Senator IAN MACDONALD (Queensland) (19:10): I congratulate all of the LNP members on the Gold Coast in my home state of Queensland on the wonderful work they have done in getting the Commonwealth Games to that city. As someone who has paid rates on the Gold Coast for more than 30 years, I know the Gold Coast well, and was amused at the previous speaker, Senator Watt, who claims to be a Gold Coast senator, but actually lives in Brisbane and pretends to represent the Gold Coast.
John-Paul Langbroek, the member for Surfers Paradise, has been a leading light for many years in the push to get the Commonwealth Games to the Gold Coast. I also mention the federal LNP members on the Gold Coast, all of whom have done a wonderful job in promoting the Gold Coast over many years: Stephen Ciobo, Mr Roberts, Ms Andrews—there are so many, I sometimes don't remember them all. The state members have done a fabulous job. I congratulate them and all Queensland governments in the past for getting the Commonwealth Games to the Gold Coast. The Gold Coast is a fantastic city. Thanks to the previous Liberal-National Party government, a significant amount of federal money has gone the to the light rail service that connects the northern Gold Coast area right through to Robina and will be extended. That is also a tribute to the wonderful mayor of the Gold Coast and his council, who have worked hard to achieve great things for the Gold Coast.
I'm very proud to say that the state members on the Gold Coast are all members of my political party, the Liberal-National Party of Queensland. We gained an extra seat there at the last election. People like Ros Bates, the member for Mudgeeraba; Mr David Crisafulli, the newly elected member for Broadwater, now the shadow minister for the environment; and Mr Michael Heart, the shadow minister for housing and public works—a long-term member in the Gold Coast area—have all worked hard along with, as I mentioned, John-Paul Langbroek, to get the games to the Gold Coast. There are so many LNP members on the coast that I struggle to remember them all: Mr Rob Molhoek, the member for Southport; Mr Sam O'Connor, the member for Bonney; Ray Stevens, the wonderful member for Mermaid Beach, previously the mayor of the Gold Coast, doing a great job down there; Jann Stuckey, the member for Currumbin; and the list goes on.
According to Senator Watt, this Gold Coast Commonwealth Games is all due to the good work of the current government and the one Labor member in the state sphere—there are none in the federal sphere—who comes from the Gold Coast. But the reality is that the Gold Coast has for a long time had so many good LNP and Liberal Party members who've done a great job promoting the coast. This isn't something that happens overnight, this activity is a result of promotion that has been going on for years.
I want to congratulate all of those involved. I acknowledge that the current state government is carrying on the good work. It will be a fabulous meeting at the Gold Coast. It will highlight and emphasise the wonderful assets we have in Queensland—the beaches of the Gold Coast are fabulous. Interestingly, many of the events of the Commonwealth Games will be held in other cities right throughout Queensland, and I'm delighted that the women's basketball will be played in the city of Townsville, where I have my office.
So it's a great event. I regret that Senator Watt tries to make political capital out of these events with which he and his political party have had little to do over the years, but it is a wonderful experience for Queensland and for all Australians. I can only urge every Australian who might be listening to this broadcast at this late hour on a Thursday night to think about going to the Gold Coast for the Commonwealth Games. Not only will they see a wonderful sporting event; they will see a wonderful city, wonderful beaches, and wonderful experiences and theme parks. It's a great place to go, and somewhere people should really think about attending during the time of the Commonwealth Games.
Senate adjourned at 19:16