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Matters of State

Monday, June 25, 2018


The NSW Government last week delivered a forward thinking budget that provides solid investments for essential services including education, health and roads.

The Treasurer announced a surplus of $3.9 billion, zero net debt and forecasted billion dollar plus surplus’ over the next four years.

The NSW Liberals & Nationals in government have shown financial discipline and economic competence to turn this state around from the dark days of Labor, making possible a Budget that will make a positive difference to the lives of all people in NSW, including those living in the Dubbo electorate.

The Budget had a strong focus on giving young people the best start in life, with more health support for newborns and their mothers and investing almost $200 million to allow access to community preschools for three years olds, with NSW being the first state in Australia to do this.

More great news from yesterday’s state budget was the new ‘Creative Kids Rebate’ which will save families $100 per school child to help meet the cost of creative extra-curricular activities, every dollar will help local families.

The Budget also gives apprentices vital support – and makes a significant investment in the skilled workforce of tomorrow – funding 100,000 free apprenticeships in high-demand industries.

These free apprenticeships are a massive leg up for youth in our communities and this investment will help skill up our kids today, for their best chance at tomorrow.

The Budget also does more to make NSW the best place to do business – and continue the boom that has created 500,000 new jobs in the state since 2011.

To lay the foundations for strong, vibrant communities today and into the future, the Budget builds further on last year’s unprecedented infrastructure program, with a new record $87.2 billion pipeline over four years.

It is also important to highlight the $34.68 million allocation made in this year’s budget to important road and rail projects across the electorate. This investment includes funding provided to local councils to assist them in maintaining non-state owned roads.

Dubbo electorate budget highlights include:

  • $66.98 million to local projects under the NSW Governments Restart and Rebuilding NSW funding programs
  • $34.68 million towards important transport, road and rail projects
  • $6.3 million to continue planning for the new Dubbo bridge on the Newell Highway over the Macquarie River
  • $59.2 million in 2018-19 to continue Stage 3 & 4 of the Dubbo Hospital redevelopment
  • $6.0 million allocated in 2018-19 for the commencement of construction on the Western Cancer Centre Dubbo
  • $25.0 million in 2018-19 to kick start construction of the new Mudgee Hospital
  • Funding to partner with Tresillian to establish a Family Care Centre Hub in Dubbo
  • Funding to continue the construction of the Dubbo Networked Specialist School
  • $7.9 million for the ongoing improvements to the visitor experience at Taronga Western Plains Zoo
  • Over $4 million towards local projects under the NSW Governments Regional Cultural and stronger country communities fund

The Dubbo electorate is strong and this year’s state budget will support the continued economic growth of our region into the future.

Until next week,


Matters of State

Monday, June 18, 2018

It was great last week to catch up with my fellow National Party colleagues and party members at the 2018 National Party Conference in Cowra. Over 60 motions from community’s right across the state were discussed at the Conference, ranging from health services and tax policy to important road projects and electricity supply.


I am encouraging residents to celebrate the grandparents and older people in their lives ahead of Grandparents Day this October, by nominating them for an award or getting involved in local events in the community.

Nominations are now open for the 2018 NSW Grandparent of the Year Local and State Awards, which celebrate the valuable contributions grandparents and seniors make to their families and communities.

There are some truly inspiring grandparents and older people who make the local community a supportive, inclusive place to live.

This is our opportunity to showcase the selfless seniors of the region and show our appreciation for their hard work volunteering their time, sharing their knowledge and wisdom, as well as supporting their families. I encourage all residents to submit a nomination to my office for the local Grandparent of the Year.

Meanwhile, I am urging amateur and professional photographers alike to spend some time with their grandparents and snap a photo of them in their everyday life for the Grandparent Day Photography Competition.

The competition aims to foster intergenerational relationships in NSW, as grandchildren learn from their grandparents’ experiences and advice while sharing their own lives.

NSW Grandparents Day will take place on Sunday 28th October 2018. Nominations for the 2018 Local Grandparent of the Year Award are open until Friday 26th October and can be submitted at 1/18 Talbragar St Dubbo or via email.

To submit a nomination for the statewide NSW Grandparent of the Year Award, enter the Photography Competition or for more information visit


Rough sleepers, young people and victims of domestic violence at risk of becoming homeless in the region will receive tailored support to find stability and improve their lives under the NSW Government’s Homeless Strategy.

The 2018/2019 Budget commits more than $1 billion for homelessness services over the next four years to support new and existing initiatives across the state.

That includes $61 million of new funding over the next four years to implement the Homelessness Strategy, with more assertive outreach services for rough sleepers, strengthened risk assessment to address the underlying complexity behind each person’s homelessness and more support to maintain a tenancy.

In the Dubbo electorate, this funding will help people to maintain tenancies, access vital support and avoid homelessness.

Until next week,


Matters of State

Monday, June 11, 2018

It is always encouraging to see, young people in regional NSW focusing on their local communities and the ways in which they can work to improve them for the future. I recently enjoyed see and discussing exactly this with the Max Potential Project recipients in Mudgee.

This project offered by ClubsNSW in partnership with The School of Volunteer Management is educating some of our future local leaders. It provides the opportunity for young adults to impact others by developing leadership skills and participating in real community projects. For more information go to


Last week I was pleased the NSW Government announced application are now open for $1.5 million in grants to make the State’s heritage items more energy efficient.

The Heritage Green Energy Grants program by the Office of Environment and Heritage recognises that energy efficiency can be more difficult to achieve for heritage items than for newer sites or buildings.

The Heritage Green Energy Grants will offer up to $100,000 per application to help owners or managers of heritage buildings that are listed as a heritage item at a Council or State level to bring these places up to speed when it comes to energy efficiency.

Buildings age, materials, type of construction, size, shape and site orientation all play a role in how heritage buildings perform in terms of energy efficiency, so this program will incentivise building managers to think about how their building can be improved.

The grants are open to successful participants of an OEH energy training course, so I encourage all heritage owners and managers who have completed this training to consider what improvements they could be making at their site.

The Heritage Green Energy Grants are available to owners or managers of heritage buildings that are listed as a heritage item on a council’s Local Environment Plan (LEP) or on the State Heritage Register (SHR).

Applications are open from Friday 8th of June and close on 30 September 2018.

More information and guidelines for applicants are available on the OEH website at


With one in five people in NSW believing that they throw away more or much more than they should, I was pleased to hear NetWaste has been awarded an $11,980 grant to help the local community reduce food waste.

The Love Food Hate Waste grants have been awarded under the NSW Environment Protection Authority’s Organics Infrastructure Fund which forms part of the Waste Less, Recycle More initiative.

The Food Smart Pantry to Plate initiative will be delivered to families in Wellington as well as Forbes, Nyngan, Warren, Cobar and Bourke. NetWaste will be joined by former Masterchef winner Kate Bracks to deliver interactive workshops that teach families how to make the most of their food. The project will also be supported by messaging from the Cancer Council NSW’s Eat it to beat it program.

Wasting food wastes money and the considerable energy, water and other resources used to produce food. Preventing food waste is the best outcome for the environment.

More information about this program is available at

Until next week


Matters of State

Monday, June 04, 2018

In your letter boxes this week keep an eye out for my community survey; I have also distributed a letter to every household in Dubbo regarding the potential establishment of a Drug & Alcohol rehabilitation centre in the city. I need your opinion, by sparing only two minutes of your time, this is your chance to really have a say on the future of our community. The community survey can be returned free of charge via reply paid post or dropped into my office at 1/18 Talbragar St, Dubbo. The Drug Rehabilitation survey can be completed online at or call into the office and pick up a hard copy.

Last week I had the opportunity to see the progress being made on the Dubbo Hospital redevelopment. Dubbo has a long and proud history of delivering the best health service available for the community and its surrounding areas and this redevelopment will provide a health service that can adapt and grow with the regions demand. The Premier will be coming to town next month for the official sod turn for stage four of the redevelopment, which includes the essential new cancer centre.

I would also like to wish everyone a happy long-week. Double demerits will be in play from the 8th of June until the 11th, and remember double demerits not only apply to speeding but illegal use of mobile phones, not wearing a seatbelt and riding without a helmet, so make sure to be extra careful on our roads.


With winter upon us, bringing with it reduced temperatures, keeping warm becomes one of our first priorities. With this though comes the increased risk of fire as we light our wood fires, heaters and electric blankets. Winter is the worst time of year for house fires and now is the time to get prepared.

Across the state each winter, Fire & Rescue crews attend an average of 1,230 homes fires, with nearly half of these starting in the kitchen. Research has shown that complacency and inaction are the biggest risk factors when it comes to home fire safety.

Unfortunately on average 21 people die from house fires each year. The only way to improve on this statistic is to change people’s behaviour and attitude towards home fire safety.

Being fire safe doesn’t take much time. Start with testing your smoke alarms every month and replace the batteries every 12 months. It is also important to educate our children to ensure that in the event of a fire that they know what to do and how to get themselves to safety.

Drawing a simple floor plan of your home and planning an escape route is a great way of being prepared, and ensure that keys are kept close to locked doors and windows so they can be opened easily and make sure that all exits are kept clean and hazard free.

The other big fire hazard is from heaters. It is important to keep everything at least one metre away from the heater, always supervise young children in rooms with open fires and working heaters and ensure that your flues and chimneys are regularly cleaned.

Winter is also a great time to get your property ready and prepared for the summer bush fire season. The NSW Rural Fire Service website, contains resources and factsheets on how to ensure you make your property as bush fire safe as possible.

Although summer is not the only season when we need to be bush fire safe, too many times have I heard stories about camping trips gone wrong with property and people being burnt as a result of winter camping trips. Always be prepared, be careful and watch out for you mates.

For more information on fire safety visit the Fire & rescue NSW website at and in case of an emergency call triple Zero (000).

Until next week


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The Nationals
  • 1/18 Talbragar Street, PO Box 1327
  • Dubbo NSW 2830
  • P: +61 6882 3577
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