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Transport and Tourism Industry, Coronavirus

May 20, 2020

Ms SCANLON (Gaven—ALP) (4.44 pm): I rise to support the motion moved by the Premier. It is interesting to hear the member for Broadwater is suddenly interested in transport and the tourism industry, because the member was part of the Newman government that gutted the tourism industry of funding—over $180 million, in fact—and not a single new dollar for the M1, but now suddenly he is interested in—

Mr Crisafulli interjected. 

Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER (Mr Stewart): Member for Broadwater. 

Ms SCANLON: In stark contrast, this government has been investing heavily in those two industries and is continuing with our investment in those spaces. This is a measured, responsible strategy for economic recovery and it has been welcomed by many leaders in my city. I table an article published in the Gold Coast Bulletin today titled 'Package supported'. 

Tabled paper: Article from the Gold Coast Bulletin, , dated 20 May 2020, titled ‘Package supported–Premier focused on tourism industry “brought to its knees”’.

The Gold Coast was the first region in Queensland to have an active case of COVID-19 and, as the Premier said this morning, had we not united together in our health response over 30,000 Queenslanders could have lost their lives. Those are not just figures on a spreadsheet: those are grandparents, parents and loved ones who are alive today because we acted quickly. We were the first state in the country to declare a state of emergency, and as of today the Gold Coast only has two active cases and 193 recovered cases. We were the first state in Australia to act with a support package to respond to COVID-19, and today's motion builds on that investment. 

Over the last few weeks I have spoken with a number of businesses, tourism operators and my local chamber of commerce, who were all supportive of the measures that have been implemented to date but wanted further assistance to ensure that payroll tax was not applied to the JobKeeper payment and a grants scheme to support small businesses who were not eligible for payroll tax relief. These are both matters I raised with the Minister for Small Business, Shannon Fentiman, who has listened and acted with a $100 million Small Business Adaptation Grams Program. This is on top of the over 1,000 Gold Coast businesses that have received a total of over $32 million in payroll tax relief and 626 Gold Coast businesses who were approved for loans totalling over $88 million. 

Tourism is also critical to the region I represent. It supports almost one in five jobs. I am pleased to see a $50 million package to fast-track tourism projects and assist our theme parks, who employ hundreds and thousands of locals within my community. I am also pleased to see that there is additional funding for our manufacturing sector. I have a large industrial manufacturing sector in Nerang that I know received support prior to COVID-19. This will provide added financial assistance to provide health consumables, devices and PPE to shore up supply chains of essential goods. 

As the youngest member of this parliament I am also very aware of the impact on my generation, so I welcome support in relation to online training and the new apprenticeship training centre in Beenleigh around renewable hydrogen. I commend—