Transcript: Coffs Harbour Central Sportz Stadium announcement, Tuesday 14 May
With The Nationals Candidate for Cowper Patrick Conaghan
Yep. Okay. All right. All right, well welcome everybody, and I'd like to welcome here today at Sportz Central, the Deputy Prime Minster, Michael McCormick, for a very special announcement. As an election commitment, we're announcing $6.3 million for the upgrade and extension of Sportz Central here today. This building was built some 30 years ago partly through funding by the Sportz Central itself, and 30 years later it is at full capacity. Over 5,000 people per week. So what we have here is basketball, netball, football, disabled sports. So the additional grant of $6.3 million will provide a further basketball court, new facilities, new change facilities and something that is really sorely needed, and no doubt very well received by Sportz Central today.
Well done Patrick, and it is well done Patrick, because this is the sort of delivery that you can expect from Pat Conaghan. This is the sort of commitment that he's making to Coffs Harbour, to Cowper. This is the sort of delivery he's going to do, and he's going to get on board with more infrastructure for Cowper, for Coffs Harbour, for Port Macquarie, and for all of the places in between. This $6.3 million is such a significant amount of money, because it's going to as Pat has just said, add another court, but what adding another court does, it enables for Coffs Harbour Basketball Association that ability to streamline their time, so that if say a mum has her child playing at 6:00 at night, and then another one who has to play again at 8:00 at night, it's going to enable them to actually streamline the draws, to provide more times, build more capacity into the scheduling of basketball.
So it's going to make it easier for families. They don't have to sit around and wait for hours until the next child plays their game. It's going to streamline training times. It's going to make it so much easier for families, but build the capacity of these courts, so that more regional carnivals, more schools can play down here. And it's going to be fantastic not just for basketball, and I know basketball very well because I've been the president of Wagga Wagga Basketball Association, and I know how difficult it is with scheduling. I know how difficult it is when those sorts of sports are so popular.
And I've been told that the local basketball competition has had to turn players and turn teams away, because they just didn't have the capacity to be able to field all the teams in the stadium at the one time, and over of course, the course of seven days a week. So this is going to build their ability for scheduling, it's going to help Futsal, it's going to help wheelchair games, it's going to help Life Ball, and for the elderly, that's a fantastic sport, a fantastic initiative, getting fit, getting healthy, and getting active.
And that's what this is all about, making sure that Coffs Harbour can be the best sporting community it can be, and wouldn't have happened without Pat Conaghan fighting hard, and making sure that he's committed to better sporting infrastructure, to better community capacity, and to building Coffs Harbour sport, and family life, and community life. That's what this bloke's all about, and I'm proud to stand alongside him with this $6.3 million election commitment today.
How close is the contest going to be in Cowper?
Well, I think every contest right around Australia is going to be close. We take absolutely nothing for granted. National Party people never do. We get in there, we fight hard. We don't just do it around campaign time. We fight hard all year round. All year, every day, every week, every month, that's what we do, and I know that Pat Conaghan is a fighter. I know that he's somebody who's going to deliver for Cowper, and I'm really looking forward to him joining the National Party team. I need him in there fighting for the regions. I need him in here fighting for Cowper, and I need him to continue the fine work that the Nationals have always done for this region.
What do you think about Russell Crowe's endorsement of Rob Oakeshott?
MCCORMACK: Well, I didn't mind Russell Crowe in Gladiator, but sometimes I think movie stars should stick to their knitting.
Do you think this could be a decider? Sorry. The seat of Cowper for this election?
MCCORMACK: Well, I think every seat's going to be a decider. Every seat's going to be decisive. I mean, you have to win 76 seats to form government in the lower house to be sure that you can do the sorts of delivery that you've promised prior to the election. We want to make sure that we seal of course those 76 seats, and we want to make sure that we do it not just for ourselves and our jobs, but for the people of Australia. We want the people of Australia to have lower taxes. We want the people of Australia, the families, the small businesses, to be able to have jobs for the future. That's the Pat Conaghan way. That's the National Party way, and that's what we want to do, particularly for regional Australia, and regional Australians are going to be very hard hit, particularly around here by Bill Shorten and Labors retiree tax.
That's the prospect that people, particularly elderly people who have retiree savings, they're going to have those retiree savings stolen by Bill Shorten and his union apparatchiks, and his Labor movement, and Get Up, and the Greens, because that's the way he'll go down. That's the way he'll go down the path of governing this country should he be given the keys to the lodge. That's not the way that the Liberals and Nationals want to make sure that Australia goes. We want to make sure that Australia has a better and brighter future, and that's why we're investing in the regions and in projects such as this today.
How big a threat is Oakeshott?
Look, I'm not worried about threats like that. What I'm worried about is making sure that regional people know that the Nationals have their back, whether it's through drought, whether it's making sure the jobs, better education, better services for health. That's the Pat Conaghan way. I know he's got a positive plan for the future. We're the ones with the blueprint for the future. It was last month's budget. 600 measures, for regional areas, 600 positive measures. Independents, well they can just sit outside the room and throw stones at those who perhaps are forming the decisions, who are making the funding announcements.
The Independent way, well that's absolutely no way, because they don't have the capacity to lobby those Ministers to get better delivery for the people they are supposed to serve.
You've launched some very personal attack ads on Rob Oakeshott this week. Did you approve those?
MCCORMACK: Well, Rob Oakeshott launched a very personal attack on me, when somebody who's name just happened to be McCormick said it was my son. So he doesn't check his facts. I mean, Rob Oakeshott held up a Labor government, a Labor Greens alliance, which damaged this country to the tune of tens of billions of dollars deficit and debt, debt that we're still paying back. Of course, we've got the budget back in surplus. We know how to handle money. A vote for Rob Oakeshott is a vote for Bill Shorten, and a vote for a worse future. A vote for Rob Oakeshott is a vote for less jobs and higher taxes, and retiree savings that will just disappear.
Is this the kind of message we should be seeing in political advertising though? Personal attacks?
Well, the fact is I've just said Rob Oakeshott stands for Bill Shorten. He stands for Labor. Rob Oakeshott doesn't mind throwing it out, saying people who aren't my son, are my son. So if he wants to give it out, well he can get a bit back of it too.
When will you be campaigning in your own electorate? Is that going to happen anytime soon, in the next week?
Well I've got 12 local government areas in my electorate, and I think I'll be just about the only, probably the only candidate in my election who's been out to each and every one of them, and most of them not once, but twice, just during this election campaign period. I've spoken to each and every mayor, just about every week, and I do that all the time. And the fact is, I'll be there on Thursday making a big announcement in Parkes. I'll be back in Wagga Wagga, my hometown, on Friday, and certainly in and around the electorate on Saturday campaigning.
I don't take anything for granted, and no member of parliament should. It doesn't matter if they're a back bencher, or indeed the Prime Minister. And I know that the Prime Minister and I, we have our own electorates to win, Cook and Riverina, and we'll be working very hard to make sure that our people know that we care about them, and that we deliver, that we deliver better infrastructure, better roads, as part of the $billion record infrastructures right across this country. This can't happen if you don't know how to handle money. This can't happen if you don't run the economy the way it should, and that's why I'm proud to part of a Liberal and Nationals government, that needs to be re-elected for the people of Australia to have a better brighter future.
Thank you very much.