People in our regions are not backward in coming forward. We call a spade a spade. It is always great to hear the feedback from our regions. As we say goodbye to NSW Parliament this year with our last sitting day of 2015, it’s important to reflect on this response.
Across NSW, we have heard from parents and teachers thrilled their schools are being made safer with flashing lights at crossings.
Last week we brought in new laws for wagering tax parity for great results for our regions. NSW is about to explode out the gates with better tracks, more jobs and bigger prize money.
Racing NSW CEO Peter V’landys said to me that this next year’s Wellington Boot will be the best yet.
“Great regional championship events like the Wellington Boot will be strengthened thanks to the great support of the Deputy Premier in delivering wagering tax parity. He is a great friend of racing in the regions,” Mr V’landys said.
Communities in Lismore, Parkes, Forbes, Tamworth, Dubbo, Wagga Wagga and Byron are seeing their hospitals rebuilt but that’s not enough for our country kids with special needs so we granted $10 million for Royal Far West for their proposed redevelopment at Manly.
Royal Far West CEO Lindsay Cane said: “We were so thrilled to have the support of the State and recognition of the important work Royal Far West is doing to help kids in the bush. We believe children are our future and every one of them deserves access to the services and care they need regardless of where they live.”
We heard from Brian White, designing new ambulance stations for Coolamon and Harden, who said: “We are excited about the opportunities these new stations will create for both the local communities we serve and our paramedics.”
In the Northern Rivers, we heard from a very grateful community. We received “nanna hugs” from the Knitting Nannas who wrote to me and said: “Thank you … for buying back PEL 445”.
Our regional skyline is featuring more cranes than ever before as our police, ambulance and fire stations, our hospitals and MPS units take shape.
In Walgett, the local police told me they were thrilled with their new police station which met their needs perfectly.
Castlereagh LAC Commander Supt Jim Stewart said the indoor dedicated defence training area was perfect for his command which is faced with unique weather constraints.
In Forbes and Parkes, the community is eagerly awaiting hospital redevelopments.
Dan Herbert, Lachlan Health Council co-chair, said these developments would provide a “home away from home” for chronic patients.
Ellen Doolan, Aboriginal Health Officer, said of the Dubbo Base Hospital upgrade: “This is such a significant thing for people in the region, it’s about caring.”
Her colleague Dr Dean Fisher said: “We got the best of everything we wanted, the best lights, the best operating tables.”
This Parliamentary year has been one of great achievement and challenges, and 2016 will be the year of delivery.
The last thing I’ll deliver in 2015 is a very special “Reggie the Wombat” from the Western Plains Zoo in my electorate to a three-year-old boy in Gunnedah who otherwise would not be getting a gift this Christmas. I urge you all in the lead up to Christmas to support wonderful charities including the St Vincent’s Hospital Giving Tree Appeal. It’s a great cause and one we can all get behind.