New South West projects

I’m very pleased to talk about the projects that I’ve been working to deliver in my electorate of the South West. As you know only too well, Mr Speaker, the Turnbull government is creating a stronger economy, ensuring that we can guarantee the essential services Australians rely on, provide income tax relief and bring the budget back into balance. We can see this working when we look at the one million jobs that have been created by business since the Turnbull government was elected nearly five years ago. The record is growing, with over 50,000 jobs created in June. It adds to the total of 339,000 jobs that have been created in the past 12 months. This is business doing what business does best. Over 95,000 of those jobs went to young Australians—the strongest growth in jobs for young Australians in about 30 years.

The stronger economy also gives the government the capacity to support some really good local projects. Recently I announced several new projects in the south-west which will create new local jobs, and economic and social growth. I secured $1.5 million towards a new depot and first aid training centre for St John Ambulance in Busselton. This is so important to the volunteers who provide countless hours of service to the local community. They are a critical part of our emergency services.

I also secured funding for the Busselton-Margaret River Airport and the Busselton Foreshore Redevelopment. The Busselton-Margaret River Airport upgrade is another forward step towards securing its redevelopment with over $1.4 million in federal funding for the airfreight hub. The project will enable airfreight services to actually start from the airport, opening opportunities for the region’s food and ag and broader sectors. It also provides some greater confidence to the region, which has been in limbo following the state Labor government’s decision to fund the final stages of the airport upgrade. This decision has impacted the region’s economy and put jobs, businesses and investment at risk. The announcement for funding for the airport by the federal government is in addition to the original $9 million for the airport upgrade—the actual airstrip itself.

Also in Busselton there’s a new marine discovery centre to be established at the end of the iconic Busselton Jetty. This will include a multipurpose area and swimming area. The Busselton Jetty is the second most visited tourist attraction in Western Australia, and the new centre will provide the next experience for the tourists who come to our part of the world.
The town of Harvey will also receive a new multipurpose facility, with over $600,000 of federal funding going towards upgrading the community and sports centre. That will include a social room, kitchen, and change rooms. The local people have worked hard for this for several years. The Augusta Cultural and Heritage Winter Festival will be able to conduct historical site tours and cultural talks in collaboration with local Indigenous leaders as a result of federal support.

These projects might seem simple to some people but these are the sorts of job-creating, local economic and social projects that really make a difference, particularly in rural and regional areas like my area of the south-west of Western Australia. Members on this side understand how to foster economic growth, nurture growth and create jobs. The government’s sound economic management is exactly what is ensuring, as I said, essential services, and it will allow over 62,000 constituents in my electorate of Forrest to receive the tax relief they experienced from 1 July. It is the sound economic management of the government that allows us to continue to keep Australians safe, something that none of us take for granted or should. It is perhaps the primary responsibility for any government.

Other local projects, like the Withers Fibre Link Connection—CCTV cameras in Bunbury and Nannup—are all local projects which are really necessary. At a local level they help to keep people safe in the south-west. We do it at a national level and we do it locally as well. Keeping Australians safe is something that we are continuing to commit to.