Photo one: Federal Member for Parkes Mark Coulton pictured with some of the participants of LeaderLife in Dubbo last week. LeaderLife has recently received a share of $1.48 million in Federal Government funding to build its capacity through the Safer Communities Program.
Back to business
It was good to be back on the road last week after a week spent in isolation with COVID-19.
I spent the last week meeting with various groups in Moree, Gilgandra, Dubbo, Narromine and Narrabri. In addition to meeting up with recipients of Saluting Their Service grants in Moree and Pallamallawa and opening the new Lucas Bridge at Breelong, I also enjoyed a visit to LeaderLife in Dubbo to see how the not-for-profit organisation will benefit from a recent grant, caught up with Narromine Shire Council to discuss their plans for the Inland Rail materials distribution hub, participated in a Q&A session with the Dubbo Chamber of Commerce, and stopped in at the Narrabri Show for a few hours.
I’m looking forward to another big week on the road this week, heading to Cobar, Wilcannia, Nyngan, Warren, Warialda and North Star.
Accelerating the Broken Hill Cobalt project
Last week I was thrilled to announce that Cobalt Blue Holdings has received a $15 million grant to accelerate a feasibility study for its Broken Hill Cobalt project.
Provided through the $200 million Critical Minerals Accelerator Initiative, this funding will support the company’s position in the growing critical minerals market, providing exciting new economic opportunities for the Far West region.
The Broken Hill Cobalt project involves the development of a cobalt mine and refinery, producing cobalt sulphate, which is a key input into lithium ion battery supply chains.
The project will support around 400 jobs and generate tens of millions of dollars in local economic activity. It will also help establish Australia as a reliable supplier of refined cobalt products.
New $2.5 million Lucas Bridge now open
It was an honour to join Gilgandra Shire Council Mayor Doug Batten to officially open the new $2.5 million Lucas Bridge at Breelong last week.
This new concrete bridge is a big win for the local community and is a significant improvement on the old, dilapidated timber structure. This will greatly improve safety, accessibility and productivity for local road users and freight operators.
The Nationals and Liberals recognise that building new bridges helps to strengthen our freight network, ensuring valuable commodities continue flowing to international and domestic buyers.
The $2.5 million Lucas Bridge replacement project received $1.25 million in funding through Round 5 of the Federal Government’s Bridges Renewal Program, with Gilgandra Shire Council contributing the remaining funds.
For more information about the Bridges to Renewal Program or to apply for funding, visit https://investment.infrastructure.gov.au/resources/brp-hvspp/index.aspx
Preserving local wartime heritage
It was great to catch up with two groups last week that have received Coalition Government funding to preserve local war history.
Under the latest round of the Saluting Their Service grants, Pallamallawa School of Arts and War Memorial Hall has received $5,363 to install CCTV cameras, to ensure the memorial is kept safe.
The North West branch of the National Servicemen’s Association of Australia had received a $9,650 grant under the previous funding round, so it was nice to meet with members to hear about their plans to construct a memorial at Moree Anzac Centenary Park to commemorate all National Servicemen. This will be unveiled at the ADF and National Service 70th annual reunion in Moree in August.
It’s so important that this history is preserved for future generations to continue commemorating and reflecting on the sacrifice of all those who have served from our communities.