The countdown is on to the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, the largest sporting event to be held in Australia in a decade.
As we all know, my government has helped to make these games a reality investing $154-million in 2013-14 to fund permanent infrastructure for the games, and a further commitment of $2 million for legacy programs to encourage more Aussies to get active.
I’m glad to have seen some of the investment dollars being spent in my own electorate of Bonner as we prepare to host the track cycling, and shooting events. The construction of two state of the art venues in Bonner has created hundreds of jobs and will provide local families and athletes with awesome opportunities for many, many years to come.
Earlier this month I visited the Anna Meares velodrome and I must say it’s in tip top shape to host the track cycling. While the Belmont shooting complex has been fitted with brand new electronic targets in preparation for the games and will play host to some of the world’s finest shooters as they compete in the clay target, full bore, pistol and small bore events. I’m excited to be attending some of the shooting events with Senator Bridget Mackenzie, Minister for Sport as we cheer on our Australian athletes.
As we near towards the opening ceremony on April 4th the spirit of the games is being felt all over the country, including the electorate of Bonner. In the last month I have visited 26 local schools delivering hand waving flags to the local students encouraging them to get into the spirit of the games as well. I’m hoping that all the local kids will take their hand waving flags to any events they may be attending and cheer as loud as possible for our athletes in the Green and Gold. Thanks to one local student l too will be taking a special item with me to the games.
I held a competition for all local primary school children to design a supporter’s banner for the chance to win a prize pack. The entries I received were amazing and featured everything from the iconic boxing kangaroo to the games mascot Borobi playing basketball. It was almost impossible to pick just one winner from all the great entries but Jessica Kelly of Carina State School was chosen. Congrats Jessica and thanks for the awesome poster, I’ll be gladly waving it at the games.
With just over a week to go I would like to wish all of our Aussie athletes good luck. In Bonner we will be cheering extra loud for local girl Maddison Keeney who is representing Australia in the 1 metre, 3 metre and 3 metre synchronised diving events. Harnessing the determination of her favourite show Pokemon, Maddison is striving to be the very best, like no one ever was! I’m urging all my Bonner locals to keep a keen eye out for Olivia Brown from the Annette Roselli dance academy in Tingalpa as well. Olivia will be joining the thousands of other amazing young entertainers performing in the closing ceremony.
It’s not just the athletes who deserve massive thanks. It’s going to be a huge job keeping the thousands of visitors, athletes and locals safe during the games too.
Last week I met with the local police in Carina and was given a snapshot into the work they’re doing to prep for the games.
Our local and state police crews, emergency services and all the volunteers are putting in so much of their time and deserve a huge round of applause for the hard work they’re putting in prior, during and after the games. It’s going to be a big job, but someone has to do it and I’m glad to say from what I’ve seen we have the best men and women on the job.
Let’s get ready for the Games!