Broken Hill office open to the public
I was very pleased to open the doors of my Broken Hill office to residents of Far West New South Wales (NSW) last week.
The office is being looked after by two new staff members. They are Broken Hill residents who, along with the staff in my other two electorate offices, in Dubbo and Moree, will do a fantastic job in looking after the constituents of the entire Parkes electorate.
Everyone has been very welcoming and I have really enjoyed starting to develop relationships with the people of Broken Hill and Far West NSW communities during the second half of 2016.
Building these relationships is essential for a Local Member to do his or her job well. A small part of the job of a Local Member is going to Canberra and being a voice for the people you represent. The main part of the job is actually working with your communities, understanding them and building relationships so that you understand the issues that are affecting your electorate.
I assure the people of Broken Hill and Far West NSW, as well as those in the rest of the Parkes electorate, that they will have full access to me as their Local Member and that I will do my best to represent their interests in the Federal Parliament.
New Try, Test and Learn Fund
Innovative ideas that help move people from welfare to work will be funded by the Coalition Government, with the opening of the $96 million Try, Test and Learn Fund.
Using insights from the Australian Priority Investment Approach to Welfare, the Try, Test and Learn Fund will initially target and invest in groups of young people who are most at-risk of long-term welfare dependency.
The Minister for Social Services, Christian Porter, has called for new and forward looking ways to support people to have better lives through work and independence from the welfare system.
The Fund is an innovative Government funding initiative. We want to tap into the best that Australian ingenuity can offer so we can help people currently stuck in the welfare system to find, retain and flourish in long-term employment.
Our priority groups for this first opening of the Fund are young carers, young parents and young students at risk of long-term unemployment.
The Fund is about investing Government money to create opportunities and help people change their lives for the better.
Anyone can contribute and proposals can be submitted using a simple online form on the Department of Social Services’ Engage website.
Ideas will be published on DSS Engage for everyone to see, to encourage collaboration and innovation. People have from now until mid-February to submit their ideas.
A discussion forum will run alongside the ideas generation phase, to encourage people to share views about how to help people in our priority groups, through the Try, Test and Learn Fund.
The most promising ideas will be selected for development into possible policy initiatives, which will involve refinement and co-design of the idea in preparation for funding.
By May 2017, the Government aims to have selected the first handful of successful ideas and be on the way to on-the-ground implementation.
More information about the Try, Test and Learn Fund and Priority Investment Approach is available on the Department of Social Services website—dss.gov.au/priority-investment-approach
To submit an idea for the Try Test and Learn Fund, visit engage.dss.gov.au