Photo Caption: Member for Parkes Mark Coulton with (L-R) Angelo Pippos, Alan Bennett, Ted Fernando and Alistair Ferguson at Orana Haven Aboriginal Corporation’s rehabilitation centre at Gongolgon, south of Brewarrina.
Making a difference to the west
Many miles were covered last week with another busy period on the road in the Parkes electorate. On Monday I took a trip to Gongolgon, south of Brewarrina, to visit Orana Haven Aboriginal Corporation, which provides a rehabilitation service for Aboriginal people suffering from drug and alcohol abuse. We took the opportunity to chat about the organisation’s Building Better Regions Fund (BBRF) grant of $148,500, which will be used to upgrade the transitional accommodation and gym area and construct a community vegetable garden. These are great initiatives and I know they will make a difference to those who are receiving care and guidance at this important facility.
Onwards to Nyngan, where I caught up with Bogan Shire Council about the extension of the Bogan Shire Medical Centre, made possible with a $350,000 BBRF grant. The extension will include additional consulting rooms, nurses’ room, pathology room, waiting area, toilet and paved walkways – an important project that I know will be welcomed within the local community.
Another great project underway in the western region is the upgrade at Binnaway Showgrounds. What a fantastic show society Binnaway has – it’s a credit to the entire team. I enjoyed the chance to speak with show volunteers about the improvements they will get underway with their $88,763 grant from the Regional Ag Show Development Grants program.
Gilgandra is firing on all cylinders with a $1.4 million BBRF grant for the library and community hub named ‘The GIL’, located in the old Target building. It was fantastic to visit the site and speak with the local council about what the project will mean for the community.
Dropping into Dunedoo
A visit to Dunedoo wouldn’t be complete without checking out the impressive silos in town. I spoke with artist Peter Mortimore while I was there last week. Peter has been tasked with painting a mural on the silos in town – and what a brilliant job he’s doing painting Dunedoo jockey Hugh Bowman and champion mare Winx!
A $1.2 million BBRF grant for Warrumbungle Shire Council is being used to replace the existing outdated sports building at Robertson Oval in Dunedoo, with a modern facility which includes toilets and change room facilities. Between the $841 million BBRF, the $500 million Local Roads and Community Infrastructure Program and other funding initiatives, there are some great grants flowing for councils at the moment and I know we’ll see some cracking results before too long.
Lachlan Shire forging ahead
I was thrilled to spend a few days in the Lachlan Shire last week, where I met with numerous community groups, organisations and the local council. It’s very clear that this shire is forging ahead despite the difficult times they, and many other LGAs around my electorate, have experienced with respect to drought, and more recently, the COVID-19 pandemic.
There is more than $1.4 million flowing to this LGA under the BBRF alone, and it was a great pleasure to check in with some of the recipients and hear about project progress. The pre-existing amenities block at the Lake Cargelligo Swimming Pool was in dire need of an update, and with $825,000, the local council will replace the building, helping to drive local jobs and attract more visitors to town. Council is also busy working on the Condobolin Tourist Precinct, with stage three of works made possible with their $450,000 BBRF grant.
I was very pleased to play a role in securing $200,000 for the Condobolin Preschool and Childcare Centre under BBRF, which will allow the centre to expand to provide 31 additional placements for local children. It was great to tour the centre and meet some of the happy kids, who were delighted to be all dressed up for pyjama day.
I also met with members of the Condobolin Show Society while I was in town. Many country shows in my electorate, including Condo, have had to cancel events in recent times – whether it be due to drought or the COVID-19 pandemic. This show society will use a grant from the Federal Government to undertake a much-needed power upgrade at the showgrounds. Thanks to these funds, we’ll be seeing work underway on new and improved facilities for everyone to enjoy going forward.