Photo caption: Federal Member for Parkes Mark Coulton congratulated the 2021 Young Farmer of the Year Emma Ayliffe in Parliament House last week.
Employment support for local women
CatholicCare Wilcannia-Forbes has been successful in receiving $689,870 in Federal Government funding to establish two social enterprise cafes, helping women in Bourke and Wilcannia enter the workforce and gain job-ready skills.
The Cooee for Coffee cafes in Bourke and Wilcannia provide local women the opportunity to undertake work experience as part of a 12-month training program, equipping them with life skills, job readiness and financial literacy.
Many of these women have never been employed and lack job-ready skills, but this program will provide them with the experience they need to gain long-term employment, which will not only give them a leg-up in life, but will benefit the entire community.
This is a fantastic initiative and I commend CatholicCare Wilcannia-Forbes on coming up with a practical solution to address unemployment issues in these two remote communities, while providing people with a place where they can meet up and enjoy a cup of coffee or a meal.
The funding has been provided through the Federal Government’s Women’s Leadership and Development Program, which will be expanded over the next five years with a further $38.3 million included in the 2021-22 Budget.
Drug court to help combat substance abuse
I congratulate the NSW Government on its commitment to establish a drug court in Dubbo, which was announced last week.
To be funded by the NSW Government over the next four years, the drug court will operate at the Dubbo Courthouse and provide a pathway for rehabilitation through a 12-month program.
This will complement the jointly funded residential alcohol and drug rehabilitation facility at Dubbo, helping to break the cycle of addiction and crime amongst the region’s drug offenders.
In 2019 the Federal Government committed $3 million to Dubbo Regional Council to develop the rehabilitation facility, currently in the planning phase.
Emma our Young Farmer of the Year
In Parliament House last week I had the pleasure of meeting the 2021 Young Farmer of the Year Emma Ayliffe.
Emma is an innovative farmer and agronomist from Lake Cargelligo in my electorate who is already making her mark on the agricultural industry, inspiring her peers to push the boundaries to create positive change.
She is passionate about practising what she preaches, and the purchase of a sheep and cropping property with her partner allows her to test new technology and techniques before recommending them to clients.
With the likes of Emma leading the way for the next generation of farmers, I’m confident the future of agriculture is in very capable hands.
$25 million for metering program
The Liberal and Nationals’ Government is investing $25 million for the Northern Murray-Darling Basin Metering Program that will bolster water compliance and give communities access to faster and more accurate water data.
The program will provide $12.5 million each to New South Wales and Queensland to improve metering and expand access to water information.
The NSW funding will be used to help subsidise the costs of installing telemetry, undertaking a metering demonstration in the Barwon-Darling region, and supporting First Nations Australians in regional areas to undertake paid metering traineeships.
This investment will significantly improve the information available to local communities, to water users and to compliance officers across the northern Basin.
It will deliver improved transparency for water users, better water management outcomes and stronger confidence for communities at the local level.