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Matters Of State - December 12

Wednesday, December 12, 2018


The early days of parenthood are being made much easier in NSW through some new initiatives announced over the past week by the State Government.

The development of the Milk Bank and the Baby Bundle is designed to help parents by providing not only some of the basic essentials needed when a newborn arrives, but also provide potentially life-saving breast milk in the event of a premature birth and complications.

Health Minister Brad Hazzard unveiled the Milk Bank idea last week, with the premise being very similar to that of a blood bank.

Human milk will be pasteurised in a purpose-built centre, run jointly by the Australian Red Cross Blood Service and NSW Health.

Around 1000 babies are born every year in NSW at less than 32 weeks gestational age, or of a very low birth weight and many need specialised care, and research shows human milk reduces the risk of the potentially life-threatening gut-disorder necrotizing enterocolitis and bacterial infections.

This initiative will help ease the burden on parents who may already be struggling with the premature birth and the ensuing complications.

**

The Baby Bundle announcement is also a major win for families in NSW, and will see a sleeping bag, play and change mats, thermometers and a first aid kit as just some of the practical items available to parents as they welcome their newborn into the world.

The NSW government is delivering on its promise to support families with a bag of essentials, valued at $300, to help take care of their precious babies.

This bundle of help for a bundle of joy will provide parents and caregivers with products and information to support the health, development and well-being of their babies.

To be implemented from January 1, 2019, the Baby Bundle is part of the NSW Government’s $157 million parenting package, and also highlights the offerings of Australian businesses.

All of the businesses supplying goods are Australian, with four based in NSW, guaranteeing parents receive top-notch essentials for their newborns.

**

It was also announced last week that further money will be poured into school maintenance, with 33 Dubbo electorate schools among the recipients.

The $100 million spend takes the total investment to $847 million over four years, making a mockery of Labor’s stance that we are not interested in schools and hospitals.

After years of having to dig NSW out a financial black hole left by Labor, this current  government has returned the state to a solid financial position.

The additional funding announced is a huge boost for the Dubbo electorate, and will ensure that students and teachers can work in the best possible conditions.

In addition to prioritising maintenance in NSW schools, the Government has also announced the first 900 schools that will receive air conditioning under its record $500 million Cooler Classrooms program, and it is undertaking a record $6 billion school building program over the next four years, which will deliver more than 170 new and upgraded schools throughout NSW.

This is the largest investment into public school infrastructure by any State government in Australian history.

An additional 900 full-time teachers will also be hired this financial year, building on the 5340 teachers that the NSW Liberals & Nationals has added to the public school system since 2011.

**

During my time in politics I have loved the annual Christmas Card competition, and the drawings offered up by the school children of the Dubbo electorate.

My final competition in office was decided last week, and congratulations to Zayden Berger from Narromine on his ‘Royal Christmas’ drawing that fit the bill perfectly.

The cards have been printed with Zayden’s drawing on them, and will be distributed across NSW, Australia and the world.

I’ll be sending one to Buckingham Palace in the hope it gets the attention of Harry and Meghan, and give them another fond memory of their visit to Dubbo.

Until next week,

Troy
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