MINISTER COMMITTED TO ASSISTING FLOOD RECOVERY
The floods which struck the Central West in 2022 tragically resulted in the loss of life and has left an indelible mark on the many who survived them - and who are still trying to recover and rebuild. Government funding and services are vitally important in assisting people and their communities on the path to recovery.
From day one of this disaster, I vigorously and relentlessly lobbied government for both financial and service assistance. I have not stopped knocking on doors in parliament; my flood-impacted communities have needed more and ongoing assistance. Premier Minns and his ministers' doors have been open to me, and they have welcomed me as I've visited their offices with a mission to secure further flood recovery funding.
Last week in parliament I delivered a speech, bringing to the attention of the house the flood-impacted communities which are still in the recovery and rebuilding phase.
I recognised Premier Minns, Minister Scully, and Minister Dib for their ongoing support of the continuing recovery, and their recent announcement of $50 million in flood recovery funding for the 2022 flood-ravaged communities here in the Central West.
This vital funding will, among other flood recovery needs, provide house raising and retrofits of homes, and also property buy-backs, allowing the incorporation of designs and materials that can withstand future flooding events. The NSW Reconstruction Authority will work alongside local government and community leaders to prioritise where the funding is required.
The funding will also be directed to the repair and replacement of critical community assets and improving the resilience of public infrastructure, including bridges and roads.
At the conclusion of my speech in parliament, Minister Scully spoke in reply. The Minister acknowledged there is more work to do, but said he is committed to helping the me with our flood-impacted communities' recovery for as long as it takes. The minister's words were greatly appreciated and provided much reassurance.
150th Anniversary of Parkes' naming
In 1873 the town of Bushman's was renamed Parkes, in honour of Sir Henry Parkes, then politician and known as and credited as being Father of Federation. Prior to being named Bushman's, the locality was known as Currajong for the local abundance of the native tree.
It was a pleasure to attend last week's 150th anniversary of the event at the Henry Parkes Museum, along with representatives of the Parkes Shire Council and members of the community. Members of the historical society were in attendance, and some of them went to the effort to be dressed in period clothing! Town Crier Tim Keith also recited a letter penned by Sir Henry Parkes following his historic visit to the town which would be named after him.
CNSWJO VISITS NSW PARLIAMENT
It was an honour to recently co-host the Central NSW Joint Organisation meeting in NSW Parliament with my colleague Roy Butler MP, and facilitate addresses from Premier Minns, Treasurer Mookhey and Ministers Sharpe, Jackson, and Aitchison. This JO comprises the leadership from Bathurst, Blayney, Cabonne, Cowra, Forbes, Lachlan, Lithgow, Oberon, Orange, Parkes, Weddin and Upper Macquarie councils. This is an important opportunity for these communities' leaders to raise local and broader collective issues directly with the leadership of state government. Drought preparedness, housing, cost of living, workforce, mental health, and roads were among the many issues raised and discussed.
HEART OF THE NATION and AEDs
It was great to recently catch up with Greg Page, former yellow Wiggle, and founder of Heart of the Nation. Most of you know of Greg's personal experience and survival following a cardiac arrest on stage at a performance. Greg is still alive because of quick acting off-duty nurse's first aid and the timely access to an Automated External Defibrillator (AED).
Survival from a cardiac arrest without AED use prior to ambulance arriving is just 4%! Rate of survival jumps to 30% when an AED is used before arrival by ambulance. Greg is keen to see more of these devices accessible in our communities, as am I. It's pleasing to see more AEDs popping up on footpaths in country communities; Tullamore is a great example.
IT'S FINALLY OPEN!
It was fantastic to witness the official opening of the new Cabonne Community Centre in Molong last Friday, completing a state government funding commitment.
Decades in the planning, this new purpose-designed facility is generational infrastructure for the Molong and broader Cabonne community and it is equipped with the latest sound and lighting technology.
I congratulate all who have worked to deliver this magnificent building and note there have been many challenges involved in completing the project. This project is a great accomplishment and the whole community can be justifiably proud of their new community centre.