Western Cancer Centre open to patients
Last week marked one of my proudest as the Member for Parkes, when the state-of-the-art Western Cancer Centre in Dubbo opened to patients.
The Western Cancer Centre is something I’ve fought passionately for and I’m thrilled to see this critical project become a reality.
The $35 million facility at Dubbo Base Hospital will allow cancer patients to stay closer to their loved ones during treatment, providing the quality care and support that regional people need and deserve. It will not only benefit families throughout the western region but will be utilised by people right across my electorate and regional NSW who will no longer have to travel to the city to access treatment.
The support for this centre from right across Western NSW has been overwhelming – this is evident from the 45,961 signatures that I delivered to the Australian Parliament in November 2016, calling for this facility. I’m proud we’ve been able to deliver on this commitment.
It’s a shame I wasn’t able to be in Dubbo to welcome the first patients, but I look forward to celebrating at the official opening later this year.
Inland Rail civil works agreements
More towns and communities in my electorate will soon be reaping the benefits of Inland Rail, with Australian Rail Track Corporation ( ARTC) announcing civil works agreements for two key sections of the line.
Acciona CPB Joint Venture will deliver the $1.2 billion civil works program for the 306km greenfield section between Narromine and Narrabri, while Laing O’Rourke (Freight Connect) has been awarded the $1 billion contract to deliver approximately 100 kilometres of civil works from Narrabri through to North Star and across the border to Whetstone in Queensland.
Both of these projects will deliver new jobs and provide an enormous economic boost to the local region, from Narromine right through to the Queensland border.
Construction activities on the central civil works, from Narrabri to Whetstone, will commence mid-2022, while the Narromine to Narrabri works package will commence late next year.
Helping communities combat drought
We know that community networks and organisations play a critical role in helping people prepare for, and live through, times of drought.
This is why the Australian Government has partnered with the Foundation for Rural and Regional Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal (FRRR) to deliver up to $2.9 million in support for community organisations to fund events, activities, training and small-scale infrastructure that assist communities build their drought resilience capacity.
Applications are now open for the second round of the Future Drought Fund’s Networks to Build Drought Resilience program and I encourage eligible groups in the Parkes electorate to apply directly to the Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal.
Applications close 15 November 2021. For more information on the Future Drought Fund and the Networks to Build Drought Resilience program visit https://www.agriculture.gov.au/ag-farm-food/drought/future-drought-fund/networks-build-drought-resilience
Grants on offer to protect our heritage sites
The fourth round of the Australian Heritage Grants is now open, with $5.3 million available for projects that protect Australia’s rich tapestry of spectacular cultural, natural and historic heritage sites.
The Parkes electorate is home to a number of National Heritage Listed sites that are eligible for these grants, including the Brewarrina Aboriginal Fish Traps (Baiame’s Ngunnhu), the City of Broken Hill, Moree Baths and Swimming Pool, Myall Creek Massacre and Memorial Site, and the Warrumbungle National Park.
Each of these remarkable places helps to tell the story of our rich heritage and I encourage site owners, managers and support organisations to apply for grants of between $25,000 and $400,000 to ensure these sites can remain for future generations.
Applications for the 2021-22 grant round are open until 28 October 2021. To find out more and apply, visit: https://business.gov.au/grants-and-programs/australian-heritage-grants-2021-2022