More drought funds for Parkes electorate
I was thrilled to announce more than $113,000 in drought funding for my electorate last week under the Tackling Tough Times Together program.
Communities dealing with drought at Wee Waa will benefit through an upgrade to fire protection at the showground pavilion, while 24 students from Bellata, Bullarah and Mallawa primary schools will visit the nation’s capital for school camp, thanks to these grants.
It was great to meet with the Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal (FRRR) Board while I was in Parliament, which delivers this grant program.
The long-term partnership between FRRR and the Australian Government, along with philanthropic, business and private donor funding, has enabled nearly $100 million to reach around 10,000 small community projects across the country.
Drought has been number one on my agenda and I’ve been pushing hard with my Federal colleagues for another level of response for those across the Parkes electorate. I hear from constituents on a daily basis who are dealing with this terrible drought, both on-farm and in country communities. With that in mind, I continue to knock on the doors of my Federal counterparts to put forward our case for timely assistance.
School visits, STEM opportunities
I enjoyed the chance to speak with students from St Joseph’s Primary School, Wee Waa, Dubbo and Wellington Christian Schools, and Sacred Heart Parish Primary School, Broken Hill, during the Parliamentary sitting week.
The enthusiasm demonstrated by school students in my electorate never ceases to amaze me. I am always impressed by students that have a strong desire to learn as much as possible about the workings of Parliament and our Government.
I’m pleased there are more opportunities available for school students, with grants of between $1000 and $20,000 available to give our kids science opportunities in Australia and abroad.
The Sponsorship Grants for Student Science Engagement and International Competitions program supports young Australians’ participation in conferences, competitions and other science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) events.
This program has proven to be highly popular, and has given many students life-changing STEM experiences.
Applications are open now, and funding is allocated to eligible applicants on a first-in basis. To submit an application, visit www.business.gov.au/assistance/inspiring-australia-science-engagement/student-sponsorship
Drug testing trials
The Coalition Government will move to introduce drug testing trials for welfare recipients, because we are committed to breaking down barriers unemployed Australians face returning to work.
I support these trials, because the community has the right to expect that taxpayer funded welfare payments are not being used to fund drug addiction.
This measure is not about punishing people. Rather, it is about identifying people who need help. We want to encourage people with substance abuse issues to get treatment, rehabilitate and make them job ready.
The two-year trial will be rolled out in three locations – Logan, Qld, Canterbury-Bankstown, NSW and Mandurah, WA. It will allow the Government to support people to pursue treatment that addresses their substance abuse issues, backed by a $10 million treatment fund that we will invest in those job seekers based on their needs.