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Welcome to My Community Update Newsletter

Don Punch MLA, Member for Bunbury

 
The Legislative Assembly has now risen for the year bringing to an end to the first term I have spent in the Parliament representing the interests of the communities of Bunbury and Dalyellup.

The last three and a half years have been an opportunity afforded to very few, to represent their community in the Parliament, and it has been a privilege.

I am very proud to have been a part of passing legislation such as the “No Body No Parole” laws, Voluntary Assisted Dying, the Criminal Law Amendment that protects against the distribution of intimate images without consent and the reform of Family and Domestic Violence laws to provide greater protections to victims.

The McGowan Labor Government is known for its effective financial management and for the exceptional way our Premier has managed the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, but I hope history also recognises us for the important social justice reforms we have been able to achieve.

On Thursday 19 November I gave a speech in the Parliament that summed up the infrastructure improvements Bunbury and the South West have seen since 2017, all achievements of the McGowan Government.

I am proud and amazed at the extent of the work we have done in one term of government. I am going to work as hard as I can to secure a second term to continue making my contribution to the growth and development of our community.

 

The Government in Bunbury

I am pleased to report that Bunbury and Dalyellup continue to benefit from the attention of the McGowan Government. Over recent weeks I have hosted visits by Ministers, launched new projects and seen election commitments completed or underway.

There have been a couple of sod turnings in Bunbury. I joined Minister Rita Saffioti to turn the first sod for the dualling of Bussell Highway. I also joined Minister Alannah MacTiernan for the sod turning at Casuarina Drive for the improvements that are getting underway along the waterfront. These are projects long called for by our community and both are providing opportunities for local contractors, providing local jobs.

The Bunbury Development Committee has been very active, hosting a series of community consultation meetings in Glen Iris to determine the resident’s priorities for improvements to the suburb. No one would be surprised to hear the intersection between Forrest Highway and Vittoria Road was one of the issues raised most often. I will be advocating for solutions to improve safety and traffic flow in the area.
 
Minister Simone McGurk visited to review the progress of the Dalyellup Family Centre. Developing the Centre was a commitment I made at the last election. Investing in our Youth and Milligan will be providing the service and have in fact already begun running programs in Dalyellup. The last piece of the puzzle is the actual Centre which is being fitted out now. To be known as Yallo, the Centre will be open early in the New Year.

 


Last month I opened ServiceWA. Located in Wellington Street in the Department of Transport building, ServiceWA allows people to complete over 80 State Government transactions in one place. Not everyone likes doing all their transactions online or over the phone, Service WA means face to face service is available. This is a fantastic way of maximising the Government services directly available to people in Bunbury.

We have also delivered on another election commitment. A slip lane to improve road safety and efficiency at Halifax is now complete. At the last election I committed to $3million of improvements at Halifax and the slip lane is part of those works.

 

The McGowan Government continues to fund projects and activities that are important to our community. I had great pleasure joining Mick Murray to inform the Carey Park Footy club they would be receiving $10 000 to help deal with the impacts of the pandemic, and recently, the Found in Bunbury tourism campaign was launched. This campaign is intended to show our metro cousins just how much Bunbury has changed and encourage them down for a visit.
 

In the Community

There is a really good spirit in our community at the moment. It is as though the restrictions brought on by COVID – 19 have reminded us how fortunate we are to have so many community events and activities available to us and we are now out in force supporting them.

The opening of the redeveloped Stirling Street Arts Centre was a fantastic event. I would like to congratulate everyone involved in this project. The SSAC Summer School is scheduled to start in January and I encourage you to have a look to see what is on offer as this is a perfect opportunity to check out the new Centre.

Members of our community work everyday to put together community events for us all to enjoy. Over recent weeks I have attended the Bunbury Dolphin Festival at the Dolphin Discovery Centre, the Dalyellup Street Party, a Fishability open day, the White Ribbon Day silent march, Diwali and the HIA Housing Awards. Each was a great event in its own right and together they show what a diverse but connected community we live in.

 


I thoroughly enjoyed Small Business Day this year. During the week leading up to the day itself I hosted a couple of Business Breakfasts, one in the CBD and one at Halifax. We talked about ideas to best support local businesses into the future. On Small Business Day itself I visited businesses up and down Victoria Street and at the Parks Centre. As usual I was impressed with the range and quality of wares available in Bunbury. If there was ever a Christmas season when our local shop owners needed your support it is this year so please, when you do the Christmas Shopping, Buy Local!

Finally, over recent weeks I have been attending graduation ceremonies and awards presentations for our local school. I am never disappointed by the achievements or the attitudes of Bunbury students when I attend these events so my congratulations go to all students for completing another year of their education with a special mention to all those who graduated this year.
 

What's Coming Up

As well as attending the amazing events put on by our community, I also run a few of my own. A calendar of coming events is below.

You are welcome to come along to my mobile office. There is no need to RSVP, just come along on the day.


Mobile Office
Saturday 12 December, 10.00am
Jetty Baths, Casuarina Drive, Bunbury

Christmas Morning Tea – Volunteers’ Thank You Event
In recognition of International Volunteers’ Day, Volunteers South West and I will be co-hosting our annual Christmas event to thank all the volunteers in our community for the contribution they make. A feature of this year’s event will be the announcement and presentation of the Volunteer of the Year Awards.
 
If you are a volunteer, which includes sports coaches, P&C members, people who sit on community boards and committees and people who work hours of unpaid overtime in our community as well as traditional volunteers, you are very welcome to attend this event.

Likewise if you are an organisation that relies on volunteers and would like to encourage them to come along, please get in touch with my office on 9791 3636.
 
Saturday, 5 December, 10.00am
Bunbury Regional Entertainment Centre, Blair Street, Bunbury
 You can register your attendance by visiting www.proudlybunbury.com.au/events/

In the Parliament

Since my last newsletter, Estimates Hearings have been conducted. Estimates is a process that enables the opposition to question the Government of the day on all aspects of the budget. Our Treasurer handed down an excellent budget that properly balance the need for economic stimulus with financial responsibility.

One of the great features of our Parliament is 90 second statements. Once a week on a Thursday, Members are able to make a 90 second statement on any issue they like, with most using the opportunity to congratulate constituents on achievements in their electorate. This month I made a statement congratulating the graduates of the PCYC Leadership course. This is a fantastic program for young people aged between 14 and 18 who have disengaged from main stream schooling. This is such a good news story for our community because of the passion and commitment of the trainers from PCYC, the hard work and achievement of the young people who participate in the program and the emergence of people like Kaiowas Carroll who received the award for Leader of Tomorrow.

 

I was able to further support our community by tabling a petition from the South West Aboriginal Medical Service calling for support for their proposed South West Health Hub. The Hub is a great project and SWAMS have done an enormous amount of work developing the proposal but primary health is essentially a Commonwealth responsibility. I am very supportive of the project and hope our Federal representatives recognise the value of the project and commit funding to get the ball rolling.

The National Party moved a motion questioning our management of Royalties for Regions which gave me the opportunity to give a speech outlining the responsible way the McGowan Government has used Royalties for Regions to benefit the South West along with the rest of regional WA.

The most recent sitting of Parliament was the last for this term of Government which meant we were both saddened and inspired by the final speeches of a number of our colleagues. A number of outstanding members of the McGowan Government will be retiring at the coming election. Amongst them will be Minister Ben Wyatt, Fran Logan and Mick Murray, Speaker Peter Watson and Member for the Kimberley Josie Farrer. It really has been an honour to serve with all of these members. Joining them in their retirement will be Hon Mike Nahan MLA and John McGrath MLA.

As has come to be tradition, the Legislative Assembly concluded its sitting year with a song from Hon. David Templeman MLA. If you want to be serenaded by David or hear the speeches of our retiring members, visit https://parliament.wa.gov.au/hansard/hansard.nsf/NewAdvancedSearch and search the Hansard transcripts of November 18 and 19.
As you can see, both myself and my office have kept busy working for Bunbury. Whether you have an issue that needs addressing or you would just like to say hello, I encourage you to get in touch.

All the best to you and your family.

Don

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