Update from Parliament
Last week concludes another Parliamentary sitting fortnight, and in the coming weeks I will be on the road, followed by a return to the nation’s capital for budget week in early April.
Last week we saw the introduction of a South Australian Senator’s ridiculous Bill which attempts to ban the Australian export of cotton. This is a disgraceful attack on an important farming industry and the communities whose economies rely on cotton production. I remain committed to the health of the entire river system, and I’ll be doing all that I can to put a stop to knee-jerk nonsense such as the Senator’s proposal. If supported, this would not put a single cup of water back into our river system.
Onto another matter, and we are seeing Labor on a completely different wavelength when it comes to protecting our national security interests. Australia’s border protection must be safeguarded, and as a member of the Coalition I will be doing all I can to avoid the devastating impacts a Labor government would have on our national security.
Meanwhile, I’m very pleased drought funding continues to flow right across the electorate under the Drought Communities Programme. This month I’ve announced grants for Cobar, Coonamble, Gilgandra, Narromine, Gwydir, Narrabri, Walgett and Bogan Shire Councils for their local projects – and there are more to come.
Recognising our veterans
New legislation introduced into Parliament will provide better recognition of military service and further acknowledge the service and sacrifice of veterans and their families. It will establish an Australian Defence Veterans’ Covenant, and as part of a wider recognition package, a card and lapel pin will be provided to veterans.
We need to be putting veterans and their families first, and show our appreciation to the men and women who secured the freedoms we enjoy today. More information is available on the Department of Veterans’ Affairs website at www.dva.gov.au
Funding for parkrun
Parkrun Australia will benefit from a $1.8 million investment under the Move It Aus Better Ageing grants. It is one of 27 organisations to share in the grants over the next two years, administered by Sport Australia. This investment is about connecting older Australians with their weekly local parkrun event where they can run, walk, volunteer and socialise.
Community parkrun events have an emphasis on fun and social connections as well as a healthy lifestyle. These events are held in a number of communities right across the Parkes electorate including Dubbo, Narromine, Moree, Narrabri, Bourke, Cobar and Broken Hill. I encourage everyone regardless of age or ability to get along to one of these wonderful community events.
Photo Caption: Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, Darren Chester, and Member for Parkes Mark Coulton pictured last week with the new recognition package for veterans.