Richard Court

Richard Court

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    A Coalition plan to take the Bunbury-Leschenault area from strength to strength

    10/01/2001 12:11 PM
     
    10/1/01

    Premier Richard Court has today unveiled a plan designed to take the growing Bunbury-Leschenault area from strength to strength.

    New community infrastructure, a range of special projects and a focus on youth are key commitments in the Coalition’s policy for the Bunbury-Leschenault region.

    Mr Court, who launched the policy in Bunbury today, said the region was an important part of the State and it was crucial that there was a comprehensive plan for the next decade.

    “The Bunbury-Leschenault area has moved forward under a Coalition Government and we want to continue to build on the these foundations,” he said.

    “The Bunbury-Leschenault Policy represents a combination of commitments to projects in the short term, as well as a long-term vision for the social, economic and community development of the region.”

    Mr Court said the strategy included:
    • A Youth Guarantee. All young people leaving high school in 2001 will be guaranteed either a job, a place in training or higher education;
    • Green Belt Plan. Regional parks to the north and south of the region will create a massive conservation area around our second city;
    • Four New Community Centres. At Carey Park, Withers, Glen Iris and Eaton;
    • Artificial Reef. The creation of an artificial surf reef off Bunbury to deliver prime surfing conditions, subject to an environment assessment and marine engineering research;
    • Free buses for seniors. Greater Bunbury’s seniors will receive the same benefits as their metropolitan counterparts, i.e. a once-a-week free bus service to help them to shop, visit friends and keep appointments;
    • Fisherman’s Harbour. A centrepiece of the Second City plan is the development of a ‘Fisherman’s Harbour’ concept, similar to Fremantle’s highly successful harbour area;
    • Regional Bike Network. The four local authorities and the Department of Transport will work together to create the most extensive regional bike network in Western Australia;
    • Regional Transport Centre. The development of a regional transport centre with a spur rail line into a new Bunbury Central Station to encourage park and ride;
    • Replica Ship. Develop a Trust for the construction of a replica ship to enhance Bunbury’s nautical heritage and provide a major tourist attraction; and -
    • Industry Taskforce. The establishment of the Southern Industry Task Force to secure new investment and industrial growth opportunities.

    Mr Court said these initiatives were on top of on-going and longer-term commitments to the Bunbury-Leschenault region in the crucial areas of education, environment, law and order, and health.

    “We have already demonstrated our credentials in these areas through initiatives such as the South West Health Campus, the Australind Police Station, the South West Sports Centre, new schools and upgrades of existing educational facilities,” he said.

    “We recognise that the region continues to grow at a rapid pace and in addition to spending in the key areas, proposed regional infrastructure includes a regional museum, regional tourism centre and library network.

    “Work would be undertaken on bringing forward the Peel Deviation road project and planning would begin for long-term upgrades and extensions of the passenger rail service.”

    Mr Court said that to ensure the maximum outcome for the region, a Bunbury-Leschenault Development Group would be established to determine, and oversee, priority projects.

    “The group would be chaired by the Premier and include local government representatives from Bunbury, Harvey, Dardanup and Capel," he said.

    “This body will identify opportunities and help cut through bureaucracy at all levels of Government.

    “The aim that will underpin the work of the group is one that has been the hallmark of the Coalition Government in the past eight years - getting things done.

    “Clearly you need to be a very good economic manager to create the environment in which all of these things can be provided. In this respect, the Coalition has a good record.

    “It’s what makes our promises credible and our goals achievable.

    “The Coalition has a comprehensive plan for not only the Bunbury-Leschenault area, but for the entire State.

    “We are committed to a strong performing economy and a lifestyle that is the envy of people the world over. We laid the foundations and continue to build on them - but we want to do more.”

    Mr Court said the Coalition’s vision was in stark contrast to that of the Labor Party which had confirmed that it planned to reduce by 16 the number of regional representatives in the State Parliament.

    “Only last week Geoff Gallop acknowledged that the seat of Bunbury was on his regional ‘hit list’. How can you have a commitment to a region by saying one of the first things you will do is reduce its voice in the Parliament?

    “Now is not the time to take risks with Labor."


    Media contact:
    Casey Cahill 9222 9475