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Tuesday, 26 February 1985
Page: 231

Ms MAYER(6.29) —I would like to say that there are probably just two things that we can believe about what we read in the newspaper; one is the price and the other is the date. Also I could suggest that the sub-title of the Small Business Association of Victoria should be the Roger Shipton support society, but I will not do so. Tonight I wish to take up a much more positive theme which has been one of the most satisfying underlying themes of my time as a representative of my constituency. That theme concerns the co-operation between this Federal Government and the Cain Government in Victoria and the co-operation between the state government members and myself in my electorate.

The list of achievements for our constituents resulting from that co-operation is a list which demonstrates the enormous difference to the lives of the people that results from getting things done instead of simply talking about them. In my electorate and the State electorates of Box Hill, Bennettswood and Syndal we have in a matter of three years completed the long overdue reconstruction of the Box Hill Hospital at a cost of $7.25m-and I wonder whether my colleagues on the other side of the House would suggest that that $7.25m was badly spent-to provide badly needed new operating theatres, reconstructed wards and a new kitchen. I think that that $7.25m was spent extremely well and I am glad that we spent it.

Also long overdue for construction was the Eastern Suburbs Geriatric Centre, about which the previous Liberal Government talked for 20 years. That is now in existence and providing day care services, referral services, and assessment services for elderly people, of whom we have many in our mutual electorates. The money for that centre was also well spent in my opinion. I think the first sod was turned by the appropriate Liberal member in 1972 after there had been some discussion about it. As of this moment bricks and mortar are there and so are the services. In-fill housing, and housing projects involving the proper use of serviced land-held for years by the Education Department under the previous Government, for some extraordinary reason-are now a fact in the State seat of Bennettswood, where high quality housing is being provided for a number of public and rental and private dwellings.

On the subject of housing, let me say this: Of the Federal housing budget of $148m spent on housing in Victoria, $1.9m has been spent in Chisholm and the State seats of Bennettswood, Syndal and Box Hill. The first home owners scheme has provided 543 new home owners with $1.45m to enable them to purchase new homes in the areas where their families live and the services are provided. That is extremely good. The Box Hill College of Technical and Further Education, a college which has 20,000 students and is a very good college, providing an essential educational service, has had $5.5m worth of capital works provided. Is that money badly spent? Is that something a government should not have done? Is the education of young people not a consideration when members talk about spending governments. The Box Hill Co-educational Technical School, a school providing the skills that we so badly need, has had $1.4m provided to demolish the 60 portable classrooms that the Cain Government inherited from the previous Liberal Government, and for the provision of proper educational facilities for those students. The Box Hill Special Development School, which was talked and talked about, has had $1.1m worth of capital works provided to cater for those young people who need the services provided by a special development school. The police buildings have been upgraded to the extent of $160,000.

I again ask: Is that money badly spent? Is that money that government should not have spent? The long day care program in Box Hill, a Federal and State initiative, has been provided with $175,000. Do children not need care? A capital works program to provide a 35-place day care centre for children is in place. I mention also the Box Hill Transport Centre, a $60m combined private and public effort, which every day provides-this is something that might be worth listening to-15,000 commuters who travel on 500 buses and 900 trains with the ability to change from bus to train under cover and to do their shopping in a big retail centre on the way. Is that something on which governments ought not to have spent money?

Madam DEPUTY SPEAKER (Mrs Child) —Order! The honourable member's time has expired.