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Speeches

WA Regional Liberals

I am very pleased to rise in the House tonight to speak about a group of people who are delivering for the bush in Western Australia like no other.

I speak of the WA regional Liberals.

The WA regional Liberals are delivering right across regional, rural and remote Western Australia—from the member for O'Connor, Rick Wilson, representing the Goldfields-Esperance region and my home town of Kalgoorlie down to Albany in the state's south, to myself representing the Kimberley in the north and east to Southern Cross, and not forgetting the good member for Forrest, Nola Marino, representing Western Australians in the south-west. Earlier today, I spoke about the federal government's National Stronger Regions Fund, which has assisted vital projects to be developed in many parts of regional Western Australia.

Of course, WA regional Liberals are not just delivering at a federal level; the WA Liberal Party has preselected for this upcoming state election some great candidates to continue the representation of regional Western Australia.

Geraldton is the largest city in WA north of Perth and has been well represented for last eight years by Liberal local member, Ian Blayney.

Mr Blayney is a former farmer who has called the Midwest  home for some 50 years, so clearly knows a thing or two about the challenges and opportunities in regional Western Australia.

Mr Blayney has overseen an overhaul of the education system in Geraldton.

Geraldton Universities Centre has expanded courtesy of funding for the upgrade secured by Mr Blayney.

Both public high schools, Geraldton Senior College and John Willcock College, will reopen as full campus high schools for years 7 to 12 from 2019.

The member for Geraldton also presided over the opening of the Wandina Primary School, which was Geraldton's first public primary school in over 30 years.

Mr Blayney has committed to an upgrade of the Geraldton regional hospital, following the previous Labor government's ridiculous redevelopment of the hospital which had fewer beds than the campus it replaced.

The upgrade commitment includes increasing bed capacity by over 40 per cent and increasing the ED bays to 21.

The election promise also includes a $49 million integrated mental health service, which includes 12 inpatient beds, which is music to the ears of not just Geraldton residents but people right across the Mid West.

The Geraldton hospital upgrade will also benefit people in the neighbouring electorate of Moore, for which the enthusiastic and hard-working Darren Slyns is the candidate for the Liberal Party.

Following 20 years in the police force and 15 years with the Army Reserve, and also being a small businessman, Mr Slyns is running for the seat of Moore, fighting to ensure communities in Moore are a safe place to live and to do business.

In the Kimberley, the WA regional Liberals have another fine former police officer and businessman in Warren Greatorex.

As a proud Derby man, he knows firsthand about the challenges of Indigenous Australians and will make a fine representative for the Kimberley.

Mark Alchin is a young husband and father who knows what is required to get the Pilbara economy 'pumping' again, and is putting up an excellent fight against the National Party's $5 mining tax, together with agriculture minister Mark Lewis, and Ken Baston, both Liberal Party mining and pastoral upper house members.

Julee Westcott, who is a proud Gascoyne woman, will ensure the region gets what it needs to take the Gascoyne to the next level.

And Bill Crabtree, a local Wheatbelt farmer whose enthusiasm for the Wheatbelt is unmatched, rounds off the excellent WA regional Liberals contesting this state election in the federal seat of Durack.

So, as you can see, the WA regional Liberal team are not just a typical bunch of MPs. We have business people, Indigenous leaders, police officers, Army Reserve people, and people who have been living and breathing regional Western Australia for over 50 years, in many of their cases. So they are a hardworking, diverse, unified team, who deliver currently, in terms of many of my federal colleagues who I mentioned earlier.

But we also have a greater capacity, at a state level, to have a greater number of regional Liberals representing regional Western Australia, and I, for one, am very confident that we will have more success this time around, and I look forward to working with each and every one of them.

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