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Monday, 16 November 2009
Page: 11777

Mr SIDEBOTTOM (9:44 PM) —Unlike my friend the member for Hume, many families in my electorate have benefited greatly from the insulation projects, and also the installers that are doing it have done so with propriety and with integrity. I am very positive tonight to be able to present two excellent funding announcements that the electorate of Braddon has been the beneficiary of. First and foremost of those is in the beautiful Circular Head district, which is in the western end of my electorate. The Circular Head community has gained funding of $4.5 million for a trade training centre. What is unusual and exciting about this trade training centre is that it is shared between two schools, the Circular Head Christian School and the Smithton High School, as well as the Tasmanian Polytechnic in Circular Head. The Christian School gets $1.5 million and there is $3 million for the Polytechnic and the Smithton High School. They will integrate trades training between them so that they can share it with their students across these campuses. I think this is a wonderful example of integrated learning and resource sharing in a very integrated community.

The Circular Head Christian School will focus on agriculture, aquaculture and horticulture—very important industries in Circular Head—while the Tasmanian Polytechnic and Smithton High School will concentrate on automotive, general construction, electrical and metal industries. So it is a great example of a community working together and I was really proud to be part and parcel of that application. I thank the Circular Head Council, the Tasmanian government, both those school communities and the community in general.

It just reminds me that we are also spending $9 million in Circular Head on other activities in relation to Primary Schools for the 21st Century, for science and language centres in the region and for the National School Pride and Computers in Schools programs. On top of that, there are the election commitments of nearly $1 million to the Circular Head community in terms of the recreation centre and the little athletics headquarters. So Circular Head is booming, doing well, although of course the dairy industry at the moment is experiencing tough times, particularly with the low prices they are receiving from their processors, quite unfairly. But we hope that better weather and better times will see them through.

The other great funding proposal for my electorate affects King Island and will have implications for Flinders Island in the Bass Strait. That is $15 million allocated through the Minister for Resources and Energy, Martin Ferguson, for a commercial scale renewable energy project which will be located on King Island but will have implications not just for King Island and Flinders Island but for all regional and local communities. It attempts to integrate renewable energy technologies into the main system, which unfortunately now relies on diesel generation. You can well imagine the CO2 emissions from that and the prohibitive costs of diesel fuel for King Island and other islands. The idea is to provide a baseload and peak power for King Island’s mini grid system to reduce the island’s reliance upon diesel generators. In fact, so much so that they want to be able to use renewable energy for over 50 per cent of the energy needs of the island and to reduce the CO2 emissions by more than 70 per cent.

I really look forward to the implementation of this terrific project under the Renewable Energy Demonstration Program and I think it will have significant implications for the rest of Australia as well. So well done to the minister and to Hydro Tasmania, and I look forward to seeing the results of this program well underway on magnificent, beautiful King Island.