Mark Coulton MP, Federal Member for Parkes

Coulton’s catch-up week ending 3 February

Saturday, 3 February 2018

Getting kids in the Electorate of Parkes back to school

The Nationals-Liberal Government is focusing on improving school attendance across remote communities. 

Getting an education is not only the first step in ensuring that our young people do not end up in the criminal justice system, but also gives students a great platform to pursue further studies and training or to get a job.

Remote School Attendance Strategy (RSAS) teams across the Electorate have been hard at work preparing their communities for the first week back at school.

RSAS teams develop a locally tailored ‘back to school’ plan specifically  for their community – ensuring students and their families are equipped with the tools they need to increase school attendance from the first day of school.

The first step to improving a student’s education is ensuring they attend school each and every day. 

The results are encouraging – we’ve reversed what was a declining trend in school attendance. 

At the end of Semester 1 2017, half of all RSAS schools had higher attendance rates when compared with the same time in 2013. Since 2014, the Coalition Government has invested $128.1 million to support the RSAS programme, operating in 78 sites, supporting approximately 14,500 students and their families and employing 470 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff.

New apprentices to benefit from intensive support

More than 40,000 apprentices in industries undergoing structural change are set to benefit from intensive support in their first two years of training. The new program, funded by a $60 million investment from the Government, will substantially build upon support provided through the

Australian Apprenticeship Support Network and aims to significantly increase retention and completion rates for apprentices in industries undergoing structural change.

An industry specialist mentoring service will be provided to Australian Apprentices in industries as diverse as automotive repair, manufacturing, mining, construction, tourism and health. Mentors will be highly skilled and possess detailed knowledge that will allow them to address particular career and skills development concerns related to their industry.”

For more information, visit:  

Changes for medicines containing codeine

Following the unanimous advice of the Advisory Committee on Medicines Scheduling in August 2015, an important change that will help save lives comes into effect on 1 February for medicines containing codeine.

Codeine is an opioid drug that can cause opioid tolerance, dependence, toxicity and in high doses, death. Many people also develop severe health issues due to use and misuse of over the counter products containing codeine including liver damage, stomach ulceration, and respiratory depression. Each year, low dose codeine products are a factor in the death of more than 100 Australians.

Medicines containing codeine will no longer be available without a prescription – a move that’s based on the best medical advice and has national support from governments, the medical profession and consumer groups.

Consumers will not be disadvantaged by this change. Most people will be able to get relief from acute pain, and cough, cold and flu symptoms using other safe and effective over-the-counter medicines without codeine.

In fact, Australia’s peak medical groups advise that medicines that contain both ibuprofen and paracetamol provide relief from acute pain as effectively as low dose codeine products, without risk of dependence.  As always, you should visit your doctor if you have unexplained or ongoing pain.  

People suffering from chronic pain for three months or more will be eligible for a free evaluation of their medicine and pain management by a community pharmacist. 


New conditions on the sale of Australian electricity assets to foreign investors

The Australian Government announced that all future applications for the sale of electricity transmission and distribution assets, and some generation assets, will attract ownership restrictions or conditions for foreign buyers.  These conditions codify those already applied, on a case-by-case basis, to previous transactions. 

Electricity distribution and transmission infrastructure are critical national assets and a key national security safeguard is the diversity of ownership of these assets. 

This approach will allow the Government to actively manage the level of ownership and control from investors in a single asset or within a sector. Each case will be assessed on a case-by-case basis, taking into account a range of factors such as the cumulative level of ownership within a sector, the need for diversity of ownership and the asset’s critical importance. Parties interested in acquiring or selling critical infrastructure assets are encouraged to engage with the Foreign Investment Review Board as early as possible to identify if ownership restrictions or conditions may apply. 

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Mark coulton MP, Federal Member for the ELECTORATE Of Parkes


Unit 3/153 Brisbane Street
Phone: (02) 6882 0999
Fax: (02) 6882 9935
Email Mark


69 Heber Street

Phone: (02) 6751 1251
Fax: (02) 6751 1253
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Broken Hill Electorate Office

275 Argent Street

Phone: (08) 8087 7649
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