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A busy winter recess

As Parliament resumes this week following the winter recess, we face a packed agenda with much to be done. For the past five weeks, although Parliament has not been sitting, our Members and Ministers have remained busy delivering for the people of regional NSW.

Duncan Gay and Melinda Pavey recently opened the $780 million Nambucca Heads to Urunga section of the Pacific Highway. This new 22km section is just the latest stage in our commitment to dual carriageway from Newcastle to the Queensland border, with funding provided in the recent budget for the Oxley Highway to Kundabung, Kundabung to Kempsey, Frederickton to Eungai and Woolgoolga to Ballina sections of the highway.

Adam Marshall and Kevin Anderson have secured a full-time District Court judge for the New England, from the party room’s Judges for the Bush initiative, who will be based locally to service the Tamworth and Armidale District Courts. Adam and Kevin worked tirelessly behind the scenes to achieve this result, which will make justice faster and more accessible in the region.

Thomas George and Ben Franklin announced that the Safer Pathway program to support victims of domestic violence would be rolled out within the Richmond Local Area Command, covering Ballina, Lismore and Casino. Safer Pathway makes it easier for people escaping domestic violence to get help when they need it most, by bringing together both government and non-government services to provide support and practical assistance to victims. 

Among our Ministers, John Barilaro announced the most significant TAFE reforms in a generation. Not only will these reforms direct more TAFE resources toward teaching rather than administrative functions, they also include the creation of a new TAFE digital education model. The new TAFE Digital headquarters will be based in a regional centre, and will enable more of TAFE’s offerings to be provided to students who are currently unable to access on-campus teaching.

Of course, this is only a small amount of what your Nationals team has been up to these past few weeks. From Adrian Piccoli’s reforms to the HSC to quad bike safety funding that was launched at the NSW Farmers conference last week, this winter recess may have been a break from Parliament, but it certainly wasn’t a break from achieving for our communities. As members of our Party, you should be proud of the efforts of each and every one of your Nationals MPs.

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