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Matters Of State - October 23

Friday, October 26, 2018


It was terrific to see that rain didn’t deter members of the public from getting a glimpse at the Duke and Duchess of Sussex in Dubbo last Wednesday.

Ever since Kensington Palace made the announcement that Prince Harry and Meghan would be visiting our region, residents have been abuzz with excitement.

And didn’t we turn on a show for the Royal Couple?

From their meet and greet with school kids at the airport through to their visits to the Royal Flying Doctor Service base, a local farm, Victoria Park, and Dubbo College, the royals got a true glimpse of so many facets of life in our region.

Dubbo was put on the world stage, and it was terrific to see so many local volunteers and community stalwarts featured in the formalities throughout the course of the day.

Unfortunately we couldn’t control the weather, and while the rain was a minor disruption I think everyone greeted it, and it added to the theatre of the event.

**

On Friday I was in Mudgee to announce that our electorate will see NRL action again in 2019.

I was joined by Minister for Tourism and Major Events Adam Marshall, Mid-Western Regional Council mayor Des Kennedy and St George Illawarra Dragons chairman Brian Johnston at the announcement that the Dragons would once again be playing a game in Mudgee.

The NSW Government has partnered with the NRL to assist in the promotion of the match, as well as others that are scheduled to be taken to the bush in 2019. 

Mudgee has already proven it has a strong and passionate NRL fan base, with close to 9,000 fans turning out for this year’s Dragons match against the Raiders.

With the additional promotional support, next year’s match will encourage more supporters to plan a trip to Mudgee, giving thousands of visitors the opportunity to see just how incredible our corner of NSW is.

**

From a government perspective it was great through the week to announce New South Wales has maintained its status as the nation’s No.1 state for jobs after recording the lowest unemployment rate in more than a decade.

The results mean NSW has now held the lowest unemployment rate amongst the states for 40 straight months.

According to the latest ABS data release, the State’s unemployment rate has dropped to 4.4 per cent, nearly a full percentage point below the rest of Australia (5.3 per cent excluding NSW).

The national rate of unemployment (including NSW) is 5.0 per cent.

NSW has added 558,900 jobs since 2011 – more than the entire population of Tasmania or double the population of the Northern Territory.

Since the last election in 2015, employment in NSW has increased by 360,900 more than double the target of 150,000.

**

We also announced last Wednesday the new 10 per cent Point of Consumption tax on online wagering by NSW residents, which it is hoped will provide $5 million per year for measures.

The  funding boost means the Responsible Gambling Fund can expand its work in preventing and reducing gambling harms.

Online betting is experiencing the fastest growth of all gambling. The additional funds from the Point of Consumption tax will enable the Government to build on the work we’ve already done in this space

The Responsible Gambling Fund is guiding the Government’s approach to preventing and reducing gambling in the community and in 2018/19 will spend a record $25 million to support harm minimisation and prevention programs.”

The Point of Consumption tax will also provide an extra $4 million per year for the new Greyhound Welfare and Integrity Commission. This is on top of the $41 million already committed to set up the new regulator and improve track safety.

To ensure the racing industry is not negatively impacted by the tax, it will receive two per cent of total taxable net NSW wagering revenue.

This is expected to be around $40 million for a full financial year, split between the three racing codes.

Until next week

Troy

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