Kevin Humphries

STATE OF BARWON

THE 2017/18 FEDERAL BUDGET
What does this mean for regional Australia?

With record investments in infrastructure, education, health, jobs, small business, housing affordability, energy and telecommunications, regional communities in the Barwon Electorate will be even better places to live, work and invest.

In summary, through this year’s Federal Budget the Nationals in government will:

  • Fund the Inland Rail project with an additional $8.4 billion, with construction to begin later this year.
  • Establish a $4 billion Regional Investment Corporation, a national body to streamline and speed up the approval of farm concessional loans and administer the National Water Infrastructure Loan Facility.
  • Fully fund the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).
  • Deliver a fair, nationally consistent, needs-based schools funding model which will invest a record $242.3 billion over the next decade in our children’s education – particularly disadvantaged regional schools.
  • Deliver an additional $2.5 billion in early childhood education.
  • Invest a record $75 billion in infrastructure funding and financing to 2026-27 for critical airport, road, and rail infrastructure projects.
  • Establish a $472 million Regional Growth Fund that will deliver critical infrastructure ensuring regional areas do not miss out on Australia's growth.
  • Connect regional centres to our capital cities, with faster, more reliable rail services, with regional Australia getting its fair share of the new $10 billion National Rail Program.
  • Continue the Roads to Recovery Program with $4.4 billion from 2013-14 to 2020-21 committed to the construction, repair and upgrade of local roads.
  • Continue the Black Spot Program with $685 million committed from 2013-14 to 2020-21 to deliver improvements such as safety barriers and street lighting to sections of dangerous road that have a crash history.
  • Create a new Regional Growth Fund to deliver an additional $200 million to the Building Better Regions Fund taking total funding to almost $500 million, and establish a $272 million fund to drive major transformational projects of more than $10 million to unlock opportunity and potential in the regions.
  • Invest $22.5 million for a third round of the Stronger Communities Program which helps fund small projects in local communities, across Australia.
  • Invest $9 million so rural and remote Australians can for the first time access psychology services covered by Medicare through teleconferencing and Skype.
  • Secure the future of Landcare with a $1 billion investment over 5 years.
  • Resume indexation of Financial Assistance Grants to councils, which results in an extra $836.5 million provided over the forward estimates.

The 2017–18 Budget builds on the record investment the Coalition Government has already made since coming to office to create stronger and more prosperous regions, including:

  • Our $50 billion infrastructure investment program.
  • The $6 billion White Paper on Developing Northern Australia.
  • The $4 billion Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper.
  • The $630 million National Stronger Regions Fund.
  • Investing $5.2 billion to connect regional households and businesses to the National Broadband Network.
  • More than $1 billion in drought assistance and support to farmers and rural communities experiencing hardship.
  • $220 million to continue fixing thousands of mobile black spots under the Mobile Black Spot Program – all of which goes to rural and regional areas.

Regional Australia is a key driver of the Australian economy so it is vital that we invest in our regions to help secure their futures.

I am committed to ensuring continued investment occurs for our communities in the Barwon Electorate.

CALL FOR LOCAL LANDHOLDERS TO BECOME MORE SUSTAINABLE
Western Local Land Services is calling for expressions of interest (EOI) from landholders that want to participate in an upcoming property planning program that will assist in making their properties more sustainable. The property planning program, which will use the Ecosystem Management Understanding (EMU) approach, will introduce landholders to the ecological management of landscapes by learning to recognise and read landscape processes, conditions and trends. Essentially, participants in the EMU property planning program will be working towards on-ground solutions to achieving a sustainable pastoral enterprise.
The EMU approach allows landholders to identify and analyse the constraints and opportunities that will make a real difference in managing arid lands effectively in an ecologically sustainable manner. It is founded on local landholders’ knowledge of their land and provides the foundations for all subsequent work. We preferably seek landholders in a group or neighbouring properties taking part, but this is not necessary. EOIs are due by Friday, 19 May 2017. If you are interested in submitting an EOI, contact your nearest Western Local Land Services office or Mr Theakston on (02) 6836 1575. For more details visit the EMU website www.emulandrecovery.org.au.

EVERYONE WELCOME AT FIRE & RESCUE NSW’S OPEN DAY
I encourage people to take the opportunity of the Fire & Rescue NSW (FRNSW) Open Day on Saturday, 20 May to meet local firefighters and learn about fire prevention. FRNSW is throwing open fire station doors across the state between 10am and 2pm, and it’s a great opportunity for people of all ages to come along and meet our local firefighters. It’s a good opportunity to speak with the professionals to find out more about fire prevention, get advice on installing or replacing smoke alarms and preparing a home fire escape plan. Take the time to visit a local station to meet the hardworking men and women who selflessly respond to all manner of emergencies and learn from the experts about home fire safety. For details on participating fire stations visit www.fire.nsw.gov.au

WHAT I LOVE ABOUT HOLIDAYS IN NSW
Growing tourism in rural and regional areas is a top priority for the NSW Government, with the Barwon Electorate having many beautiful places to visit I urged locals, holiday makers and avid photographers and filmmakers to submit their videos and photos of Barwon in the What I Love About Holidays in NSW campaign before it closes in two weeks. They will be accepting entries until 5pm Thursday, 18 May 2017. To take part in the campaign, you simply upload your videos to visitnsw.com/ilovensw, and share on Twitter and Instagram using #ILoveNSW. For more information, including prizes, visit www.visitnsw.com/ilovensw 

OUT AND ABOUT
This week I will be heading out to Broken Hill for the Nationals' Annual Conference.

Narrabri Electorate Office

Phone: (02) 6792 1422
Facsimile: (02) 6792 1466

Postal Address
60 Maitland Street
PO Box 345
Narrabri  NSW 2390

 

Cobar Electorate Office

Phone: (02) 6836 3722
Facsimile: (02) 6836 3811

Postal Address
11 Barton Street
PO Box 99
Cobar NSW 2835

Broken Hill Electorate Office

Phone: (08) 8087 3315
Facsimile: (08) 8087 1796

Postal Address
1/142 Argent Street
Broken Hill 2880