As Christmas draws near, it is time again to reflect on another productive and busy year in Wannon. Thanks to the hard work of our communities and with your support, the government has delivered another year that has made our communities stronger and safer.

From roads and communications to trade and national security, the government is working hard to grow opportunities, generate jobs and build a prosperous economy.

The Coalition Government is continuing to roll out the largest investment in infrastructure in Australia’s history – nearly $50 billion across Australia. This investment in our roads is creating jobs, making travel faster and safer, and connecting our communities.

Wannon will benefit from over $500 million worth of funding in this scheme. With the duplication of the Western Highway, Black Spot projects, regional bridges programme and funding for local roads through Roads to Recover, the government is delivering on better roads, faster.

Communications, in particular, mobile phone reception and the NBN, have continued to be delivered.

Wannon will benefit from the first round of the Mobile Phone Black Spot Programme in which we secured $10.4 million for areas suffering from poor reception.  These towers and upgrades will mean that towns like Dunolly, Moonambel, Landsborough and Avoca will see better phone reception.

We have seen in one year a faster roll out of fixed wireless services than ever before. Since coming to government, the Coalition has sped up the rollout of the NBN by over 400 percent. This means that by mid-2016 one in three Australian homes and businesses will have access to the NBN.

The trifecta of free trade agreements signed with our largest trading partners in Asia – China, Japan and South Korea – are now delivering in real terms for our communities. Beef exports to Korea have increased by nearly 30 percent and lamb exports have increased by 35 percent.

These deals are only a part of the government’s commitment to strong and sustainable economic growth that will deliver jobs and growth to the region.

However, there is still much to be done. I am committed to ensuring that in 2016 we work harder to help reduce pressures on families, generate jobs and grow opportunities.

Over Christmas, I encourage everyone to shop locally to support local jobs in our communities. Small businesses make our towns the places we love to live. I also remind people that we must make road safety our priority. I’d like to encourage people to slow down on our roads, plan travelling time including breaks, be patient and drive carefully.

With my wife Sarah and our family, I’d like to wish everyone in Wannon a very merry Christmas and a safe and happy New Year.