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Matters of State

Monday, July 30, 2018

I was delighted that three businesses in the region have secured over $2.8 million in grant funding from the NSW Government’s Disability Sector Scale-Up program last week. Royal Far West, MacKillop Rural Community and the Centre for Disability Services received the funding to help them make the most of the NDIS rollout.


More local seniors will be set to hit the courts and sporting fields in the coming months, as a further three sporting codes offer modified rules for players over 65 years of age.

The NSW Government is investing an additional $100,000 to get Basketball, Softball and Table Tennis NSW on board with a modified program, whilst also expanding the successful pilot with Football NSW.

Sport has the power to create community spirit and it is important that all members of our community can join in, regardless of their age.

I encourage all seniors in our community to participate in a modified sport so they can enjoy the benefits of physical activity and social interaction.

Since May 2017, the NSW Government has provided $200,000 to six sporting codes to implement modified sporting programs for NSW seniors.

For more information or to register, please contact the sporting associations below or visit


Adolescents, adults and their families and friends in the region will have better access to mental health support for personality disorders, as staff in the Western NSW Local Health District are set to receive more training about the condition.

The extra training is part of the NSW Government’s further investment of $5.5 million in the Project Air Strategy.

This is great news for people in the region who live with a personality disorder and it is great news for those close to them who are often impacted and need support too.

There are young people in our community who need this specialised treatment and I’m very pleased that project Air will continue to help people with more booster training for our staff and the opportunity for them to join the newly established ‘Air Academy’.

The Project Air Strategy ensures earlier diagnoses of a personality disorder while also reducing the time spent in hospital due to access to more tailored treatments. Today’s announcement will help the strategy expand to all health districts in NSW.

The NSW Government’s overall investment in the Project Air Strategy will now be more than $11 million since 2011.

There are several types of personality disorders including borderline, antisocial, narcissistic and obsessive-compulsive, with treatment often involving evidence-based psychological therapy to help the person understand their feelings and improve their relationships.

People experiencing a personality disorder represent about 25 per cent of mental health presentations to emergency departments and admissions to the State mental health inpatient units.

If you or someone you know needs crisis support phone Lifeline 13 11 14. For more information about Project Air Strategy and for resources about personality disorders visit

Until next week


Matters of State

Monday, July 23, 2018

With the mercury dropping below -7 degrees in some areas of the Dubbo electorate last week remember to be safe as the winter weather really settles in. Winter is the worst time of the year for fires and as the mercury continues to drop it is important households take care when using heaters and electric blankets and never get complacent when preparing food in the kitchen. Every household should have a fire escape plan that is written down and practiced regularly and remember that in the case of an emergency to: Get Out, Stay Out and Call Triple Zero (000).


Sporting Clubs in the Dubbo electorate are eligible to apply for the Local Sport Defibrillator Grant Program, with the NSW Government providing life-saving technology to people experiencing cardiac emergencies.

The program commenced in 2017 and provides grants to community sport clubs for half the cost of purchase and maintenance of an Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs).

Access to defibrillators in sporting clubs increases the chance of survival by up to 75% for patients experiencing cardiac arrest.

For many of our residence, access to a defibrillator could be the difference between life and death.

Across the state, the NSW Government will aim to provide more than 2,500 life-saving defibrillators to local communities and I strongly urge eligible local clubs to consider applying.

Clubs receive 50% towards the funding and maintenance of the defibrillator, with clubs in NSW’s Far West region set to benefit from a 75% co-contribution from the program.

Applications close 14 September 2018.

Details about applications and eligibility can be found at


Charities in rural and regional NSW that receive food supplies from NSW & ACT (foodbank), will no longer have to pay a transport fee per delivery after the NSW Government committed $630,000 to bring regional charities in line with their counterparts.

Until now charities in regional and remote areas, which use the services of Foodbank, were paying a $50 delivery fee per pallet of food.

This funding support for Foodbank means charities in regional and rural areas will no longer be slugged additional transport fees for the food supplies that feed our most vulnerable.

Charities in regional areas do such critical work so it is important that they are on equal footing to those operating in the city, and aren’t disadvantaged because of their location.

By helping Foodbank in this way, regional charities will now have more money in their pockets to buy more food and in turn deliver food relief for more people in need.

Recent studies show 15% of the Australian population, or 3.6 million people, experience food insecurity in the 12 month period leading into 2017. What’s more, children are the most vulnerable, with 1 in 5 kids experiencing food insecurity over that same period.

This NSW Government support means on average, our regional charity partners will have an extra $150 every week to put towards food supplies, instead of covering transport costs.  

Until next week


Matters of State

Monday, July 16, 2018

Thank you for the overwhelming response to the community survey I sent out a few weeks ago. I have never had such a strong response to a survey in my time as Member for Dubbo.

I began reading through them all last week, but don’t worry you still have time to send yours in if you haven’t got around to it yet. Not everyone takes the step to raises an issue or opinion with their MP, surveys are a great way to have your say and make you opinion known.


I am encouraging local business and community groups in the region to share their crime prevention ideas and apply for up to $250,000 in NSW Government funding.

More than $2.6 million is available as part of the $10 million Community Safety Fund which is designed to help locals make their neighbourhoods safer places to live.

Crime has a significant impact on our community, which is why supporting projects that improve safety and reduce anti-social behaviour and reoffending is a great investment.

Local residents understand crime problems. To ensure these problems are best addressed, it is vital for us to have a say in the solution.

The NSW Government is proud to support local projects to help people feel safe and proud of their community because together we can make a difference to reduce crime and fear of crime.

Applications will close on Friday 10th August.

For more information go to


I am calling on local organisations to apply for a share of $200,000 to host events that encourage older people to join or feature in 2019 NSW Seniors Festival events and activities.

Applications are open for Seniors Festival grants with local councils, volunteer groups and community organisations encouraged to apply to show their appreciation for seniors.

We want our seniors to thrive in the community, and the festival provides opportunities for older people to not only enjoy entertainment, but get involved and share their talents with our community.

The 2019 NSW Seniors Festival will run from February 13 to 24 and organisations are encouraged to plan events now, with three funding categories available:

Tier 1 grants of up to $1000 for small-scale local events or activities targeted at community organisations and schools. Tier 2 grants from $1001 to $5000 for local events targeted at larger community organisations and Tier 3 grants from $5001 to $10000 for broader community events targeted at local councils in partnership with organisations and groups.

Grant applications close at 5pm on Friday 10 August.

For further information on how your business or organisation can help celebrate seniors during the festival please visit

Until next week


Matters of State

Monday, July 09, 2018

It was a privilege to have NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian visiting the Dubbo electorate last week. She had the opportunity to spend time Dubbo, Wellington, Gulgong and Mudgee,  the Premier also presented $25,000 to Narromine Council for a scoping study and $10,000 to the Henry Lawson Museum. It was great to see the community spirit in full force in Gulgong with the whole town coming out to meet the Premier.


I am encouraging local sports in the region to apply for the latest round of funding under the NSW Government’s Local Sport Grant Program.

It is a key priority of the NSW Government that everyone has the opportunity to take part in local sport or has access to open space.

Sport is a vital part of our community and I encourage all clubs and councils in the region to apply.

$4.6 million is available across the state for upgrading or creating new sports facilities, new sport programs, community events and projects that improve sports participation.

Local clubs can apply for up to $25,000 to fund individual initiatives, with up to $50,000 set aside for every state electorate.

The Local Sports Grant Program is accepting applications until 24 August 2018.

For more information visit or phone 13 13 02


The time has come again to nominate local carers or organisations supporting carers for the 2018 NSW Carers Awards.

Carers are everyday people in our community. They are family members, friends, neighbours and work colleagues.

I encourage anyone who knows of an exceptional local carer or organisation supporting carers to nominate them for this year’s awards.

The NSW Carers Award recognises the remarkable contribution of unpaid carers, organisations, employers and carer groups from across the state.

Nominations for the NSW Carers Awards close on 10 August 2018. For information about the Awards and how to nominate, please go to


Community organisations looking to build new or upgrade current facilities I am encouraging to apply for funding from the NSW Government’s Infrastructure Grants Program.

Applications can be submitted for sport and recreation, arts and culture, and emergency preparedness until the 23rd of July.

This funding can make a real difference to the local community, funding ranges are $50,000 to $200,000 for arts and culture, $10,000 to $200,000 for emergency preparedness and $100,000 to $300,000 for sport and recreation.

For more information including details on how to apply, visit

Until next week,


Matters of State

Monday, July 02, 2018

A value cannot be placed on the contribution volunteers make to our communities, they run our charities, sporting clubs and community groups.

It was great to be able to award and thank four local volunteers, Garry Dollison, Brian Wells, Errol Grieve and Phillip Blackman in the Dubbo electorate last week for their long-term and life-long devotion, generosity and community spirit.

Each year thousands of people from across the region readily volunteer their time to help others without asking for anything in return.

Volunteers are committed to supporting important local organisations they’re at the centre of our community and help make it the caring, compassionate and kind-hearted place we know.

While their social contribution is immeasurable, recent analysis from the Productivity Commission values their economic contribution at more than $5 billion each year across NSW.

A great way to give something back to all our amazing volunteers is to say thank you by nominating them for the 2018 NSW Volunteer of the Year Awards. The awards are organised by the Centre of Volunteering and are the largest formal celebrating of volunteering in Australia.

A regional award ceremony will be held in the Dubbo electorate from August, with a number of special volunteers chosen to represent us at the state ceremony later in the year.

You can nominate your neighbours, colleagues or family members for one of seven award categories.

I congratulate and thank everyone who volunteers in some capacity and encourage others to get involved.

Nominations close on Friday July 13.

To nominate your volunteers got to


I am encouraging community members and sporting groups across the region to have their say on key local strategies developed to improve the delivery and planning of grassroots local sport over the next five years.

The plan will assist local sport participation by providing targeted sports programs and facility development for all community members to enjoy.

This is a great opportunity for locals to have their say, and I encourage everyone to view their plans and give their feedback on what they would like to see prioritised.

Nine Sport and Active Recreation plans have been developed with 30-40 strategies, inclusive of proposed initiatives to different regional areas.

The NSW Government is looking to attract more valued sporting events to regional NSW, plan female-friendly sporting facilities and establish hubs to support multi-purpose sports.

Feedback is invited until Thursday 19 July 2018 at the Office of Sport website:

Until next week


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