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Wednesday, 21 October 2015
Page: 12132

Mr SIMPKINS (Cowan) (10:04): The suburb of Ballajura on the east side of Cowan is the most populated suburb in the electorate. There are five primary schools: Ballajura Primary School, Illawarra Primary School, South Ballajura Primary School, South Ballajura Education Support Centre and Mary MacKillop Catholic Community Primary School. It also has one of the bigger secondary schools in the electorate—Ballajura Community College. There are three small shopping centres and many sporting clubs. There are even four polling booths, which I think are too many but which do suggest the scale of the suburb.

I have certainly enjoyed my work in Ballajura, and there has been significant federal activity there. When I was running for office in 2007 I did a petition that got the Hepburn Avenue extension in Ballajura recognised, and it was federally funded. The Dungeon Youth Centre has had a federal grant. Local community groups have had small equipment grants, volunteer grants and a range of other funds provided. The Alexander Drive and Illawarra Crescent North intersection black spot was funded for traffic lights. An extension of the CCTV system at Kingfisher was also funded by this government. I am also currently working with several of the local sporting clubs to get them federal funding for their great and effective work in the Ballajura community.

That brings me to another long-term project that I hope will come to fruition in the next two years—that is, the aged-care complex in Paradise Quay. This is much wanted and long awaited by the Ballajura community. There is no doubt, however, that the driving force behind this project is Mel Congerton. He is the one with the drawn-up plans and he was there for our meeting with the state minister to talk about the impact on the project of the state owned facilities in the area. Others may claim it and seek the photo opportunities, but it was always him who worked on the detail. Together with the City of Swan's CEO, Mike Foley, and his entire team, they have been the ones responsible for getting this project going and for driving it forward.

Unfortunately, last Saturday Mel Congerton was unsuccessful in his bid for re-election in the Ballajura Ward election for the City of Swan. All three of the councillors are Labor Party members, as I understand—not that there is anything wrong with that—but there can be no false pretence of political independence. I certainly pay tribute to Mel for his hard work and dedication to the people of Ballajura and his work to get so much done around the suburb. I know that he will continue to work on the aged-care project, and I look forward to being there to celebrate its conclusion with Mel.

Apart from the aged-care and independent living facilities on Paradise Quay, I would also like to talk about the final dualling of Hepburn Avenue. I see this as a conclusion of the work I have been doing for years, from when I got the Hepburn Avenue extension on the federal agenda. With this road finally being made a full dual carriageway, the last of the choke points from the Bellefin intersection up to Marangaroo Drive and then onto Alexandra Drive will be fixed. This is particularly important when we consider that NorthLink, the project also known as the Swan Valley Bypass, funded by this government, will work far better with a smoother and more effective Hepburn Avenue, and that is good for all the people of Ballajura.