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Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Tullamore resident Garry Langley has been recognised for his decade long commitment to improving the road surface along the McGrane Way with the presentation of the inaugural Dubbo Electorate Award.

Following completion of the remaining unsealed section of McGrane Way, Mr Langley was honoured for his lengthy service to the community in his capacity as an advocate for improved safety and road conditions within the Dubbo electorate.

“Garry has been the driving force behind this project and other local road improvement initiatives and the timely recognition of his achievements in this area is richly deserved,” said Mr Grant.

Mr Langley was presented with his award by the Member for Dubbo at the opening of the newly sealed section of the McGrane Way. 

“Garry is the first recipient of the new award created to recognise the contribution of local citizens who work hard on behalf of and do so much for others in the community,” Mr Grant said

“Garry Langley is a farmer, committed community and family man and one of the most decent men I have ever met. Garry is passionate about improving local roads and has been an effective advocate for road safety,”

Mr Grant said that he had identified that there was an opportunity to create a new award tailored to recognising members of the community who, although they had worked hard within the community, may miss out on having their efforts recognised through other awards.

 “I would encourage community members to contact my office with the details of any person they believe should be considered for the Dubbo Electorate Award.”

It is intended that the Dubbo Electorate Awards will be presented by the Member for Dubbo on behalf of the electorate at regular intervals.

Matters of State

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Small communities consistently punch above their weight. My tour of the electorate continued this week with a visit to the vibrant communities of Wongarbon, Ballimore, Yeoval, Garema and Corinella. Enormous pride exists within many of these small communities. That pride can be attributed to the collective attitude of its residents whose sense of ownership over their village's future direction and prosperity is a privilege to witness. I had the opportunity to catch up with the locals in these communities, finding out what issues matter to them most and be updated on progress with work to a number of projects that received funding under the State Government's Community Building Partnership Program such as the Wongarbon Hall upgrade and Ballimore amenities development. Small communities should not be apologetic about their size. I commend the residents of Wongarbon, Ballimore, Yeoval, Garema, Corinella and all small communities in my electorate for their dedication to pursuing excellence.

While on the subject of small communities now would be the ideal time to consider nominating a local for the NSW/ACT Regional Achievement & Community Awards. There are many worthy businesses, organisations and individuals within the Dubbo electorate so I encourage you to nominate. Winners could see themselves $5,000 richer. Categories range from community of the year, business development, events and tourism, environment and employment regional service. Visit to nominate.

Working through your way through the maze of planning instruments can be a developer's nightmare. That's why I welcome the NSW Government’s bold vision for a more transparent, effective, and efficient planning system on the back of Planning Minister Brad Hazzard's visit to Dubbo last week. The Minister's visit could not have been more timely given the release of the Green Paper – A New Planning System for NSW. The paper reinforces the NSW Government’s vision to give communities a greater say in planning for their future growth and development within their local area.

I was pleased to announce that Parkes Swimming Pool will get a two million dollar upgrade thanks to a generous loan subsidy from the NSW Government’s Local Infrastructure Renewal Scheme. The $70 million scheme provides councils with a four per cent interest subsidy over 10 years on loans to allow infrastructure projects to go ahead. The Parkes project included upgrading the 50m and other pools, a revamp for the concourse, shade areas, tiered concrete seating and a supplementary plant room. As part of the scheme, North Dubbo's struggling stormwater infrastructure will get $1.5 million boost. The local project will provide trunk drainage infrastructure in North Dubbo which will support other drainage initiatives such as improving kerbs and guttering so that stormwater can be discharged to receiving areas. Yeoval will also receive funding for a sewerage project.

Last year I attended the Rural Women's Gathering in Gloucester which enables opportunities for rural women to come together to network, share experiences, support each other and gain access to information, decision-makers and service providers. This year the event is in Parkes on October 12-14th and registrations are now open by visiting The Parkes Committee has developed a weekend program to reflect the unique culture, industry, tourism and environment of Parkes.

I was encouraged to learn that the Central West region contributed $798 million to the State’s visitor economy in 2011-12. It's clear that many tourists choose this part of the state to spend their holidays. I was pleased to welcome an initiative that aims to boost tourism figures further, grow confidence in the sector and create jobs. The 'Make Some Our Time' campaign aims at enticing potential visitors to the regions with the offer of $1 million worth of $200 discount accommodation vouchers. Shoppers over 18 years of age, who purchase items valued at $30 or more have the chance to win a $200 discount accommodation voucher towards accommodation for a short break in regional NSW.

Winter Electorate Tour

Friday, July 20, 2012

Floods impact both individuals and communities, having large social, economic, and environmental consequences. That's why I was pleased to travel down south this week to present the community of Cookamidgera near Parkes with a $16,500 cheque from Premier Barry O'Farrell for much needed flood mitigation works. The small yet vibrant community of Cookamidgera has suffered from the intangible cost of flooding over subsequent years. Shortly after the election, the difficulty encountered by the Cookamidgera community over obtaining funds to carry out necessary remedial work was brought to my attention. I have been working behind the scenes since then to try and secure the funding required. Having direct contact to Ministers was a vital factor in being able to access funds for the community. The best part about being in Government is the opportunity to deliver outcomes like this which would not normally be possible. I commend Premier O'Farrell for his interest in the Cookamidgera community.

I'm delighted to see that this part of the electorate has received some long overdue recognition and deserved attention recently. Parkes has had a successful Elvis Festival for some years now and it's pleasing to see that the enthusiasm has caught on elsewhere with Trundle hosting its first ABBA festival. Participants brought with them not only the ABBA inspired costumes but entered into the spirit of the occasion giving fresh voice to the rich catalogue of music by Agnetha Faltskog, Benny Anderson, Bjorn Ulvaeus and Anni-Frid Lyngstad. I look forward to seeing this become a regular fixture on the Trundle social calendar. I was also pleased to announce recently CountryLink will bring forward its 'Elvis Express' service, due to the overwhelming popular demand, for next year’s CountryLink Parkes Elvis Festival. The ‘Elvis Express’ will now leave a day earlier from Sydney’s Central Station on Thursday, 10 January 2013 rather than the traditional Friday departure date following feedback from festival organisers and Elvis fans. The extra day will give visitors to Parkes the chance to take advantage of more of the Festival’s activities, such as free main stage entertainment and the Miss Priscilla Dinner.

Last week I hosted a visit by the Deputy Speaker of the Legislative Assembly and Member for Lismore Thomas George MP. Mr George was in Dubbo to tour our new office in Dubbo on behalf of the Parliament to ensure that the new facilities met with community expectations given that the reason for seeking new premises was to provide adequate space in which to conduct constituent business in a more conducive environment. Thomas was able to report to the Parliament that the local contractors used in the office fit out had done an excellent job in completing the assignment whilst generating work for local tradespeople. All electorate offices and staff are provided by the Parliament in order to assist elected members serve their electorates effectively.

I took a trip to the Mudgee Field Days to represent the Minister for Primary Industries Katrina Hodgkinson to launch the “The Rural Living Handbook”. The handbook is a joint initiative by the Central West CMA, Bathurst, Dubbo and Orange Council Sustainability Alliance. It provides new landholders and long-term residents with information to ensure the health of the catchment and all the things they value in it by increasing awareness of landholders responsibilities; such as buying a property and moving out of town, managing natural resources, managing their property, and who landholders can get in touch with for help in making the most out of their life on the land.

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