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Transcript of interview with Matt Tribe: ABC Mildura-Swan Hill Breakfast: 14 June 2018



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ABC Mildura—Swan Hill Breakfast with Matt Tribe minister.communications.gov.au /minister/bridget-mckenzie/transcripts/abc-mildura-swan-hill-breakfast-matt-tribe 14 June 2018 Bridget McKenzie - Minister for Regional Communications

MATT TRIBE:

A big talking point in the last 24 hours for our region is we have just had a visit by the Deputy Nationals Leader Bridget McKenzie who I understand was on the dawn flight this morning, but from Melbourne joins us this morning. Hi Minister.

BRIDGET MCKENZIE:

G’Day Matt it was great to have been up in Mildura where I met with some local shooting groups. So fabulous to be on the ground even if it was just for a little while.

TRIBE:

Yes so this meeting, we are going to hear in a moment from one of those in our region who runs one of these facilities. But what was behind your visit and the logic of visiting these three local shooting clubs?

MCKENZIE:

Well I guess we see the value of shooting and sporting shooting in particular to the local regions. We have some quite innovative clubs that are seeking to make National and State events and to make sure the sport of shooting is available to people of all abilities and all ages. It is quite unique I think shooting and the local clubs have really lead the way in terms of ensuring those with disabilities and those older in the regions are still accessing sporting clubs which provide all those additional benefits of social connectedness and staying connected.

TRIBE:

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Are there opportunities for these clubs to get government funding to help them improve?

MCKENZIE:

Absolutely.

TRIBE:

Is that something you were explaining to them?

MCKENZIE:

Yes so I am obviously Regional Communications Minister and we had the mobile black

spot announcement earlier this week with an additional $25 million put towards those

towers. But as Sports Minister in the budget I was able to deliver $30 million for community

infrastructure so clubs like those in the Sunraysia district will be able to access that fund to

assist them with infrastructure to help them grow participation locally. I have also

announced $22 million to assist sporting clubs like Field and Game Australia and Sporting

Shooters’ Association of Australia (SSAA) and the Clay Target Association to support older

Australians accessing their sport. So there is a range of options for people to increase

community participation for sport in the Sunraysia district that was announced as part of

the Coalitions budget a couple of weeks ago.

TRIBE:

And this is from a Federal level. Do you think there is more that could be done at a

grassroots level to improve, to support, these kind of institutions like local shootings clubs I

should say, because these aren’t usually the ones that are the first item on the agenda

when we are talking funding for sports clubs.

MCKENZIE:

Exactly they are not. They are the quiet achievers in our community. I mean one of the local

clubs has over 900 members. I mean I bet there are a few footy clubs that would love to

have that sort of engagement. I think we need to encourage sport of all types because not

everybody can and wants to play football or netball, some people prefer soccer, some

people prefer tennis, some people prefer shooting. But the benefits of sport and the being

involved in a sporting club remain irrespective of the type of sport that you are doing. And

that is what we really want to focus on as a government it is that community participation

piece rather than just elite athletes.

TRIBE:

I know your time is short Senator but I did just want to ask you very quickly yesterday we

were talking about mobile black spots and the next round of funding, the fourth round, and

the $25 million and the expressions of interests or the discussions around exactly what

regions are set to benefit from that. So that’s open for the next few months at least.

MCKENZIE:

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Yes it is and I am really proud that due to good economic management we’ve been able to

find $25 million for round four around local solutions. As a government we have really

transformed the footprint of regional communications over the last six years. We have been

able to deliver 870 towers and by investing $220 million we have been able to leverage that

to over $680 million. And we have really changed the way we use telecommunications. If

you think six years ago when to Coalition came to federal government we had dial up

internet, if you could it took all weekend to download a movie and we didn’t have mobile

internet like we do know. And we see how agriculture in particular, irrigation up in the

Sunraysia, are using that mobile connectivity that we have been able to deliver. It is just so

powerful to our local economies and communities. So I am committed to keep investing

and we are doing everything we can to get more regional Australians online than before.

TRIBE:

And it is matter of getting in touch with your local member?

MCKENZIE:

Absolutely we will be announcing the round in the coming months with a criteria and the

money will be rolling out shortly.

TRIBE:

Thanks Senator I do appreciate your time. That is Senator Bridget McKenzie speaking of

telecommunications. Senator Bridget McKenzie Deputy Leader of The Nationals about to

enter a black spot of her own because she is about to fly so we will let her get onto

aeroplane mode on her mobile phone. But certainly appreciate her time this morning letting

us know not only some more details on the fourth round of mobile black sport funding. The

Coalition stumping up $25 million for that, but also on the latest visit by Deputy Nationals

Leader Bridget McKenzie who was flying out of Mildura on the dawn flight this morning and

there were several different reasons for her visit but the primary reason being the visit to

these three local shooting clubs.

(ENDS)

Media contact:

Kate Woodbridge: 0409 679 924

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