Photo caption: Federal Member for Parkes Mark Coulton (right) and Narromine Shire Council Mayor Craig Davies at Narromine Airport, which will undergo a number of important upgrades thanks to $389,000 in Federal Government funding through Round 2 of the Regional Airports Program.
Funding for three local airports
This week I visited the Narromine Aerodrome – one of three airports in the Parkes electorate to share in $986,000 in funding for important upgrades through Round 2 of the Australian Government’s Regional Airports Program.
Narromine Shire Council will receive $389,000 to construct a new taxiway, reseal the existing taxiways and apron area, remove trees and upgrade the water supply at Narromine Airport; Dubbo Regional Council has been allocated $300,000 to undertake stage two of its general aviation apron upgrade at Dubbo Airport, which includes heavy patching and sealing of apron and upgrading stormwater infrastructure; and Narrabri Shire Council has been awarded $297,000 to reseal a section of the runway at Narrabri Airport.
These upgrades will help our communities to be assured that aviation safety obligations are up to scratch, while creating jobs and other economic opportunities for the future.
Regional airports play an important social role in connecting individuals and families, and I look forward to working with the councils to deliver this vital funding.
Grants for healthy rivers
Nine community-led projects across the Parkes electorate are receiving a total of $279,000 in funding under the first round of the Australian Government’s Murray–Darling Healthy Rivers Program to improve the health of local rivers and wetlands.
Grants have been awarded to individual landholders and organisations in Condobolin, Dubbo, Narrabri, Toongi and the Warrumbungle Shire for a range of projects that will enhance the environment, including the protection and regeneration of Hyandra Creek, restocking the Namoi River with Golden Perch and Murray Cod, stock exclusion fencing to protect the Lachlan River, native revegetation along the Macquarie River, stock exclusion and riparian weed management on the Namoi River, sustainable fishing and aquaculture, riverbank rehabilitation and a school approach to improving the Castlereagh River’s ecosystem.
In addition to being fantastic for the environment, these projects will support small businesses across the Parkes electorate and create real jobs – all of the grant recipients have a strong commitment to buying locally.
Boothenba Road upgrade begins, funding for headspace
It was fantastic to turn the first sod for the $8 million Boothenba Road upgrade in Dubbo this week, along with State Member for Dubbo Dugald Saunders and Dubbo Regional Council Mayor Stephen Lawrence.
The project will involve a realignment and widening of the road, as well as the creation of dedicated turning and deceleration lanes and other improvements.
This much-needed upgrade to this key freight route will not only significantly improve safety for all road users and increase productivity gains for heavy vehicles accessing the Dubbo Regional Livestock Markets, but these works will provide a boost to local jobs and the regional economy at a time when it’s needed most.
While in Dubbo, I also paid a visit to headspace to announce the extension of funding for the successful Individual Placement and Support Program, which addresses barriers preventing young people with mental illness from finding and keeping a job.
The Federal Government is investing more than $1 million, allowing the Dubbo headspace to continue delivering the local program until 2024.
Have your say on telecommunications services
The Regional Telecommunications Independent Review Committee has released its Issues Paper and initial schedule of public meetings for the 2021 Regional Telecommunications Review and is inviting the public to make their views known.
This review, which I announced in my former role as Regional Communications Minister, helps set the Australian Government’s regional telecommunications agenda for the coming years.
It is an opportunity for people living and working in regional, rural and remote areas of Australia to share their views and experiences using telecommunications services in their area.
I encourage people in the Parkes electorate to make a written submission or participate in an upcoming consultation session. More information on the review, including consultation dates and details on how to make a submission, can be found at www.rtirc.gov.au. Written submissions should be lodged by Thursday 30 September, 2021.