North Coast in 'Premier' position
It has been an incredibly exciting time for the North Coast.
In the last week of July I had the pleasure of welcoming Premier Gladys Berejiklian back to the North Coast. Alongside visits to Tweed, Lismore and Clarence, I was privileged to host her in the electorate of Ballina.
In order for Gladys to get a real sense of the issues affecting the local community, I brought together 250 community leaders from the Ballina and Byron shires for an afternoon tea with the Premier at the Ballina RSL Club.
Schools captains, principals, presidents of local sporting associations, religious leaders, heads of local community organisations, local councillors and representatives of small business are the key drivers for all regional communities.
So to have an opportunity to meet with the Premier – who stated that she would shake the hand of every single person in the room – was something relished by everyone present.
She was warm and engaging and authentic. And the feedback form the community has been phenomenal.
We also had the pleasure of announcing that the Liberal and Nationals Government would double its funding to upgrade the Ballina Lighthouse and Lismore Surf Life Saving Club. The Club is an essential part of the North Coast community. This new funding will help with the construction of a storage facility and gymnasium, which is part of the next stage of the masterplan for the surf club.
The North Coast has some of the most beautiful beaches in the nation. Being able to support the volunteers who patrol these beaches is incredibly important. I look forward to the Premier returning to the area to see the new facilities when they are complete.
Gladys continued her tour of the North Coast along with my Parliamentary colleagues Thomas George, Geoff Provest and Chris Gulaptis. The tour included the opening of the new maternity unit of the Lismore Base Hospital, opening the Enterprise Lab at Southern Cross University and a visit to the Northern Rivers Livestock Exchange to announce an incredible $7 million in funding to upgrade the facilities.
Although she may not be a National, the Premier won the hearts of everyone she met on the North Coast. I know I speak for my colleagues when I say she is welcome back ANY time.
Parliamentary Secretary for Renewable Energy and Northern NSW