Wednesday, 28 October 2020
Fisher Electorate: Sunshine Coast Stadium
When I worked with the Assistant Treasurer and Minister for Housing on the government's HomeBuilder program, I was optimistic that it could restore the work which the Sunshine Coast construction sector had lost during the COVID crisis. However, with land releases selling out in days, and new homes on the coast being bought sight unseen by families moving to our community from both Victoria and New South Wales, this program has far exceeded anyone's expectations. The rapid growth will be a welcome boost for local businesses at a difficult time, but, as a region, we now need to make sure that the Sunshine Coast has the facilities that a community like ours needs and deserves. That means more than just roads and rail. In particular, I believe the time has come for us to make the Sunshine Coast Stadium ready to host more of the biggest games and the biggest acts. Plans have been drawn up for a $68 million upgrade for the stadium, which would see the fixed seating capacity grow from just around 1,100 now to nearly 12,000 seats, with an eventual capacity of more than 23,000. I've been in discussions with Sunshine Coast Council, community leaders and local state members to gather the funding we need. Following a welcome commitment of $20 million from the Queensland LNP team, we now have just $20 million to find.
Eventually they came on board. They were very late to the party, but, yes, they did. I'll take that interjection.
I have already had several meetings with the Treasurer and other relevant ministers about this project and I'm grateful to them for their consideration. My constituents can rest assured that I'll continue to advocate for funding for the stadium in the run-up to next year's federal budget. In 2020, with Elton John's concerts and the Melbourne Storm playing on the coast, we've all seen how much the Sunshine Coast Stadium and the Sunshine Coast get behind these fantastic events. These events have been a fantastic way of drawing more visitors to the coast, and it's been great to see such a boost to our accommodation, houses, restaurants and tourist attractions. A bigger, better stadium would draw more professional sports and more big shows like those to the Sunshine Coast. Every show and every game introduces new people to the coast, who will visit again and tell their friends about the incredible time that they've had. I urge Fisher residents who agree with me that we need an upgraded stadium on the Sunshine Coast and more events like those that we've seen this year to contact my office and let me know today. The more voices the better. Every email helps to show how much of a priority this is for our community. Elton John and the champion Sunshine Coast Storm have shown us what is possible. Now let's see what other once-in-a-lifetime experiences we can bring to the Sunshine Coast.