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Wednesday, 28 February 2018
Page: 2350

Dr McVEIGH (GroomMinister for Regional Development, Territories and Local Government) (10:03): Today I provide an update on significant developments and continued advancement in the electorate of Groom. As the Minister for Regional Development, Territories and Local Government, I'm certainly focused on driving growth and opportunity right across our great nation. Regional Australia has so much to offer the rest of Australia if given the right tools and opportunities. Enabling infrastructure is the focus of the coalition government, and this year it has been well and truly delivered in my home electorate of Groom. We're putting in place the building blocks to ensure the Darling Downs continue to grow, diversify and prosper into the future.

In Groom in the last 12 months we've secured a new LifeFlight base, for example. This project is being jointly funded under the Building Better Regions Fund, with the government contributing $2.05 million and local businessman and philanthropist Mr Clive Berghofer providing $1.87 million to the same project. Road funding for the Groom electorate was in excess of $366 million in 2017-18, with upgrades on the Warrego Highway, continued building of the Toowoomba second range crossing and various other local road projects across the Darling Downs.

Preschoolers in the beautiful township of Oakey will be amongst the first in Australia to be introduced to science, technology, engineering and maths subjects in the Turnbull government's early-learning pilot project. I got to see the excitement of these children and their teachers when I visited their class over the break.

Natural disaster resilience is being boosted as $2.7 million is put towards earthworks to protect the Toowoomba Enterprise Hub to the west of our city against flooding and a $300,000 floodplain risk management plan is being developed for Jondaryan, Maclagan and Quinalow townships. Men's Sheds have received funding to promote and support men's health and wellbeing, including in Oakey, Highfields and Pittsworth. And the federal government Stronger Communities Program has delivered over $140,000 to 12 projects in Groom under the third round of that program.

The Prime Minister held a politics-in-the-pub-style event in the Groom electorate just over 12 months ago, and we captured a question from Maternity Consumer Network's Alecia Staines whilst she was there. It's been tremendous over the last 12 months to work with her and the network to achieve significant advancements in maternity healthcare planning with Minister Greg Hunt. Finally, the Prime Minister delivered his headland speech for 2018 from Toowoomba last month, such is the focus for our significant regional area.