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Thursday, 3 June 2021
Page: 88

Dr GILLESPIE (Lyne) (10:11): This year's federal budget continues to deliver for the people of the Myall Coast. Through a range of new programs and initiatives, our government has been investing millions of dollars across the Myall region on infrastructure and services. Already, $1.6 billion in federal funding is on the table to deliver the M1 Pacific Motorway extension to Raymond Terrace, as we await the final planning and design process to be completed by the New South Wales government. Several months ago I wrote to the Prime Minister and the Deputy Prime Minister seeking support for a further phase of the Pacific Highway upgrade—namely, to complete the critical overpasses, including Italia and Medowie roads, The Bucketts Way and Myall Way. Our government is in discussion with the New South Wales government about these projects, and I would once again encourage Transport for NSW to complete the design and planning of these critical upgrades so that our federal government can invest in them.

I've been delighted to announce federal funding for important projects across the Myall region in recent times, and some of these have included a major upgrade to the Tea Gardens pool and the Hawks Nest community hall. We've also announced federal funding in Tea Gardens-Hawks Nest for the golf club, for the progress association, for Myall Coast Radio 87.8, for Meals on Wheels, to upgrade Providence Park, for the Tea Gardens-Hawks Nest Men's Shed and for the Hawks Nest community hall. And, of course, the Tea Gardens-Hawks Nest Surf Life Saving Club redevelopment is now complete, and how fantastic is that?

In Karuah, federal funding has been secured for several important local projects, including the local Landcare, the Longworth Park upgrade, the Karuah Roos, the Karuah Rural Fire Brigade, the Karuah Public School, the Karuah Local History Group and the RSL sub-branch. In Bulahdelah, funding has been secured for the School of Arts hall; the CWA, the Country Women's Association; the Bulahdelah Show Society, the Rural Fire Brigade, the Bulahdelah War Memorial reserve and the Bulahdelah Lions Park upgrade. Next week I will be so proud to be opening the new skate park. Funding has also been made available for the upgrade of community halls in Nerong, Wootton and North Arm Cove.

One of the most significant investments in the region, however, will come as a result of the $66 million in federal funding to upgrade Newcastle Airport. This upgrade not only will be important to the operations of the Royal Australian Air Force but will deliver the capacity Newcastle Airport requires to a broader range of aircraft. Opening the Hunter and the North Coast regions to long-distance international flights will deliver a massive economic boost for a whole range of industries that rely on international tourism and international trade.