Photo caption: Federal Member for Parkes Mark Coulton has welcomed the NSW Liberal and Nationals Government’s funding for Macquarie Home Stay, while slamming the Federal Labor Government’s inaction.
Federal Member for Parkes Mark Coulton has today welcomed the NSW Government’s commitment to fund the Macquarie Home Stay expansion, while slamming the Federal Labor Government’s inaction on this critical project.
State Member for Dubbo Dugald Saunders today announced $2.5 million in funding to expand the accommodation facility, creating dedicated units to house cancer patients seeking treatment at the Western Cancer Centre in Dubbo.
“This is fantastic news for Macquarie Home Stay and the entire Western region,” Mr Coulton said.
“Macquarie Home Stay is a vital service for people from right across Western NSW, providing low-cost accommodation for rural and remote patients and their families who need somewhere to stay while seeking medical treatment in Dubbo.
“But as more people access Dubbo’s health services, including the newly-opened Western Cancer Centre, demand for Macquarie Home Stay has increased, and sadly hundreds of people are now being turned away each month because there’s just not enough rooms.
“That is why I made a promise prior to the Federal election last year to fund a 26-unit expansion, if the Coalition was returned to Government. Unfortunately, we were unable to meet this commitment when the Coalition lost the election.
“I’ve been campaigning for the Labor Government to match this commitment ever since, so I’m pleased the NSW Liberal and Nationals Government has stepped up to provide this much-needed funding after complete inaction on the part of my federal counterparts.”
Mr Coulton said it’s disappointing that Labor was unable to come to the table with funding for Macquarie Home Stay, after eight months in Government.
“The new Government had every opportunity to follow up on the commitment I made, but instead chose to cut the Building Better Regions Fund – the only program under which this project could still be funded – altogether,” Mr Coulton said.
“The Labor candidate Jack Ayoub visited Macquarie Home Stay during the election campaign and yet he failed to match my commitment at the time. Since then, Senator Deb O’Neill could have promised funding during any one of her numerous visits to the Parkes electorate.
“At the earliest opportunity, I wrote to Infrastructure Minister Catherine King to outline the importance of this project and met with multiple Labor ministers to reinforce the critical need.
“It just goes to show a complete lack of understanding of the needs of our rural and regional communities and proves Labor is tone deaf when it comes to practical projects that can change people’s lives.
“Well done again to the NSW Government for looking after people in the bush and congratulations to Macquarie Home Stay CEO Rod Crowfoot for his tireless work in securing this funding.”