Commemorating Anzac Day
Anzac Day is one of the most important days on our national calendar. It’s an opportunity for all of us to pause, remember and reflect on the conflicts that have gone before us, and those that are still being battled in the world. This year in particular is a chance for reflection on the harsh realities of war, as we watch on in horror at the tragedy unfolding in Ukraine.
As we pay our respects to those Australians killed in war and honour our returned service men and women today, I urge everyone to take a moment to think of those Ukrainians currently fighting for their lives and their country’s freedom.
Anzac Day for me this year will be very similar to how it was spent in 2020 – with a solitary driveway tribute. After testing positive to COVID-19 early last week, I am sadly not able to make Anzac Day events in the electorate today. I was due to attend services at Warialda, Crooble and Moree.
Although I’m at home, I will still be taking the time to remember the sacrifice of all those who have served and provided us with the freedoms we enjoy today. I encourage everyone to commemorate in some way and show your respect and gratitude for those men and women who have served, and who continue to serve.
Lest we forget.
COVID cancels campaign plans
Early last week I tested positive for COVID-19, after developing flu-like symptoms.
I have since been at home recovering and taking this time to rest. Unfortunately, this meant that I was forced to put a halt on my election campaigning and cancel plans on the road. As a result, I missed the ballot draw for the seat of Parkes on Friday – the first I have missed in six elections. I have been drawn fourth on the ballot paper, out of nine candidates, which is not a bad place to be.
While it’s disappointing to have had to cancel plans, especially Anzac Day commitments, I am thankful to be recovering well. I look forward to coming out of isolation tomorrow, ahead of the opening of the new Lucas Bridge in Gilgandra on Wednesday, and meetings and events in Dubbo, Narromine and Narrabri later in the week.
I am now rested and ready for the election campaign to ramp up over the next month before we head to the polls on Saturday 21 May.
Getting young farmers back on the land
The Liberal and Nationals Government is committed to supporting the long-term economic future of our regions, which is why we are investing $75 million to help bring young Australians back to the farm.
The Future Farmer Guarantee Scheme pilot will help to address one of the key barriers for people entering agriculture – access to capital.
Under the scheme, the Government will guarantee 40 per cent of an eligible new farmer’s commercial loan up to a maximum value of $1 million.
We know our farmers are keen to help the next generation get their start and the government is using every lever we have to encourage young people on the land. Lowering the barriers for future farmers is an investment in the future of our regions.
The Regional Investment Corporation (RIC) will receive $1.45 million to administer the program which will open 1 January 2023. Funding for the $75 million guarantee will come from existing RIC appropriations.
Banking on livestock and pasture genetics
Valuable livestock and seed genetics will be preserved through the Liberal and Nationals Government’s $8.2 million commitment to national genebanks.
Genebanks are a way of future-proofing Australian agriculture, so we can have the best and most innovative way of protecting our breeding lines. They are also a way of securing high value genetic lines in case of an emergency, such as fire, flood or a biosecurity incursion, and are important for research. By having a storage bank of genetic material, we can leverage co-investment and research to develop breeds and cultivars that will suit our unique environment.
The Coalition Government has committed $8.2 million over four years from 2022-23 and $1.6 million each year from 2026-27 to establish a National livestock Genebank and to continue the Australian Pastures Genebank.