Photo caption: The roundabout was last week removed from the Newell and Mitchell highways intersection, as traffic lights were switched on for the first time.
Investing in our communities
Last week I was pleased to announce funding that will provide a boost to two communities in the Parkes electorate.
Western Plains Regional Development Incorporated has been awarded a $110,000 grant under the Future Drought Fund’s Network to Build Drought Resilience program to upgrade its building in Condobolin, which is in need of some serious TLC. This upgrade will provide a more welcoming meeting place for the community to use year-round, which will increase access to and use of the facility. This will go a long way in supporting the community’s wellbeing, putting them in better stead ahead of the next drought.
Applications for the second round of grants are open until 15 November 2021, and I encourage interested organisations to apply directly to the Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal.
Meanwhile, the Tourist Hotel in Narrabri has $50,000 to purchase a transportable stage to help bring live music to the region and rebuild its capacity as it recovers from the impacts of COVID-19 restrictions.
The Tourist Hotel will not only use the stage to host gigs in its beer garden, but to provide live music at community events throughout the wider region, boosting tourism and the local economy, as well as providing performance opportunities for regional musicians.
Lights switched on at major intersection
The traffic lights were last week switched on at the intersection of the Newell and Mitchell highways in Dubbo, marking a major milestone for the $40 million upgrade.
While there is some work still to complete as part of this project, the end is now in sight with the roundabout gone and traffic lights in place. The upgrade has also included additional merge and turning lanes, safer turning paths for road trains, new footpaths, improved drainage, a shared bike path, traffic islands, medians and pedestrian fencing.
Jointly funded by the Australian and New South Wales governments, this upgrade will improve safety, cut down travel time and ease congestion at the busy intersection.
Regional bank taskforce
Residents in towns right across my electorate are all too familiar with the impacts of dwindling banking services over recent years, so the establishment of a Regional Banking Taskforce by the Liberal and Nationals Government is a welcome development.
This Taskforce will not only look at the impacts of branch closures but also look at what solutions may be available for the residents of towns like Wee Waa which has been left without any banking services.
I’m proud to have helped to save the NAB branch in Walgett back in 2015, but sadly too many other banks in my electorate have closed down or reduced their hours.
The Taskforce will bring together banks and other key stakeholders who will hold a number of regional round tables to assess how bank branch closures have impacted local businesses, industries and communities and work collaboratively to identify possible solutions.
Proof of vaccination
My office has been fielding a number of enquiries from constituents unsure how to access proof of their COVID-19 vaccination. There are two ways to show proof of your vaccination:
- Your COVID-19 digital certificate which only shows proof of your COVID-19 vaccinations. You can add this to a digital wallet (the digital certificate will be available once you’re fully vaccinated).
- Your immunisation history statement which lists your COVID-19 vaccinations and all other vaccinations you have received.
The easiest way for you to get proof of your COVID-19 vaccination is online. You can go to the Services Australia website to find out how to get proof using your Medicare online account through myGov or the Express Plus mobile app; find out how to create a myGov account and link it to Medicare; and find the easiest way to get proof if you’re not eligible for Medicare.
If you can’t get proof online, your vaccination provider can print your immunisation history statement for you. You can also call the Australian Immunisation Register on 1800 653 809 and ask for your statement to be posted to you. It can take up to 14 days to arrive in the post. Learn more about how to get proof at servicesaustralia.gov.au/covidvaccineproof