House debates

Monday, 15 June 2020

Constituency Statements

Wide Bay Electorate: Government Funding

10:39 am

Photo of Llew O'BrienLlew O'Brien (Wide Bay, National Party) Share this | | Hansard source

As Wide Bay weathers the downturn caused by COVID-19, our communities have shown amazing spirit and strength through the tough times. People have helped those who have needed it and followed the restrictions and kept others safe. They proved why Wide Bay is such a resilient and vibrant place to live. As we all well know, the struggle is not yet over, and we face the longer term economic fallout from the coronavirus. That is why the latest Building Better Regions Fund and veterans grants couldn't have come at a better time for Wide Bay. Each and every project funded through Wide Bay's $1.8 million share of the BBRF program is important to support each of its communities. The $60,000 for the NOOSA alive! 2021 program will help bring back tourists to our beautiful region; $42,000 will help the Noosa disability service Sunshine Butterflies build a new training room; $20,000 will build new amenities at the Cooroy Badminton Club hall; and $140,000 will build a new education and activities centre at Hope Reins in Gympie, which is a wonderful organisation that helps horses and people together. There is also $1.6 million for the Creative Country Association to construct a purpose-built cultural centre in Murgon. This will comprise an art gallery, fossil museum, artwork shop, gift shop and central prehistoric garden. It is a massive step forward in the town's revitalisation. The projects will drive economic growth and create local jobs at a time when they are needed most through new construction, creating opportunities to boost domestic tourism.

The remarkable strength and resilience of Wide Bay communities is not a new development. It has been demonstrated time and time again through the generations, including those who have served in the defence of our country. The courage and bravery of those who have served is acknowledged with pride. I was pleased recently to be able to announce grants under the Veteran and Community Grants program to help ensure that the memories of their sacrifice are sustained for future generations. To this end, Gundiah Memorial Hall will receive $5,778 to install 50 framed photos including the stories of those who have served from the Gundiah area, ensuring that the soldiers' names and faces and will not be forgotten. The Cooroy-Pomona RSL branch will receive $10,000 to upgrade its memorial park to provide a place where the service of Navy, Army, and Air Force personnel can be acknowledged and remembered. I congratulate all the volunteers and groups that received funding.