The decision by the Nationals/Liberal government to invest more than $2.1 million in a Moree Academy will be a defining moment for the community. I was delighted to receive notification from the Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Nigel Scullion, advising that the government will support the establishment of the Moree Academy by providing funding for capital costs to build the facilities required for the academy and other set up costs. The government will also provide a contribution to operational costs on the condition that ongoing responsibility for these costs is agreed with the New South Wales Government and/or philanthropic sources on a transitional basis.Discussions will be held with the New South Wales Government and other funding sources to ensure the academy can start work as soon as possible.
Heavy vehicle rest area upgrades ramp up
Work has begun on upgrading a number of heavy vehicle stopping bays along New South Wales’ Golden Highway to further encourage regular breaks and reduce driver fatigue. Heavy vehicle driver fatigue has been identified as a major contributor to road crashes, making these upgrades priority projects. The Australian Government is investing $23.8 million in these important safety upgrades under the Heavy Vehicle Safety and Productivity Programme and we are pleased to partner with the New South Wales Government to deliver this project.
This is just one example of the Australian Government investing in critical road infrastructure, in partnership with state, territory and local governments to help save lives on the nation’s roads. Adequate and frequent stopping bays along the Golden Highway will help manage heavy vehicle driver fatigue by providing drivers with stops at regular intervals along the route. These upgrades will improve safety for truck operators and motorists throughout the area to cope with significant freight traffic increases expected across New South Wales over the next 20 years. Work recently started to upgrade the existing eastbound stopping bay near Spring Ridge Road, 23 kilometres west of Dunedoo and at the westbound stopping bay at Uarbry, 38 kilometres east of Dunedoo.
Grant for memorial
A grant of $3,636 has been allocated to the Bourke Shire Council to assist it to restore the town’s War Memorial. The grant, under the Community Commemorative Grants category of the Saluting Their Service (STS) Commemorations Program, aims to honour the service and sacrifice of Australia's service men and women in wars, conflicts and peace operations, and to promote appreciation and understanding of the role that those who served have played in shaping the nation. These projects are driven by local community groups to honour our military history in ways that are important and relevant to them. The grants program provides up to $4,000 for an individual project. It is a rolling grants program, so applications are accepted at any time. Any local community organisations interested in applying for funding under the Saluting Their Service grants program should contact the Department of Veterans’ Affairs’ Commemorative Grants team on 1800 026 185 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Lowest in over four years
Strong jobs figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics underscore the Nationals/Liberal Government’s plan to create a stronger economy and more jobs for Australians. The labour force figures released this morning show total employment rising by 42,000 in May. The unemployment figure dropped from 5.7 per cent to 5.5 per cent – the lowest rate in more than four years. This follows an increase in the labour force participation rate. More Australians are looking for jobs and more Australians are finding jobs. While there is more work to do, this is good news for the Australian economy and job seekers.