Improving digital connectivity
I recently announced that the next stage of consultation is underway on the $53 million Regional Connectivity Program to improve digital connectivity in rural and regional Australia.
I’d like to remind people in the Parkes electorate to have your say on the draft program guidelines – submissions can be made at www.communications.gov.au/regional-connectivity-guidelines up until 13 March.
It’s clear that people living and working in our regions need access to fast and reliable telecommunications to go about almost every aspect of their lives.
This program will provide competitive grants, allowing investment in projects that improve our internet accessibility.
It prioritises bespoke solutions rather than a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach and aims to complement the National Broadband Network (NBN) with tailored mobile and broadband services to support local industry, and health and educational priorities.
It’s important that all views are heard in the design of the final guidelines, including from communities, all levels of government, consumer groups and telcos.
Community arts and culture
Arts and culture organisations in the Parkes electorate can apply for a share of more than $500,000 in funding across Australia for arts projects at festivals and one-off community celebrations.
Festivals Australia funds arts projects including parades, performances, workshops and installations at local festivals in regional and remote Australia.
This is a great opportunity to get more local events up and running in my electorate, which is especially important in bringing the community together.
Through Festivals Australia funding, local artists and organisations can deliver projects that enhance local events with arts and cultural experiences that tell local stories and explore who we are.
Applications close 22 March 2020. I’d encourage those interested to find out more at www.arts.gov.au/festivals
The start of Autumn will bring with it a new sense of hope for over 2,000 Australians with advanced melanoma, with the Coalition Government expanding subsidised access to breakthrough melanoma treatment options on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS).
I’m proud of this Government’s track record in listing all medicines recommended by medical experts on the PBS. Since 2013, the Government has listed more than 2,300 new or amended listings on the PBS.
Opdivo® is a breakthrough immunotherapy which works by blocking proteins and helping the body’s own immune system to find, attack and destroy cancer cells. It is estimated more than 1,500 patients might otherwise pay more than $100,000 per course of treatment without the PBS subsidy.
The listing of Opdivo® as an adjuvant therapy will provide healthcare professionals and patients with an affordable treatment option to treat melanoma earlier, rather than watching and waiting for the cancer to possibly return.
Funding for research collaborations
Round 9 of the Cooperative Research Centres Projects (CRC-Ps) is now open, with applications closing on March 19.
These grants provide funding for short-term research collaborations, to develop a new technology, product or service.
$289 million in funding has been committed to CRC-Ps since 2016. This commitment further builds on the Coalition Government’s plan to strengthen Australian industry and create 1.25 million new jobs in the next five years.
Information on how to apply, and details of previous grant recipients is available at www.business.gov.au/crc-p