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Wednesday, 2 November 2011
Page: 12581

Ms COLLINS (FranklinParliamentary Secretary for Community Services) (09:40): I want to talk about a visit I made a week or so ago to a small town in my electorate south of Hobart: the town of Geeveston. Geeveston is a small community that has really been struggling with the transition of the forest industry that is occurring. They have had the loss of a lot of forest jobs down there. It was interesting to go down there and talk to the local community about a few projects that the federal government is funding.

One of the places I visited was the Geeveston Child and Family Centre. The government announced around 18 months to two years ago that we would be providing almost $3 million to build a child and family centre in the Geeveston community. I had the pleasure of meeting with the community enabling committee while I was down there to talk to them about how things were going for the child and family centre. It was wonderful to hear the positive news about some of the services that they have up and running already, even though they do not yet have a building for their child and family centre. They have had some issues with trying to get their buildings—a couple of forestry buildings which they are now revamping—but work is expected to be underway soon.

But they are already providing some of the services, and it was great to hear also from some of the recipients of some of these programs just what a difference they are making. They have some parenting programs happening already. They have some baby massage programs happening. They also have a dads' day out program that is already happening. It was really good to hear of the difference that these community programs have been making in a community that has really been struggling. We are expecting the refurbishment of the old forestry buildings for the child and family centre to be completed by 2012, and I look forward to going back down to that local community to see that work.

I also dropped in to the Geeveston Medical Centre. The government has just announced $165,000 for an extension to the Geeveston Medical Centre. I have been down there a few times before, and in fact in 2009 we provided the Geeveston Medical Centre with much-needed medical equipment for the local area. I have talked about it here in this place before.

It is great news that that medical centre is going so well, in what would be considered a regional remote community, that they are now expanding it for allied health services, and that we have been able to facilitate that with this additional funding. I talked to the local GP down there, who had moved there because of the refurbishments that we had made in the first place, to find that they are now getting more services into that town and that regional community.

What was really so positive about the day was to hear from the local community that despite some of the issues they have been dealing with in recent years and months, particularly in recent months, there is still some really good news happening down there in the local community. I was really proud to be part of a government that is investing in that local community, that has invested in it in the past and that will continue to invest in the Huon Valley in southern Tasmania.