Photo caption: Federal Member for Parkes Mark Coulton encourages local businesses, contractors and suppliers to find out more about opportunities to help build new overtaking lanes along the Newell Highway between Coonabarabran and Narrabri.
Restarting the arts
Last week I was pleased to announce that two organisations in the Parkes electorate had been successful in receiving funding to reignite the arts sector in Broken Hill and Gulargambone through the fifth batch of grants from the Federal Government’s $200 million Restart Investment to Sustain and Expand (RISE) Fund.
West Darling Arts has received $300,583 to fund an 18-month contemporary arts and music program which will culminate in the Gawler Laneway Arts and Music Festival (GLAMFest) in 2023. This project will not only provide fantastic opportunities for local artists and musicians throughout 2022 and early 2023, but will inject much-needed tourism dollars into the Broken Hill economy when GLAMFest is held in 2023.
Meanwhile, the Gulargambone Community Enterprises Co-Operative has been awarded $32,000 to fund next year’s artists for the 2022 Pave the Way to Gular street art festival. They’ve also received an additional $39,600 through the Festivals Australia program to construct three billboard-sized panels, adding another six surfaces for the artists to paint murals on. This is a great initiative and will not only bring the community together and boost the Gulargambone economy during the 2022 festival, but will further cement the town as a mural mecca, helping to attract visitors year-round.
This funding is part of the Federal Government’s $1 billion investment into the arts and creative sector in 2021-22.
Help build Newell overtaking lanes
Local businesses, suppliers and contractors are invited to tender for work to build new overtaking lanes along the Newell Highway between Coonabarabran and Narrabri.
The Australian and New South Wales governments are jointly funding the rollout of additional overtaking lanes along this busy freight corridor, with 19 new lanes already delivered, eight under construction and 13 more in the planning stage.
New northbound and southbound overtaking lanes in the Pilliga will improve safety, boost freight productivity and reduce travel times by 33 minutes along the length of the highway from the Victorian border to the Queensland border.
On top of delivering major safety and efficiency gains, the project will create jobs for local suppliers and contractors, which is going to provide an economic boost for Narrabri, Coonabarabran and the surrounding communities.
Initial work on the construction site is due to start in October, weather permitting, with the project due to be completed at the end of 2022.
To register your interest as a supplier or contractor, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. Registration to receive tender packages closes by midnight 5 October 2021.
More information on the Newell Highway Upgrade – Overtaking Lanes project, including the new lanes at Pilliga, is available at: nswroads.work/nhpa
Paying farmers to improve native remnant vegetation
Farmers in Central West NSW could be eligible to receive payments to manage and enhance existing native vegetation on their properties, as part of the Australian Government’s Enhancing Remnant Vegetation Pilot.
The Central West is one of six regions in Australia selected to take part in this trial of a market-based approach that will see farmers paid for their actions to protect and enhance their remnant native vegetation. The Federal Government provided $22.3 million in the 2021 budget to run these additional trials alongside the Carbon plus Biodiversity Pilot, as part of our ongoing $66.1 million Agriculture Stewardship Package.
Having been a farmer myself, I know that farmers have been managing biodiversity on their farms for decades and it was time they were paid for it.
We don’t want to lock up land, we want this work to go hand-in-hand with a productive farming enterprise. Our farmers produce some of the best food and fibre in the world and we want to reward them for delivering positive outcomes for their communities while also improving the financial sustainability of their own farm business.
Applications for the Enhancing Remnant Vegetation Pilot are expected to open late September 2021. For more details or to apply for the program visit www.agriculture.gov.au/agriculturestewardship