Rural health, NDIS discussions
During the week I met with representatives of Marathon Health in Dubbo to discuss some of the important programs they are rolling out to deliver quality health and wellbeing services.
I was also able to congratulate the organisation on receiving a $20,000 Federal Government grant under the second round of Transition Assistance Funding. This grant will allow Marathon Health to upgrade their software to more effectively transition into the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).
I met with the team from Maari Ma Health in Broken Hill later in the week, which also received $20,000 under this round to assist the organisation to become ‘NDIS-ready’ and better serve their growing NDIS client base.
In Bourke, I heard from the NSW Outback Division of General Practice about opportunities to deliver better access to services and improved health outcomes for communities in rural and remote New South Wales.
Through the Allied Health Rural Generalist Pathway we’re supporting more rural training opportunities based on local community need. We also need more flexible and innovative approaches to medical and primary healthcare to support rural and remote communities, which I’m pursuing in my role as Rural Health Minister.
While in Bourke, it was great to meet nursing students and tour new student accommodation which will help attract health students to work and train in the area. The works have been funded through the Government’s Rural Health Multidisciplinary Training (RHMT) program. This program is key to increasing rural training opportunities and delivering more health services locally in our communities.
Celebrating Australia Day
It was a great pleasure to participate in Australia Day celebrations in Gunnedah and Dubbo over the weekend.
It was an important opportunity for all local residents to acknowledge the contribution that every Australian makes to our dynamic nation, regardless of background.
Australia Day is a time to reflect on where we have been and where we are going as a nation. It’s a day to listen to each other and respect each other’s stories and contributions.
Australia Day is a day to reflect on and celebrate living in the greatest country in the world, where we have more opportunities, greater freedoms and more reasons to be optimistic than any other nation. It’s a day to celebrate together and celebrate being Australians.
Small business drought loans
I’m pleased that the new Regional Investment Corporation (RIC) loan for farm-dependent small businesses is now available to eligible businesses in my electorate.
Small businesses are the lifeblood of rural and regional communities, and they’re doing their best to serve farm businesses also affected by this drought.
Those businesses – livestock transporters, equipment repairers, harvesting contractors – can use these small business drought loans to refinance existing debt or just keep their businesses going until the drought breaks.
Loans of up to $500,000 are available with a two-year interest free period. Following those first two years, concessional interest-only payments will apply before principal and interest payments are required in the final five years of the 10-year loan term.
Guidelines and application forms for these new loans are available on the RIC’s website www.ric.gov.au
Photo Caption (2): Member for Parkes and Minister for Regional Services Mark Coulton touring new student accommodation in Bourke, which has been funded through the Government’s Rural Health Multidisciplinary Training (RHMT) program.