14 August 2017

Speech in parliament: Celebrating Building Better Regions Fund

It’s my great pleasure to rise and celebrate the wonderful projects that have been awarded funding under the Building Better Regions Fund, a very important fund for regional Australia—particularly, of course, for my electorate of Corangamite.

Kids Plus Foundation received nearly $1.5 million dollars to build a wonderful new disability centre the foundation. This is a great win for Shaun Cannon and his wonderful team. Most of their children who receive services have cerebral palsy, and Kids Plus Foundation do an extraordinary job in our community. They’ll be able to triple the services that they provide with this new centre. There were tears and great celebrations all-round when this particular grant was announced.

I was also delighted to announce $245,000 for the Birregurra community group’s ‘I Have a Hall in My Heart’ project. Again, it’s a great community project to update the wonderful historic hall in Birregurra—a $500,000 project. Diversitat will receive $314,000 for another wonderful project, called The Diversability Centre, providing assistance for CALD community members in Geelong seeking help under the NDIS and other disability services.

The wonderful Winchelsea netball club has received $200,000. I was absolutely delighted to be joined by Senator Fiona Nash, the Minister for Regional Development, to make this announcement. That’s been a great aspiration of the club to build proper facilities for the netballers—a $500,000 project. We are very, very proud of our significant contribution to that project.

This is a wonderful program, recognising the critical role that these groups play in regional Australia, and it builds on the $13.3 million already awarded under the previous incarnation of the fund, the National Stronger Regions Fund.

Under that fund, Queenscliff received some $3.5 million from the Turnbull government. I’m absolutely delighted, after convening a community meeting, that the borough of Queenscliff is now looking at compromises in relation to the location of the eco cabins that are funded under that project. I know there’s a lot of community resistance to placing those cabins on Shortland Bluff. Now that Point Lonsdale Lighthouse Reserve has been listed for potential national heritage priority assessment, we are very hopeful that that assessment might extend to historic parts of Queenscliff. Again, this is another example of how the Turnbull government is standing up for regional Australia.

14 August 2017