I would like to take this opportunity to wish everyone in the Dubbo electorate a very Merry Christmas. It has been a big year for the Dubbo electorate with many great projects underway and many more in the planning.
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It is such a busy time of year as families prepare for the annual festive feast, or perhaps the excitement of the arrival of Santa if there are kids in the house.
While we often focus on the kids and grandkids at this time, it is important to remember to include the older people in our lives in the celebrations as well.
For many older people in our great community the festive season can be a time of loneliness and isolation.
Younger relatives may be living far and wide making travel difficult, and some older people may have experienced the loss of their friends and spouses in recent years.
We know there are clear benefits for older people who maintain personal connections in later life as research by beyondblue shows.
Older people who experience connections with others report better quality of life, need less support around the home and enjoy greater independence.
A simple gesture such as popping over with some food to share, whether it’s a fruit cake or baklava, and inviting an older person to join you for lunch, could bring great joy at this time of year.
Last week in my capacity as Emergency Services Minister I launched the NSW Government’s advertising campaign – Be Water Safe, Not Sorry – that will increase water safety awareness and deter risky behaviour that could lead to drowning.
From Saturday 16 December, the Be Water Safe, Not Sorry campaign will run throughout summer in print, radio and social media.
I encourage the community to adhere to the Governments warning and do what they can do ensure they stay safe. Tragically last summer 41 people lost their lives in NSW waterways, including 17 over the nine days between Christmas and January 2, 2017.
I am urging people to do their part to ensure families and friends aren’t devastated by the loss of a loved one as a result of drowning.
Last summer’s news headlines were marred with water accidents and I call on everyone to act responsibly and remain vigilant. Together let’s make this summer a safe one. I want everyone to take home a very simple message – where there is water, there is danger. For more information visit www.watersafety.nsw.gov.au.
I welcome the establishment of NSW Police Rural Crime Prevention Teams to provide greater support for victims of stock theft, illegal hunting and trespass. Rural Crime Prevention Teams will now work across Northern, Southern and Central NSW, and will be overseen by a State Rural Crime Coordinator.
The teams will complement rural crime legislation recently passed by the NSW Parliament. The NSW Liberals and Nationals Government has a proud record when it comes to rural crime.
Our farmers have enough on their plates without having to bear the brunt of such wanton acts of destruction. These new teams will go a long way to giving them the confidence to report criminal activity, and be on the frontline to prevent and disrupt crime at the same time.
The teams will be supported and coordinated by three Detective Sergeants and a Detective Inspector and will incorporate investigation and prevention with a strong focus on analysis and intelligence sharing across the regions.
Wishing you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! Please stay safe on our roads. Troy
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