It is a great honour to speak to this bill. I will concentrate on the changes that the bill makes to the Liquor Act 1992. I think we have a missed opportunity here in regard to the Commonwealth Games. It is going to be the biggest event that Queensland has ever seen. A lot of hard work has gone into organising the Commonwealth Games.
Therefore, businesses on the Gold Coast should be able to take advantage of what is going to come from the Commonwealth Games. The Commonwealth Games will provide an opportunity for the eyes of the world to be on the Gold Coast.
These changes to the Liquor Act 1992 affect the two safe night out precincts at Broadbeach and Surfers Paradise. Why can we not extend those changes to other areas of the Gold Coast? The Gold Coast is a fantastic city that provides many opportunities for holiday-makers and people visiting from not only all over the world but also from Western Queensland.
The Commonwealth Games has been very much on the minds of many Western Queenslanders, including people from the electorate of Gregory. They regard the Commonwealth Games as an opportunity for them to take their annual holiday and go down to the Gold Coast and partake in what is going to be a significant sporting event. Even my family and I are down for the Commonwealth Games. We were lucky enough to pick up tickets for netball and Rugby through the lottery system. We are very much looking forward to staying on the Gold Coast.
Mr Costigan: Are you playing?
Mr MILLAR: I am not playing Rugby, no. The Queensland Hotels Association made some common-sense suggestions to this legislation that have been ignored by the Palaszczuk Labor government. The Commonwealth Games is going to be the biggest event ever in Queensland, so it is important that we maximise the opportunities for our small businesses and other businesses on the Gold Coast, whether they be the bars, the restaurants or the people who are involved in providing food and entertainment. A lot of taxpayers’ dollars have gone into getting the Commonwealth Games here to Queensland. We should take an opportunity to maximise that by allowing more restaurants and more bars across the Gold Coast to be able to open for extended hours. It is only common sense to give these businesses an opportunity to grow their businesses.
Mr Costigan: Share the love.
Mr MILLAR: I take that interjection from the member for Whitsunday. We have to spread the love. People are going to take up accommodation offers not only in Surfers Paradise and Broadbeach but also in other areas of the Gold Coast, including Burleigh, Nerang and right down to Coolangatta. Once people have gone to an event at the Commonwealth Games, although it might finish late at night, they might want to continue to celebrate the opportunity of not only being at the Commonwealth Games with their family and friends but also to have a night out.
For many people who will go to the Gold Coast to attend the Commonwealth Games, and certainly those from Western Queensland, it is an opportunity for them to have the holiday that they have not had for a long time. If they are going to go to the Gold Coast, they want to be able to not only go to the events but also spend their hard-earned cash in restaurants and bars to be able to give a bit back to the Gold Coast. The Gold Coast is a significant economic contributor to the Queensland economy and it deserves to have every opportunity to be able to take advantage of the Commonwealth Games. I call on the minister and the Palaszczuk government to see if we can spread those safe night out precincts further than just Broadbeach and Surfers Paradise.
I wish our police and protection services all the best for the Commonwealth Games. It is going to be a magnificent event, but it is not going to happen without a lot of hard work and a lot of effort by our police, our emergency services, our fireys—everybody who is involved in the background to make sure that it is a safe event. I certainly wish them all the best. I know that we have the best capabilities to be able to pull off the best event that we have ever seen.
It was 1982 when the Commonwealth Games was last here in South-East Queensland in Brisbane. At that time, we successfully put Brisbane on the map. I think everybody can remember those games. The Gold Coast is going to come through with shining colours. We have to make sure that everything goes well—and I know that it will go well. There is also an opportunity to make sure that small business, bars, restaurants and clubs benefit from the Commonwealth Games. People from overseas will come to the Gold Coast. I encourage them to not only visit the Gold Coast and go to the bars, clubs and restaurants there but also after the Commonwealth Games go to Western Queensland—the outback. We will be able to show them a good time as well. We can host people from overseas so that they can see the real outback. Hopefully, when people get out there the outback will be a little greener, a little more colourful than it has been for the past few years.
I call on the Palaszczuk government and the minister to consider those safe night precincts. People will be staying at Broadbeach and Surfers Paradise, but they will also be staying from Coolangatta, or Burleigh, all the way up to Coomera. We need to make sure that, if those people want to go out after an event, they have an opportunity to go to a club, or a restaurant. I think it is just common sense to make sure that businesses on the Gold Coast get great opportunities out of the Commonwealth Games.