From Albury to Bega, Broken Hill to Gunnedah and everywhere in between, 79 mayors from across the state met in Sydney today to discuss priorities for regional and rural areas.
Speaking at the Country Mayors Association of New South Wales event, Minister for Regional Services, Decentralisation and Local Government, Mark Coulton used the meeting to further understand issues facing rural councils.
Mr Coulton, a former mayor of Gwydir Shire Council, said he would draw on his own experiences in local government in his role as the Minister for Local Government.
“My time as Gwydir Mayor gives me a thorough understanding of the priorities and challenges being faced by many of these areas,” Minister Coulton said.
“I’m passionate about meeting with mayors and councillors to continue to listen to the things that matter to them and their residents.
“The Liberal Nationals Government is committed to improving the lives of those living in rural and regional areas and making it easier to live, learn and do business.”
The Liberal Nationals Government is supporting regional and rural areas of NSW through a number of initiatives, including:
- Funding to upgrade the Dubbo Airport and build an aeromedical facility;
- More than $10 million to construct roads and bridges in the Greater Taree area;
- Funding of $300 million for the NSW section of the Toowoomba to Seymour corridor to provide better connectivity for drivers and industry;
- Upgrades to the Newell Highway totalling $400 million;
- Boosting mobile reception through the $380 million Mobile Black Spot Program; and
- A share in the $550 million Stronger Rural Health Strategy to bring more GPs to rural areas.
The mayors also heard from NSW Minister for Agriculture Adam Marshall, NSW Police Assistant Commissioner Geoff McKechnie and Richard Colbran, the CEO of the Rural Doctors Network.