Last week for Volunteer Grant applications
We are fast approaching the deadline for this year’s round of Volunteer Grants, with the 2023 round closing at 5pm AEST on Friday 8 September.
These grants are designed to help volunteer organisations pay for equipment, promotional activities, fuel costs or other expenses so that they can continue to provide services to their communities.
Grants of between $1,000 and $5,000 are available, and eligible organisations within the Parkes electorate can download an EOI form via the Media Release on my website: https://www.markcoulton.com.au/volunteer-groups-encouraged-to-apply-for-grants-2/
Pharmacies facing the fallout
From Friday 1 September, Labor’s new 60 Day Dispensing laws take effect, meaning that for some medicines customers will be able to receive twice as much at one time than they could previously access.
Changes to dispensing laws will drastically impact the viability of pharmacies such as White’s Pharmacy, which is the only pharmacy in the town of Lightning Ridge in northern NSW. Last week I visited Rhonda, who has been running this pharmacy with her husband Garry for more than forty years. She is very concerned about how this change will impact them and their community.
As a result of the change to 60 Day Dispensing Rhonda will have to order more stock all the way from Sydney, and elderly customers will be visiting less frequently, making it more difficult to assess their health needs. Rhonda also has concerns that people may stockpile medications, which have to be destroyed if they are not used.
In apparent recognition of the unintended consequences of 60 Day Dispensing the Community Pharmacy Agreement has been brought forward, and my hope is that this facilitates negotiations between pharmacists and the Labor Government which lead to better outcomes for all. I will be continuing to monitor this space.
Students meet the Speaker of the House
I was thrilled last week to have the opportunity to introduce the Speaker of the House of Representatives, the Hon Milton Dick MP, to some of the schools in the Parkes electorate as part of the Parliament in Schools program.
The Parliament in Schools program was launched last year and is a bi-partisan initiative which aims to bring an experience of Parliament and greater knowledge of Parliamentary procedures to students across the country.
Last week students at Bullarah, Rowena, Pallamallawa, Gravesend and Croppa Creek were able to meet the Speaker and learn more about our Parliament. It is my hope that many more students from across the Parkes electorate will have a chance to learn more about our democracy through this program in years to come.
During the Speaker’s trip I was also able to introduce him to members of Moree Council and take him to visit Wathagar Ginning, one of the highest performing cotton gins in the world. Wathagar are leaders in sustainable farming, producing the world’s first traceable carbon positive cotton, so it was fantastic to be able to show the Speaker the quality of industry and innovation happening right now in the electorate of Parkes.