Thursday, 27 February 2020
Appropriation Bill (No. 3) 2019-2020, Appropriation Bill (No. 4) 2019-2020; Second Reading
I'm here to talk about my community—and I hope I get a full 15 minutes before those opposite decide to shut down debate again and waste more of Australian taxpayers' money. I talk about the community spirit in Lindsay, and for good reason. We in this place are here to represent our communities, and work hard to deliver the best possible opportunities. We want to ensure that people can live, work and stay in Lindsay. That's why we are creating local jobs for local people. We don't want people to have to leave our community for jobs or education opportunities. We want the best of the best, right in my community of Lindsay. A big part of that is making sure that people can get around faster and more safely—whether it's getting to work, getting the kids to school or doing the commute home. I am very passionate about ensuring that people don't have to do that long commute to and from work, like I did for 10 years, for a good job. Part of this is around ensuring that we ease congestion on our local roads, because it's such a problem for many local people. Accessing car parks to catch a train or bus and commute to work each day is an issue many people face, and that's why the Morrison government is investing in more commuter car parking at Kingswood Station, north St Marys Station and Emu Plains Station. I'll be working very closely with my colleagues in the New South Wales government to deliver this much-needed infrastructure for our community.
Our biggest investment is the $5.3 billion to fully fund the construction of the Western Sydney International (Nancy-Bird Walton) Airport and the $3.5 billion for stage 1 of the North South Rail Link, which runs in my electorate of Lindsay from St Marys to the airport and the Badgerys Creek Aerotropolis. During construction of the Western Sydney airport, over 11,300 jobs will be created, and within five years of opening 28,000 full-time jobs will be created. The great part of this is that we already have 50 per cent of employment going to local people, and this includes jobs in construction, transport, logistics, rail, hospitality and professional services. Excitingly, there's a creation of whole new industries around STEM—science, technology, engineering and maths—and even a space industry right in Western Sydney. The Sydney Science Park, a $5 billion integrated science, research and residential facility just north of the airport, has recently started construction and is another example of the airport's ability to create great local jobs and deliver and drive our economy in Western Sydney.
Another area I'm very passionate about is the health and wellbeing of people in the electorate of Lindsay. I talk about the Nepean River often because it really is the heart of the city, and even the Prime Minister has enjoyed the Nepean River, rowing there as a young child. The river is an essential part of our community, and it's important that we look after it for future generations. That's why I was proud to announce funding to keep the Nepean River healthy and to assist with removing weeds to ensure that we can all enjoy the Nepean River. It's something that's used by thousands of families weekly, and it's also where our Australian Rowing Team trains to prepare for the Olympic Games. Local organisations, such as Muru Mittigar and the Penrith and Hawkesbury river councils, will be assisting with the important work that's about to take place on the Nepean River so we can continue to enjoy it into the future.
I'm also committed to ensuring that we are driving our local economy and creating local jobs, delivering congestion-busting infrastructure, and delivering programs to ensure that our local people can reengage with the workforce and access the training and personal development they need for education and employment opportunities. It means employment opportunities for all members of our community. In saying this, I would like to acknowledge that Lindsay is home to nearly 6,000 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and it is important that we encourage our younger generation to access the best education and employment opportunities. That's why we secured funding for the Western Sydney Indigenous jobseekers program. This funding, which goes to Muru Mittigar, will connect local Indigenous students with job providers, and there's a guaranteed 154 job placements. I've often said that our community spirit in Lindsay is overflowing, and, by delivering the funding and infrastructure our local organisations need, we are making sure that our community spirit will continue to thrive. In saying this, the community hall upgrades are an important part of our local community, because this is where many of our community organisations go to deliver important services across the electorate of Lindsay. We've got four of those upgrades happening because of the Morrison government's investment in the community.
Another integral organisation is the Luke Priddis Foundation. This foundation supports children with autism and their families. Earlier this year we announced funding for the Luke Priddis Foundation digital hub to turn the foundation's offices into a hub to assist young people with ASD. We're also delivering funding for Panthers on the Prowl. This funding will be delivered over two years to fund the full suite of prowl programs. The school program will have a significant impact on children and already has helped 250 kids across the community. It is aimed at building self-esteem and social skills, and resilience and leadership, to help improve student engagement and motivation, particularly in children at risk of dropping out of school.
Another fantastic program in our community is the Saint Mary's school lunch program. We've secured funding for the ongoing delivery of this program. I went out and visited Christ Mission Possible. They pack lunches for hundreds of kids each day before they go to school. In talking about the importance of ensuring that children have healthy food before going to school, one of the election commitments I made that I'm so proud of was for the Cranebrook Breakfast Club, that we work together to deliver a new 12-seater van. This breakfast club not only ensures that kids have something good to eat before going to school; it has helped to increase the attendance rates of kids at school—