Wednesday, 20 February 2019
On this quiet Wednesday evening I want to take the opportunity to reflect. I'm only on borrowed time now, Mr Speaker, before I finish with my term as the member for Mallee. No-one chooses to go out in disgrace, and, as I look back over the time, I note that there are some great things that we have achieved for some really decent people across the Wimmera and Mallee, and I want to reflect on those. When I came into Mildura as a federal member of parliament, it was a town that needed significant investment. We put some surety back into the irrigation scheme with the Sunraysia Modernisation Project phases 1 and 2—$106 million. We invested $10 million to upgrade the airport so that people could come into the town. We also upgraded the railway line with $240 million, and we put in 11 NBN towers around Mildura.
We also did something for the homeless and the people who support those going through difficult times, with $2.4 million for MASP, the Mallee Accommodation and Support Program. There was $20 million to upgrade the Calder Highway with some overtaking lanes. I am very pleased to see a contribution of federal money to see Mildura getting a radiation treatment bunker. We also stood by the people of Horsham with cancer issues. We secured $1 million, the community raised $1 million and then the state government subsequently chipped in some money to deliver cancer services in Horsham. There was $900,000 for the Horsham North Children's Hub. There are mobile phone towers all across the area. You can now make a mobile call area nearly anywhere in the electorate of Mallee.
We fought pretty hard for the Wartook Valley after it was burnt out and Sheep Hills. There was $10 million for the Grampian Peak Trail; $800,000 to do up Stawell's streetscape; $800,000 for Charlton Park and their sports facility, which is now under construction; and $450,000 for Donald and their sports facility. The Silo Arts Trail got $200,000 from the federal government. I remember having a discussion when the minister said, 'What; you want to paint silos? How is that going to be regional development?' It's been a real success.
We stood by the Korean refugees in Nhill and got some money to get the Paw Po store open. There was some money to upgrade facilities at Lake Charlegrark and lakes around Wooroonook and others lakes. There was $670,000 to build a recreational lake at Ouyen. There was funding for Edenhope for their town hall and for Harrow for their sports facility. There was also $16.8 million to upgrade the riverfront in Swan Hill, which is going to take place, and about $800,000 for their saleyards. We've stood by Robinvale and got some money for those communities and the sister city of Villers-Bretonneux, to make them very proud of the heritage.
I'm particularly proud that we worked with children with type 1 diabetes. The advocacy was started in the Mallee, and now every child in Australia with type 1 diabetes gets a continuous glucose monitor subsidised by the federal government. Australia-wide intervention orders came out of our office, so that you can be on either side of the Murray River and be protected from someone who's a perpetrator of family violence. Safe Haven Enterprise visas—a compassionate approach to deal with people who've lived and worked in regional areas and give them a pathway to eventually settle in Australia—was something that also came out of our office.
Unfortunately, I won't be here to see some of the further projects that need to be done, but I want to put them on the record because they are good projects. We should fund $12 million for the Mitiamo Water Pipeline Project. It beggars belief that it hasn’t been funded already. We should put 30 full-time jobs from the Murray-Darling Basin Authority actually where the Murray and the Darling are located, which would be Wentworth and Mildura. There is $8.9 million required to upgrade the Wimmera Intermodal Freight Terminal. It's time that there is a $50 million commitment towards a new hospital in Swan Hill—it's the oldest hospital in Victoria and it's falling down—and $20 million commitment towards building a bridge in Swan Hill. A commitment of $10 million is required to build the AFL outdoor ovals. I'm pleased that AFL Australia want to run a pre-season game there and outline our opposition to family violence—that champion footballers don't hit women—and role model that for our kids. There's $5 million required for Mildura riverfront upgrade stage 2, and $5 million for the Wimmera riverfront. A lot's been done, but there's more to be done, and the people deserve it.
House adjourned at 20:00