Major Events Bill 2014
Mr HART (Burleigh—LNP) (8.31 pm): I also rise to add to the debate on the Major Events Bill 2014. At the outset I would like to thank the members of the State Development, Infrastructure and Industry Committee, ably led by the member for Gympie and backed up by the member for Rockhampton. This is a great committee. I think we work really well together. The report that the committee has presented on this bill just proves how well the committee system works. Of course we could not do the job that we do without, as the member for Gympie said, the wonderful support of our ladies in our secretariat. They do a fantastic job. They do most of the work for us, I would have to say, and we fill in the blanks.
The Major Events Bill 2014 will provide legislative framework for the streamlining of major events in our great state. I am glad to have had the opportunity to assist in making recommendations to the minister as part of our committee process—as I said, a process that I believe is working well and as intended. Queensland is a great state with great opportunity and this government has a plan for the future to make it even better. Major events are a significant contributor to that plan. They boost the state’s economy in terms of bringing both business investment and visitors to Queensland.
There is one objective of the bill, and that is to support our major event providers with an efficient, effective and streamlined approval process with a one-stop shop approach. This legislation is a win-win for event providers and taxpayers of Queensland because by leveraging off these events we can increase tourism, create jobs and contribute millions of dollars to our economy.
Currently this bill will be used to conduct the Commonwealth Games, the 2015 Asian Cup and various V8 Supercar events across our state, as well as other major events which will hopefully be added into the future. As members know, we have just had a wonderful GC 600 on the Gold Coast. I would have to say that the GC 600 went even better than any of us would have hoped. Everything went very, very smoothly including our new transportation system on the Gold Coast, the G:link. I went to the GC 600 on Saturday and Sunday and I used the G:link and our bus system to get there and back. Even on Sunday after the race had finished I waited five or 10 minutes and I wandered out with the rest of the crowd and I waited in line for the G:link. There were a lot of people there, but I got on the first tram. Everything went absolutely perfectly. I got to Broadbeach and there was a bus waiting. I walked off the tram and on to a bus and I was back in Burleigh within 25 minutes.
Mr Minnikin: That’s how public transport should be.
Mr HART: As the Assistant Minister for Public Transport says, this is how the system should work and this is how the system this government puts in place does work. This government gets it right, and this bill is another piece of legislation that the government has got entirely right. I am very proud to be standing here supporting this bill as the member for Burleigh on the Gold Coast.
As the House would be aware, the Gold Coast is famous for fun. Our minister keeps telling us this over and over again. Our ads tell us this. But everybody who lives on the Gold Coast knows that for a fact. The Gold Coast is famous for fun. In the brief time I have I would like to touch on a few things that the LNP government has achieved on the Gold Coast.
As I said, we had the V8 festival over the weekend and it was my pleasure on Sunday, 19 October to wave the chequered flag at the V8 BillyKart Derby in my electorate of Burleigh. We had billycarts going down James Street. We had a three-metre ramp and we had various billycarts at the top of that ramp and running down the street. It was my great pleasure to wave the flag and start most of the billycart races. We had a few incidents on the day with a couple of wheels falling off the cart—you know, the little red cart. We did not have any real injuries, so that was great. Everyone had a fun day. I would say there were thousands of people there. That was just one of the many events that the minister has convinced the V8 group to put together as part of this overall major event. So congratulations again to the minister on organising that for us.
We had, as I said, the GC 600 on the weekend, and this Saturday we will be having the Pan Pacific Masters Games opening ceremony—another great event. There are a whole number of them that the Gold Coast benefits from over the years. The major event that we will be having in the near future is of course the Commonwealth Games. I will remind the House that we are just 1,254 days away from the Commonwealth Games, or less than 3½ years from the opening ceremony. The LNP inherited the games at the last election—
Mr Bleijie: You’ll be there opening it up, won’t you?
Mr HART: That is yet to be seen, Attorney-General. I am not sure exactly what will happen.
Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER (Mr Ruthenberg): Attorney-General, I really need you to take your seat.
Mr HART: If I get the chance to wave a flag at something, I would certainly appreciate that, but we will wait and see. As I was saying, the LNP inherited the games at the last election with no money in the bank. There was no money in the bank for the Commonwealth Games, but our minister and our Treasurer and our Premier are finding the money to put on the Commonwealth Games. We are making the tough choices, and the games are now on their way to being fully funded. The games will leave a lasting legacy of infrastructure across the coast for future generations to see. It is only a matter of going to some of the wonderful websites that the Commonwealth Games committee has put in place to see how those venues are coming to fruition and exactly what that legacy will be for the Gold Coast moving forward.
For the listeners at home and the 84 members of parliament who do not call the Gold Coast home, I point out that some of the attractions and features we boast that are in our backyard include: 70 kilometres of beaches with an average water temperature of 22 degrees Celsius; 260 kilometres of navigable waterways, nine times more than Venice; our Regional Botanic Gardens and 2,245 parks covering 20,000 hectares; major shopping centres, small boutiques, specialty shops and markets; restaurants and cafes offering cuisine from around the world; evening entertainment including a large range of bars, nightclubs, cabaret restaurants and casinos as well as several venues that host musicals, ballet and the theatre; a large number of wildlife and theme parks including David Fleay Wildlife Park, which is in my electorate of Burleigh; World Heritage listed tropical rainforest hinterland with abundant wildlife and bushwalks; and world-class sporting and recreational facilities. Honourable members can see that when people come for a major event on the Gold Coast there is so much more to the Gold Coast for which they can stay and enjoy. It is our job as members of parliament to encourage people to hang around after these major events and to get out there and see some of these wonderful attractions that we do have on the Gold Coast.
As I mentioned previously, I am glad to have had the opportunity to review this bill and assist in making recommendations to the minister. During the submission phase we consulted and heard from a number of people including eBay, Queensland Tourism Industry Council, Ticketmaster, Office of the Information Commissioner, Queensland Law Society, the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games Corporation, the Australian Commonwealth Games Association, TEQ, Stadiums Queensland, LGAQ and CCIQ. We made nine recommendations to the minister. The first one was that the committee recommends that clause 12 of the bill be amended to provide that a major event is declared at least three months prior to an event. We have already heard from the minister. As a committee member, I accept fully her explanation. In most cases you would be able to give three months notice of a major event, but there are instances—and I accept that—where you may not be able to give three months notice. Putting out that arbitrary figure is possibly not a good idea and I think we as a committee accept that. As I said before, this is one of the reasons that I say the committee system is working and is working very well.
The committee recommends that clause 11 of the bill be amended to provide that a controlled area is shown on a map. We have already heard from the minister and various other people as to why that is a good idea. I think that putting out a detailed map if at all possible is a great idea because it is a visual explanation of the exact area that the major event covers. Rather than having a list of street names or something like that, you actually have a visual representation of it. I thought that was a good idea.
The committee made several other recommendations with regard to the Police Powers and Responsibilities Act such as that a person might only consent to a search if they had been screened beforehand by such items as electronic screening. Maybe we needed to look at the wording of that particular recommendation. The intent was that people would not be asked to be searched if they had not had some preliminary check to start with, whether it is waving a wand over them, walking through an electronic sensor or something like that that has triggered a reason for a search. I accept what the minister has said with regard to that.
We were also concerned that an authorised person should not be permitted to touch a person or their possessions. I was really surprised by the response from the member for Rockhampton. He said that he thought perhaps some of the security guards should be able to forcibly remove people from the venue if they are causing trouble. I would have thought that at a major event we would have quite a distinct police presence. At every major event that I have ever been to there are police officers everywhere. That is part of a major event. It is part of the planning for a major event. There should be police officers near every entrance during the time that people are coming in. If anybody is causing an issue as they come into a major event, it is more than appropriate that the person who deals with that is a police officer. I just do not understand the logic that the member for Rockhampton was using in saying that we should expand that power to anybody who is authorised to conduct a search or discuss what sort of person should come into the event. It seems quite ludicrous to me. I am fairly certain that the minister will have a lot more to say about that as this debate goes on. I must say that I was stunned. It seems to be a complete move away from what we would typically expect the Labor Party to think. Maybe they needed to have something to complain about because they did say that they would be supporting the bill.
I actually commend the Labor Party for supporting this bill. It is great that they have seen reason with this—maybe I should not commend them. It is great that they have seen reason. The committee system has worked and we have been able to step through all of the issues that were brought up with the committee and the minister has accepted them. There were several other provisions about which the committee made recommendations. I think the minister has pretty well explained all of those so I will keep moving.
There are also eight points of clarification. I listened intently to the minister’s second reading speech. I think she explained very well all of those points of clarification. I now feel far more comfortable with some of the issues that were contained therein. The important recommendation that the committee made was that the Major Events Bill 2014 be passed.
Mr Gibson: That is No. 1.
Mr HART: That is the No. 1 recommendation as it is in all committee reports.
Eight out of nine of the recommendations were supported in full, in part or in principle. It is worth again elaborating exactly how the committee process is designed to work. It has worked very well in this instance. If it is doing one thing, it is making legislation better. I think our committee in particular has been very successful in making recommendations that ministers have accepted that have been sensible recommendations. That is just because we are a very efficient committee. Again, I would like to thank my fellow committee members, the committee staff, Minister Stuckey and her department. Mr Deputy Speaker, if you have not got that impression already, I support the bill.
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