In my new role as Parliamentary Secretary for the North Coast I feel like Adam exploring the Garden of Eden, before Eve found the apple tree. With my fig leaf firmly secured by my RM Williams snakeskin belt I have traversed the region from Port Macquarie through to Byron Bay and I am absolutely in awe at the massive construction project that is the Pacific Highway upgrade. Without doubt the most significant regional road project in Australia; creating regional jobs, boosting regional economies and delivering a safe, modern transport route to the eastern seaboard.
And the NSW Government investment in regional NSW isn’t confined to the Pacific Highway with redevelopment of the Lismore Base Hospital and construction of the new Byron Central Hospital well under way. Byron Central is a long awaited project and former Member for Ballina, Don Page, and NSW Health Minister, Jillian Skinner, must be credited for getting this project off the ground. Health infrastructure on the North Coast has been significantly boosted by Jillian’s colossal hospital building plan across NSW.
In June, the bounty on the Mid North Coast was highlighted to an international delegation from 14 countries around the world with opportunities and capabilities in agribusiness, education and training, and industry innovation showcased. I had the pleasure of hosting the NSW Consular Corps with organised visits to blueberry farms, Macadamia farms, Cassegrain Wines and Charles Sturt University. They enjoyed a specially designed dinner menu prepared and cooked by local celebrity chef Clayton Donovan featuring local produce.
We live in a beautiful place in exciting times with a NSW Government intent on investing in the region to benefit all.