March has brought with it extreme wet weather conditions across southeast Queensland and northern New South Wales, rivers and creeks breaking their banks and wreaking havoc within communities and lower lying coastal townships. The Gold Coast itself has been very fortunate to avoid the worst of the La Nina above average rainfall however, neighbourhood and community groups have rallied volunteering their time, donating items and funds to assist those struggling with the mammoth clean-up of flood ravaged areas. The economic costs to the State of Queensland will be significant; the State Government will need to find funds for the provision of recovery programs and support measures as well as private insurance claims. The estimated reduction in Queensland economic activity will likely set us back in the vicinity of $1B which we can ill afford coming off the back of 2 years of covid restrictions.
Next months’ Federal Budget gives a wonderful chance for the Morrison Government to give a financial boost package to the tourism industry which has been one of the hardest hit industries by Covid and now the devastating floods. With a Federal election due in May, any sweetener for our under-pressure tourism industry will be gratefully received at the ballot box. With fuel prices skyrocketing, flood-damaged goods requiring replacement and the cost of building materials spiralling, you can take it as gospel that inflation will rise sharply over the year ahead. Any union-driven wage increases which are most likely under Labor Governments, will only add to the inflation juggernaut that will force interest rates to rise affecting all business sectors. The construction industry will be most affected by any interest rate rises and with the construction industry being the Gold Coast’s second biggest economic driver, it is a time for all businesses dependent on that industry to take necessary precautions for the upcoming interest rate rises.
The Light Rail Stage 3A seems frozen in a deadlock between union driven wage blackmail on behalf of the Labor Government and the announced contactor who is refusing to sign the contract for Light-Rail on the basis it will be a cost blowout for any future infrastructure project they do across Queensland. Whilst other major projects have submitted to this government led wage push such as the Queens’ Wharf project in Brisbane, it is hoped that the current contractor will stand firm against this inflation driving wage push in these economically challenging times.
Until next time, all the very best.
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