It was good to be home between Parliamentary sitting weeks, when last Friday in Dubbo I hosted Leslie Williams, the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs and Early Childhood Education as well as Duncan Gay, the Minister for Roads to make two significant announcements regarding pre-school education and upgrades to Blackbutt Road respectively.
Checking in after the flood water has gone
Given the vast amount of rain and flood waters that our region has seen in the recent weeks (and likely to continue) I encourage landholders and farmers to get in touch with Local Land Services (LLS) Central West on 1300 795 299 or via email email@example.com to report agricultural losses including fencing, crops and stranded, injured or deceased livestock.
LLS want to get a clear understanding of and assess the extent and nature of the damage that has occurred so that resources can be best directed and provided to producers across the region.
LLS will also compile a report for the Department of Primary Industries to paint a clear picture of the recent rainfall and flood damage across the State.
Homelessness in NSW
Many think that homelessness is an issue for those in the cities, however, there are many in our region who struggle to find suitable accommodation and I receive a number of calls for assistance from those who are couch surfing and experiencing homelessness here locally.
The NSW Government has recently released a discussion paper on the issue of homelessness and is seeking feedback, ideas and input from the community as to how we can better deal with and respond to the issue of homelessness.
I invite you to contribute to this discussion by completing the online survey www.surveymonkey.com/r/foundationsforchange by emailing:Homelessness.Strategy@facs.nsw.gov.au or sending your suggestions by post to my office (PO Box 1327 Dubbo NSW 2830). Feedback must be received by Friday, October 14
to be included in the state-wide submissions.
The Dubbo Electorate: key to the Central West
I have hosted Minister for Planning, Rob Stokes in the electorate twice this year and on each occasion the Minister has stressed the importance of our region to the State economy.
The Department of Planning has recently released statistics and population projections that highlight the growth of our region and its importance to the State more broadly.
I don’t need to preach, but I’m proud of our economic strengths which include agriculture, mining, manufacturing, health, education and tourism.
These industries will continue to grow sustainably and support jobs growth in our local communities, including Dubbo, Mudgee, Narromine and Wellington.
More information, including statistics broken down by Local Government Area, can be found at www.planning.nsw.gov.au/projections or by contacting my office (02) 6882 3577.
Buy, eat and support home-grown products
In recent weeks I’ve spoken about supporting and buying local and I do try to get to the Farmer’s Markets in Dubbo and Mudgee and stop in Geurie to buy some Narromine oranges when I can.
On Thursday this week, thanks to the grant provided by the Murray Darling Basin Regional Economic Diversification Program, Mudgee Fine Foods will launch the Mudgee Farm Gate Trail showcasing over 19 local fine food producers.
I congratulate the farmers, businesses and producers involved with this project and wish them all the best with the initiative.