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Six million Dollar upgrade to LH Ford Bridge

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

A six million dollar upgrade for the LH Ford Bridge in Dubbo was revealed today by the Member for Dubbo, Troy Grant.  Mr Grant was accompanied by Mr Peter Hamilton, the Project Manager from the Roads & Maritime Services (RMS) for the announcement.

“This is a very significant upgrade for such a vitally important bridge along one of our State’s major Highways.  It is a key road link servicing the large amount of freight traffic in and out of Dubbo,” Mr Grant said.

The $6 million investment will involve work strengthening the bridge, improving its sagging profile and undertaking necessary repairs to the steel bearings and half joints along the drop-in span of the bridge.  The work will allow the carrying capacity of the bridge to be increased.

The upgrade will involve significant structural engineering work.  A barge will be placed on the Macquarie River under the bridge in order to commence the engineering work required.  Aesthetically the bridge will have two new column piers under the long expanse of the bridge to achieve these improvements.

“I understand that RMS has consulted widely with river users and Dubbo City Council to ensure each appreciates the nature of the work to be undertaken and in order to minimise the disruption the planned work will have upon the river during this period,” said Mr Grant.

The barge will be introduced to this section of the Macquarie River over coming weeks in order to commence the process of ground investigation.  An environmental impact assessment will take place in July 2013. The detailed design and advance works will commence in 2013/14, with construction expected to occur in 2014/15.



Thursday, July 26, 2012
Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) will host the regional Great Engineering Challenge in Dubbo on 9 August as part of Australian Engineering Week.

Member for Dubbo Troy Grant said RMS was a proud sponsor of the event which aimed to promote awareness of engineering as a career choice to students entering their final years of high school.

“RMS employs hundreds of engineers and is keen to encourage students to embrace it as a career path,” Mr Grant said.

“The event at Dubbo Sportsworld will see students presented with three challenges that demonstrate some of the skills regularly used by engineers.

“This will include a bridge-building challenge, a road pavement drainage challenge and a surveying amazing race.”

Mr Grant said students would be encouraged to think laterally to solve puzzles and construct solutions.

More than 200 students from 18 schools are registered to attend this year’s event.


Monday, July 23, 2012

Member for Dubbo Troy Grant today announced one of the first 18 new one-stop shops which will give access to 210 Government services will be located in Dubbo.

Mr Grant said Dubbo’s new Service NSW centre was the next step in cutting red tape and bringing the Government closer to the people.

Combined with a new 24 hour phone service, and a new internet portal to give easy access across Government, the one-stop shops will save time and money, with business expected to save $4.8 billion a year in lost productivity.

Mr Grant said Dubbo’s Service NSW office would be established within the existing Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) office in Macquarie Street.

“We are making it as easy as possible to do business with the Government and this new office is another step in the right direction,” Mr Grant said.

“It will be open from 7am until 7pm during the week and from 9am to 3pm on Saturday – meaning you can do your business with Government at a time that suits you.

“Services available at the new office include all the usual RMS licensing, registration, and testing; but you will also be able to pay your rates, enrol to vote or get a national parks annual pass, among other things.”

Mr Grant said he welcomed the announcement of Premier Barry O’Farrell that Mike Pratt would be the State’s first Customer Service Commissioner.

Mr Pratt, a career banker who has held senior roles at Westpac, NAB and the Bank of New Zealand, will oversee service reforms across the NSW public sector.

“Increasingly, private sector organisations are moving to deliver their products and services across a range of distribution channels such as contact centres, internet, and branches to make it more efficient for consumers and to improve the customer experience," said Mr Pratt.

“The citizens of NSW rightly expect their Government to do likewise, and it is pleasing to see the Government moving to deliver services in a much-improved and integrated manner,” he said.




Tuesday, July 17, 2012
The Member for Dubbo Troy Grant has welcomed the NSW Government’s bold vision for a more transparent, effective, and efficient planning system on the back of Planning Minister Brad Hazzard's visit to Dubbo today.

The Minister's visit to Dubbo also included a briefing by the Mayor of Dubbo on progress with the implementation of the recently adopted Dubbo LEP.

"The Minister's visit could not be more timely given the release of the Green Paper – A New Planning System for NSW," said Mr Grant.

"The paper reinforces the NSW Government’s vision to give communities a greater say in planning for their future growth and development within their local area.

“In creating a planning system for the 21st century, the NSW Government is ensuring public interest will be at the forefront."

Mr Grant said a Public Participation Charter will be developed which will require the community to be consulted as part of the plan-making and development assessment process.

“Residents will also be able to access planning information in simple language and view all relevant planning guidelines for their land by pressing a button or two on a computer," said Mr Grant.

“This will be a system that helps us achieve clarity around what we want for our local area and will make it simpler for the average property owner to get on with approvals for homes and businesses.

“Across the state we will get a clearer understanding of what land will be preserved for agricultural purposes, biodiversity, urban renewal sites, employment lands – indeed every planning purpose."

The report also highlights that councils should give some serious consideration to adopting independent hearing and assessment panels as has happened in 11 councils already (voluntarily) across the state added Mr Grant.

The Green Paper is available at and submission can be made until Friday 14 September 2012


Monday, July 16, 2012

North Dubbo’s struggling stormwater infrastructure will get $1.5 million boost thanks to a generous loan subsidy from the NSW Government’s Local Infrastructure Renewal Scheme, Member for Dubbo Troy Grant said today.

The $70 million scheme provides councils with a four per cent interest subsidy over 10 years on loans to allow infrastructure projects which languished for 16 years under Labor to finally go ahead.

Minister for Local Government Don Page said the scheme would unlock shovel-ready infrastructure projects for communities across the State.

Mr Grant said the local project will provide trunk drainage infrastructure in North Dubbo which will support other drainage initiatives such as improving kerbs and guttering so that stormwater can be discharged to receiving areas.

“I am delighted the NSW Government can assist our community to have work begin on this vital project in a growing part of our community sadly ignored by Labor,’’ Mr Grant said.

“This project will provide underground drainage for the first time to the area which has a significant population.

“Anyone who has been in this area knows that, being flat, there are difficulties in draining stormwater away.

“Draining stormwater away properly reduces flooding which endangers residents and causes damage to dwellings as well as disruption and inconvenience to the community.’’

Dubbo City Council plans to borrow $1.5 million to fund the work, assisted by the State Government’s interest rate subsidy under the Local Infrastructure Renewal Scheme.

Mr Page said the projects covered by the scheme include roads, bridges, community halls, libraries, paths, parks, water facilities and airports.

The scheme is expected to give the green light to up to $1 billion worth of infrastructure across the State.

“Almost 100 applications from councils across the State were received for funding - a response which illustrated how dire the backlog in infrastructure was under the previous Labor Government,” Mr Page said.

“This scheme is a promise kept by the NSW Liberals & Nationals. It will create jobs, develop and renew infrastructure and improve the quality of life for the people of NSW.

“With the first round of applications complete, there is still $60 million to fund other projects across the State in future rounds of grants under the scheme," Mr Page said.

Mr Page urged councils who missed out to apply for the second round of funding, expected to open by the end of the year.

NSW Treasurer Mike Baird said the Government was serious about building for the future.

"What we are saying to councils is that we will help share the burden on borrowing costs on the loans required to tackle the infrastructure backlog," Mr Baird said.


Wednesday, July 11, 2012

The Member for Dubbo Troy Grant has expressed confidence in the prospect of two regionally significant mining ventures realising their potential for economic growth and employment generation.

Following a briefing from Alkane Resources Managing Director Ian Chalmers on progress with the Tomingley Gold and Copper project yesterday, Mr Grant offered enthusiastic support for the proposal that is close to completing its approval stage.

"There is no doubt that this project will be of enormous economic significance to Dubbo and the surrounding region," said Mr Grant.

Mr Grant was also briefed on the Toongi project that will tap into one of the worlds largest in- ground deposits of precious metal resources including zirconium.

"I'm really excited by these two projects, it demonstrates the deep commitment of Alkane to the local community and that the company is very much aware of its social responsibilities," said Mr Grant.

"Alkane is keen to ensure that community concerns over these operations are appropriately addressed and will continue to consult widely over the life of these projects."

"Companies like Alkane provide a good example of striking the right balance between agricultural sustainability and mineral resource extraction.

"I have every confidence that the community will embrace the opportunities created by these mining ventures to improve the livelihoods of many families within the Dubbo electorate."


Wednesday, July 11, 2012

The Member for Dubbo Troy Grant today encouraged Aboriginal artists in the Dubbo electorate to enter the 2012 Parliament of New South Wales Aboriginal Art Prize – an annual acquisitive prize of $40,000, awarded to the finest example of contemporary Aboriginal art in New South Wales.

Mr Grant said entries are now open, and will be accepted up until Friday 3rd August 2012.

"Everyone from professional to emerging artists have the opportunity to compete for the coveted Prize, and for the chance to be included in an exhibition of finalists at Parliament House throughout October," Mr Grant said

"Now in its eighth year, the Prize is the largest combined art prize currently on offer for Aboriginal artists, featuring not only the main cash prize, but also a professional development program and generous student scholarships through the College of Fine Arts, UNSW.

"The Prize contributes over $160,000 to help foster the continued growth and development of Aboriginal art in New South Wales. This has been made possible through a joint partnership between the Parliament of NSW, Campbelltown Arts Centre, Arts NSW, the College of Fine Arts and newest event partner, Coal & Allied."

Previous winners of the award include Esme Timbery, Roy Kennedy, Danny Eastwood and the Euraba Artists and Papermakers. The 2011 prize was awarded to Leanne Tobin, for her stirring work Defending Country.

"It is life changing, not just for me but also for Darug people," Ms Tobin said.

"We have been working to try and get recognition in our country and to now have this painting in Parliament House has such significance for us. We have had people in the mountains crying with happiness over it. It is a really big win for Darug people."

Entrants can also choose to be considered for the College of Fine Arts Professional Development Award - a two week residency at the College, featuring a solo exhibition at COFAspace in 2013. Past winners have included Graham Davis King, Fabri Blacklock, Penny Evans, Frances Belle Parker and the 2011 recipient, David Nolan.

The Parliament of New South Wales Aboriginal Art Prize will be open for entries until Friday, 3rd August 2012. For more information on eligibility criteria and for full terms and conditions of entry please contact Campbelltown Arts Centre on 02 4645 4100 or by email to

An electronic version of the entry form is also available at

The 2012 Prize is currently on a tour of regional New South Wales, which has included showings at the Muswellbrook Regional Gallery and Brewarrina Visitor Information and Cultural Centre, with the next stops being the Grafton Regional Gallery (4th July – 24th August 2012) and the Tamworth Regional Gallery (15th September – 20th October 2012).


Tuesday, June 12, 2012
The New South Wales Nationals held their first Women's Council in Sydney on June 1-2 in the first step to create a body within the party to mentor and encourage regional women to enter politics.

The Council's first meeting brought together more than 80 women from around regional NSW to elect leadership positions and decide on the future direction of the Council in promoting regional women in politics.

Dubbo electorate representatives included Pauline McAllister, Marie Maguire, Brie Colley and Belinda Strahorn.

NSW Nationals Chairman Mrs Christine Ferguson said the initiative was a welcome opportunity for regional women to share their skills and experience with others as well as to practice new skills, network and take their increased awareness and motivation back to help their communities.

"I am convinced the sheer talent and enthusiasm that was evident at this Council meeting will make this body a force to be reckoned with in representing regional women," Mrs Ferguson said.

"With a federal election looming, there is no better time for women within the NSW Nationals to take on a leadership role and also encourage others to get involved in representing their communities."

The NSW Minister for Women, Hon Pru Goward MP, was the first guest speaker at the two-day meeting, followed by a no less impressive list of female political powerhouses including the former Member for Riverina, Mrs Kay Hull; President of the NRMA, Wendy Machin; former president of the UN Women Australia, Sue Conde and Dr Jacky Abbott, president of the party's Federal Women's Council.

NSW Nationals female delegates from Electorate Councils joined current and former State and Federal Members of Parliament in discussing regional engagement strategies, maximising influence on policy and training opportunities over the two days.

Senator Fiona Nash, Jenny Gardiner MLC, Melinda Pavey MLC, Sarah Mitchell MLC and Leslie Williams MP played key roles in guiding delegate discussion on the aims of the Council and what it hoped to achieve.

Ballina Councillor Sharon Cadwallader was thrilled to be elected chairman of the new body following the productive two-day meeting.

"Two days of brainstorming has given us plenty of plans we would like to set in motion and I'm certain that together we will achieve great things for regional women sooner rather than later" Mrs Cadwallader said.

NSW Nationals Chairman Mrs Christine Ferguson  0409 147 057

NSW Nationals Women's Council Chairman Cr Sharon Cadwallader 0419 973 166


Tuesday, June 12, 2012

A significant injection of funds into roads and health services in the Dubbo electorate, in the NSW Governments second budget demonstrates its commitment to improving service delivery in regional NSW, the Member for Dubbo Troy Grant said.

The $80 million re-development of Dubbo Base Hospital has received a further injection of funds to the tune of $12.5 million allocated this financial year towards stages 1 and 2 of the re-development.

"This exciting project moves a step further towards completion with the welcome injection of funds," Mr Grant said.
An additional $2.3 million will be directed towards the upgrade of Forbes and Parkes Hospitals.

"This has been achieved against the backdrop of significant challenges facing the NSW economy," said Mr Grant.
"The NSW Government understands how important it is to secure better health outcomes for the people of the Dubbo electorate."

The Government has also delivered $35.8 million through its roads budget towards infrastructure and maintenance upgrades for the region.

A further $1.1 million has been set aside to undertake pavement re-building on the Newell Highway at Yellow Creek north of Dubbo, while similar work will be undertaken on the Newell Highway north of Forbes at a cost of $800,000.

Residents will be pleased to learn that the NSW Government is honouring its election commitment by sealing Tony McGrane Way between Tullamore and Narromine at a cost of $700,000 and will fund a further upgrade of the LH Ford Bridge over the Macquarie River on the Mitchell Highway at a cost of $650,000.

Forbes locals stand to benefit from the provision of a turning lane on the Newell Highway that will cost $940, 000.

Honouring its election commitment, the NSW Government has allocated $700,000 towards the upgrade of the Newell Highway and Boothenba Road to enable its future use by road trains and b-doubles seeking access.

The Taronga Western Plains Zoo will pick up $6.4 million for construction and restoration projects within the zoo.
The Riverside Centre in Dubbo will obtain an additional $1 million towards its redevelopment.

Parkes Police Station has achieved a further $5.8 million out of the budget towards its $14 million upgrade.

The Budget allocates $178 million to employ additional police, as part of the Government’s commitment to increase authorised police numbers by 400 by June 2014.

Almost $100 million is allocated for a State Emergency services package designed to help prepare for and respond to floods and storms.

The Peak Hill Community Bus will receive $33,000 to enable it to provide ongoing transport to the frail, aged and disables.

Within the education portfolio $318 million will be spent on school maintenance with schools in the Dubbo electorate receiving over $600,000.

Dubbo College Delroy Campus will receive $200,000 for the upgrade and resurfacing of external paving and Narromine High School will be allocated the same amount for toilet renovations.

The Budget includes a $30 million boost to our Local Government Infrastructure Renewal Scheme, which helps councils with the borrowing costs on loans to address infrastructure backlogs. Dubbo and Parkes Shire were among the 69 councils that applied in the first round.

“While the Federal Government is contributing less to NSW infrastructure, the NSW Budget increases infrastructure spending by 17 per cent over the next four years, compared with the last four years," said Mr Grant.

"The people of Dubbo will see in this Budget a focus on building better infrastructure for the services we rely on every day."



Monday, June 04, 2012

Every ratepayer of Dubbo, Forbes, Parkes, Cabonne and Narromine Councils will be slugged by the Labor government carbon tax, Member for Dubbo Troy Grant said.

Mr Grant has condemned Federal Labor’s carbon tax as an attack on NSW residents and ratepayers.

As revealed recently, council rates across NSW will next year increase by at least $14m – the direct result of Federal Labor’s carbon tax.

Dubbo City Council will have to collect an additional $93,370 in rates alone due to the carbon tax.

Cabonne Council will have to collect an additional $34,616, Forbes Shire Council $24,908; Narromine Shire Council $17,189; Parkes Shire Council $30,680

“Our worst fears regarding Federal Labor’s Carbon Tax have now become a reality,” Mr Grant said.

“It’s not only energy bills where local residents will feel the impact of the Carbon Tax, they are also going to cop it in the hip pocket when it comes time to pay their council rates.

“This rates increase will be another financial burden for NSW households, with average electricity bills to rise by approximately $182, mainly due to the introduction of the carbon tax.”

Mr Grant said that is was extremely disappointing for the Local Government industry that the new tax has not taken into account the significant impact of the tax on the local government sector.

“Some Councils in NSW will still be slugged for other facilities including water treatment plants.

“Unlike some individuals who will receive some compensation, of Dubbo, Forbes, Parkes, Cabonne and Narromine Councils will receive no compensation, so ultimately ratepayers will cop it.

“This ‘reprieve’ announced by the Acting Prime Minister will only delay the costs for 12 months relating to landfill facilities that Councils operate but does not assist with the majority of other costs.

“There are potentially millions of dollars more in costs that the Federal Labor Government has shamelessly walloped every council in the state with no way to pay it.

“It is clear that the federal Labor government failed to take into account the Local Government sector – now they are trying to play catch-up with policy on the run.

“I call on the Federal Government to scrap this carbon tax - It would be the best thing the Federal Government could do for of Dubbo, Forbes, Parkes, Cabonne and Narromine Councils Mr Grant concluded.

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