$1.7m investment to support our local manufacturers
The COVID-19 pandemic has had enormous impacts on our economy and our way of life. But the silver lining in this situation is that it has reminded many of us of the importance of Australian-made goods.
That’s why I was thrilled to announce Ben Furney Flour Mills in Dubbo is the beneficiary of $1 million in Federal Government funding to modernise their operations, which will also create up to 11 new jobs.
Furney’s is a well-known family-owned and operated business in Dubbo which sources its wheat locally. They will install a state-of-the-art automated processing line to produce a whole new range of products.
I also announced another $747,000 grant for Allshelter in Lake Cargelligo, which currently employs 15 people locally. Allshelter will introduce a new manufacturing plant which will broaden their domestic and export supply of shelter systems.
These investments represent a timely confidence-boost for our region.
Reminder to download COVIDSafe app
I’d like to remind everyone who has a smartphone that the Australian Government’s COVIDSafe mobile app has officially launched.
It can be downloaded from your app store and activated with just a few simple steps. I have the app and encourage as many people as possible to get on board.
COVIDSafe will speed up the process of identifying people who have been in close contact with someone diagnosed with coronavirus, quickly stopping further spread of the virus in the community.
Road Safety Innovation Fund open
The opportunity to drive the future of road safety innovation and technology is here, with applications now open for Round 1 of the Australian Government’s Road Safety Innovation Fund.
Organisations in my electorate – including local councils – with an interest in road safety research and development can apply for funding before applications close on 18 May. Two million dollars is available in the first round, with the maximum grant amount capped at $50,000 per financial year, per grant.
This is a great opportunity to help reduce the number of road crashes by ensuring road safety becomes ‘business as usual’ for all road users.
The fund will target innovative projects addressing priority areas including improving road safety in regional and remote areas, reducing driver distraction and drug driving and supporting better safety outcomes for vulnerable road users.
Potential projects can include innovation in road safety management initiatives, new technologies or research that better informs policy development. For full details visit www.grants.gov.au and search GO ID: GO3958.
Support package for zoos
The Federal Government has presented a $94.6 million support package to help Australian zoos and aquariums get through the COVID-19 crisis.
Iconic tourist attractions such as Taronga Western Plains Zoo in Dubbo are crucial to the visitor economies of many regional towns across Australia. They are huge drawcards for our regional areas, and a major provider of local jobs.
Eligible exhibiting zoos and aquariums will have access to a grant that contributes towards up to six months of its animal welfare operating costs including animal feed, enclosures, health and other specialised expenses.
This initiative is part of the Government’s $1 billion Relief and Recovery Fund to support regions, communities and industry sectors that have been disproportionately affected by COVID-19.
Boosting long-term fuel security
The Australian Government is boosting our long-term fuel security by taking advantage of dramatic falls in global oil prices and building on our historic agreement with the United States to access their Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR).
Australia will establish its first Government-owned oil reserves for domestic fuel security and will work with the private sector to consider options for improving our fuel security.
Global oil prices have hit new lows due mainly to a significant drop in demand caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and a lack of cost-effective long-term storage options.
Australians can be reassured there is plenty of fuel in the country and we are extremely well placed to keep supplies flowing through the COVID-19 pandemic.