Turnbull to open ground-breaking Vanguard project

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull at Vanguard Laundry.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull at Vanguard Laundry.

UPDATE: Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull will officially open Vanguard Laundry Services today.

The pioneering project, which was designed and built to give out-of-work people with mental health issues a shot at employment, will be launched by Mr Turnbull at 1.30pm at their base on Stephen St.

The initiative was spearheaded by Toowoomba Clubhouse, and executive director Luke Terry said it showed the Garden City was capable of accomplishing great things.

"I love that Toowoomba has pulled this off. We have a major mental health project opened by the prime minister and that counts for something," he said.

"We've hired 23 people and already have a waitlist of people who want to work.

"This project shows that if you give people a shot at working, they will respond."

The opening is just one of several stops on the Prime Minister's last-minute visit to Toowoomba.

Having already visited the site of the Second Range Crossing, the Cobb and Co Museum and lunch at Waltons Stores, Mr Turnbull will head onto Quest Serviced Apartments before enjoying some drinks at Fitzy's on Margaret St around 5pm.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turbull and Nexus Infrastructure chief executive officer John Hagan at the Toowoomba Second Range Crossing site.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turbull and Nexus Infrastructure chief executive officer John Hagan at the Toowoomba Second Range Crossing site.

FIRST UPDATE: Nationals Senator Barry O'Sullivan has slammed Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull ahead of his visit to Toowoomba this morning.

The Toowoomba-based senator criticised the PM for his handling of former Health Minister Sussan Ley's expenses scandal, saying it could have been dealt with sooner.

"We seem to know how to get ourselves into trouble ... we seem to know how to stay in trouble as long as we can," he told NewsCorp.

The Prime Minister is in Toowoomba today to visit the Second Range Crossing along with businesses and community groups.

The visit comes just days after the resignation of Ms Ley over her decision to use a taxpayer-funded trip to inspect a property on the Gold Coast.

Mr O'Sullivan said the scandal suggested the Coalition had failed to learn from its previous mistakes.

"It would seem we didn't learn much from the Bronwyn Bishop episode," he said.

EARLIER: Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull will inspect the Second Range Crossing today as part of a last-minute trip to Toowoomba.

The office of Groom MP John McVeigh confirmed the visit this morning with The Chronicle.

The spokesman said the inspection of the major piece of public infrastructure would not be the only visit, with Mr Turnbull expected to visit Toowoomba businesses and community groups.

The personal visit to one of the Coalition's major achievements comes just days after the Prime Minister was forced to re-shuffle his cabinet after the resignation of Health Minister Sussan Ley.

Mr Turnbull will be joined by Mr McVeigh this morning at the site, just off Mort St.



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