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Constituency Statements: Centre for Regional Knowledge and Innovation
During budget week I was very pleased to announce that the Commonwealth will provide $3 million through the National Stronger Regions Fund towards the completion of a new Centre for Regional Knowledge and Innovation in Ringwood, within my electorate of Deakin. This project will enhance Ringwood’s already growing reputation as a civic centre and a place to do business and will be completed in conjunction with the Maroondah City Council and the Queensland Investment Corporation. I was also very happy to welcome the Prime Minister to Ringwood, where he formally announced the funding, viewed plans for the project and met a local champion of that project, Mayor Tony Dib, and the broader project team from Maroondah City Council.
The project, named Realm, will be a state-of-the-art facility and will be constructed in Ringwood on the Eastland Shopping Centre site. Key features of the project include: a new library; a comprehensive customer-service centre, combined with regional information services; a designated art gallery, combined with exhibition spaces throughout the centre; flexible learning spaces for use by all local community groups, including schools, universities and other learning organisations; a cafe; and an interactive local-history display. Importantly, though, it will also provide local small businesses and entrepreneurs with support in growing their businesses and creating new local jobs.
This project, which, as I said, will be a partnership between Maroondah City Council, QRC and the Commonwealth government, demonstrates how the private sector and different levels of government can work together constructively to achieve substantial outcomes for local communities such as mine in Deakin. I am thrilled to have secured $3 million of funding to ensure the completion of this project not only for the way it will create a civic centre in the heart of Deakin but also for the productivity enhancements, the support for small business and the local employment opportunities it will create. Together with the redevelopments occurring at the Ringwood railway station, at Aquanation swimming pool and at the Eastland shopping centre, this project ensures that Ringwood will be the place to be in Melbourne’s east. I would therefore like to take this opportunity to thank all those who worked tirelessly in advocating for the benefits of this project including Mayor Tony Dibb, Councillor Nora Lamont and council CEO Steve Kozlowski, as well as the whole team responsible for putting this project to me and enabling me to advocate for it with the minister. I am very pleased to have delivered $3 million of funding to ensure that my electorate of Deakin remains a wonderful place to raise a family, to work and to start a small business.
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