Transcript - Doorstop - Albany

E&OE…

Subjects: Building Better Regions Fund, Senator Anning, Salmon Holes mobile tower.

 

Question:          The $300,000, is that all of the money or are you taking anything from the state or [indistinct]?

 

Ken Wyatt:        So my understanding is that the City of Albany will be making a contribution. That was the original proposal for Building Better Regions Fund, with 50 per cent matching funding.

 

So I believe the City of Albany will be making a contribution. We’re very close to be able to provide the 300 to get the project up and going.

 

So, I want to congratulate the city on the work that they’ve done in putting this together and they responded very quickly when the opportunity came up for a different avenue of funding and got the application in within a couple of days or rejigged their original Building Better Regions Fund application, and we’re able to take up the opportunity, which would have closed very quickly if they didn’t get that application in in a timely fashion.

 

Question:          And is there any idea when this is supposed to start, you think? Is there a timeframe?

 

Ken Wyatt:       Anthony, do you have a timeframe?

 

Anthony:           Well, the planning has already started and we’ll be looking at the implementation this year and so we’re hoping for the completion of the first stage this calendar year.

 

Because we’ve been waiting for an outcome for many years on this site, so it’s really exciting. And it is about youth, but it’s also intergenerational. It’s also about families coming together.

 

We’ve got PCYC here, we’ve got Men’s Shed now, we’ve got Centennial Park Precinct, a lot of sporting clubs.

 

A lot of kids converging on these sites so it’s very exciting, and there is a real need, a sense of urgency, to get started.

 

So, realistically, it’s probably about three months of further planning, implementation post-June up to Christmas.

 

Question:          I’m sorry. What is stage one?

 

Anthony:           Stage one is- well, that’s what this funding is about. It is about the pump track facility and greater amenity.

 

So there’s things like shade, trees, water, shelter and they are the primary needs that came out of the extensive consultation with the kids.

 

But the major component being the pump track and diverse use on the site, for all at the Park.

 

Question:          And Minister, I know you’re in Albany, but much of the news at the moment is focused on Christchurch. Will you be supporting the sanction motion for Senator Anning?

 

Ken Wyatt:        Well [indistinct] the House of Reps speak so that they won’t have that position. The sad thing is that at a time like this, it’s not about making points that reflect on a community of people, and his comments post that event are sad to see for Australia because our minds and hearts have got to go to those families who’ve lost members. The youngest being eight, is my understanding, and then through to a 87-year-old.

 

Now, to do that when people are defenceless and praying is a cowardly way. It is an act that is despicable and all of those should be denigrated for such behaviour, not encouraging hatred.

 

Hatred is something that shouldn’t prevail against any cultural group. We pride ourselves as a nation that is focused on the richness of the different cultural groups and we’ve come a long way.

 

But events like this are not a time to politically point score on a personal view or position.

 

Question:          And Mr Wilson, will be you supporting Scott Morrison on this?

 

Rick Wilson:     Absolutely. I think- I don’t particularly want to put on Senator Anning’s comments, but really point to the positives and I was at Kattaning- my hometown of Kattaning on Saturday at the Harmony Festival and to see many I think [indistinct] from over 50 cultures come together in peace and harmony and friendship and trust was really quite humbling and it was wonderful to be there and to share that in the wake of the tragedy the day before.

 

So I much prefer to dwell on the positives rather than some obscure Senator making absurd remarks.

 

Question:          And just on Katanning, we spoke to the mufti at Katanning Mosque and he’s felt compelled to lock his doors during prayer services.

 

How does that make you feel when you know it’s part of your electorate?

 

Rick Wilson:     Yeah. Look, it’s disappointing.

 

I haven’t spoken to Alep about this. I think while it’s prudent to be cautious at this time, I think I know my community well enough to know that there are certainly none of that feeling that promoted this person in New Zealand to act the way he did in my community.

 

It’s very safe, it’s a very welcoming community, and I think while it’s prudent to be cautious at this time in case there’s a copycat out there who thinks that it might be a good idea, I think I know my community well enough to think that we won’t see a repeat in my hometown of Katanning.

 

Question:          And just finally, I know this a repetitive question but has there been any updates on the Salmon Holes mobile tower situation?

 

Rick Wilson:     Look, we’ll continue to work on that. Telstra are looking at seven engineering options around some small cells and perhaps using the lighthouse which will be handed over to Conservation and Biodiversity in the next month or so.

 

So we’re very hopeful that we’ll see some progress there.

 

Telstra will be able to come back to us with the technological solution, which will be costed, and then I’ll be going to my Minister and we’ll be asking the State Government and Telstra to make a co-contribution and hopefully we’ll have the result for Salmon Holes very soon.

 

Question:          [Inaudible] Southern Aboriginal Corporation about establishing a rehab in the region?

 

They said last week that they felt that the federal government wasn’t really getting behind the plan. Can you explain anything about that? [Indistinct] a lot of progress has been made.

 

Ken Wyatt:       No. There’s a couple of steps that I suggested to them, one was to certainly provide us with a submission that will be considered in the context of programs and appropriate guidelines.

 

I also suggested to them that they seek letters of support from the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation, which is a peak body for Aboriginal Community Controlled Health organisations, and the other was from a state affiliate, that would strengthen their position in terms of what they aspire to; and I’d support the intent of what they’re doing.

 

We also have to go through a process and that applies to all Commonwealth funding and I think that their heart and their contribution to having aspiration to deal with the drug and alcohol issues within the Indigenous community has significant merit and we’ll just have to see what transpires out of the process.

 

Question:          Thank you.

 

ENDS