Welcoming the Prime Minister to my electorate
It has been an action-packed weekend as I welcomed the Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, Deputy Prime Minister, Michael McCormack, and Minister for Agriculture, David Littleproud, to the Parkes electorate.
The Parkes electorate was very much in the spotlight on Saturday as key policy announcements were made, and I am glad this region is getting the attention it deserves. This visit represents an important opportunity for my constituents to connect with my Federal colleagues, and share an understanding of the matters that mean most to us.
Of these announcements, I am particularly pleased about a new $200,000 restocking and replanting concession loan and a $7 million pilot small business support program. Further improvements to the Farm Household Allowance (FHA) will also be welcomed, as will a $20 million Development Grants Program to help regional agricultural show societies upgrade their infrastructure. These initiatives, along with others, will make a significant difference to the livelihoods of farming operations and businesses in my electorate, and a collective understanding of the importance of agriculture.
The visit to the Wests’ farm at Eumungerie on Saturday morning was hugely worthwhile, and I thank Kevin and Robyn once again for welcoming us to their property. I’m pleased that the Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister and Agriculture Minister were also able to see firsthand the value of agricultural shows in my electorate, with a visit to the Gilgandra Show. Thank you again to all who helped make this visit memorable for everyone involved.
More scholarships for regional students
Government-funded scholarships for the costs of tertiary education are on offer, and I’m encouraging students in the Parkes electorate to throw their hat in the ring.
Applications are now open for scholarships under the Rural and Regional Enterprise Scholarships program. Eligible students can benefit from up to $18,000 towards the cost of studying at an eligible university or vocational education course.
The second round saw 15 scholarships offered to students in my electorate undertaking undergraduate, postgraduate and Vocational Education and Training (VET) science, technology, engineering or mathematics (STEM) courses.
Round three has been expanded to include all areas of study, and I hope there will be a record number of applications from this electorate. Applications close 14 June 2019 – for more information or to apply, visit www.education.gov.au/rural-and-regional-enterprise-scholarships
Youth Innovation Grants available
At the 2019 Heywire Regional Youth Summit, 50 young people from across Australia set out to answer the question, ‘how can we make life better for young people living in regional Australia?’
By sharing their personal stories, they identified the most pressing issues for young people in regional Australia. They developed possible solutions, including transitioning to independence, connecting disengaged young people to regional services, starting a business, youth mental health, connecting consumers and farmers, and celebrating difference in our communities.
The Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal (FRRR) and its donor partners offer more than $100,000 in seed funding annually to help at least 10 not-for-profit community organisations make these innovative ideas a reality. You can apply for up to $10,000 – find out more at www.abc.net.au/haywire. Applications close May 13, 2019.
Caption (L-R) – Prime Minister Scott Morrison, Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources David Littleproud, Member for Parkes Mark Coulton (speaking) and Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack at the Wests’ farm near Dubbo on 27 April 2019.