Travels in Western NSW
It’s been a productive week with Minister for Water Resources, Drought, Rural Finance, Natural Disaster and Emergency Management, David Littleproud, joining me to spend time with local communities in the western part of my electorate.
In a meeting with Bourke Shire Council, the Minister and I heard about Council’s priorities, and later met with Central Darling Shire Council and Menindee Water Users’ Group at the Maidens Hotel in Menindee. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to many of these issues, including water in the midst of an ongoing drought – but I will continue to listen and do all that I can to help western communities grow and flourish.
I relished the opportunity to personally thank local volunteers and supporters at a branch function in Broken Hill along with the Minister. Our success at the recent Federal Election is a credit to their hard work and dedication. Additional meetings with community groups and constituents took place in Broken Hill, including with the City Council Mayor and Councillors, particularly regarding the beautification of the main street to encourage more visitors to come to the city. I continued east later in the week to spend some time in Moree and Dubbo.
Dubbo success stories
I especially enjoyed a recent meeting with Ryan Medley, who is achieving great success at ‘Active, On The Move Rehab’ in Dubbo. Ryan is an inspirational young man who has taken control of his life following a country footy match two years ago which saw him lose the use of both of his legs. It gives me great hope to know we have incredible people like Ryan in our community, and there’s an important lesson we can all learn from leaders like him.
It was wonderful to give the official welcome at the Regional Development Australia – Orana State of the Region Dinner in Dubbo on 13 June, to celebrate the businesses in the Orana region. There are many fantastic success stories and I’m proud of what the region’s business community has been able to achieve.
While in Dubbo, I was lucky enough to get a sneak peek of the unfinished Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS) South Eastern Section immersive visitor experience with Ruth Sandow, President of RFDS South Eastern Section, Dr Randall Greenberg, RFDS Chief Medical Officer, and Kendall Graham, RFDS Dubbo Base Manager. Once finished, this experience will provide visitors with a thorough understanding of how the RFDS works and why it is still so vitally important.
New boost to youth mental health
The Liberal and Nationals Government has invested $2.8 million into batyr – an organisation that does innovative preventative mental health work. The funding will help further enhance and expand batyr’s online presence to support youth mental health and suicide prevention through safe and effective storytelling in schools via a new digital storytelling platform.
This is a program for young people, designed by young people. Our Government is prioritising better mental health for all Australians with a record $4.9 billion expected to be spent on mental health this year alone. Our $503.1 million Youth Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Plan is the largest suicide prevention plan in Australia’s history and focuses on expanding the headspace network, Indigenous suicide prevention and early childhood and parenting. I’m looking forward to seeing the benefits this will provide for those who require mental health support in the Parkes electorate.
Photo Caption: Meeting with Ryan Medley and Nic Grose at ‘Active, On The Move Rehab’ in Dubbo.