Changes to Coalition Ministerial Arrangements
Last week, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull announced changes to the Coalition Ministry that he will be recommending to His Excellency the Governor General.
I take this opportunity to congratulate Greg Hunt who will become the Minister for Health and Minister for Sport. I also congratulate Ken Wyatt, who will become the Minister for Aged Care and Minister for Indigenous Health.
In addition to these changes, Senator Arthur Sinodinos will take over as Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science and Michael Sukkar will be appointed Assistant Minister to the Treasurer.
The new Ministers will be sworn in by the Governor General in Canberra this week.
Apply now for Round One of the Building Better Regions Fund
I encourage community groups and local councils to apply for funding under the Building Better Regions Fund (BBRF), which is available for community and infrastructure projects across Western and Far West New South Wales.
Last week, the Minister for Regional Development Fiona Nash announced that applications under Round One of the BBRF are now being accepted.
Minister Nash said the fund is dedicated purely as an investment in opportunities across rural, regional and remote Australia. The BBRF is designed to invest in projects that will create the kinds of regional communities that our children and grandchildren want to either stay in or come back to.
I am very pleased that the BBRF will give communities the opportunity to think outside the square and show us the types of investments they believe will strengthen their local communities and create jobs. I strongly believe that flexible, creative thinking can be a winning formula to receive funding, providing clear objectives are mapped out that show benefits for the region.
Applications will be assessed in three categories depending on the size of the project so that small community projects are not competing against huge projects worth tens of millions.
The Coalition Government wants to invest in the infrastructure, events and initiatives that local people are passionate about and that we know will make a difference to our region.
I am very proud that parts of the Parkes electorate have already been successful in securing funding for regional priorities with the Coalition committing funding to key regional development projects through the National Stronger Regions Fund (NSRF) including:
• upgrade of the cattle selling facilities at the Dubbo Regional Livestock Markets;
• the Bourke small stock abattoir development project;
• development of the Three Rivers Regional Retirement Community in Dunedoo;
• infrastructure upgrades at the Moree Regional Airport;
• construction of the Bogan Shire Medical Centre in Nyngan; and
• upgrade of the Dubbo City Regional Airport.
I am hopeful that these regions, as well as other parts of the electorate of Parkes including the newly added Broken Hill and Gunnedah regions, will benefit from the BBRF.
An information session on the BBRF will be held at the Western Plains Cultural Centre at 76 Wingewarra Street, Dubbo on Tuesday 31 January 2017 commencing at 10.30am. The session is set run for approximately one and a half hours.
To register for an information session or to find out more visit www.business.gov.au/bbrf
Applications will close on Tuesday 28 February 2017 for the Infrastructure Projects Stream and Friday 31 March 2017 for the Community Investments Stream.
Health Star Ratings for Healthier Choices
More Australians are choosing healthier packaged foods, thanks to the Health Star Rating (HSR) system.
The latest phase of the campaign aims to continue to raise awareness of the HSR system and the role the system can play as part of a balanced diet and healthy lifestyle.
Under the HSR system, the more stars displayed on the pack, the healthier the choice. It is about making it easier for people to make healthier choices by comparing similar packaged products on the shelf. With our busy lifestyles, the HSR system can help us compare similar packaged products and make a healthier choice.
For more information on the HSR system, visit: www.healthstarrating.com.au