Proud to be appointed to Ministry
I am deeply honoured to have been appointed to the Coalition Government Ministry on 26 May 2019 as the Minister for Regional Services, Decentralisation and Local Government. I will also retain my role as Assistant Trade and Investment Minister.
I thank the Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack for asking me to undertake these important roles.
I look forward to receiving a brief from the outgoing Minister in due course, and getting straight to work. I will be officially sworn in this Wednesday 29 May 2019.
Coalition forms majority Government
The Australian people have decided the Coalition should serve a third term in Government, which is great news, especially for rural and regional Australians. Furthermore, as the Australian Electoral Commission continues counting votes, 78 seats have been secured (at the time of writing). We have a strong, positive agenda and I am looking forward to the next term as Member for Parkes.
In his recent victory speech, the Prime Minister Scott Morrison credited quiet Australians who are going about their lives every day; who have decided that their jobs, their economic futures and their choices are important. The Prime Minister believes the Government should be there to provide essential support, but ultimately Australians are the ones who make the choices about their own lives. This is the kind of leadership we need and I’m proud to represent a Government which backs the quiet achievers who work hard every day.
I’ve had a short break at home near Warialda, but it’s all systems go for me as the re-elected local member. I have already been discussing priorities with some of the councils in my electorate, including under the Roads of Strategic Importance (ROSI) initiative. The Newell Highway stretching from Dubbo to Boggabilla is part of a corridor that will benefit from a $510 million investment under ROSI, with part of the investment set to address pinch points and impediments to efficient freight movements along the corridor.
The Government has announced an additional $1.1 billion in funding for local governments under the Roads to Recovery program, as well as an extra $550 million for the successful Black Spot Program, which targets known high-risk locations and reduces serious crashes by 30 per cent on average. A further $571.1 million will be delivered to improve the safety and efficiency of heavy vehicle operations through the Bridges Renewal Program, Heavy Vehicle Safety and Productivity Program and Heavy Vehicle Safety Initiatives (HVSI).
These are all most welcome investments for the electorate of Parkes, the economy of which is so strongly built on local industries and freight movements.
Celebrating our volunteers
Last week was National Volunteer Week – the annual celebration to acknowledge the generous contribution of our incredible volunteers. A total of 41 community organisations across my electorate were rewarded with funding under the latest round of the Volunteer Grants program – their volunteers work tirelessly for the benefit of our community, and I was pleased to meet with many of them recently.
From Baradine CWA and Coonabarabran Men’s Shed, right through to Mungindi Junior Rugby League and the Coonamble State Emergency Service, there are so many essential community organisations worthy of our credit and acknowledgement. Volunteers are the lifeblood of rural and regional communities in the Parkes electorate, and I look forward to finding further opportunities to support their work in the next term of Government.