I had a top week on the road in the north-west of my electorate last week, meeting with councils and community members in Lightning Ridge, Brewarrina, Bourke, and Walgett.
It was great to see some of the fantastic projects rolling out across these towns thanks to the popular Local Roads and Community Infrastructure program, while also having the opportunity talk to the local mayors about various issues in their individual communities.
Last week I announced that every council in the electorate will benefit from a pre-payment on next year’s Financial Assistance Grant, so it was a good opportunity to talk to these councils about how they will use the early access to these funds to target their top priorities.
In Lightning Ridge, I caught up with Rebel Black from The Rural Woman Cooperative, which has received $348,740 in funding through the National Careers Institute Partnership grant program to run a project aimed at increasing the number of rural women re-entering the agricultural workforce.
I also paid a visit to the Lightning Ridge Historical Society, one of three organisations to receive a grant under the latest batch of the Culture, Heritage and Arts Regional Tourism (CHART) program. The Lightning Ridge Historical Society has received $2,980 to upgrade its office equipment to improve its promotion of the Heritage Walk, while Gilgandra Shire Council has been awarded $3,000 to construct a perimeter fence around the heritage-listed Corduroy Road Ruins archaeological site, and Connective Indigenous Corporation in Dubbo was granted $3,000 to upgrade its multimedia equipment.
While in Bourke, I visited the team at CatholicCare Wilcannia-Forbes to find out more about the Bourke Youth Van that they are establishing thanks to a $760,000 grant through the Safer Communities Fund. The van will facilitate engagement in cultural and educational activities for up to 200 high-risk young people, diverting them from anti-social and criminal behaviour.
As I travel around the electorate, it’s so heartening to see how our rural and remote communities are benefitting from this Government’s continued investment in our regions. We are committed to continuing to back our regional communities, building a strong economy and a strong future.