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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


Matters of State

Monday, May 28, 2018

It was great to have Minister for Tourism & Major Events and Assistant Minister for Skills, Adam Marshall in the electorate last week to launch both TAFE NSW Dubbo Skills Point and the Destination Country and Outback’s Destination Management Plan. The Skills Point program brings with it 14 new jobs for Dubbo, a win for the region. Also as the Tourism industry already employs more than 2,300 people in the electorate, this new Destination Plan is facilitating growth in the region’s visitor economy at a local level.


Two students and a teacher from Dubbo TAFE have been honoured with awards at the TAFE NSW Excellence Awards in Mudgee this week.

Congratulations to Pat Doolan recipient of the Aboriginal Elder of the Year award, Belinda Roach who received the Industry Achievement Award for Health, Wellbeing and Community Services and Cody Towell for receiving the Industry Achievement Award for Infrastructure, Energy and Construction.

TAFE NSW is the largest provider of education and training in Australia and the awards this week shows TAFE NSW in this region is providing young people with the best opportunities.

TAFE students are in high demand because of the quality of their education and ability to hit the ground running with relevant and practical skills and I am thrilled to see students and teachers from the local public VET provider, receive these accolades.

The NSW Government is delivering on its vision for a strong and publicly owned VET provider through its One TAFE NSW reforms.

The TAFE NSW students winning these awards demonstrate what is on offer for students if they choose to study at TAFE NSW in the region.

Congratulations again to the winners, and I look forward to seeing even more local TAFE NSW students and teachers recognised in the future.


Last week I also welcomed the agreement between the NSW and Australian Governments, confirming New South Wales’ long-term commitment to the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).

The NDIS Full Scheme Agreement was signed between Premier Gladys Berejiklian and Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, which sets out the ongoing governance and financial arrangements for the NDIS in NSW.

It provides clarity and certainty for people with a disability in the electorate. We’ve been in the transition phase as we implement the NDIS and now NSW has become the first state to reach a long-term agreement with the Commonwealth.

The NDIS represents a doubling of funding for disability services and next year the Commonwealth and NSW Governments will commit more than $6 billion to the NDIS.

We can be proud of this agreement. The NDIS gives people with disability choice and control over the support they receive, helping them to achieve their goals.

More than 84,000 people are already benefitting from the NDIS in NSW.

People in the region can get more information about the rollout of the NDIS in NSW and how to check that they meet the access requirements, at

Until next week,


Matters of State

Monday, May 21, 2018

Hand washing is one of the first lines of defence against the flu,  so to help fight the flu this winter come and collect your free hand sanitiser from my office. More than 650 people died in NSW from influenza last year, so the NSW Government is committed to tackle the flu this season. The message is simple get your flu shot early, cough into your elbow, wash your hands regularly and stay at home if you’re sick.


Three Preschools  in the region will receive up to $7000 to help increase the number of Aboriginal children and disadvantaged children participating in quality early childhood education in the year before school, as part of the NSW Government’s Community Grants program.

Preschools including Mudgee Preschool and Wellington Community Children’s Centre were successful in receiving funding.

Grants like these go a long way in communities across Dubbo and I am proud the Liberals & Nationals are investing in these initiatives that support our community preschools and the families that use these services.

The Community Grants are flexible and preschools can use the funding for specific individual needs, like transport initiatives for remote parts of the electorate, providing regular healthy breakfasts or new equipment like backpacks for children.

This investment is yet another example of the NSW Liberals & Nationals Government making early childhood education more accessible for all families across NSW.

Children have so much to gain from participating in quality early education- so programs like this where we can make preschool services more affordable and accessible for families is a no brainer for me.

Since the Start Strong program was introduced the NSW Liberals & Nationals have already seen average daily fees reduced by 25 percent and participation rates increase by a huge 40 per cent, and we are committed to continuing this positive trend.

For more information please visit:


The first cohort of graduates of the teach Rural Scholarship program will commence work in the state’s public schools across regional and remote NSW this month.

The teach Rural program, part of the NSW Government’s $60 million Rural and Remote Education Human Resources Strategy, offers grants to university students in teacher education courses to subsidise their studies on the condition they teach in a public school in regional NSW for at least three years.

Not only does this program give regional students access to top quality educators, it also gives teachers from the city the opportunity to experience all that is great about regional NSW and the benefits of living in a rural community.

Applications for the 2018 round of Teach Rural open on 18 June. Already, 150 NSW public schools are to benefit from the enhanced incentives and initiatives offered to teachers.

For more information, visit

Until next week,


Matters of State

Monday, May 14, 2018

It was a great privilege to attend a ceremony last week at Parliament House that honoured Justices of the Peace (JPs) who’ve attained 50 years of service. I would particularly like to congratulate local resident William Bleechmore, whom has attained this remarkable achievement providing half a century of service as a JP. As a JP Mr Bleechmore has played an important part in the legal system and in our community by helping hundreds of people at key moments in their lives.

I am also pleased to report last week the latest data of labour force indicators and trends across NSW regions became available. The Youth Unemployment rate in the Far West & Orana region was the lowest in the state at 4.8%. With the state average of Youth Unemployment at 10.7%, this is a great result for the Dubbo Electorate and the Orana region.


I am encouraging organisations in the Dubbo electorate to take advantage of the NSW Government’s 2018 Grandparents Day event grants, to show grandparents and seniors how valuable they are to the community.

A share of $200,000 is available for organisations across NSW to host events that engage seniors of all ages and abilities. These events can be held on or around Grandparents Day, to be celebrated on Sunday October 28th this year.

Grandparents are true stars in our community, devoting their time and supporting their families and friends near and far.

Last year the NSW Government doubled the amount of funding available, giving organisations more opportunities to deliver better quality events that reach more local residents.

I encourage local businesses, schools and councils in the region to start thinking about what valuable experiences they can offer grandparents and seniors to say thanks for all that they do.

More than 200,000 grandparents in our state give almost 13 hours of unpaid, informal care for children each week and we don’t want this selfless service to go unnoticed.

Applications for the 2018 NSW Grandparents Day event grants program are open until midday on Friday 15th of June 2018.

For the criteria, or to apply, visit


Last week was Privacy Awareness Week (PAW), each year it takes on greater significance as technology evolves and people place more personal information online.

As we conduct an increasing amount of business and socialising online, we must be vigilant about reviewing social media privacy settings, choosing complex passwords and taking care when using public computers to access personal information.

PAW reminded us of the importance of safeguarding our privacy, particularly as new technology enables faster and easier collection, analysis and sharing of information.

The NSW Government is aware of the need for legislation to evolve with technology in our rapidly changing world.

For more information about privacy protection, visit

Until next week


Matters of State

Monday, May 07, 2018

It was a busy week back at State Parliament catching up on everything that has happened over the past few weeks while I’ve been in Papua New Guinea. I am also pleased to announce that the 2018 round of the Community Building Partnership funding Program is open for applications from Monday May 7th until Friday 15th of June, injecting $330,000 into our local region for community infrastructure projects across NSW.  I encourage all councils and eligible community groups in the Narromine, Mid-Western Regional and Dubbo Regional local government areas to apply. For more information visit


As everyone knows an integrated cancer centre is being built in Dubbo as part of the on-going redevelopment of Dubbo Hospital. This vital piece of infrastructure will be the first of its kind outside of the Sydney metropolitan area and will include a new state of the art PET CT scanner. This technology has the ability to detect cancer earlier than other imaging tests, and as we all know, the early detection of cancer is critical to its successful treatment.

The cancer centre will also include an increase in chemotherapy chairs to 16 and a bunker for radiation therapy.

The NSW Government is 100% committed to improving health services across the state and the Dubbo electorate has been a huge beneficiary of this. The NSW and Commonwealth Governments just last week joined forces to announce the $41 million in funding cancer research to help apply cutting-edge science to detect, diagnose and treat cancers. The NSW Government is investing $21 million in the project.

The joint investment will support a world-first proteomics project, ProCan, at the Westmead Children’s Medical Research Institute (CMRI).

The project is analysing and measuring thousands of proteins simultaneously in cancers, and using advance techniques to learn how to predict the most effective treatments for individual cancers.

The NSW Government is proud to support the CMRI and the ProCon project that will support the work to ultimately crack the cancer code. This will also boost NSW’s international competitiveness and reputation for being at the forefront of research and innovation.


A transformational criminal justice reform designed to deliver swifter justice to victims and the community has begun in NSW.

These tough and smart reforms encourage serious offenders to enter early appropriate guilty pleas, enabling victims to get on with their lives and police to return to front line duties.

The $93 million reforms will accelerate the wheels of justice and help ease pressure on the District Court’s backlog of criminal cases.

Funding for the reforms will enable senior lawyers to manage criminal cases from start to finish, prosecutors to certify the most appropriate charges based on earlier delivery of relevant evidence while the matter is still in the Local Court and mandatory criminal case conferencing between parties to resolve more matters before they’re committed to a higher court.

The NSW Government is investing heavily in Legal Aid and the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions to facilitate continuity of senior legal representation throughout the case. Additionally we are also expanding our network of audio-visual link facilities in prisons and Legal Aid offices to support the increased demand for case conferencing.

Justice agencies including Legal Aid NSW, the Office of the Director of Public Prosecution, Commonwealth DPP and the NSW Police Force have been trained on the application of the new reforms, as have private legal practitioners and the Aboriginal Legal Service.

The reforms will be monitored on an ongoing basis to ensure they are working effectively.  The Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research will also carry out a review.

Until next week


Matters of State

Monday, April 30, 2018

Last week I had the honour and privilege to spend time paying my respects to every single grave at the Bomana War Cemetery, an emotional and sombre way to end the NSW Police Legacy Kokoda 2018 Trek. At the dawn service I was also enormously honoured to be laying a wreath for the NSW Government and NSW Police Force where we also honoured the 5 NSW Police Officers who served State and Nation and lay in this cemetery. We remembered with pride all their courage and character that delivers us the freedoms and lifestyles we enjoy today but also how they helped shape the character for which our nation is now renowned.


I would like to express my congratulations to the 234 NSW Police recruits who were formally sworn in at the Police Academy in Goulburn last week and thank them for their extraordinary commitment to the safety and security of the people of NSW.

There will be 5 new recruits in the Central West/ Orana Mid-Western area.

Becoming a police officer is a tremendous honour, however it can be an extremely challenging and demanding profession.

Having recently completed eight months training at the Police Academy, the new officers will continue to receive on the job training under the guidance of experienced police to ensure they are adequately prepared for this important new role.

On behalf of the local communities, I thank the latest crop of men and women in blue for joining one of the proudest organisations in the state and look forward to seeing more boots on the ground.

The NSW Government is committed to increasing the authorised strength of the NSW Police Force to a record 16,795 over this term, and we have achieved that and more.

As a community, we turn to the police in our worst hour and expect them to stand in harm’s way to prevent criminal activity.

While these probationary constables will undoubtably face many challenges during their time in the force, they will be rewarded with the knowledge they have solved major crimes, brought criminals to justice, and given closure to victims and their families.

Class 333 brings the number of sworn officers through the Goulburn Police Academy to 4,596 since 2011.


The NSW Government has allocated more than $40 million for Ability Links, a program helping people with disabilities connect to the community.

Ensuring people with a disability are supported in the early stages of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is priority for the NSW Government.

This Government takes its responsibility of supporting some of the more vulnerable members of our society seriously and will continue to fund Ability Links over the next year.

Ability Links is a fantastic program, empowering people with disability, their families and carers to achieve their goals and build their future.

Staff, known as Linkers, work with people with disabilities to connect them to a number of opportunities including employment, volunteering and education.

Under the program, there will be 295 Linker positions across NSW including 74 Aboriginal- specific Linkers.

Since 2013, thousands of people with disability, their families and carers have benefitted from the program, providing more than 129,000 service connections and more than 1 million community connections.

Under the NSW Liberals & Nationals Government, more than 86,000 people with a disability have successfully transitioned to the NDIS.

Until next week


Matters of State

Monday, April 23, 2018

I am urging everyone to attend their local ANZAC day services on Wednesday to commemorate the 103rd Anniversary of the ANZAC spirit. ANZAC day is one of the best ways we can honour the memory of our military’s men and women, from all wars and conflicts, whose efforts and sacrifices have secured the future and safety of this great country.


Last week the NSW Government announced $270,000 in funding to support free specialist perinatal psychological counselling via video call for parents in regional and remote NSW who are affected by perinatal depression and anxiety.

It can be difficult to access mental health support services when living in remote and regional areas and the NSW Government is committed to changing that.

Families in remote areas don’t always have the same access to mental health services as those in the cities, and that is why the Start Talking Program is so important- to assist parents living in regional areas who may be in need of psychological support.

Parents in the Dubbo electorate will now have access to specialist perinatal and infant mental health services, via video call.

Perinatal Depression and Anxiety (PNDA) is a condition commonly experienced by women during pregnancy and the year following the birth of the baby. New fathers are also vulnerable to PNDA.

I am so proud that mental health services are being improved in this region and the NSW Government is backing this initiative.

Parents who are living in regional NSW and experiencing symptoms of PNDA will no longer have to experience the inconvenience, time and expense of traveling long distances to access the support they need.

The NSW Government funding will help facilitate up to seven one-hour video call sessions per client with a trained psychologist, as part of the client’s GP- referred Mental Health Plan.

For more information please visit or telephone 1300 851 758.


I am encouraging sustainability leaders in the region to nominate for the 19th Green Globe Awards, celebrating leadership, commitment and innovation in sustainability across NSW.

These leading environmental awards honour people and projects towards sustainability across all sectors in NSW.

The Green Globe Awards showcase a range of business, local organisations and individuals who are setting the standard for environmental action in our community.

You can nominate yourself or others working on sustainability in any sector from fashion to food, built environment to biodiversity.

The awards encourage a diverse range of entries for 10 categories and will be judged by a panel of independent experts and presented at a gala awards night on 4th October 2018.

Nominations are now open until 5pm on 8th June. To enter your project, organisation or nominate as an individual, go to

Until next week


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