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Monday, 23 November 2015
Page: 13358

Mrs ANDREWS (McPhersonAssistant Minister for Science) (10:32): A couple of weeks ago I again met with many of my constituents at my regular listening posts, which I hold at least every month. They create an opportunity for people in my electorate to come and speak with me on an informal basis and raise whatever issues they like. The general topics this time were on the relocation of Centrelink from Palm Beach; aged-care issues, particularly as they related to some individuals; and of course science, which is in my portfolio responsibilities.

But the single biggest issue raised at those listening posts—and it is an issue raised with me every single day in my electorate—was the widening of the M1. That has been an issue that we on the Southern Gold Coast have fought for collectively since 2007, when there was a commitment by both the then federal government and the then opposition to widen the M1, the priority area being Tugun to Nerang. The state Labor government reallocated that money further north, so that Logan and parts north of that were the beneficiaries—but that meant that my electorate and the whole of the Southern Gold Coast were left waiting for significant upgrades.

When we had the Newman government in Queensland and I got to deal with the member for Mudgeeraba, Ros Bates, all I had to do was to pick up the phone to her and get a response. We worked together to make sure that we were getting the widening through the electorate happening. That has not been the case with the new Labor government in Queensland, and it is an absolutely stark difference. I have written to Deputy Premier Jackie Trad, who wrote back to me in May indicating that she had referred the issues that I had raised—which was to meet with her to discuss the widening of the M1—to the transport minister, Mark Bailey. I have corresponded with him a couple of times—or, I should say, I have written to him, because I have not received any responses from Mark Bailey at all.

We are at a stalemate on the southern end of the Gold Coast, because nothing is being done by the state Labor government. I have called on them in a number of forums to actually get their act together, to start putting some proposals and to start coming to the table. I have indicated that I am absolutely ready, willing and able to sit down and discuss the needs of the southern Gold Coast, particularly with regard to broad transport issues and specifically in relation to the M1. There has been stony silence.

I am not normally a person who gets up and plays partisan politics, but I would have to say the response from the state Labor government is dismal. I do not think they should be sitting on their hands any longer and ignoring the southern end of the Gold Coast, because we matter, quite frankly. It is about time that the state Labor government actually got their act together, recognised that we are a significant part of the Gold Coast and did something to listen to our concerns.