House debates

Thursday, 29 October 2020

Constituency Statements

Prime Minister's Prize for Science, Higgins Electorate: Rosstown Rail Trail, Higgins Electorate: Yarra Bike Trail

10:27 am

Photo of Katie AllenKatie Allen (Higgins, Liberal Party) Share this | | Hansard source

This year's Prime Minister's Prize for Science was won by a team, including Professor Susan Scott from the Australian Research Council's Centre of Excellence for Gravitational Wave Discovery. This team was instrumental in the world-first detection of gravitational waves in 2015 that had been theoretically predicted by Albert Einstein almost 100 years ago. The team was involved in a number of ways, from designing systems to ensuring the stability of high-powered laser beams to developing mathematical models used to identify the source of the first signal detected. As the minister for science, Karen Andrews, said at the awards this morning:

This year has really reminded us all just how crucial science is to our lives. In the midst of devastating bushfires and the COVID-19 pandemic, we have turned to our scientists to help shine a light on the unknown and map a path for the future.

We need science to help us in amazing discoveries like this, but also in our everyday life, to help us understand problems around us so that we can develop evidence based solutions.

In my electorate of Higgins, a survey conducted by the Glen Eira City Council found that 96 per cent of residents feel safe or very safe walking alone in the municipality during the daytime, but only 64 per cent of residents reported they felt safe alone after dark. In response to this feedback, I was able to help the council secure a federal grant to invest in new lighting along the popular Rosstown Rail Trail at Rosanna Street Reserve in Carnegie to help provide safety after dark. Walking, as one of the few permitted activities, has been enthusiastically supported through our recent COVID lockdown, and this upgrade has resulted in an extension of the hours people feel safe to use this community facility. I'm particularly proud of the use of solar and LED lights to promote environmental sustainability in our community.

Like many constituents in Higgins, I'm an avid cyclist and love getting out and about in my community and on weekends with my family. I'm delighted the Morrison government has committed $400,000 for a significant upgrade by Stonnington council to the iconic Yarra bike trail in Melbourne, delivering on one of our 2019 election commitments to Higgins. Research tells us how important it is to keep healthy, safe and active. I look forward to seeing this project come to fruition and enjoying a safer bike path for families and locals alike. The Yarra bike trail is iconic for Melbourne and iconic for Higgins. I look forward to science continuing to help keep us healthy, safe and prosperous, now and into the future.