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Matters Of State - November 28

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Last week was a bittersweet one for me, as I spent my final days in the Legislative Assembly chamber of NSW Parliament.

Thursday was the final sitting day of the Parliament for 2018, and it was also the final sitting day before the March 23 poll next year.

Over the course of the past seven years there have been many ups-and-downs experienced in that chamber, and  while ‘The Bearpit’ can be a tough place at times, I have had the honour of sitting in there and learning from a number of great politicians.

It’s difficult to single one out in particular as everyone has played a role in shaping me as a politician, but I do want to once again make mention of the friendship and guidance offered to me by my Nationals colleague The Hon Thomas George, the Member for Lismore.

Thomas, who is also retiring from politics at the next election, was one of the men who actually convinced me to run for office in the first place.

He has been a pillar of strength for so many from all sides of politics, be it with some gentle advice or just being someone who will listen, and I would like to thank him for that support and wish him and his family all the best for what their future holds.


While Parliament is finished for this term of government, there is still work to be done as we continue to go about making NSW, and in particular the Dubbo electorate, a prosperous place to live.

Last week I had the honour of standing beside Premier Gladys Berejiklian and Commissioner Mick Fuller as we announced a rollout of 1500 new police over the next four years. This is the highest commitment of police numbers in at least 30 years and something the Government is proud of

As you would expect, every region of NSW wants their fair share of those numbers but those decisions will be made by Commissioner Fuller in due course.

It’s not possible to pull 1500 cops out of thin air, so it will be a continual roll-out and I look forward to seeing NSW well-protected into the future.


The NSW Government has continued its commitment to transform the child protection system, passing significant child protection reforms which streamline the court process for permanency, including restoration, guardianship and open adoption.

This means children who cannot live safely with their parents will no longer languish in the foster care system, despite opposition and fearmongering by members of Labor and the Greens.

The successful amendments to the Care and Protection Act will give families a better opportunity to resolve child protection concerns and keep their children safely at home.


Perpetrators of online bullying could face up to five years’ prison time under tough new laws passed in Parliament last week.  

Attorney General Mark Speakman thanked the parents of Amy ‘Dolly’ Everett for allowing the NSW Government to give their daugher’s name to the amendments to the Crimes (Domestic and Personal Violence) Act. Dolly took her own life following a campaign of abuse at school and online.

Tick and Kate, who established ‘Dolly’s Dream’ to advocate for the safety and wellbeing of children, have welcomed the NSW Government’s steps to address cyberbullying.

The laws cover sending abusive emails, posting threatening or hurtful messages, photos or videos online or repeatedly sending unwanted messages. It also provides a basis for victims of cyberbullying to seek apprehended violence orders.

The new cyber harassment laws, combined with a best in class anti-bullying strategy and mobile digital device review, illustrate the commitment of the NSW Liberals & Nationals to increase youth mental health awareness.

If you or anyone you know needs help please call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or the Kids Helpline on 1800 551 800.

Until next week,

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