Monday, 11 September 2023
Local Roads and Community Infrastructure Program
The Local Roads and Community Infrastructure Program was established by the Liberal-National coalition government to provide federal financial support to Australian councils to deliver priority local road and community infrastructure projects. Since 2020 the program has committed $3.25 billion over four phases. The program operates in partnership with local, state and territory governments to deliver services and build facilities which provide long-term benefits and support jobs in local communities.
Every local government, in all 151 electorates across Australia, is able to nominate worthy projects for program funding. As an example, I recently attended the opening of the renovated North Beach Soccer Club rooms, which was made possible by $950,000 of funding under this key program. In Moore, the cities of Joondalup and Stirling received $11.75 million and $12.49 million respectively in funding over the four phases, supporting the development of many essential projects for the benefit of our community.
The LRCI Program is the most appropriate source of federal funds to support two priority projects in my electorate, namely the redevelopment of facilities at Heathridge Park and the North Shore Community Hub. However, there are concerns that the program is under threat by the Albanese government's cost-cutting measures. I urge the government to continue this program to ensure that federal funding support continues for important local projects.
The redevelopment of the Heathridge Park precinct in my electorate is a priority project requiring significant funding from all three levels of government. The popular venue is used by over 1,300 local residents for sporting and community purposes. A number of local clubs utilise the aging clubroom facilities, including the Ocean Ridge junior and amateur football clubs, the Ocean Ridge junior and senior cricket clubs, the Ocean Ridge Tennis Club and the local RSL. The current clubhouse buildings are more than 30 years old and inadequate to meet the needs of our growing population. Larger and more modern change rooms, toilets, clubroom and kitchen facilities are required to meet the needs of a growing number of junior and female participants in sports such as women's AFL.
The City of Joondalup initiated a needs analysis and feasibility study, confirming the inadequacies of the aging infrastructure as it reaches the end of its asset life. In May, sporting and community groups were left stranded without a venue after heavy rain damaged ceiling tiles at Heathridge Park, forcing its closure for repairs. The city is developing concept design plans and cost estimates for the redevelopment, to be followed by community consultation. The WA state government has committed funding of $2.5 million towards the project, and I call upon the Albanese government to continue the Local Roads and Community Infrastructure Program to provide federal funding support for this project.
Another important local project in my electorate is the redevelopment of the North Shore Community Hub. The Northshore residential estate in Kallaroo was developed over 40 years ago. At the heart of the suburb is a small community facility built around a clubhouse, including tennis courts and catering for a thriving local community. The facility has long since outgrown its capacity, and the local residents association has prepared a proposal to extend and redevelop the aging facilities. Extensive research has been undertaken to ascertain community needs, culminating in a strategic plan for the next five years, including indicative building plans for the redevelopment of the existing facility. I have been working with the committee members, including Phil Vinciullo, Larry Hirsch, John Ingrams and James Wild, to secure funding for the project. A petition has collected over 1,000 signatures, demonstrating strong local support. A redeveloped North Shore Community Hub will be a valued facility, run by the community for the community. The Local Roads and Community Infrastructure Program is the most appropriate mechanism for providing federal funding contributions towards these local projects. I call upon the Albanese government to continue funding this vital program.