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Western Australians work towards the future

THIS MONTH has seen extreme weather conditions hit Western Australia, causing devastation the like of which I hope I never witness again.

Having seen the damage, I believe it is miraculous that no one was killed or seriously injured in the cyclones and floods. I’ve also been struck by the incredible spirit of the people dealing with the destruction left in the path of Cyclones Elaine and Vance.

It will be several weeks before we can estimate what the final damage will be. However, the North-West of our State is renowned for the resilience of its people and enormous efforts are now going into making sure reconstruction is done as quickly as possible.

Moora is now in the middle of a major clean-up and the priority is to have the evacuees returned and the local economy worked up again.

In addition to existing natural disaster relief arrangements, the State and Federal Governments have agreed on a special relief package. This includes a trust fund of $10 million, with each government contributing half, to help rebuild community facilities, provide temporary accommodation for homeless residents, help businesses recover and restore essential services.

We want everything possible done to try to speed up the recovery. Many private organisations and individuals have also pledged their help and I urge anyone else who can contribute to the work being done and the collections of money and goods to help in whatever way you can.



I WAS pleased to see the announcement recently of the formation of a new liquefied natural gas marketing body, Australia LNG.

LNG is a major export industry for Western Australia and the establishment of this new body is a positive step forward for the industry. Australia LNG is expected to be operating by the middle of this year and brings together five partners — Woodside Energy, Shell, Chevron, BP and BHP — with a marketing team that will be based in Perth.

The new consortium is another example of maximising opportunities in the resources sector and I look forward to seeing the results of the initiative.



WORK has started on a multi-million dollar project at the former Heathcote Hospital site.

The heritage buildings and gardens on the riverside site in Applecross are being refurbished for use by families and the community with facilities ranging from a museum to an innovative playground for children, barbecue and picnic facilities and a restaurant and cafe.

The building restoration and site works will be funded from the sale of residential lots near the South of Perth Yacht Club.

The final plans for the redevelopment are in contrast to earlier proposals by the former Labor Government which had earmarked the historical site as a residential development.

With the support of the City of Melville, the local community successfully lobbied to have the plans reassessed. As a result, the new plan will see much of the 8.8 hectare site returned to the community.

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