The Hon Bronnie Taylor MLC
Deputy Leader of the NSW Nationals
Minister for Women, Regional Health and Mental Health
Since taking on the inaugural role as Minister for Regional Health, I have made it my absolute priority to understand and address the issues we know are affecting our health system in the bush. As your regional health minister I am committed to ensuring regional NSW has the best possible standard of healthcare our communities expect. The NSW Nationals in government will achieve this by finding the right ways to attract and retain health workers to our regions, reforming IPTAAS and fixing cross border issues. Every day I am engaging with our communities to achieve the health outcomes we all deserve.
We have established a new Regional Health Division, giving regional health a renewed focus and a stronger voice. I am thrilled to say we also have a Regional Health Ministerial Advisory Panel in the works, made up of people who have on-the-ground experience in regional healthcare delivery.
In March, we celebrated NSW Women’s Week, with the NSW Women of the Year Award being the centrepiece event! A shout-out to the 2022 NSW Minerals Council Regional Woman of the Year and NSW Premier’s Award for Woman of the Year, Anna Barwick, from Walcha. Anna founded PharmaOnline, the first pharmacist-led telehealth service. We also held the inaugural NSW Women’s Health Expo and announced the NSW Government would provide free menstrual products for all NSW public schools with Minister Sarah Mitchell.
The celebrations continued at the 2022 AgriFutures NSW ACT Rural Women’s Awards in May. I joined Minister Dugald Saunders in celebrating four fantastic regional finalists. Massive congratulations to Josie Clarke of Bellimbopinni who founded Ability Agriculture to improve inclusivity for people living with a disability in agriculture. It was fantastic to join the inaugural meeting of the Parliamentary Friends of the Country Women’s Association of NSW to celebrate the CWA’s 100th anniversary, such an incredible milestone!
Notwithstanding the phenomenal gains made, it would be remiss not to acknowledge the incredibly challenging year we have had, particularly for those in the regions affected by the recent floods in Northern NSW, which has been devastating and traumatic for us all. While there is still more to be done, the NSW Government’s $25 million Mental Wellbeing Package is delivering additional disaster recovery clinicians on the ground in our hardest hit communities.
Our package is also supporting four pop-up Safe Havens, to assist in funding local headspace clinics and Lifeline services, as well as providing funds to local mental health NGOs who are on the ground in our communities.
Although we country people are tough, it has not been an easy year for us. I want to stress that it is okay not to be okay. Putting your hand up for help is one of the bravest things you can do and there is free confidential support for anyone who needs it.
Thanks so very much to all of Central Council for all that you do in your communities and for the NSW Nationals.
Looking forward to catching up with you all soon!
If you are doing it tough, please call the NSW Mental Health life on 1800 011 511 or Lifeline on 13 11 14