Daylight saving started at 2am on Sunday and I hope everyone has by now adjusted all their clocks. As the weather gets warmer, an extra hour of sunlight at the end of the day will enable families and friends to enjoy outdoor activities after work and school. Whether it’s enjoying a hit of cricket in the backyard, going for a swim or dining alfresco. Many residents of the Dubbo Electorate will relish the opportunity to soak up as much of the warm weather as they can.
‘SHARE THE JOURNEY’ TO IMPROVE MENTAL HEALTH
I urge all members of the Dubbo electorate to check in with friends, family and colleagues during Mental Health Month this October.
In the face of busy lives and conflicting priorities, I encourage all communities in the electorate to focus on mental wellbeing this October, even if we ourselves have not suffered from mental illness. The theme for Mental Health Month 2017 is ‘Share the Journey’, to highlight the importance of social relationships to improve overall mental health.
Maintaining good relationships can improve our ability to cope with life’s challenges and help build resilience in trying times. Providing the right support and promoting the best possible recovery from mental illness is crucial as 45% of all Australians will experience some form of mental illness during their lifetime, and those who don’t will likely know someone who does.
I would like to acknowledge and celebrate the work of organisations and individuals in our communities who are at the forefront of making a difference in the lives of people living with a mental illness.
The NSW Government is investing a record $1.9 billion for mental health funding in the 2017/18 Budget, including an additional $20 million to support the ongoing strengthening of community-based mental health care in NSW.
For details on events held in the Dubbo Electorate during Mental Health Month visit: www.mentalhealthmonth.wayahead.org.au/about-mental-health-month/. If you or someone you know needs crisis support, call Lifeline on 13 11 14. For mental health services please contact the NSW Mental Health Line on 1800 011 511.
STRONGER COUNTRY COMMUNITIES FUND
The $200 million Stronger Country Communities Fund is all about investing in local infrastructure projects for rural and regional communities, making them even more vibrant places to live and work. Tranche B which contained Dubbo Regional Council closed on September 13 and the council has received a multitude of applications.
Tranche C which contains Mid-Western Regional Council and Narromine Shire Council is now open and I strongly suggest that these councils and local residents to nominate community infrastructure projects to receive funding under the NSW Government’s new Stronger Country Communities Fund.
This funding will go towards projects that the community needs and wants – this is your chance to build or refurbish school facilities, libraries, parks, walking or cycle paths, health centres, country halls and playgrounds.
Although councils will submit all applications to the fund, community groups are strongly encouraged to identify proposals that meet local aspirations and ensure their local councils submit proposals on behalf of the community. I encourage community groups and residents in Dubbo electorate to also share your ideas for potential projects with me.
The fund will support projects between $100,000 and $1 million, or higher with financial co-contribution and is a once-in-a-generation investment in the infrastructure that will make our towns and regional cities the kinds of places people want to live in, and love to live in. I hope everyone had a safe and happy long weekend. Til next week, Troy.