Causes Close To My Heart

About

As an elected member of Parliament there are always so many deserving causes you can rally behind and advocate for. This page features a list of some of the important projects that are very close to my heart and those that I am fighting hard to advance, among many others.

Together we can make a better today, brighter tomorrow!

Rob

Southport CBD

Southport has always been the CBD of the Gold Coast, accounting for around 20 per cent of jobs on the Gold Coast. Almost 40,000 people work in Southport and the average income of those who do is $7,000 higher than the city wide average. The area has been unrecognised and underdeveloped although it acts as the Gold Coasts ‘engine room’.

My vision for the Southport CBD is for it to become Queensland’s second business capitol outside of the Brisbane CBD. I will advocate for the Southport CBD in parliament and express its importance to the electorate’s economy as well as the entire Gold Coast and surrounding regions. We have a bustling business district that should see more investment and greater exposure. If Southport is correctly recognized and prioritized, it will continue to be a business district that provides for ny people in and surrounding the area. I understand the importance of the CBD and will continue to advocate for it.

Bravehearts

Child safety is something that means a lot to me. That is why for more than a decade, I have been honored with being heavily involved with Bravehearts as Director. Bravehearts is Australia’s leading child protection organisation that works tirelessly to prevent child sexual assault and exploitation. The organisation was founded in 1997 by the outstanding Hetty Johnston AM following the discovery of her young daughter’s sexual assault. She could not find an organisation to turn to for help, so instead she started her own.

I have raised in parliament on various occasions the importance of child safety. As a young boy, at only 10 years old, I was sexually abused multiple times by a client of my fathers. Having experienced child abuse, there is nothing I want more then to end it. I passionately believe there should be tougher legislation to help protect kids from sexual violence of any form and I will never stop fighting for it. Child protection is non-negotiable. I believe families have a right to know where pedophiles are so they can keep their children safe.

Bravehearts is an organisation I will always do my best to support. The work done by the selfless people at Bravehearts not only helps assist and prevent child sexual assault, but also gives the victims a voice.

Housing First

Current projections on housing suggest we need to squeeze at least 200,000 more people into the Gold Coast by 2031. Unfortunately, we are running out of land in the corridor. Do we concentrate growth on the light rail and go up or drive population into residential domains such as Southport and Ashmore? By doing the latter, suburban areas will be destroyed for the building of towering apartment complexes that clutter our streets with cars. We need long term solutions made for housing here on the Gold Coast. It is of extreme urgency that we find viable solutions and invest into them so the Gold Coast can stay beautiful and we have suitable housing for all.

Homelessness, unfortunately, is an issue that the Gold Coast has been wrestling with for some time. I have had the privilege to have been ambassador for the Gold Coast CEO Sleepout. The issue of homelessness is something that is important to me and the electorate, that is why I will be working hard in helping reduce the issue and find effective solutions.

In January 2021 approximately 26,000 applications are on the social housing waitlist including 16,000 that are considered urgent. This same waitlist includes more than 2,700 families from the Gold Coast. Unfortunately, Labor axed the LNP’s social housing program back in 2015, had the planned projects been fully realized we could’ve had significantly more social housing by now to help reduce waiting lists. With state debt soaring, why isn’t the State government investing even a fraction of that into affordable housing? Even Victoria has announced plans to invest 5.3 billion into affordable housing. As previously mentioned, with the Gold Coast expected to house at least 200,000 more people by 2031, I will be fighting for a serious investment into social housing by the state government.

Tafe Ridgeway

The TAFE Ridgeway site was identified as surplus to the needs of the Department of Education and training. I worked to have the site taken off the market and have been working to see the site returned for community use as a recreational and community space. I have been working with the community since 2020 to lobby for the gifting of the site to council for redevelopment. Shannon Fentiman, one of Labors MP’s, agreed to only commit 2/3rds of the site to the community. Stating she wanted to sell the balance of the site to recoup costs and funding for her department. As I believe this site should be fully given back to the community, I have been working with Brooke Patterson and the Gold Coast City Council to secure the remaining balance of the site to be purchased through recreational infrastructure funds. I believe the site of TAFE Ridgeway should be used as land for the community and not sold off privately so I will do my best to ensure that happens.

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