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Thursday, 7 July 2011
Page: 8118

Mr LYONS (Bass) (12:45): It was my pleasure recently to visit sites in the Dorset municipality representing the Minister for Regional Australia, Regional Development and Local Government, Mr Crean, to celebrate the official opening of five projects funded under round 2 of the Australian government's Regional and Local Community Infrastructure Program. Firstly, I visited the construction sites of a recreational walking track; secondly, the site of an upgrade of fire cabinets in the Bridport area, at Bridport Caravan Park. Work on the trail includes preparation of the site, new paving, signage and bridges as stage 1 of a larger project. I also visited Bridport Caravan Park to look at a project involving the installation of stainless steel fire cabinets to upgrade the safety of that caravan park. Bridport is a well-known holiday destination. It has a local population of about 1,350, which almost triples over the summer months. With this kind of increase in population at peak times there is a need for quality recreational facilities such as the walking track to ensure the safety of visitors to the region.

The third project site I visited was the Derby gaol, to see work on its restoration and preparation of its move to the Derby Tin Mine Centre. This will ensure that Derby's roots are preserved for many generations to come. Derby has a long and proud history of mining dating back to 1876. A group of volunteers played an important part in the restoration of the gaol. These volunteers worked tirelessly to restore it to its former glory—if a gaol can have a former glory—so that the current generation and generations to come can appreciate this important part of Derby's history.

Funding has also been provided through the program for the construction of the Gladstone memorial wall, which has allowed members of the Gladstone community to have a place to go and remember their loved ones. This is at an important project that was requested by members of the community. This program has also funded a project to upgrade of the facilities at the Springfield hall, which will improve the building's safety and ensure the longevity of this iconic building. The upgrades will also enhance the look of the building and prevent deterioration. All these projects are a great example of the local government identifying community needs and working towards solutions that will have a wide-ranging benefit for the community.

At the core of the Regional and Local Community Infrastructure Program is the whole-of-government approach to regional development which works with local governments to find local solutions to local challenges. The Australian government has provided $80,107 through the Regional and Local Community Infrastructure Program. This program is building significant local infrastructure such as the projects I have mentioned across Australia, supporting thousands of jobs along the way. The Australian government is acting decisively and working with local communities to support jobs and improve local infrastructure into the future. The five projects I have spoken about are great examples of local governments identifying community need and working towards solutions that will have wide-ranging benefits for their communities.

The north-east region of Tasmania is a very tight-knit community. Its people have again demonstrated this by working together to achieve these five impressive projects, for which the Australian government is pleased to have provided the money. I congratulate everyone involved in these projects. It was great to visit this wonderful part of my electorate, the wonderful north-east of Tasmania, where they have created magnificent facilities which people will be encouraged to use. This has only come about with support from the Dorset council and the Australian Labor government. I would also like to congratulate the North Eastern Advertiser. The north-east of Tasmania has had an economic downturn. But the North Eastern Advertiser, which is locally owned, has been a magnificent coverer of these great projects and many others. It has tried to maintain a positive image for the local community. I congratulate the North Eastern Advertiser for its involvement.