Increased vaccine opportunities
Regional NSW remains under stay at home orders this week, as COVID-19 cases continue to rise in the Western and Far West regions of the state.
Over the past week I have been in regular contact with the Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt in an effort to provide additional support to the affected communities across the Parkes electorate.
I’m pleased that the Australian Defence Force is now on the ground supporting the local response by distributing care hampers and helping police conduct compliance checks. Most excitingly, the ADF has partnered with the Western NSW Local Health District to provide walk-in COVID-19 vaccination clinics across 33 communities in the region over the next three weeks.
I strongly encourage all eligible members of these communities to take advantage of this incredible opportunity to get vaccinated. Both Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines will be available, depending on individual eligibility.
In more good news, last week the Prime Minister announced that the Pfizer vaccine will be made available for 16 to 39-year-olds from 30 August, following the arrival of an additional one million doses of Pfizer from Poland.
Our vaccine rollout is continuing to gain speed, with some significant milestones achieved last week. More than half of all Australians aged 16 and over have now received at least one vaccine dose and more than 16 million doses have been administered overall.
To check your eligibility and book your vaccination, visit https://www.australia.gov.au/
Visit https://www.nsw.gov.au/covid-19 for the latest information on case numbers and locations, exposure sites, testing facilities, vaccination clinics, stay at home orders and travel restrictions.
Road safety funding for key freight routes
I was pleased to announce last week that the Federal Government is funding new road safety upgrades for three key freight routes in the Parkes electorate.
Through the Road Safety Program, Federal Government is contributing:
- $59,031 to install full width traversable clear zone and curve alignment markers on the Mendooran Road, 18km to 20km north of Mollyan
- $53,664 to widen the shoulders and install full width traversable clear zone and curve alignment markers on the Oxley Highway, 9.7km to 11.3km northeast of Warren
- $53,664 to install full width traversable clear zone on the Barrier Highway, 125.25km to 126.7km west of Cobar
This vital funding delivers life-saving upgrade works to keep people safe and help reduce the number of fatalities and serious injuries occurring on our regional roads.
It also provides a critical boost to local jobs and the economy, which is especially important during these uncertain times.
For more information on the Australian Government’s road safety initiatives, visit www.officeofroadsafety.gov.au.
Awards for innovative young people
Applications are now open for the 2022 Science and Innovation Awards for Young People in Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry.
There are 12 individual grants of up to $22,000 across multiple categories, with a total of $264,000 available for young scientists, researchers and innovators.
Grants are open to young people aged 18 to 35 with original projects that aim to keep Australia’s rural industries sustainable and profitable.
Our young people are at the forefront of transforming the agricultural industry and these awards support passionate young Australians who want to make a difference through innovative projects that support and enhance our agriculture, fisheries and forestry sectors.
I know there are many bright young minds leading the way in the Parkes electorate, and I encourage them to apply now.
For more information and to apply, visit https://www.agriculture.gov.au/abares/conferences-events/scienceawards. Applications close at 5pm on Friday 1 October.