PARLIAMENT HOUSE, Canberra: I want to take this opportunity today to outline some of my priorities for my electorate for this term. I would like to briefly cover six in the time I have available. My first priority is to assist in making a safer Knox area and that involves a number of things. There need to be more security cameras in some of our local shopping strips, most particularly the Mountain Gate shopping strip. There needs to be better lighting in some areas, and we need to work closer with the Knox police and the council to ensure that, overall, people can feel safer. I have done a survey that says one in 10 people do not feel safe in the area so that has to be an absolute priority.
My second priority is to ensure that there are better roads to ease traffic congestion in the outer east. I know the member for Deakin is very aware of this issue as well. The East West Link is critical to this. It not only will ease the Hoddle Street bottleneck at the end of the East Link but it will also take pressure off the Monash Freeway, which so many of my constituents use. But there are additional roads internally which need to be upgraded as well, and I am planning to work cooperatively with the state government to see if we can make an impact on those.
My third priority is this: our community can be made stronger by supporting some of the key local institutions that provide the glue for our society overall. In particular, I think about the local schools, the larger sporting clubs, the larger churches and institutions such as headspace in my electorate. I will be supporting them very strongly, as much as I possibly can, because I think that when you have strong institutions and strong civil society you have a strong harmonious community in total.
Fourthly—and I have raised this before—I will continue to press and fight to get an honour roll for my electorate which can finally recognise in one place everybody who has made the ultimate sacrifice for our nation from our local community.
The last two priorities are local as well as national. The fifth point is that small business and manufacturers need our support across the country, and they particularly do so in my electorate, which has a high concentration of manufacturers, many of which are doing it very tough. We need to do whatever we can to support them, including lowering taxes, reducing red tape and providing incentives for them.
The last priority is doing everything we can to address cost-of-living pressures for everyday Australians. People are doing it tough out there, and the first and best thing that we can do is to get rid of the carbon tax so that the average family will be $550 better off.
They are my priorities for this term. If I can achieve some of those things then I think we will have made a great contribution to the community.