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New Year brings new challenges

Monday, January 14, 2013
As the curtain has drawn on 2012 we embrace the New Year with a sense of optimism that the NSW Government will continue to deliver better outcomes for regional communities and to build on its already proven capability of securing record funding commitments for regional infrastructure improvements. We are fast approaching the half way mark of the Liberals/Nationals term in Government. In this time there has already been significant improvement made to service delivery across the portfolios, and substantial infrastructure upgrades made across NSW. Whilst a lot of these reforms have had to be delivered with a degree of economic sacrifice in the short term, they set the state up to return the economy to a long term position of strength and financial security. With regrettable but necessary cuts to public expenditure behind us we can concentrate on bedding down the important reforms already implemented while looking forward to enjoying the benefits to be derived from these measures. There are many areas where the local community will have seen drastic improvement since coming into Government. These include the significant commitment of funds to hospital upgrades in Dubbo, Parkes, Forbes and Peak Hill; upgrades to highways and local roads; substantial infrastructure spend in schools and a boost to funding in the areas of arts and tourism. As we enter the New Year we renew our commitment to delivering upon our promises made at the last election to focus on those aspects of public policy that the community would like to continue to see improved performance and delivery. As always I encourage you to make contact with me to bring concerns to my attention.
One of the parts of the jobs that I derive most satisfaction from is getting out into the community and being involved in local events. There is no better example of this than how Parkes transforms itself into Elvis central and stages its annual celebration of the king and his musical legacy. I really enjoyed the experience last year and I'm truly looking forward to this year's festival especially with its Hawaiian theme. The National's will once again be having a float in the street parade and I have been looking hard to find the perfect shirt for the event. I'm proud of the way the electorate chooses to celebrate pop culture icons. I hope the recently established ABBA Festival in Trundle continues to grow from strength to strength. There are a number of unique events staged around the electorate throughout the year which I look forward to attending including Canowindra's iconic Balloon Challenge, a recent recipient of flagship funding and the Dubbo show.
Before Parliament resumes for the year I will use this time to visit as many townships and villages in the electorate to hear what the community's needs are. This is an opportunity for locals to ask questions on what the NSW Governments program is for the coming years and an ideal opportunity for me to hear what issues are of most concern in the community. Let us all work towards making this a happy and prosperous year for the electorate.

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The Nationals
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