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Monday, 9 December 2013
Page: 2037

Mr PASIN (Barker) (10:39): I rise today to speak on the very positive impacts for my electorate of Barker of the coalition government's community development grants program. The coalition is delivering on its commitment to support regional communities in Barker through this program, which is providing significant support for projects in Renmark, Waikerie and Port Macdonnell. As announced last week, the government will provide $376,280 for the Renmark Town Centre Revitalisation project and $441,272 to the Waikerie Sports Precinct, and up to $726,127 will also be provided for the Port Macdonnell Marine Infrastructure Development.

I applaud the expedient work of the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development for his responsible and diligent management of these project applications. I also sincerely thank the Assistant Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development for the work he has done in expediting this matter. It is also important to record the contribution made to these applications by RDA Murraylands & Riverland Chief Executive Brenton Lewis and RDA Limestone Coast Chief Executive Officer Mike Ryan.

The community development grants program is part of a regional community funding package which is providing up to $342 million towards 300 community projects across Australia. The government's announcement confirmed funding for projects which were left uncontracted under the former Labor government, including regional development grant funds rounds 2, 3 and 4.

The Renmark project, undertaken in conjunction with the Renmark Paringa Council and due for completion at the end of September next year, will upgrade and rejuvenate Renmark's town centre, which is located on the banks of the River Murray. It is part of Renmark's larger Community Integration Vision project to develop the whole of the town.

The Waikerie project, undertaken in conjunction with the District Council of Loxton Waikerie, is due for completion at the end of April next year. It will be the second stage in upgrading Waikerie's community sporting facilities by building new multiple-purpose sports courts, clubrooms, covered spectator seating and a covered playground. The current indoor community sports centre will be extended to include a new entry kiosk and members meeting area.

The Port Macdonnell project, undertaken in conjunction with the District Council of Grant and due for completion by the end of August 2016, will construct a 90-metre concrete wharf as an extension to the existing facility at Port Macdonnell on South Australia's Limestone Coast. The existing boat ramp will also be widened and upgraded to provide four lanes capable of handling heavy tonnage vessels, and two floating concrete pontoons will be incorporated to improve user safety.

I am very proud of these funding announcements and believe they reflect my commitment to work with the local communities and negotiate positive outcomes throughout Barker. Through responsible management of the budget, the coalition has found additional funds for these important uncontracted projects at Renmark, Waikerie and Port Macdonnell, all without Labor's mining tax. I am proud to have gone in to bat for my community on these projects and am personally rapt with the result. It is a tremendous win for my region and further evidence that the Liberal Party understands the needs of regional communities and how to service those needs in a fiscally responsible manner.