This year has been an incredible year in many ways for myself, my family and the people of Barwon. Twelve months ago, my campaign was ramping up; I was on the road visiting every town, community and village across this vast electorate we call home.
In March, I was humbled and honoured to be elected to NSW Parliament to represent you. It truly is an honour and a privilege.
My team and I hit the ground running this year with the intention of putting Barwon back on the map. For far too long Government has neglected this area of the State – your sending me to Parliament changed that. My advocacy for you and your concerns means that the Government can no longer ignore what is happening in Barwon. The following is a short list of what I have achieved for our communities; this is just part of a bigger list that will continue to grow next year:
- Amended the Water Supply Critical Needs Bill to include the towns of Nyngan, Bourke, Walgett, Cobar and Warren as critical town water supplies.
- Listed the Darling River Rock Weirs as State significant project.
- Medical Coverage back at Wee Waa Hospital.
- Secured funding for Hudson Pear eradication and continued monitoring from the Department of Agriculture.
- Institution of a bias for local contractors tendering for work on the Newell Highway upgrades.
- Gained a permanent exemption for five-post bull bars so people need not worry about being targeted by Police or fined.
- Changed the Active Kids vouchers so they can be used for swimming lessons.
- Tabled the Water (Commonwealth Powers) Amendment (Termination of References) Bill 2019 so water decision-making can return to the Parliament and a Royal Commission can occur.
- Gained Government commitment to finding reuse options for Ivanhoe and Brewarrina Prisons.
This year the drought and it’s impacts on the community have been at the forefront of my work. The drought is unrelenting and unfortunately unlikely to break soon. I implore you though do not let it break your spirit – together we can overcome all that the drought is throwing at us. This year I have been advocating for cash-based drought support. A number of organisations such as the Country Women’s Association, NSW Farmers Association, and National Farmers Federation have all started talking the need for cash support – the pressure we’re collectively placing on Government will result in action. We know that action needs to be soon, and I will keep the pressure on.
While the drought won’t go away just because it’s Christmas, I do hope that you will all find time to take a break. Visit your friends and families, check on each other, support each other, share a meal and relax. We must take time out to recharge our batteries ready for what is yet to come.
I am proud of what we have been able to achieve this year, and am positive 2020 holds even bigger and better things.
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from my family to yours.