Far West Nsw Business Awards
Mr COULTON (Parkes—Chief Nationals Whip) (09:36): At the moment across my electorate, which is half of New South Wales, we are having extensive flooding. This follows on from a few years ago when there was drought and mice and other things. These are the things that the people in my electorate deal with but they don’t define them.
I want to talk about some positive things that have happened over the last couple of weeks. Last weekend I had the honour of being at the Far West NSW Business Awards in Broken Hill. About 280 people were at this function, and it really showed the resilience and the strength of the business community in the Far West. The Outback Spirit Award, the premier award for the night, went to the Old Salt Bush Restaurant and Catering, which is a new business but also very successful. The Excellence in Social Enterprise Award went to West Darling Arts, an organisation I’ve been dealing with for quite some time, and they’re working on the laneway festival that’s going to be held in Broken Hill next year. The award for the most popular business went to Jagged Edge, which is a very popular local hairdresser.
That event followed on from a few weeks ago when I was in Dubbo for the Rhino Awards, the business awards for Dubbo. It was a big night and a great night, with a lot of positivity. The Gold Rhino Award for the most popular and most successful business in Dubbo went to the Skin Corrective Centre. It was started by two sisters some years ago and is an incredibly successful family-owned business. I was really pleased that they got that Gold Rhino. The Jean Emile Serisier honour roll recipient award—not many people know that Dubbo was actually founded by a Frenchman called Jean Emile Serisier—went to the Furney family from Ben Furney Flour Mills for their significant contribution over many years to the Dubbo community.
Not just Broken Hill and Dubbo but right across the Parkes electorate, small businesses are driving our communities. There’s an air of positivity about our incredibly bright future not only through tourism and agriculture but with the mining prospects that are opening up, with cobalt and magnetite out in the Far West near Broken Hill, critical minerals and rare earths around Dubbo as well as massive gold deposits that have been uncovered in the Dubbo area as well. The Parkes electorate is an economic powerhouse. It’s helped keep this country strong during the pandemic. They’re having a bit of a difficulty at the moment with the floods but they will endure and continue to do the great job that they do all the time.