Parliament sitting comes to a close
Last week was the final Parliamentary sitting week for 2018, and I will return to Canberra again early next year. With the break comes a chance to travel across the electorate with commitments at community events and meetings with constituents. It is always enjoyable getting back to my electorate outside of the 19-20 weeks each year that I am required to be at Parliament House.
I received a visit from Wilcannia Central School students and staff on Tuesday, who were touring Parliament House as part of their Canberra excursion. Many, many hours were travelled in order for them to be here and it was great to see them enjoying their time in our nation’s capital.
Along with regional Coalition colleagues, I welcomed a new report into rural and regional telecommunications which shines a light on digital ag and a thriving tourism industry. The 2018 Regional Telecommunications Review has raised 10 strong recommendations which all provide a positive pathway for the Parkes electorate. This follows consultation across Australia, including an event in Narrabri earlier this year. The government will respond to the Committee’s recommendations in early 2019.
I continue to put forward my case to help lessen the burden on farmers paying for the Q fever vaccination, which can cost over $300. The Australian Government already subsidises Seqirus Australia for the ongoing production and supply on the open market of the Q fever vaccine and test kit. But I believe more can be done in this space to lower the vaccination cost for farmers handling livestock, especially under the ongoing drought conditions. This is an important vaccination that should not be forsaken simply due to cost.
ABC scholarship for people with disability
The Australian Government will provide $60,000 to support an ABC scholarship for disability content makers living in regional Australia. Applications for the ABC Regional Storyteller scholarship are currently open and close on 14 February 2019.
I’m strongly encouraging people living with disability in the Parkes electorate to apply for this unique opportunity to share their clever content ideas.
One in five Australians live with disability, which represents a vast pool of talent. If you’re living with a disability in a regional town or centre, you should have every opportunity to share your creativity with the rest of the country.
The scholarship winner will spend three months working with various ABC teams, to develop their skills and produce content. Last year’s winner of this scholarship has been working with their local ABC since receiving the scholarship.
For more information visit www.abc.net.au/careers. Applicants can email their applications to firstname.lastname@example.org.
New PBS listings to help fight cancer
Australians fighting cancer will soon benefit with five new cancer listings being made available on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS). This comes as part of a $100 million Federal Government investment.
From December 1, eligible patients throughout my electorate with certain forms of leukaemia, advanced tumours of the intestine and pancreas, melanoma, bowel cancer and ovarian cancer, can save up to $100,000 a year.
Once subsidised under the PBS, patients will pay $39.50 per script or just $6.40 a script for concessional patients. Our Government’s strong economic management means we are providing Australian patients with access to life-saving and life-changing medicines quicker than ever before.
These new and amended PBS listings were all recommended by the independent expert Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee.
We have a world-class health care system here in Australia and I’m pleased that developments like these offer better health outcomes for those in my electorate.