House debates

Thursday, 25 October 2018

Constituency Statements

Mallee Electorate: Regional Growth Fund

10:09 am

Photo of Andrew BroadAndrew Broad (Mallee, National Party, Assistant Minister to the Deputy Prime Minister) Share this | | Hansard source

One of the things I always said when I was running as a candidate for the electorate of Mallee was I would look after the people in our country towns. We're very pleased to be announcing that we've got $16.8 million in the latest round of the Regional Growth Fund. Whilst last round we got $10 million for an indoor sports facility in Mildura, the country towns that also matter are the towns of Swan Hill, Robinvale, Koondrook, Charlton, Donald, Bridgewater, Boort, Wedderburn and Pyramid Hill. This money will transform the township of Swan Hill. Swan Hill has the river and the town. This will open up access so that people will very much have the river as a connection to their town. They'll be able to walk straight from their central business district to the beautiful parks that are going to be opened up to the town of Swan Hill.

There will also be waterfront beautification in Robinvale, a wonderful part of the world with pop-up cafes and restaurants. In Koondrook, there will be waterfront upgrades, so lots of things along the Murray River. In Charlton, we're going to put the weir boards back so there will be water in the main street of Charlton, a beautiful part of the world. And in Donald, there'll be walking paths and barbecue areas and upgrades to the Donald River precinct. In Bridgewater On Lodden, we'll upgrade the river foreshore. It's personally satisfying. I have only become the federal member for Bridgewater in the last redistribution but that's where I went to primary school and to actually get something for my own home town straight away is very good.

Photo of Andrew BroadAndrew Broad (Mallee, National Party, Assistant Minister to the Deputy Prime Minister) Share this | | Hansard source

I've got my parents as constituents—that's a concern! We will upgrade the caravan parks in Boort, in Wedderburn and in Pyramid Hill.

These country towns are full of country people who work very, very hard. People are often astounded when they realise that my part of the world contributes a bit over $9 billion to the Australian economy out of 112,000 voters, 150,000 people so our contribution is really substantial. I've always said that you should be able to drive on a decent road, you should be able to make a mobile phone call, you should have decent education opportunities for your children and you should know that, if you're unwell, there will be a doctor. These are things that people in the cities often don't have to think about because they're there, but these are challenges for people who live in my part of the world. To actually get some funding to make our towns a better place to live, to enjoy, to spend time with your family is very satisfying.

The Regional Growth Fund, $16.8 million, will be matched with another $16.8 million from those councils. This is about delivering for the people who I seek to serve as their federal member.