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Monday, 25 June 2018
Page: 6238


Mr DANBY (Melbourne Ports) (19:50): I notice that the Australia Institute reports that my electorate is the fifth-ranking electorate to benefit from the government's proposed 2018 tax cuts. I suppose that ranks Melbourne Ports as one of the high-income seats in Australia. It's no surprise to me that it's the fifth-ranking electorate by per-capita income according to the Australia Institute.

In 20 years of standing up for Melbourne Ports, I've made sure, when we were in government and when we were out of government, that I was a fierce representative and remain a fierce representative for that seat. Many people complained about Building the Education Revolution in other electorates; they didn't in mine. I was there when the programs were set up, halfway through to supervise them and right at the end when we delivered them to 32 schools in the electorate. It's a great pleasure to go through the Catholic school system, the Jewish school system and the government school system, including two high schools, Elwood College and Glen Eira College, which have absolutely boomed because of some of the infrastructure that we put in in those days.

Also when Labor were in power, Melbourne Ports was very unusual in that we secured two childcare centres. Every other electorate only got one tranche of funding. We got two, one in Port Melbourne and one in St Kilda, both of which are an adornment to the work of the previous Labor government.

I was also pleased to work with a colleague of the member for Dawson, Mr Larry Anthony, when he was minister, to secure the existence of Centrelink in South Melbourne so that the 11,000 social security holders who live in that area were able to continue to access—particularly, close to the housing commission—the important facilities and assistance that Centrelink provides.

We also got, during the Labor period, $2.3 million for the Salvation Army crisis centre and opened a St Kilda Community Housing project which enabled 34 units of special emergency shelter for homeless people to be erected.

Perhaps three of the things that I'm proudest of and that lead into future projects that I'm going to be pushing in Melbourne Ports are in the area of the arts and in the area of veterans' affairs. First, in veterans' affairs, there was a curious situation where, at the Melbourne General Cemetery, there was a memorial to the Jewish servicemen who fell in World War I and World War II. One of the 'stronger Australia' grants that we had for the centenary enabled us to re-establish that important memorial in Ripponlea, right near the Ripponlea shopping centre. The federal government support was leveraged into two very important philanthropic organisations who also took up supporting the relocation of that important memorial.

Two things that I remember the most and I'm going to continue to be pushing include the Australian National Academy of Music. Once, during our period of government, the previous arts minister didn't see the wisdom of continuing Paul Keating's great Melbourne equivalent of the Juilliard School of music there in South Melbourne, at the South Melbourne town hall. I think the former minister got a real surprise when people stood up in the Labor Party caucus and really got stuck in. Anyhow, the Australian National Academy of Music is strongly preserved.

During this government, we had to confront the current Minister for Education, Senator Birmingham, when it seemed that all of the great young actors, drama workers and ballet students of a very high calibre at the National Theatre—a very famous institution, which is on the corner of Barkly and Carlisle Streets in St Kilda—were going to have their VET courses taken away. All of the young people, some of whom are top stars in their artistic professions, wouldn't have been able to continue without that fierce representation. I'm going to continue speaking out in favour of the Pride Centre, women's football and security for the George community centres in Melbourne Port for the next round of funding— (Time expired)