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Kevin Humphries’ State of Barwon

Media release (Feb 9)

NSW DROUGHT STRATEGY

I welcomed the announcement last week by my NSW Liberals and Nationals colleagues of an extensive suite of drought preparedness measures for primary producers in Barwon.  The new five-year NSW Drought Strategy includes more than $300 million in assistance measures which are designed to help farmers to be better prepared for and manage future droughts.  The package includes:

Supporting farmers to prepare for and manage drought:

  • $250 million over five years to continue the popular Farm Innovation Fund.
  • $45 million over five years for vocation training and farm business planning.
  • $2.5 million to work with the Bureau of meteorology to develop an enhanced network of weather stations across the State.
  • $5 million over five years to provide transport assistance for animal welfare and donated fodder within NSW.
  • Ongoing investment in research and development programs through the Department of Primary Industries – building on breakthroughs in drought resistant crops and water efficiency

Committing to a transparent and accountable system of drought assistance:

  • NSW drought assistance measures will be reviewed by the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal.
  • Develop a structured framework of triggers and guiding principles to coordinate whole-of-government drought response measures, which will be developed in consultation with industry and published to ensure transparency.

Helping our primary producers and regional communities build resilience

  • $5 million over five years has been allocated to reinstate the Rural Support Worker Program on an as-needed basis, and continue the permanent Rural Resilience Program.

2015 TELSTRA AUSTRALIAN BUSINESS AWARDS

Kevin Humphries 2015 portrait

Kevin Humphries

Show your support for inspiring local businesses by nominating them now for the 2015 Telstra Australian Business Awards.  For 23 years the national award program has recognised the best in Australian small and medium business, helping them reach new levels of success.  Our local businesses, and the incredible people who run them, are central to the strength of our local economy and it’s important for us to celebrate them and continue to encourage their growth.  It takes an incredible amount of sacrifice and tenacity to run a business and nominating is a wonderful way to recognise the inspiring entrepreneurs behind our local success stories.  Every business that enters the Awards also receives a free individual 70-page Business Health Check report that evaluates their business performance and provides a platform to review business strategy and plan for future growth.  State and territory winners will be named at gala events later this year. National awards including the prestigious title of Telstra Australian Business of the Year will be announced in Sydney on 20 August 2015.  Winners will share in more than $800,000 in cash and business products, which is split among the state, territory and national winners.  To nominate or enter the Awards, go to www.telstrabusinessawards.com or call the Telstra Australian Business Awards on 1800AWARDS for further information.  Nominations open today and close on March 30.

RESPONSIBLE PET OWNERSHIP REWARDED

Warren Shire Council has been awarded a Responsible Pet Ownership Grant, thanks to a NSW Government scheme.  The $2,500 grant will help fund Warren Shire Council’s cat de-sexing program, which includes subsidies for pensioners.  It is great to see our local council awarded a grant in the first round of the scheme.  For pet owners in our community, the grant should lead to reduced number of roaming and abandoned animals.  This grant will also go a long way in supporting the council ensure community safety when it comes to companion animals.  The Responsible Pet Ownership Grant scheme, launched last year, aims to provide funding to councils to target programs which will increase micro chipping, lifetime registration and de-sexing rates as well as address dangerous dog issues in the community.  Applications for round two of the program will be called in early March 2015.

FREE VOCATIONAL SCHOLARSHIPS FOR BARWON

Many young people in Barwon will have access to free training to help them find a job, should the NSW Liberals and Nationals Government be re-elected in March.  For 200,000 disadvantaged young people across NSW, hundreds of training courses will be made free and local businesses in Barwon will be encouraged to employ more apprentices as part of an historic compact signed between the NSW Government and the State’s peak employer and industry groups.  The NSW Liberals & Nationals Government has created more than 145,000 new jobs and we are committed to ensuring every young person in NSW has the skills they need to find a job in the fastest growing economy in the country.  The NSW Government would do its bit to help apprentices find their first job by requiring contractors to employ a minimum number of apprentices on every NSW Government project worth more than $100 million.  Public school students in Barwon studying a vocational education and training course for their HSC will also benefit from a $27 million program to provide on-the-job training.  Finding a career is an important step in life and these fee-free scholarships and access to on-the-job training will ensure more young people have the opportunity to succeed.

OUT AND ABOUT

This week I’ll be making some exciting funding announcements in Baan Baa and Wee Waa on Tuesday, before spending time in the Moree office on Wednesday.  The end of the week will see me heading outside of the electorate for ministerial duties.

THUMBS UP

I was thrilled to present Maules Creek local, Kelly Foran with the Barwon Woman of the Year award for her outstanding work with the Friendly Faces Helping Hands Foundation.  Kelly is a very deserving recipient of the award and it was my absolute pleasure to be able to present it to her.

THUMBS DOWN

To what seems to be a growing problem of drug usage across the Barwon Electorate.  It is important that governments and communities rally together to stamp out drug use and educate our kids to ensure the problem doesn’t spread.