Various politicians have applauded the federal government for their infrastructure spend in the 2020 budget, but there are fears the Gold Coast has been duped of vital tourism dollars.
The Gold Coast has received funding for various transport projects, including funding for the first stage of the highly anticipated Coomera Connector.
$4.2 million has also been committed to fast track a business case on a high-speed rail line between the Gold Coast and Brisbane.
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The Gold Coast Airport will also get a piece of $350 million for the struggling aviation sector, which will go towards its multi-million dollar redevelopment.
Minister and Local MP Karen Andrews says it’s not just about helping people travel around faster, but creating jobs.
“We are a city, that without a doubt is based on tourism, but we’re also are very strong in construction.
“So we already have the skilled workforce there, so the infrastructure there is an opportunity to get the Gold Coast working,” Minister Andrews said.
Labor Senator Murray Watt says these are all good promises, but it’s critical that the government actually delivers these projects.
“What we saw last year from this government is that they promised about $1.7 billion in infrastructure spending in Queensland, and only ended up rolling out the door about 67 percent of that.
“This government has a pretty terrible record of delivering on its promises,” Senator Watt said.
“They’re very very good at getting headlines and doing photo ops, but they’re terrible with the follow up.
“We can’t afford to see the infrastructure commitments go the way of the past.
“They’ve actually go to deliver on their promises, rather than making more promises that they don’t actually follow through on,” he said.
The RACQ’s Rebecca Michael also says these projects need to begin immediately.
“It was really pleasing to see the Coomera Connector has received that much needed funding to accelerate its delivery and alleviate that congestion for commuters on the Gold Coast and just help them get around,” Ms Michael said.
While the response to the infrastructure funding has otherwise been quite positive, there are concerns the Gold Coast has missed out when it comes to tourism.
The federal government has committed $280 million to the national tourism industry, but the Gold Coast is only set to receive about $10 million of that.
Majority of the money will go to Tourism Australia to try and beef up domestic travel, and prepare ad campaigns for when international travel can return.
Queensland’s Tourism Minister Kate Jones admits it’s not good enough.
“We need to be pulling on all levers to support the tourism industry during its toughest hour, and it’s disappointing that there’s such a small amount of money – a pittance – in the federal budget, to continue the hard work that the tourism industry is doing right now,” Minister Jones said.