong again.

Those of us who are working very hard on a local and federal level to improve growth and employment, particularly for our young people, are absolutely appalled by the comments of the state member. As I go about talking to local business people, they tell me that they are pleased to see increased trade and investment in the area. They are putting on more jobs; they are giving young people an opportunity. The Redcliffe Peninsula is thriving and it is on its way upwards. There is only one place to go—upwards. The people of Redcliffe Peninsula would be better served if their state member did something for them—if he took the trouble to convince his own state government to do a few things, such as increasing the money spent on the long neglected Houghton Bridge.

In conclusion, I congratulate Mayor Alan Boulton and his team on his re-election. As the federal member, I look forward to helping him in every possible way so that we can make the area a better place, improve the job prospects of our young people and make sure that investment continues to grow on the Redcliffe Peninsula.