15 August 2018

Speech: 3 minute constituency statement highlighting successful recipients of the Building Better Regions Fund

It’s my great pleasure to rise and celebrate the wonderful projects which have been awarded funding under the Building Better Regions Fund. We know what an important program this is for regional Australia, including in my electorate of Corangamite, where the Turnbull government is working so hard to support so many worthwhile projects in our community, providing the vital funding for community infrastructure and other important projects.

There was great celebration in Apollo Bay when we announced $180,000 which will upgrade the existing 25-metre community pool into an indoor heated facility, which is very much needed in Apollo Bay. This of course adds to the $20,000 we previously provided under the Stronger Communities Program. Congratulations to everyone in Apollo Bay for a wonderful campaign. They really do deserve this facility, and it’s just a shame that the local council in Torquay has not embraced the need for a swimming pool, and in that case an aquatic centre, like has occurred in Apollo Bay.

Another very significant grant is $1.5 million for Cottage by the Sea, which does an extraordinary job in looking after some 1,500 disadvantaged children from all around Australia. This is an organisation which has been operating for a very long time—well over 100 years. This is the first time ever they have received government support. This is for a much needed upgrade, and I’m really proud of how we have contributed to this wonderful organisation.

The big grant that we announced was $5 million for a multipurpose indoor stadium for basketball, netball and other sports in Torquay. That’s now fully funded and I’m really proud that we are now ensuring that that project will go ahead. There’s also $360,000 for another soccer field in Torquay and $269,000 for the Geelong touch rugby association for King Lloyd Reserve. They’re really important community infrastructure and sporting infrastructure projects.

I also want to reflect on the wonderful Kids Plus Foundation in Geelong. In a previous round of this fund, the Turnbull government provided nearly $1.5 million and that has enabled Kids Plus, which looks after children with physical disabilities like cerebral palsy, to do an incredible job in the Geelong community. They’re now building a new centre, in partnership with Deakin University, on Deakin University land at the Waurn Ponds campus. That will be absolutely transforming for some 250 children with a disability and their families. The next round of the Building Better Regions Fund will be shortly announced, and I’m looking forward to supporting more projects in the Corangamite electorate.

August 15 2018