Tuesday, 8 November 2016
Questions without Notice
My question is to the Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment. Will the minister explain how sporting events contribute to the Australian tourism industry? Is there anything that could jeopardise this important contribution?
Opposition members interjecting—
They picked it, Mr Speaker: the CFMEU. They get the refrain; that is right. I am grateful to the member for Forde for his question because, like me, he has a great passion for the Gold Coast Sons and, like me, he is a passionate supporter of Australia's tourism industry. I am certainly pleased that sporting tourism plays a very major role with Australia's tourism industry. It helps to drive international tourists to come to Australia and it helps to drive domestic tourism as well. We saw, for example, last financial year that international tourists travelling to Australia to attend a sporting event spent over $367 million on local sporting events. That drives local jobs. That drives employment across the Australian economy. Indeed, it is a key part of the reason that this coalition government is investing record amounts of money into Australian tourism, making sure that we support the tourism industry substantially.
Tourism and Events Queensland estimates that around 30,000 jobs across Queensland and on the Gold Coast are dependent upon sports tourism. One of the great attractions that we have and one of the reasons that Australians travel is the opportunity to watch AFL games. I know that you are quite a fan of the AFL, Mr Speaker. I am not sure whether you have had the chance to travel to watch the Gold Coast Suns yet, but they do play regularly in my electorate. That is part of the reason that I was so particularly pleased to have the former Minister for Sport, the member for Dickson, and the current Minister for Sport, as part of the coalition, back an investment of some $15 million in a purpose-built facility for the Gold Coast Suns that would also be used for the Commonwealth Games—a crucial investment in the community to help drive employment and help drive tourism numbers. But what we see reported in today's papers is that this investment, like other investments across the city, has been delayed by the CFMEU.
We continue to see the most militant and extreme union in Australia continue to call the shots for the Australian Labor Party. We saw only last week that the most extreme union and the AWU and others have made it clear that they will disendorse Labor members who do not adopt their position on the ABCC. Now we see investment in community infrastructure getting pushed to one side and the community's concerns pushed to one side, because this militant and extreme organisation, the organisation that donates $11 million to this man—$11 million reasons for him to look away—
The $11 million was clearly donated to the Australian Labor Party. But the point is that they look away while we continue to see this militant and extreme union delay important community projects.