Infrastructure projects to benefit freight operators
It was terrific to be in the north west of the electorate this week to celebrate the completion of two major infrastructure projects in the region, both of which will significantly benefit freight operators.
The completion of works to seal 17.7 kilometres of Grain Valley Road in the Gunnedah Shire means road trains can now access the north-south link between the Oxley and Kamilaroi Highways, with general road users also now able to enjoy a safer, smoother journey.
I was joined by State Member for Tamworth Kevin Anderson, local Mayor Jamie Chaffey and members of the community to celebrate this milestone. The much-needed upgrade was the result of successful community campaigning, together with $8.2 million in joint Federal, State and Local Government funding.
Continuing a theme of infrastructure investment, it was a pleasure to officially open Warialda’s new truck wash facility, along with State Member for Northern Tablelands Adam Marshall and Gwydir Shire Mayor John Coulton.
This state-of-the-art facility will allow our freight operators to take a break from long journeys and give their heavy vehicles a decent clean. It also means less effluent falling from stock trucks on our town streets and rural roads.
The truck wash forms part of the Warialda high productivity vehicle project, jointly funded with $3 million under the Australian Government’s Heavy Vehicle Safety and Productivity Program, $3 million from the NSW Government and $525,000 from Council.
Win for live music in Dubbo
The live music sector was hit particularly hard by the impact of COVID-19, so I was pleased to announce that a venue in the Parkes electorate was successful in securing funding to help aid its recovery and boost capacity.
The Garden Hotel Dubbo has received a $25,000 grant under the first round of the Federal Government’s Live Music Australia program. This funding will go towards a power upgrade to develop a sustainable live music venue base, which in turn will increase performance opportunities for musicians in the region.
Last week I stopped by the Garden Hotel to catch up with venue manager Jordan Hislop to discuss what a great difference this will make to their live music scene.
I encourage other small to medium-sized venues in the Parkes electorate to apply for round two funding, which is now open. Applications for round two will close on 18 February 2021.
For more information and to apply, visit: www.grants.gov.au
Celebrating Australia Day
It was a pleasure to participate in Australia Day celebrations in Gunnedah, Boggabri and Narrabri last week. Australia Day is a day for all Australians to reflect on our past, present and future, as well as to celebrate being an Australian. This past year has been a great reminder that we truly live in the best country in the world.
Australia Day is also an opportunity to recognise those outstanding members of the community who have contributed so much over the past year.
It is with great pride that I congratulate five members of the Parkes electorate who were named in the Australia Day 2021 Honours list:
- Dr David Schuster (Dubbo) – Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for significant service to medicine as an anaesthetist, and to the community of Dubbo
- Phillip Gibson (Nyngan) – Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for service to the community of Nyngan
- Gary Mason (Narrabri) – Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for service to veterans and their families
- Michael O’Neill (Dubbo) – Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for service to the rejuvenation of inland rivers
- Neville Owen (Coonamble) – Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for service to the community of Coonamble
Congratulations also to everyone in the electorate who received an Australia Day award. It takes a special kind of person to dedicate themselves to the communities in which they live and I am proud to represent such upstanding members of rural and regional Australia.