Regional infrastructure, events boost
There has been plenty of exciting news to share this week on my travels throughout the electorate. In Menindee on Monday, I announced that a further 70 kilometres of the partially-sealed Pooncarie Road will be sealed with $25 million from the Federal and State Governments. This project will open up endless tourism potential for the Far West and offer many benefits for local agricultural industries. In more great news for the Far West and North West parts of my electorate, I also announced five more Telstra base stations under the latest round of the Mobile Black Spot Program.
I met with staff and program participants of Yarruwala Youth & Family Services in Dubbo. This not-for-profit organisation has received $50,000 from the Federal Government to buy a minibus and twin cab ute to help disadvantaged Indigenous youth get to and from work, as part of its ‘Stayin Kinnected’ program – a wonderful initiative. I also congratulated Western Student Connections on receiving $80,000 under the Building Better Regions Fund (BBRF) to hold a weeklong festival in Dubbo showcasing student skills in vocational education and training (VET) industries. These are important local projects and it gives me great pleasure to see them evolve.
I headed further south for commitments in the Lake Cargelligo/Condobolin areas. I met with Lower Lachlan Community Services which will hold a networking business forum in Condobolin, thanks to a $44,737 BBRF grant. Lachlan Shire Council has also received almost $20,000 for fencing upgrades at their local airstrip. These are wonderful investments in my electorate and I know they will make an enormous difference.
Landlines in the bush
Telstra has committed to undertake a dedicated program of work to improve the reliability of regional and remote landlines. This announcement comes after the release of an independent review of regional telecommunications, which reinforced the importance of fixed line phone services for people living outside the cities.
Landlines are a lifeline for many of us, and repeat faults and long repair timeframes are just not good enough for those living in parts of my electorate. For some, a landline service is the only connection to the outside world. It is essential these services are reliable, and that any issues are fixed quickly. Telstra have already started work on its expanded plan and will keep the Government updated on progress.
Funding for dementia support
The Coalition Government will provide a further $40 million in grants to better support people living with dementia. Applications are now open under the National Dementia Support Program for funding to support education programs, services and resources for people living with dementia.
This could include projects to raise awareness and understanding about dementia, and increase the skills and confidence of people living with dementia, their carers, families, health professionals, volunteers, and other community contacts.
Dementia is one of the biggest health and social challenges facing our nation. This investment will ensure people living with dementia, their families and carers are continually provided with the support they need. Applications for the National Dementia Support Program are open via the GrantConnect website – search for GO1777 at www.grants.gov.au
Photo caption (L-R): Kara Toomey (Stayin Kinnected program), John Hill, Clinton Hill (program participants); Gummy Toomey (Stayin Kinnected); Member for Parkes Mark Coulton; Dylan Carr, Keith Fernando (program participants); Heidi Spratt (Stayin Kinnected).