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Tuesday, 22 June 2010
Page: 6192


Mr HALE (4:30 PM) —I rise today to comment on the fantastic projects that have been and are being delivered in my seat of Solomon. My first priority when elected was to end the blame game between the Northern Territory government and Canberra which for so many years had been at the expense of the good people of Solomon. I believe I have achieved this. The Allen Walker Cancer Care Centre, which I had the pleasure of opening with the Prime Minister, is now operating. For the first time Northern Territorian patients can receive their cancer treatment in Darwin. This was a $28.7 million Rudd government commitment. The Northern Territory is going to have its first ever medical school, an investment of $30 million into the Territory economy and an investment in our health and the Territory’s young people, who will now have an option of studying in the Territory thanks to the Rudd government.

The Tiger Brennan Drive extension is also progressing well. With the first stage already open, the northern bridge will be open shortly and the southern bridge at the end of next month. The project will be completed by November. It will see much-improved access from the rural area to the city as well as less congestion for people travelling to and from work from Palmerston to the CBD of Darwin. In addition there will be quicker and safer access for prime movers going to the East Arm Port facilities. This is a co-funded project, with the Rudd government committing $74 million and the Henderson Territory government $36 million. The new GP superclinic is nearing completion in Palmerston, which is great news for the residents in Palmerston and rural areas. The after-hours service started in the existing building in November 2008 and it has been very well supported. The new building will give even greater services to the community.

Due to the global financial crisis which struck in October 2008, the Rudd government was forced to act quickly in order to stave off the effects of the global recession. History will tell us that it was the decisive action of the government to stimulate the economy which has played a major role in keeping the nation out of recession and maintaining low unemployment, historically low interest rates and record levels of growth that are the envy of the rest of the developed world. In Solomon everyone will benefit in some way, shape or form. It may have been through cash payments in December 2008 which were vital in keeping small businesses going and employment strong. It is estimated that well over 200,000 jobs have been created because of stimulus programs. Beyond the cash stimulus, the government embarked on the Building the Education Revolution. It was a $16 billion commitment to building infrastructure in schools across Australia. In Solomon we have received $74 million from the program, which includes 20 libraries, seven classrooms, 16 multipurpose halls, three early learning centres, four language centres and one science centre. I have treated this opportunity to represent my constituency as a privilege and I have worked hard to break the cycle of the blame game, to deliver on our promises and, importantly, to protect jobs and provide increased opportunities. (Time expired)