MS TIERNEY (Western Victoria—Minister for Training and Skills, Minister for Higher Education) (12:55): Coming off the back of volunteer week I was so pleased to see the impact of budget announcements in south-west Victoria. It was great to bring good news to Port Fairy SES volunteers, who have worked long and hard to obtain a new building sorely needed. Nearly $5 million will deliver a great new facility. Congratulations to Port Fairy SES unit controller Stephen McDowell and his team and a big thankyou for your work.
There were happy faces too at Alexandra oval in Portland when volunteers and supporters learned that the Victorian government’s community sports infrastructure stimulus program will contribute $3.22 million to a long-awaited upgrade and modernisation of this important sporting facility. Westerns Football Netball Club has led the Portland community on this project in conjunction with Glenelg shire. It will be used by many sporting clubs and members of the community, and the design puts access up-front to ensure people with a disability are able to use this great facility.
The budget also brought good news for Portland’s economic future. We are working with the Glenelg shire to deliver $17.4 million for a plan to diversify Portland’s economy. It includes the Henty employment precinct stage 2 and upgrades to the shire’s freight roads to improve access to the port and thereby export opportunities. A new Portland Diversification Fund will develop workforce skills, encourage growth industries and address housing supply issues for workers, delivering new jobs across the shire and the broader Great South Coast. Building stronger communities lies at the heart of these announcements, and I look forward to the fantastic outcomes that these will deliver.