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Adam Marshall’s week that was

Media Release (Friday, February 6)

$300 million NSW Drought Strategy unveiled

This week I announced to the Electorate an extensive suite of innovative drought preparedness measures for primary producers throughout the region.

The new five-year NSW Drought Strategy includes more than $300 million in assistance measures to help farmers to be better prepared for and manage future droughts.

This is fantastic news for our local farmers, from Armidale and Uralla in the east to Moree and Mungindi in the west, who are all too familiar with the hardships of drought.

While much of the Northern Tablelands has recently been experiencing some good falls of rain, we all know how tough it’s been over the last year and how quickly drought can return.

Some of the new strategies include help to upskill, getting books in order and installing fodder sheds, pipelines, troughs and the fencing they need to manage drought.

It will also ensure, during the next drought, our rural and regional communities have the support services they need available – and funding, to help with the transport of livestock at risk of animal welfare and also the movement of donated fodder.  It will also give our farmers access to the best available weather information.

AdamMarshallMP

Adam Marshall

I know how terrible drought can be in here – that’s why I fought so hard on behalf of those on the land for the first and then the second round of assistance and a much more comprehensive package like this one to be introduced.  For more information, visit www.dpi.nsw.gov.au

Concern over increased Armidale home break-ins

I met with the Local Area Commander for the New England LAC, Superintendent Fred Trench, on Wednesday this week. Among other issues we spoke about a current spate of break-ins being committed in the Armidale area.

In just over two weeks, police have taken reports of 45 separate break-ins on homes around town. Superintendent Trench briefed me on the incidents and detailed the police responses planned. I am confident that our local NSW Police Force is doing all it can to identify and arrest these offenders. However, community support is vital in these kinds of operations.

Please report immediately to police any suspicious people or activity directly to the station or through Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.  If it is an emergency, of course call Triple Zero.

Make yourself a harder target by securing your home and valuables, lock your doors and windows at all times, don’t forget the garage and sheds.  Simply put, don’t give thieves a head start or an opportunity.

SmallBiz Bus visits Guyra and Inverell next week

I am encouraging local small businesses to take advantage of the expert business advice on offer when the Small Biz Bus visits Guyra and Inverell next week.  The bus is here to provide high quality advice and help small business owners find out hat services are available to assist them in the longer term.

The Small Biz Bus is a mobile advisory and information service for small businesses in NSW. It is funded by the NSW Government and managed by the Office of the NSW Small Business Commissioner.

The Bus will be at:

  • Guyra on Monday 9 February at the NAB car park, Bradley Street from 9am to 3pm
  • Inverell on Wednesday 11 February on Byron Street (opposite McDonalds) from 9am to 3pm.

The support of expert advisers on the Small Biz Bus is free of charge. Further to this initial visit, small business owners can engage these expert advisers on an ongoing basis.  I would like to thank Guyra Shire Council and Inverell Shire Council for their assistance and for hosting the Small Biz Bus.

To book an appointment on the Bus call 1300 134 359 or visit www.smallbusiness.nsw.gov.au/hop-on-the-small-biz-bus

NSW Premier’s Teacher Scholarships now open

Interested teachers from across the region should consider applying for the 2015 NSW Premier’s Teacher Scholarships. There are 22 scholarships available across 12 program areas for teachers in NSW government and non-government schools and TAFE NSW Institutes. These scholarships give teachers the opportunity to study overseas, carry out research in an area of interest, and further their professional growth and development.

More than 390 teachers had taken part in the scholarship program since its inception in 1999 and have returned to their classrooms and TAFE Institutes inspired and re-invigorated, sharing new teaching methods, skills, and knowledge.  Armidale City Public School teacher Maria Russell was successful in gaining a scholarship this year.

More information about the scholarships is available at:

www.dec.nsw.gov.au/what-we-offer/awards-scholarships-and-grants/scholarships/premier-s-teacher-scholarships

Applications for the scholarships close on Friday, 1 May 2015.

Australian-first initiative to increase adoptions in NSW

I welcomed an announcement earlier this week that a re-elected State Government would continue to increase the number of adoptions in NSW.

Premier Mike Baird announced the government would establish Australia’s first government-supported Institute of Open Adoption to ensure the number of adoptions in NSW increased significantly.

Open adoption incorporates ongoing contact between the adopted child, the parents, and the adoptive parents where it is in the child’s best interests.

A key objective of the government is protecting vulnerable members of our society and I fully support measures to further reduce any barriers to adoption.

I have been approached a number of people across the electorate who lament the fact that at times the  adoption process is too slow with too much uncertainty. Open adoption can be the best option to provide children with stability in instances where safe, secure and stable family homes are not available.

Under the proposal, the NSW Government would provide $2.85 million to establish the Institute of Open Adoption, which will lead high quality independent research into open adoption to inform policy, professional development and practice in the field.

Funding announcements this week across the electorate

Delungra District Development Committee had been successful in their application for a $12,770 grant from the Community Building Partnership to complete a $26,000 upgrade to Delungra’s ANZAC Park in time for this year’s ANZAC Day commemorations.

Glen Innes Historical Society will soon begin replacing the roof on the former Nurses’ Quarters at the Land of the Beardies Museum after receiving a $25,000 grant through the Community Building Partnership Fund.

The canteen at the Upper Horton Sports Ground will soon receive a major facelift thanks to a $35,000 grant from the NSW Government through its Public Reserve Management Fund.

Guyra’s iconic War Memorial Hall will soon have its leaking roof patched thanks to a $19,139 grant from the NSW Government’s Public Reserve Management Fund.

Around two-thirds of the existing fifty-year-old ring fence at the Warialda Showground ring fence is soon to be replaced courtesy of $17,892 from the NSW Government’s Public Reserves Management Fund (PRMF).

A $2,580 grant from the NSW Government Public Reserve Management Fund, the Warialda Racecourse Trust can now replace its small, leaking water tank with a larger version, finally dispensing with the need for event organisers to cart water to the grounds when hosting events.

Armidale’s busy Beardy Street art gallery will soon receive a much-needed makeover after the New England Art Society (NEAS) secured a $15,135 grant from the Community Building Partnership program.

Inverell’s Pipe and Sapphire City Concert Band members will be dragging out their plans to upgrade their respective performance and practice facilities after receiving news from Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall they have shared in $22,456 from the NSW Government’s Community Building Partnership program.

The New England Sporting Car Club received a $2,000 grant to help stage the inaugural Rally New England in Glen Innes on 28 March this year.  Organisers are expecting about 50 cars to nominate for the event which will be held over a 120km event circuit through Glen Legh, Mount Slow, Yahna and Glen Elgin.

Today and the weekend

This morning I’ll be at Armidale High School addressing students from Years 11 and 12 about their studies, leadership and moving onto careers then I’ll head up to Glen Innes for the annual Show and have the great honour of taking part in the dedication of the new ring lights. These new lights have to be seen to be believed and I was thrilled that the NSW Government was able to support this project with a $60,000 grant and a $20,000 loan through the Public Reserves Management Fund (PRMF).

On the way to Glen Innes, I will pop into the Essential Energy Depot at Guyra to wish Col Wall all the best in retirement.  Col has worked in the same role for 33 years.

Tomorrow morning I’ll be popping in and joining the Uralla Men’s Shed committee for its inaugural meeting on Saturday morning.  Members of the community can pop in after 10.30am to learn more about the plans.  This is a terrific initiative that has been building up over time and there is a really energised committee behind making this a reality.

In the afternoon I am looking forward to presenting a couple of trophies at the Armidale Greyhound Races and spending some time at the ‘dogs’ – always a fun event.

Speaking about dogs, the New England and Celtic All Breeds Kennel Club Championships are being held over the weekend at the Armidale Tourist Park.  I’m hoping to call in and catch some of the competition.

On Sunday I’m knocking the cobwebs off my golf clubs and hitting the Armidale Golf Course for the Westpac Rescue Helicopter Armidale Support Group’s golf day.  An absolutely worthy cause and I congratulate the group for all the work they do to keep this vital rescue service in the air.