Greater access for regional students
Those in regional and remote communities will have greater access to higher education, as a result of the Coalition Government’s recent announcement of an additional $134.8 million.
Every Australian should have access to our world-leading higher education system. Our Government’s investment will give students in my electorate greater choice and access to opportunities through more Commonwealth-supported places at regional campuses, more scholarships for rural and regional students and more Regional Study Hubs.
I recently shared the news that students in the Broken Hill, Moree and Narrabri regions will be the winners with the welcome announcement of funding for Regional Study Hubs. A regional Country Universities Centre North West study hub will be established, and the Country Universities Centre Far West Regional Study Hub in Broken Hill will be expanded.This means local students can take up higher education and training opportunities without having to relocate to the city or travel long distances from home.
The Government also announced $34.1 million for an additional 1,955 scholarships for regional and remote students over four years, more than doubling the number of scholarships currently available.
Funding to tackle drug issues
Local organisations can apply for funding to put more Local Drug Action Teams (LDATs) on the ground to tackle ice and other drug issues in our communities.
In June I announced four LDATs for the Parkes electorate – Kirkala-Pithiluku Aboriginal Corporation at Broken Hill, Moree Local Drug Action Team, Walgett Aboriginal Medical Service, and a Centacare New England North West LDAT.
Round four of the LDAT program has now opened and interested community organisations have until 7 December to get their funding applications in.
Through local partnerships, LDATs provide evidence-based prevention activities to minimise alcohol and other drug related harms. So far 172 LDATs have been funded across Australia and these teams directly tackle the devastating impact alcohol and drugs – including ice – have on our communities. I am pleased local solutions are being developed for local problems.
LDATs across the Parkes electorate will be important for the strength, health and wellbeing of our communities now and into the future. For more information, see www.community.adf.org.au/implement.
Grants for farm innovators
I’m calling on local landholders and community groups to apply for a second round of Smart Farms Small Grants. Landcare groups, Natural Resource Management bodies, Indigenous organisations and community groups in the Parkes electorate can apply for grants of between $5,000 and $200,000 up until 11 January 2019.
The Coalition Government is supporting farmers and community groups to make a difference, and this is a chance for locals to receive funding and build on the work they’ve already started.
I know there is a lot of work being done in the electorate to support smart farming practices and to protect and improve natural resources.
These grants will also help support water security and promote climate-smart farming. The first round of funding was highly competitive and I strongly encourage those who missed out to apply again.
The future of agriculture lies in sustainable farming and land management, and we want to help kick that along. For more information or to apply, visit the Community Grants Hub at www.communitygrants.gov.au.