Photo Caption 1 (L-R): Federal Member for Parkes Mark Coulton with Dubbo Regional Council Mayor Ben Shields, State Member for Dubbo Dugald Saunders and Dubbo Regional Council CEO Michael McMahon.
Road safety investment for our region
A whopping $10 million investment from the Federal Coalition Government will see key road infrastructure improvements underway in the Parkes electorate, enhancing road safety for all motorists and supporting jobs to keep money flowing through our community.
Last week I announced $2.3 million to improve the Old Dubbo Road, $1.1 million for enhancements to Broken Hill’s Galena Street, and an enormous $6.5 million for structural works on the Newell Highway between Forbes and Boggabilla.
This funding has been allocated under the joint Federal and State Government-funded Safer Roads Program. It’s a great example of multiple levels of government combining forces to deliver community-shaping local infrastructure projects for our region.
This is about getting Australians home sooner and safer – something that’s important to us all. I look forward to seeing works progress in the near future.
Regional Tech Hub launch
As Regional Communications Minister, I was pleased to launch the Regional Tech Hub last week.
The Regional Tech Hub will help rural Australians understand the telecommunications options available to them, decide which option best suits their needs, and resolve problems with their phone and internet connections.
I was joined by National Farmers’ Federation (NFF) President, Fiona Simson and Australian Communications Consumer Action Network (ACCAN) CEO, Teresa Corbin.
The NFF was selected to develop and run the Hub following a tender process earlier this year. They are working closely with ACCAN to ensure the information provided through the Hub is practical, relevant and easily accessible.
Those in the Parkes electorate needing practical advice on their telecommunications options and issues can visit the website at regionaltechhub.org.au or contact the Hub’s hotline on 1300 081 029.
Preserving our heritage
Regional communities will be among the key beneficiaries of a new $5 million Coalition Government funding round to protect and preserve our national and world heritage sites, promote tourism and deliver economic stimulus for our communities.
The latest round of the Australian Heritage Funding Grants Program is now open, with a particular focus on conserving privately-owned national heritage places, many of which have faced significant visitor downturn and temporary closure during COVID-19.
Heritage site owners and managers in the Parkes electorate are invited to apply for grants of between $25,000 and $400,000 which can be used for a range of activities to protect and strengthen the natural, historic and cultural values of a site or to enhance visitor experiences.
We are lucky to have numerous incredible heritage-listed sites in the Parkes electorate, including the Brewarrina Aboriginal Fish Traps, Moree Baths, Warrumbungle National Park and the City of Broken Hill.
Applications will close 7 January 2021. To find out more and apply, visit: www.business.gov.au/assistance/australian-heritage-grants
University scholarships on offer
Students in the Parkes electorate can apply for the 2021 Inland Rail Scholarships Program, providing scholarships of up to $20,000, equating to $5,000 for every year of study throughout their undergraduate degree.
We’ve had some great local success under this program, with scholarships awarded earlier this year to Joshua Irvine of Narromine (Bachelor of Medical Radiation Science, CSU Port Macquarie) and Megan Seis of Dunedoo (Bachelor of Veterinary Biology/Bachelor of Veterinary Science, CSU Wagga Wagga).
These scholarships help students in regional communities like ours to engage in education opportunities in regional areas, developing skills and qualifications that will help them secure jobs in local industries.
Applications will close in January and February 2021 – visit inlandrail.artc.com.au/scholarships for more information.