Transcript of Joint Press Conference with the Hon. Steven Ciobo MP, Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasurer, Federal Member for Moncrieff



02 July 2014

Bermuda Street/Ashmore Road intersection, Gold Coast

Jamie Briggs: It's great to be here with the Mayor of Australia's sixth largest city, in the middle of it, and with one of Australia's pre-eminent parliamentarians in the Member for Moncrieff, Steve Ciobo, a great friend of mine, who's asked me out today to have a look at this intersection here, on Bundall Road and Ashmore. Obviously an important part of the arterial linkage within the Gold Coast, and as the Gold Coast grows, as Australia's fastest-growing city; it's obviously increasingly under pressure.

So Steven is rightfully doing what good local members do, and lobbying on behalf of his constituents, and as is the Mayor, and, obviously with the Commonwealth Games coming up in just a few short years, the Federal Government is looking at assisting the Gold Coast to ensure that we've got a Gold Coast which can be as productive as possible. We invested $50 billion in this budget to ensure Australia's got a growth plan for the future. We also want to make sure that this growth is done in a way which people can continue to move around their cities. We're doing that across the country and obviously this is a project that we'd be happy to talk to the Queensland Government about. The Queensland Government's been doing work. It will be expensive, but we're in the business of improving our productivity, and if there is a case, we'll be happy to look at it. Steven?

Steven Ciobo: Thanks Jamie. Just in terms of a couple of words, I want to welcome the Assistant Minister for Infrastructure Jamie Briggs to the Gold Coast. It's wonderful to have yet another Coalition Government Minister visit the Gold Coast. It just demonstrates in a very real sense how committed the Coalition is to our city. I'm also delighted to have the Mayor, Tom Tate, join us as well today. This is a project that the Mayor and I have been speaking about, together with our state MPs, for nearly six or more months now. This is an important road project that really will go towards - if we can get the funding up - it really will go towards helping to unclog one of the major arteries in our city.

From my perspective, and from the Federal Government's perspective, this is a State Government-controlled road. If the State Government is very keen to have this as a top priority, I know that the city council is keen to do that, and certainly I'll lend whatever support I can from the Federal Government perspective, to make sure this happens. It's a long journey, as the saying goes: the journey of a thousand miles starts with the first step. Here today is the first step, bringing it to the attention of the Assistant Infrastructure Minister. I want to make sure that our city is as productive as possible. I recognise that Gold Coasters are stuck in traffic here on the Bundall Road-Ashmore Road intersection on a daily basis. This is a key area for us to fix and I'm really grateful we've had time. And it's another clear example of local, state, and federal government LNP members working together. I know the Mayor's independent, but I'm very pleased that the council, state and federal government can work cooperatively and constructively, and I'm hopeful that we'll be able to get a resolution for this intersection.

Over to you, Mr Mayor.

Tom Tate: Ready Josh?

Unidentified Speaker: Ready, Sir.

Tom Tate: Alright. It's always a wonderful day when we get a Federal Minister here, but in this instance, when they come here and they look at what we need, as far as traffic and road infrastructure's concerned, this road here, it's going to be a three-tier cooperation of three different governments. The timing is right; we'll start the design on it, we'll talk to the State Government, and Steven's talking to Federal Government to make sure that the funding on all different levels come through. Everyone knows that together with the Commonwealth Games, the establishment of the Southport CBD, this is really the heart of our traffic management. And to get this up and running, we better start planning now, so that in the very near future, when we can resolve this with some flyovers, it's going to make it safer for people in the city, and smoother for the traffic. So, you know, I welcome very much the Minister coming in and enjoying our winter here on the Gold Coast, and anytime he wants to come and look at other infrastructure, as an engineer, I love it.