Photo caption: Royal Flying Doctor Service Federation Executive Director Frank Quinlan and South Eastern CEO Greg Sam, Minister for Regional Health, Regional Communications and Local Government and Federal Member for Parkes Mark Coulton and Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack announce the partnership between the RFDS and the Federal Government to deliver COVID-19 vaccines in remote communities.
Deputy Prime Minister in Dubbo
It was a pleasure to host my National Party leader and Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack in Dubbo last week, for some key transport announcements and engagements.
Together we announced the Australian Government’s partnership with the Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS) to deliver COVID-19 vaccines in remote communities. This partnership is an essential component of the Government’s vaccine rollout and means remote communities can be confident in their ability to access vaccination against COVID-19. Planning is well underway for remote communities across Australia to be vaccinated, including Ivanhoe, Menindee, Tibooburra, Wilcannia and White Cliffs in the Parkes electorate.
The Deputy Prime Minister and I also paid a visit to Concrete World Industries in Dubbo to discuss the preliminary findings of CSIRO’s Inland Rail Supply Chain Mapping Study, which shows that shifting freight from road to Inland Rail for at least part of the journey can save 39 per cent ($170 million) in transport costs each year. This demonstrates the transport benefits that are possible with Inland Rail, and businesses like Concrete World are already looking into how they can capitalise on this.
It was also great to attend the Regional Aviation Association of Australia’s Roadshow dinner event at the RFDA Experience Centre in Dubbo, and talk about Budget benefits for local businesses, priority infrastructure projects and the future of regional Australia at the Dubbo Chamber of Commerce’s breakfast meeting.
Sixth time standing for seat of Parkes
I’m honoured to have been preselected by Nationals members to contest the seat of Parkes in the next federal election, for the sixth time.
It has been a privilege serving the people of the Parkes electorate for the past 14 years and I’m thrilled to be given the opportunity to continue to represent this wonderful part of regional Australia.
Over the last 14 years I’ve fought hard to ensure the bush is not left behind, and I plan to continue fighting for our regional areas, making sure we have high quality health services, internet coverage and infrastructure in place to enable our communities to grow and prosper.
I’m also committed to seeing through developments like the Inland Rail, a project I have been passionate about since entering politics, and making sure I’m looking after the interests of the people in this electorate.
Safer Communities Fund now open
The latest round of the Federal Government’s Safer Communities Fund is now open, with up to $20 million in funding available for early intervention projects and up to $10 million for security infrastructure projects.
The Parkes electorate has already benefitted greatly from previous rounds of this funding, which helps to address crime and anti-social behaviour, and this latest round will provide further funds to ensure people in our local communities feel safe as they go about their daily lives.
The early intervention funding stream will provide support for at-risk young people to help them turn away from crime and build positive relationships and job-ready skills.
The infrastructure funding will not only improve security and protect communities through projects such as CCTV, fencing and bollards, it will also keep local people employed, boosting local economies.
I encourage local councils and community organisations in the Parkes electorate to identify projects that can be supported through this funding.
Further information about how to apply, and eligibility and assessment criteria, is available at www.business.gov.au