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Wednesday, 11 September 2019
Page: 2506


Mr CHRISTENSEN (Dawson) (13:37): In March this year, I was proud to be with the Deputy Prime Minister and with my friend the member for Capricornia to open the new Mackay Aquatic and Recreation Complex. This new $24-million athletics and aquatics centre was made possible due to almost $10 million in funding from the Liberal-National government and $13.8 million from Mackay Regional Council.

The state-of-the-art facility was built to international standards and last week played host to the 2019 Oceania Masters Athletics Championships. This was a big first test for the facility, and it received glowing reports. The seven-day competition enabled those aged 30 and over to continue participating in competitive athletic events, with the oldest competitor being a sprightly 93 years of age. The championships attracted more than 450 athletes and officials from 18 different countries, bringing about 1,000 visitors into the region. The member for Capricornia will be pleased to know that brings economic advantage to the region, and that's why we put the money into it.

I want to congratulate Oceania Athletics, Athletics North Queensland and the Mackay Athletics Club for organising the event. Huge credit goes to the Mackay Regional Council and its mayor for continuing to attract prestigious sporting events to the region. I give a special mention to: James and Jos Grech from Mackay Athletics Club, as the heads of the local organising committee; staff at Belgravia Leisure; and everyone at Mackay Athletics who volunteered to make this event such a huge success—a boost to the economy that showcases the region as a region that's capable of holding bigger and better events.