Thursday, 3 March 2016
Swan Electorate: National Stronger Regions Fund
For something a bit different from the constant negativity coming from that side of the House I am going to speak about something positive from this side of the House. I rise to inform the House about the positive impact the federal government's National Stronger Regions Fund is having in my electorate of Swan.
The program makes available $1 billion over five years for capital projects involving the construction of new infrastructure or the upgrade or extension of existing facilities. There is a strong weighting in this program towards projects that create economic growth, particularly in regions of disadvantage. In my electorate it has made the local council, not-for-profits and other groups and organisations focus on potential projects within the electorate, which they were not able to under the previous government.
Already in the electorate of Swan we have the Belmont Business Park project underway, which was funded in round 1, with a Commonwealth contribution of approximately $6 million. This will be a fantastic economic boost for the area. Now there is another opportunity with a new round of the program. The local governments in my electorate have embraced the program and have developed some visionary plans for the new round to generate economic growth and address disadvantage. These applications are being finalised over the next couple of weeks and I have been working with local governments over the past months to provide any help that I can.
The City of Canning has a fantastic proposal, the Canning city centre proposal, which will establish a main street in the Cannington area and build economic activity around it. Canning is a large local government area but does not really have an established economic centre of activity other than the Westfield shopping mall at Cannington. This plan will establish a new main street next to the Westfield shopping centre as part of an overall structure which also incorporates the new Cannington greyhound stadium and the train station. This application could not have better economic credentials, and I think it will be a strong contender in this round.
The City of South Perth also has a strong economic activity based application, centred on Mends Street in South Perth. Improving economic activity in Mends Street is something I have been working on for quite some time, as businesses there have been focused on improving the vibrancy of their local community. Some time back we held a meeting of retailers in the South Shore Piazza and they raised their concerns, including about amenities and parking. The City of South Perth proposal for the Connect South Perth and South Perth Foreshore plans seeks to address this by creating a gateway for the Mends Street precinct with an active piazza and promenade and an arrival place with day/night activities. The proposal certainly has regional significance given the proximity of the zoo and connection to the new Elizabeth Quay.
The City of Belmont has a fantastic proposal for a Belmont community centre, which will address disadvantage in the region. The centre will combine a number of current facilities that are falling apart or past their use-by date in one place, in a cost-effective way, in a new facility. It will also incorporate space for not-for-profit organisations to operate from. The City of Belmont is the second lowest SES region in Perth, so this is certainly a welcome and much-needed facility for my constituents. It is actually essential if services are to continue to be provided into the future. Unfortunately, the local Labor MLA has not supported this project.
I want to commend the City of Canning, the City of South Perth and the City of Belmont for seeking feedback on their applications since the second round. They all listened, took on board the feedback and have considerably strengthened their applications, and I think they will all be competitive in what is sure to be a very competitive round 3.
Finally, the Town of Victoria Park has partnered with the Perth Football Club to apply for funding to replace the ageing grandstand at Lathlain Park, which was built in 1958. If successful, this will activate the economic benefits of the Lathlain precinct redevelopment, which I have been very closely involved with. It will potentially bring thousands of people to the development each week and also provide administrative facilities to develop a regional sporting economy centred on the world-class facilities at Lathlain Park, which will complement the fantastic new stadium on the Burswood Peninsula in my electorate, which is being built by the WA state Liberal government.
I provided letters of support for all the applications in my electorate and have been happy to be involved in helping the local governments develop their proposals. I encourage other stakeholders and the community to provide letters of support as well. I congratulate the local governments in my electorate on their visionary plans and the federal coalition government for this visionary program.