New opportunities for North West students
Minister for Education Dan Tehan joined me in the North West last week to officially open the Country University Centres – North West regional study hub.
The hub means that students living in the Moree and Narrabri areas will have access to campus-like facilities with modern IT equipment, and tutoring and mentoring services to better support them in their studies.
The Coalition Government’s $829,000 investment in this hub will give local students greater choice and access to opportunities. I was pleased to meet some of those students using the facilities during our visit.
While in Moree, Minister Tehan and I visited the Moree Sports Health Arts and Education (SHAE) Academy, which is a fantastic community-driven initiative. The SHAE Academy was established in 2017 after receiving $2.1 million in Federal Government funding under the Indigenous Advancement Strategy. The academy runs programs to help build students’ individual capabilities and leadership qualities, and I look forward to seeing it provide new benefits to the community over time.
Focus on regional connectivity
Early last week I was joined in Dubbo by the Minister for Communications, Cyber Safety and the Arts, Paul Fletcher, and NBN CEO Stephen Rue, to welcome NBN’s launch of the new Sky Muster Plus product. This will offer unmetered data for essential broadband activities like browsing, emails and specific software updates.
Minister Fletcher and I also released a discussion paper on the Regional Connectivity Program. Fast and reliable telecommunications are vital for people living in the bush as they need the connections to go about almost every aspect of their lives.
This Regional Connectivity Program will include up to $53 million in grant funding, and submissions are open until 9 September at this link: communications.gov.au/regionalconnectivity
Rural road safety month
NSW motorists are more likely to crash on country roads, which is the sobering message of this month’s Rural Road Safety Month.
As we all know, road safety is everyone’s responsibility. Motorists in the Parkes electorate – which is more than half of NSW – can play an important role in driving down the road toll. Of the 223 people killed in road crashes in NSW so far this year, 147 were on country roads – which is five more than the same time last year.
As part of my role as an MP I drive extensively across the Parkes electorate, and I know it can be easy to lose sight of the facts. Let this Rural Road Safety Month be a timely reminder for us all, that there are no second chances if you choose to drive irresponsibly.
Too often, people think it’s okay to quickly check a text, to drive faster than the speed limit because they know the road or to get behind the wheel when they’re tired. It’s not.
The Federal Government’s $100 billion pipeline of infrastructure projects over the next decade will help to improve road safety. We are upgrading roads right across the nation to get people home to their families sooner and safer.
Photo Caption: Member for Parkes Mark Coulton meeting students using the campus-like facilities at Country Universities Centre North West (Narrabri) with Minister for Education Dan Tehan. Also pictured – Duncan Taylor, CUC CEO, and Narrabri Shire Mayor Cathy Redding.