MPs bringing local matters to light
Our hardworking local members are back in Parliament, keeping regional issues at the forefront of NSW politics. From following up on our grassroots policies on the floor of the Legislative Assembly to presenting petitions, our state team are hard at work addressing the issues and concerns of regions.
Last week, Nationals Member for Oxley Melinda Pavey updated the lower house on the koala conservation strategies in place on the Mid North Coast – a topic which featured heavily at our Annual Conference in May. The strategy includes stronger actions on reducing dog threats, better fire and wildfire management, and multifunctional koala sanctuaries to provide hospital, breeding, rehoming, and repopulation services. In her address to Parliament, Mel highlighted the importance of the 2.4 million hectares in the North Coast’s conservation estate, for both koalas and the management of the timber industry.
Several petitions have also been tabled this week by Nationals members.
Member for Dubbo, Troy Grant continues his push to close the gap between the metro and country health system in NSW. To ensure all patients have access to the same level of nursing care he presented a petition with over 10,000 signatures for mandating nurse-to-patient ratios in all hospitals, and increasing the ratio for specialty units like community and community mental health nursing, paediatric, neonatal intensive care units, emergency departments, and other critical care units.
A request for an Ambulance Station to be established in Iluka has been petitioned by our Member for Clarence, Chris Gulaptis, backed with over 10,000 signatures. More than 2,000 residents call Iluka home, and the township has the highest number of people over the age of 60 years in any town in New South Wales. Currently however the nearest ambulance station is a 40-minute drive away in Maclean, and it may not necessarily have vehicles available when requested. A new and much-needed ambulance service in Iluka would not only serve residents of the popular fishing village but also of nearby Woombah, creating better access to important health services in the area.
Into the final hour, Member for Cootamundra Katrina Hodgkinson continued the fight for Southern NSW and presented a petition of over 500 signatures to show support for more General Duties Police Officers in the Narrandera Shire to counter the escalation of crime and ensure the public feel safe in the homes, businesses, and in the wider community.
These issues are merely a sample of the tireless advocacy of our members for Regional Australia, ensuring the voices of locals are never lost from Parliament.