Happy Easter, have a great break and enjoy some time out with the family. The forecast for great weather should make for a bumper Easter trading period as the Coast resumes its mantle of Australia’s premier holiday destination.
Light rail construction through the Mermaid Beach electorate has commenced with final delivery date to be 2025. Obviously this project is a major impediment to businesses along the route and I personally believe taking the light rail stage 4 through Palm Beach will be a logistical nightmare to try and uphold the Labor Governments promise to take it all the way to the airport. It is a back-breaking jolt to business from Pacific Fair to Burleigh coming on top of the covid shut downs of the past couple of years. Already several have closed and if ever there was a case for some form of compensation to these struggling business owners from the Government then this double whammy of covid and light rail construction would be it. The cost has blown out from $750 million to $1,200 million which is typical of the budgeting by this Palaszczuk Labor Government. Cross-river rail blow-out in Brisbane, the $200 million waste on the Wagner quarantine facility in Toowoomba are symptoms of a long-term Labor government out of touch and out of ideas.
Police wanding powers for knives and other metal weapons have been successfully trialled in the Gold Coasts safe night precincts of Surfers Paradise and Broadbeach. Last week, Parliament voted to extend these powers across the State which will give police greater opportunity to prevent serious assault crimes before they occur. Apparently, many young people carry a knife as a precaution for self-defence. But as we know, when a knife is on hand, only bad outcomes arise in conflict situations so these new powers will enable police to take the instrument of destruction out of the equation.
The LNP supported the Governments legislation as we do for all positive rule of law enforcement legislation. What we have highlighted is the dramatic fall in real person policing numbers across the State and the failure of the Labor Government to increase policing numbers in line with the population growth of Queensland. It is a simple equation. More people means more crime means the need for more police to combat more crime. The current Government has failed miserably to recruit more police which is a concerning outcome for every Gold Coast business. I am advised by police that up to 60% of police labour resource time is devoted to domestic violence issues. This leaves the police under resourced for other criminal activity such as robbery, assaults and youth crime. It has even come down to the desperation point where the government is looking to overseas police for recruitment purposes to fill the gaps left by our own police abandoning their jobs. Without a strong, well-resourced police force here on the Gold Coast, the Coast would indeed become a “Sunny place for shady people”.
Should you have any State issues you would like to discuss please feel free to contact my office on:
Tel: 5600 0100 / Email: Mermaid.Beach@parliament.qld.gov.au
You can also find me on Facebook at www.facebook.com/RayStevensMP.
Ray Stevens MP
State Member for Mermaid Beach