Adjournment Debate - Don Punch - Tuesday 15 October 2019

15 October 2019

 I was delighted recently to be able to join WA state Labor member for Bunbury, Don Punch, in his electorate. We had a terrific time discussing the importance of the manufacturing industry to Bunbury's long-term future success. I had the delightful opportunity of visiting some of the great projects in the region that the McGowan government has been investing in. These investments are not only in Bunbury but in regional towns right around the state. Receiving full support from the state government, Don Punch has been acting as a very, very strong advocate for the Bunbury community. I would like to highlight to the chamber today some of these projects, which include greater road and transport development and upgrades to things like the Bussell Highway.

This community needs greater safety for those using the road, which is the main route to the locations and tourist hotspots around Bunbury, including Dunsborough and Margaret River. The impact on local residents of the congestion that takes place was quite notable in the recent school holidays and at other times because these roads have not yet been upgraded. It's time to make it safer for those accessing Bussell Highway from the housing areas along the route in Gelorup and Dalyellup. These places are suburban communities that have a major road going through them and to the city. Sometimes, when traffic builds up, it can take a long time to get from your suburban community, across the major traffic lanes and into the town of Bunbury and other places. They've been crying out for something to be done about it, so I'm very pleased to highlight to the chamber today the McGowan government's commitment to that.

I was also delighted to see the development of the Dolphin Discovery Centre, which was in fact the work of Don Punch when he was with the development commission there. Everyone loves dolphins and they love discovering them, but it's even better to be able to sit down and do it in a lovely environment with a cup of tea. It has been a good tourist boon for the city of Bunbury, and one that should be maintained and invested in. It was crying out to be complemented and built up in what it delivers to the community.

We've also seen essential upgrades to health services that have been prioritised in the greater Bunbury area, such as improvements to the Bunbury Regional Hospital, with the McGowan government committing nearly $23 million for improvements and upgrades. These new initiatives have a focus on local content and local jobs for the greater Bunbury area. This is what's at the heart of the Labor government's work in Western Australia: local jobs and infrastructure creation. These initiatives have been very much welcomed by the Bunbury community. They are seen to be boosting the local economy and boosting Bunbury's endeavours for their future growth.

Don has shown me where the Australind train service arrives in Bunbury from Perth. The McGowan government is investing in a new train which will be manufactured in Western Australia as part of the METRONET manufacturing rail plan. This underscores the need for a national rail plan, which was one of Labor's policies at the last federal election. This is about manufacturing jobs in Western Australia and around the nation.

My trip to Bunbury ended with a sundowner with the Bunbury Geographe Chamber of Commerce and Industry. It was great to be discussing policy and commitments to drive manufacturing in the region with these local businesses. In particular, I want to say thanks to the chamber president, Ron Skipsey, and the CEO, Mark Seaward, for their invitation to meet with members, and thanks to all those who came along.

Finally, I want to give my thanks to Don Punch MLA for hosting me in his community. He is a tireless advocate for the community he loves and, as he says, proudly Bunbury.