School holidays are imminent, and the Gold Coast is looking forward to welcoming loads of visitors keen to enjoy our beautiful beaches, world class restaurants, shopping, and theme park experiences. Our visitors are flying into a brand-new airport terminal with air bridges and an expanded customs capacity so onwards and upwards as our tourism industry gradually returns to normal. One of the industries biggest challenges is to find staff to fill the many vacancies created by the Covid lockdown. Hospitality and travel industries are particularly hard hit at the moment, so all levels of government need to come together to address this business inhibiting scenario as quickly as possible.
Of continuing concern is the rapid rise of inflation in Australia and around the world with cost-of-living pressures spiralling upwards at a debilitating rate which is leaving the Reserve Bank no choice but to hike up interest rates which can be a real killer to the real estate and construction industry. Many people embarked on serious debt positioning while interest rates were low, but this new paradigm of high interest rates will undoubtably lead to some borrowers hopes and dreams to come crashing down. Now is not the time for substantial wage hikes which the unions are calling for to deal with cost-of-living pressures. However, wage hikes only add to the inflationary rates rise which will see interest rates rise further again. Hold on tight for a bumpy economic ride over the next twelve months which will make the Dreamworld Steel Taipan ride seem like a “doodle”!
Housing shortages that are now forcing people to live in their cars are a direct result of the State Labor Governments bad planning over many years. Whilst it is currently exacerbated by the increased demand for people wanting to live on the Gold Coast, the State Labor Governments ban on new greenfield land development sites has finally been exposed for the lack of foresight it has always been. They want more people to come and live here but they have failed to provide enough dwellings for the increased population. In the School of Planning and Environment, they wouldn’t pass kindergarten standard.
Finally on a sombre note, we say farewell to Queen Elizabeth II who has been the “GOAT” (Greatest of All Time) monarch over the wonderful State of Queensland. I am sure she enjoyed her visits to the Gold Coast and we look forward to welcoming our new monarch King Charles III to the Gold Coast when he next visits Australia. God Save the King!
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