Constituency Statement – Infrastructure
Mr PITT (Hinkler—Assistant Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment) (10:28): It is my great pleasure to rise and actually speak about the coalition government delivering for my electorate. We recently opened a $2.8 million road extension to Kay McDuff Drive—it was officially opened last week—and it is already making a very large difference, particularly for those people travelling around the Shalom College and for heavy vehicles travelling to the industrial part of town. The 450-metre extension provides direct access to the Bundaberg Ring Road for more than 320 heavy vehicles using the road daily. The new link has taken trucks away from Shalom College and offers relief from traffic congestion on Enterprise and Maynard streets.
Another significant election commitment is the $500,000 upgrade to the Bundaberg Netball Complex, on which work has already begun. This will provide an additional four bitumen courts, new paths, seating, shade structures and fencing, and will mean the Bundaberg Netball Association can vie for the state championships to be held in that region. Hosting the state championships—as I am sure you, as a passionate netball supporter, would know, Mr Deputy Speaker Buchholz—would potentially bring thousands of competitors and their families to the region. They all need somewhere to stay, somewhere to eat and somewhere to shop. It would be a significant injection into the region’s economy and an absolute coup for the Bundaberg Netball Association.
And speaking of visitors to the region, the latest International Visitor Survey figures show 151,000 international visitors travelled to the Fraser Coast and spent $37 million in the year to March 2017. In the same period, 42,000 international visitors travelled to Bundaberg and spent $46 million. These figures show that Hinkler tourism continues to go from strength to strength and, as we all know, this is fantastic news for local tourism jobs—the 3,380 current tourism jobs.
We are delivering on jobs for young people in the Hinkler electorate through the Youth Jobs PaTH program as well. It is proving a great success for the local economy, with many local businesses already having taken advantage of the financial incentives available to hire more young people. Under the program, 97 young people living in my electorate who have been dependent on welfare now have a job. This is a big win for those young people and a win for local businesses, as it will help them to grow and to grow the economy.
I encourage more business owners in Hinkler to consider taking advantage of the youth bonus wage subsidy of up to $10,000, to assist taking on extra staff to help grow their business. The PaTH program, of course, is focused on helping young people get skills, giving them a go and assuring they get long-term work.
And, finally, I have to mention the Queensland State of Origin team for tonight. It would be remiss of me not to mention them, but particularly Bundy boy Coen Hess who will make his debut tonight for the great Queensland maroons team. I can only imagine how proud his parents, Warren and Debbie, and his siblings Dana and Eden, are. They will all be there backing him tonight, I am sure. It will be a fantastic match. Hopefully, we will get the right result, and I am confident that we will. Given Mr Hess’s activities in the last week—the absolute hit he put on someone last week—I look forward to him doing well in his first game, and Queensland winning game 2 in Sydney tonight.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER ( Mr Buchholz ): There is bad lighting in this chamber—what colour is that tie?
Mr Pitt: That would be maroon, Mr Deputy Speaker!
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: It would be!