Mrs ANDREWS (McPherson) (16:19): The Gold Coast is an absolutely fantastic place to live and to work, but the cost-of-living increases are really hitting many people in my community very hard. The interest rate rise on Melbourne Cup day is yet another blow—that’s probably the best way to describe it—for Gold Coasters. We have, over the last few months, endured many rate increases, along with the rest of Australia. The cost of renting accommodation—if you can find it—is going through the roof on the Gold Coast. It is really difficult for many people in our community to be able to make ends meet.
Not only is it the rising interest rates, the difficulty in finding accommodation and the cost of finding accommodation, but also the increased prices for electricity and gas. They’re all making it so hard for everyday Australians living on the Gold Coast to make ends meet. It is every single day that people contact me—whether they see me when I’m out and about or contact me via email or call my office—and all of them are talking about the rising cost of living and how hard it is for them to be able to make ends meet.
We rely very heavily on tourism on the Gold Coast and we will start to see, potentially, some declines in that and declines in the spend when people come to the Gold Coast. That will continue to hurt the Gold Coast. We need to make the government make some changes.