Wednesday, 7 September 2022
Statements by Senators
I would like to thank the people of the West Coast of Tasmania, who I regularly visit. We like to call it the 'rugged wilderness' and, my goodness, most of you people in here would not survive over its border, I can assure you—that is where we have drop bears. To the people in Tullah: it was great to see you guys. It is great to see tourism really starting to pop down there again. To the people of Rosebery and the Ochre Medical Centre: you are doing a wonderful job. It is great to hear that you finally have a wonderful new GP down there servicing that area. I know that the people of Rosebery are very grateful, because her husband is a great football player. He is playing for Toorak down there and that is giving the doctor a whole new standing in that community, which is very entertaining in itself.
I also want to thank the people in Queenstown. I can tell you, 12 months ago, 18 months ago, it was frightening. Twelve months ago, 70 per cent of the shops were closed. When I went down there this time, there were two shops closed and they look like they have new lease signs on them. That is fabulous. It is going great guns down there. I can see the new mountain bike track is starting to draw the attention of the tourists. You will have the walking track that should be built over the next couple of years. We understand you also have a housing issue. I ask that the mines get back to the table and talk about those housing issues down there and start seeing what they can do to provide houses for workers and their families. We need those workers and their families there. We do not want to see DIDOs—drive in, drive out. That is what is going to make these communities function in the long run, so it would be lovely to see that.
I do apologise to the people of Strachan. I did not get to see you this time. I also want to thank the mayor and the general manager on the West Coast for the time they give us to fill us in on what is going on on the West Coast. To West Coast people: thank you very much.