Thursday, 24 June 2021
I invite Australians to book a holiday on the Gold Coast now. Whether it's driving from Brisbane or Ipswich this weekend, or if you're coming from interstate, say, Victoria—or New South Wales when the Queensland Premier reopens the border, as she invariably will—the more locals and tourists that enjoy our enviable lifestyle at cafes, at restaurants and in businesses in and around Moncrieff the better.
The Morrison government has invested, and continues to invest, in Gold Coast tourism and associated businesses through a number of packages and programs. The $1.2 billion post JobKeeper tourism and aviation package assisted the local economy greatly, with 235,000 half-price airline tickets sold into the Gold Coast. Another post JobKeeper program that is kicking in right now is the $50 million events grants program, which is helping conference venues bring businesses back to the Gold Coast. Places like the Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre and places like Royal Pines, in my electorate, are currently full with conferences.
The Morrison government's total of $1 billion in support for the arts and entertainment sector, also during COVID, should be highlighted as the biggest ever contribution to the arts in Australian history, and rightly so. I congratulate Minister Fletcher for the work he's done in that portfolio. The Morrison government has made a big difference to the local economy on the Gold Coast through extra funding on top of JobKeeper to deliver events. There was $200,000 for the annual Blues on Broadbeach, held just last month. It was a great success in the streets and at the beach, filling venues and restaurants. There is also $450,000 for the upcoming Beachfest, which will be delivered by Cross Promotions next year.
These events were funded through the federal government's RISE Fund, Restart Investment to Sustain and Expand Fund, which was designed to support the arts and entertainment sector and was announced by the minister and myself in Broadbeach last month. The extra support measures have done exactly that. They have sustained Gold Coast jobs and livelihoods, not just in the arts but through flow-on effects to the greater economy.
Let me talk about weather for a moment. It's raining here in Canberra today but it's springtime on the Gold Coast that I look forward to every year. It's a magnificent time of year for locals and tourists alike. The sun shines, the water's warm and the lifestyle—well, it's simply unbeatable. As southerners are well aware, even the Gold Coast winters are warm compared to many other locations around Australia. This spring we look forward to a new festival thanks to this LNP federal government. From 3 September to 5 September, in just a few short months, Surfers Paradise will show off its new offerings to tourists and locals alike at springtime, a music festival that will be delivered through Major Events Gold Coast, with $1.5 million of Morrison government support.
Surfers Paradise, for those here and afar who haven't been there in a while, has a major facelift underway at the Paradise Centre, adjacent to the beach. The surf club—headed up by Trevor Hendy, the former iron man—has had a renovation. There are new restaurants, there are new bars, there are new breweries and there's even indoor skydiving available now at home in Surfers Paradise. It's all on offer and it's only a short walk to the new Home of the Arts art gallery, across the green bridge on Chevron Island—where my office is located. The Home of the Arts now also has a fantastic restaurant for those visiting, called Palette, which serves incredibly good food.
This springtime event funding is provided through the $50 million Recovery for Regional Tourism Program. The Gold Coast received 20 per cent, or $10 million, of that fund, which was part of the government's $1 billion COVID-19 Relief and Recovery Fund. Springtime will run across multiple Surfers Paradise locations. It's an all-ages event, with a mix of genres to ensure that there will be something for everyone. Destination Gold Coast and Major Events Gold Coast are delivering this event and creating an opportunity to showcase our local talent for further long-term benefit. The event will showcase a wide variety of acts. It's free and over 40 acts will appear by the beach and in the streets in and around Surfers. Major Events Gold Coast are taking emails from locals who wish to volunteer for this event, and applications for food and market stall vendors are also open now. Have a look at springtimegc.com.au. There are accommodation packages also on offer there.
The Gold Coast is one of the best places to holiday, so we're looking forward to welcoming tourists from all over Australia, borders allowing, to our region for this music festival. Come on up to the warm weather.