Photo caption: Federal Member for Parkes Mark Coulton and Federal Member for Riverina Michael McCormack at the launch of Mark’s campaign in Dubbo last week, with Nationals members and supporters.
It was wonderful to have my good friend and colleague, the former Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack join me in Dubbo last week to officially launch my election campaign.
Surrounded by Nationals members, supporters and volunteers, I outlined my drive and enthusiasm to continue serving the people of the Parkes electorate. Over the past 14 years, we’ve achieved some great outcomes and I look forward to continuing this work over the next term.
There’s less than one week now until we head to the polls on Saturday 21 May. When casting your vote this election, I urge you to number every square to ensure your vote counts.
Head to Health Centre for Broken Hill
It’s so important that people in regional Australia have access to mental health support services, so I was thrilled to announce last week that Broken Hill would be getting a new Head to Health adult mental health centre.
The Western NSW Primary Health Network will receive $14 million over the next four years to establish and operate the Head to Health Centre, which will provide a welcoming, stigma-free entry point for adults to access free mental health information, services and support.
This will be the very first Head to Health Centre in the Parkes electorate, and will be part of a network of community-based mental health services being established across Australia as part of the Coalition Government’s $3 billion National Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Plan. We are committed to further expanding mental health services to ensure Australians can get support, counselling, or treatment, when and where they need it.
It’s fantastic news for the people of Broken Hill and surrounds, and I look forward to seeing the centre up and running!
$2.45 million to extend Macquarie Home Stay
During my campaign launch last week, I was proud to announce that a re-elected Liberal and Nationals Government will commit $2.45 million towards the expansion of Macquarie Home Stay.
The accommodation facility has become a vital service for people from right across the Parkes electorate who need to travel to Dubbo for medical care. However, demand has increased as more and more people are travelling to Dubbo for treatment, following the opening of the Western Cancer Centre.
This funding will be used to construct an additional 26 units to help meet demand which will benefit so many families across the region. This expansion will mean more patients from rural and remote communities in Western NSW will be able to access affordable accommodation, taking the stress out of having to find somewhere to stay during what is often a very difficult time. It will also hopefully limit the number of people choosing to put off potentially life-saving treatment due to the costs involved in travelling.
Backing Broken Hill’s Hawsons Iron Project
The Coalition Government is backing the local production of a key ingredient in clean steel, granting a renewal of Major Project Status to the Hawsons Iron Project near Broken Hill.
The Hawsons Iron Limited project will produce up to 20 million tonnes a year of high-grade magnetite concentrate, which will reduce the amount of energy needed to produce steel, helping to drive down emissions in the industry right across the globe.
This project will not only help Australia lead the way with the production of clean steel, it will bring significant opportunities to Broken Hill and surrounds, creating up to 1,200 jobs during construction and 500 ongoing jobs each year during the 20-plus-year life of the mine.
Broken Hill has a proud mining history and new projects such as this will help chart the region’s future prosperity.
Boosting mobile coverage
I’m very pleased that residents and businesses in Rawsonville, Dickygundi, Minore, Terramungamine and Boggabilla will soon be able to enjoy the benefits and opportunities of new and improved mobile, voice and data connectivity, with the Coalition Government investing $508,900 into two projects in the Parkes electorate under Round 2 of the Regional Connectivity Program.
We are providing $436,300 to build new Pivotel 4G and mmWave Fixed Wireless Access services to the north-west of Dubbo, providing coverage to the localities of Rawsonville, Dickygundi, Minore and Terramungamine.
A new Telstra small cell mobile site will also be deployed in Boggabilla thanks to $72,600 in funding, providing improved handheld coverage to the area.
Digital connectivity is an essential part of how we work, learn, stay healthy and remain in contact with loved ones. The Coalition will continue to invest in this critical infrastructure as part of our plan for a strong economy and stronger future.