Goulburn Electorate Infrastructure - Private Members Statement

Ms PRU GOWARD (Goulburn—Minister for Family and Community Services, and Minister for Women) [7.20 p.m.]: It has been a particularly cold winter in my electorate. The winds have felt as if they were coming straight off the snow—

Mr Stephen Bromhead: I can attest to that.

Ms PRU GOWARD: Yes. I have been extremely grateful for the protection of my feral fox coat. But those bitter winds were tempered by a number of winter wins in the community that will see vast improvements to infrastructure and services. Back in late June I welcomed my colleague Andrew Constance, the Minister for Disability Services, to Goulburn. Together we officially opened the first Abbeyfield disAbility House in New South Wales. This newly built home will provide supported accommodation for 10 young adults and give them the opportunity to live as independently as possible. I am sure all members know of families in our electorates who are deeply concerned about the long-term care of their loved ones with a disability. The Abbeyfield model accommodates a live-in carer who provides two meals a day and ensures that the residents are coping, whilst allowing them as much independence and responsibility as they can achieve. This project was inspired and driven by concerned parents. I acknowledge Tony and Karen Egan—who have become good friends—and Anne Williams for their vision and enthusiasm, and the redoubtable Annemarie Althea for her leadership. The State Government contributed $1.8 million towards this project and it will use the financially self-reliant model in future projects across the State.

I have spoken previously about Goulburn Base Hospital, about its historic and architectural worth and how, despite its solid structure, it needs refurbishment. I am therefore pleased to report the activity at Goulburn Base Hospital that will produce new preparation rooms and extensions to the operating theatre, a power upgrade and a new 20-bed rehabilitation unit that will be operational by mid 2013. Work is also underway to provide an extra 12 beds at the Chisholm Ross mental health facility. This will create an opportunity for seven extra staff members to join that hardworking and caring team. The new unit, which also services the Mittagong and Bowral end of the Goulburn electorate, is due to open in the spring. This will improve the capacity of the southern New South Wales local health district to provide high-quality inpatient care to individuals experiencing mental illness.

Upper Lachlan Shire Council received an $830,000 grant towards the Taralga water treatment plant as part of the Country Towns Water Supply and Sewerage Program. This is excellent news for the town's residents, who have raised concerns about water quality and who will now be provided with a safe, secure and reliable water supply. It will also mean additional work for local contractors. Local schools also benefited from the winter wins in the Goulburn electorate, with funding awarded towards minor capital works for Goulburn and Mulwaree high schools, Bundanoon and Mittagong public schools and The Crescent School. Joint funding was also announced for Bowral and Mulwaree high schools to assist with long-needed capital expenditure.

I was particularly pleased to announce this winter that Anglicare Canberra and Goulburn was named as one of the 38 non-government organisations providing foster care services across the State. Anglicare received $5.4 million to help implement foster care services across their area. Simon Bennett, the Southern Tablelands general manager, was delighted with their share of this pool and he hopes to encourage families to welcome into their home a child who, because of circumstances, cannot live with their birth parents. I know how important this work is and I recommend it to the House. I was disappointed that I was unable to attend the opening of the new Wingecarribee Aboriginal Centre in Mittagong in July. My colleague Victor Dominello, Minister for Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, kindly officiated at the opening, which has created a final destination for the local Aboriginal community after years of temporary accommodation. Tribute must be paid to Aunty Val—a cricket fan—and her team, and the Wingecarribee Shire Council, for their dogged pursuit of a permanent and suitable site.

Both the Goulburn and Mulwaree Council and the Wingecarribee Shire Council benefited from the announcement of low-interest loans to fast track some much-needed infrastructure projects in the area. The bush setting of the Mittagong swimming pool is a much-loved gem in the shire. It is such a natural scene that ducks often land amongst the swimmers thinking they have come across a shady waterhole. Unfortunately, the ageing pool has been leaking for years and the council has struggled to find the funds to do anything other than patch it up. A low-interest loan of $2.5 million will enable the pool to be restored. It will continue to be used for water polo matches, school swimming carnivals and swimming during the summer months.

Further loans will see upgrades to the wastewater treatment plant and the recreation centre in Goulburn and they have been a major additional element to a $2.64 million grant to upgrade Douglas Road and the Moss Vale Enterprise Zone. I also congratulate our local Olympians Kaarle McCulloch, from Bowral, who was in the women's sprint track cycling, and Goulburn boy Glenn Turner, from the Kookaburras men's hockey team, who both won bronze medals in the London Olympics. My electorate has definitely been a winner this winter and I congratulate all.

Pru Goward

Member for Goulburn

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Authorised by Pru Goward, Parliament House, Macquarie Street, Sydney NSW 2000