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Tuesday, 7 February 2012
Page: 121

Mr IRONS (Swan) (22:03): At the beginning of this 2012 parliamentary year I rise to discuss important issues and recent developments in the suburb of Belmont in my electorate of Swan. I heard the previous member talking about opposition leaders, and Belmont happens to be in the state seat of the former opposition leader in Western Australia, Eric Ripper.

In the past I have spoken about the Belmont Medicare office and Belmont HBF office—two important health facilities that we managed to secure through Belmont community campaigns, with the Medicare office opening in 2009 and the HBF office opening in 2010. Today I am pleased to be able to say that following some joint work with the Canning division of GPs we have managed to secure a new after-hours service for Belmont. My involvement in this issue started back in 2010 after I was approached by Rodney Redmond and the Canning Division of General Practice for assistance with the proposed healthcare boundaries. Original federal government plans for the new healthcare boundaries would have seen Belmont split away from the Canning division to become part of a Northern Suburbs administrative division. This decision would have put at risk a project in the pipeline by the Canning division for an after-hours GP service at Belvidere Street, which was close to being launched by the division. I must say that it is a much needed after-hours GP service as well; Belmont happens to have one of the lowest SES rankings in Western Australia. I joined forces with the Canning division to stop this partition of our local health board and fortunately, after a couple of drafts, the department saw our point of view and reconfigured the boundaries. Last time I checked the centre was scheduled to open mid-year. I am sure the new after-hours GP service will be well used and highly valued by the Belmont community. I would like to thank the Canning division and Rodney Redmond for all the great work they have done on this project and for all the work they continue to do right across the Canning division. I also take the opportunity to thank the member for Brand for his input into the process as well.

Secondly, I am pleased to be able to announce that through working with the City of Belmont we have managed to achieve a half a million dollar grant for a special Belmont community program. The program will subsidise the costs of a number of physical activity, healthy eating and healthy lifestyle programs for City of Belmont residents. This was a project I worked particularly closely on with the council CEO, Stuart Cole, and former Mayor Glenys Godfrey. I hosted them in my office last year during a parliamentary sitting week as we made a major effort to advocate for this funding for the Belmont community. Again, I acknowledge the support and assistance given by the previous minister for health, Ms Roxon. We managed to get them in to see Ms Roxon's advisers. We particularly put forward the fact of Belmont's low-SES rating and the fact that it had not had any grants for a long time.

I have made previous speeches in this place on the WellingTONNE Challenge—a healthy living program which we investigated through the Standing Committee on Health and Ageing. I note that the member for Parkes is also a member of the committee. The committee produced a report called Weighing it up: obesity in Australia. Since then it has been one of my goals to get a scheme like this active in Swan. Through this program we have managed to achieve this for the people of Belmont. I hope as many people as possible will take part.

Another recent development in the city of Belmont has been some positive news for residents of Gild Street in Cloverdale, who approached me about a road safety issue they were dealing with. After being contacted last year by Gild Street residents about road safety at the Belmont Avenue and Fulham Street roundabout, I held an onsite community meeting, to which there was a good turnout. Following the meeting I made a submission to the council, and I am pleased to say that there has been some progress. The council has applied for federal black spot funding to fund traffic calming measures at this roundabout. The council has informed me that should funding not be granted it will likely include the project in its 2012-13 municipal works program to ensure the intersection is made safe. Unfortunately, the further action was taken on this because there was a death in the community nearby, which was a road safety issue as well. I would like to thank the Gild Street community for alerting me to this issue and I hope the planned works will improve road safety in the area.

I would also like to mention the fantastic Australia Day event run by the City of Belmont RSL Club this year, which I attended. This was the first time for many years that the City of Belmont has supported this event but I am sure that it will be the first of many as it was such a success and a credit to the club for organising it. I congratulate the winners of awards on the day, including Anne Owens and Brian Robinson, who won City of Belmont RSL Appreciation Awards; Dot Balcombe and Bob Poole, who received certificates of service and past secretary certificates; former Mayor Glenys Godfrey, who received an RSL Certificate of Appreciation; and Mr Peter Passeri, a former mayor of Belmont, who won the inaugural City of Belmont RSL Australian of the Year award for his contribution over 15 years to the Belmont community. (Time expired)