Margaret Quirk

Margaret Quirk

Minister for Corrective Services; Small Business

    Minister rejects claims that the State Government is neglecting the Mid-West

    16/08/2007 4:36 PM

    Small Business Minister Margaret Quirk has labelled claims that essential infrastructure was being downgraded in the Mid-West as fanciful.

    Ms Quirk also said suggestions that rises in interest rates were of little consequence to small businesses were absurd.

    “What is more concerning is that this claim was made by someone who should be in touch with the needs and issues of small business in the region,” she said.

    “To the contrary, the Carpenter Government has made significant investments to revitalise the area.

    “This year alone, about $65million is being spent in the Mid-West and Gascoyne regions on infrastructure projects including water supply, health facilities and schools.

    “I launched a $7million program only two weeks ago entitled Geraldton Youth Justice Services, introducing a whole new approach to the problem of juvenile crime.”

    The State Government has also:
    • spent $21.4million on constructing a school at Wiluna and improving Geraldton Secondary College and Kalbarri District High School, after already spending $12million on a number of education projects;
    • provided almost $12.5million on improving education facilities in the Gascoyne, with plans to spend more than $1million this financial year;
    • spent $49million on the Geraldton Health Campus and will spend $6.7million on the Morowa and Perenjori Multi Purpose Health Centre, $2.9million on stage 1 of the Carnarvon Integrated Health Service and $500,000 on the Carnarvon Sobering Up Centre;
    • spent more than $41million on roads, water, power, port and community facilities in the Gascoyne region, with additional funding to come;
    • set aside $22million in the 2007-08 Budget for water improvements and $9.2million to expand the Geraldton Port; and
    • introduced the Regional Infrastructure Fund to improve and upgrade country roads.
    “Nothing could be further from the truth to suggest that this Government doesn’t care about the region,” Ms Quirk said.

    Minister's office - 9213 7000