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May 07, 2017

New figures have revealed the Turnbull Government is ripping off Queenslanders, by providing less Federal funding than was given to the Melbourne Commonwealth Games, more than ten years ago.

Back in 2006, the then Howard Government gave a total of $293 million in direct financial and in-kind support (eg security and anti-doping services) to help stage the Melbourne Games.

Now, nearly 12 years later, it is understood the Turnbull Government is short-changing the Gold Coast, and all of Queensland, by around $25 million.  To date, it is understood the Federal Government has provided only $268 million following a significant reduction to in-kind support.

It is understood that critical services the Turnbull Government has refused to fund as in-kind support, include:

  • Anti-doping tests during the Games,
  • Background and security checks for all Games participants,
  • Spectrum management to ensure smooth communications transmissions during the Games.

Instead of providing this important support for what is a major national and international event, as it did for the Melbourne Games, the Turnbull Government is insisting Queenslanders pay for them.

If these reports are true, it shows that, as usual, the four Gold Coast LNP Federal MPs are doing nothing to help the Gold Coast. Yet again, they are sitting back, taking the Gold Coast for granted.

Already, they've had to be dragged kicking and screaming to properly fund the M1 upgrade and Stage 2 of the Gold Coast Light Rail.  And next week's Federal Budget seems to contain nothing significant for Queensland - no Cross River Rail, no Rockhampton flood levee, no major infrastructure in regional Queensland and now, not even fair funding for the Commonwealth Games.

The Turnbull Government just doesn't get Queensland, and their Queensland LNP MPs seem happy to sit back while their own government short-changes Queensland's premier event.

Next week's Federal Budget is a chance to make amends. Treasurer Scott Morrison should give the Gold Coast Games their fair share. If he can afford to hand his big business buddies a $50 billion tax cut, he should at least deliver the extra $11 million in in-kind support requested by the Queensland Government. 

Queensland's LNP MPs should be knocking down the door, to make sure this funding is delivered.

We all want the 2018 Games to be the best ever and it's time the Federal Government and Queensland's ineffective LNP MPs got fully behind the Games too.