Senate debates

Wednesday, 22 August 2018

Questions without Notice

Tasmania: Building Better Regions Fund

2:22 pm

Photo of Steve MartinSteve Martin (Tasmania, Independent) Share this | | Hansard source

My question is to the Minister representing the Minister for Regional Development, Territories and Local Government, Senator Scullion. Can the minister please outline how the coalition government's recently announced round 2 of the Building Better Regions Fund is driving more jobs and a stronger economy in regional Australia?

Photo of Nigel ScullionNigel Scullion (NT, Country Liberal Party, Minister for Indigenous Affairs) Share this | | Hansard source

I thank Senator Martin, the Nationals senator for Tasmania, for this very important question. I can say with great confidence: there is no greater advocate for regional Tasmania than Senator Martin. There is no greater friend to regional Tasmania than the coalition government. The government, on this side of the chamber, is 100 per cent focused on delivering more secure jobs and a stronger economy for those who call regional Australia home.

Opposition Senators:

Opposition senators interjecting

Photo of Scott RyanScott Ryan (President) Share this | | Hansard source

Order! Order on my left. If it's funny then laughter may be appropriate, rather than interjections. Senator Scullion.

Photo of Nigel ScullionNigel Scullion (NT, Country Liberal Party, Minister for Indigenous Affairs) Share this | | Hansard source

From Latrobe to Longford, Smithton to Scottsdale, the government have a national economic plan, and we are focused on getting it done. And, can I say, there is not a day that goes by that Senator Martin isn't fighting and advocating to make life better for all Tasmanians.

Opposition senators interjecting

Photo of Nigel ScullionNigel Scullion (NT, Country Liberal Party, Minister for Indigenous Affairs) Share this | | Hansard source

This government is committed to growing jobs in Tasmania, driving new economic opportunities, keeping Tasmanians safe, keeping Tasmanians' cost-of-living pressure down—

Photo of Scott RyanScott Ryan (President) Share this | | Hansard source

Sorry, order, Senator Scullion. Senator Hinch on a point of order. Would it be about the lack of hearing?

Photo of Derryn HinchDerryn Hinch (Victoria, Derryn Hinch's Justice Party) Share this | | Hansard source

On a point of order: if I can't hear the minister from where I am, I'm sure you can't hear him from where you are.

Photo of Scott RyanScott Ryan (President) Share this | | Hansard source

I was calling senators on my left to order. Please be considerate of your colleagues who can't hear a senator who is very close to them. Senator Scullion.

Photo of Nigel ScullionNigel Scullion (NT, Country Liberal Party, Minister for Indigenous Affairs) Share this | | Hansard source

A key pillar of the coalition's plan is to deliver vital social and economic infrastructure in regional communities across the nation through the successful Building Better Regions Fund. I know members on this side were absolutely delighted when Minister McVeigh recently unveiled the second round of the BBRF projects. I'm very proud that we're investing more than $5 million in seven critical community projects around regional Tasmania. They're going to create more jobs and opportunities and build local economies. These are projects that those opposite would never fund, not in a pink fit. In this round alone, across the nation more than 240 projects will be delivering some 10,000 jobs. That's 10,000 families spending more and investing more in their local community, knowing that they are a fundamental partner in the coalition government's nation-building, jobs-growing agenda.

Photo of Scott RyanScott Ryan (President) Share this | | Hansard source

Senator Martin, a supplementary question.

2:25 pm

Photo of Steve MartinSteve Martin (Tasmania, Independent) Share this | | Hansard source

Could the minister advise the Senate as to how the coalition government's investment through the Building Better Regions Fund is creating local jobs and small business opportunities in my home state of Tasmania?

Photo of Nigel ScullionNigel Scullion (NT, Country Liberal Party, Minister for Indigenous Affairs) Share this | | Hansard source

Indeed I can. Like I indicated in my earlier answer, this government is delivering critical, job-creating social and economic infrastructure projects across regional Tasmania and right across regional Australia, which, again as I indicated, those opposite will never understand. In fact, even if those opposite cared about our regions, which they don't, they simply couldn't afford to fund these types of nation-building projects.

In Tasmania we'll invest $2.5 million in Ulverstone to construct their museum and gallery complex, the science centre and planetarium. This project will absolutely transform the town to be a boon to the entire Central Coast region. This will provide volunteering and more learning opportunities, particularly in STEM, and create opportunities to foster local Indigenous art and culture. This government will always invest in the peoples and communities of Australia, unlike those opposite, who want to tax the nation into oblivion.

Photo of Scott RyanScott Ryan (President) Share this | | Hansard source

Order, Senator Scullion. Senator Martin, a final supplementary question.

2:26 pm

Photo of Steve MartinSteve Martin (Tasmania, Independent) Share this | | Hansard source

I thank the minister for his answers. Could the minister advise the Senate how round 2 of the Building Better Regions Fund is supporting the coalition government's commitment to delivering jobs and a stronger economy for all those who live, work and invest in regional Tasmania?

2:27 pm

Photo of Nigel ScullionNigel Scullion (NT, Country Liberal Party, Minister for Indigenous Affairs) Share this | | Hansard source

I thank the Senator for the question. BBRF round 2 is delivering in spades not just for Ulverstone on the Central Coast but for rural communities around the great state of Tasmania. These projects are delivering jobs and growth, and making them even better places to live, to work and to invest.

In Huonville we're investing $847,500 to develop the Huon Valley Integrated Health Hub. There's $1.3 million for the Northbourne Park Retirement Village stage 2. In Murdunna we're constructing a 90-metre-deep jetty with floating pontoon mooring for berthing of deep draught vessels. These are the types of strategic and targeted investments a government can make when it has its priorities right and when it actually runs an economy that can afford them. These are projects and communities that, sadly, those opposite and their completely hopeless colleagues in the other place—the members for Braddon, Lyons, Franklin and Bass—have never cared about and probably never will.