Historically, regional youth have participated in tertiary education at less than half the rate of metropolitan counterparts. Not anymore, with Member for Northern Tablelands Adam Marshall, I announced Government funding for the Country Universities Centre - North West, which will have facilities in both Narrabri and Moree operational by 2019.
This arrangement, unique amongst the Country University Centre model, will see a supported learning network spread across two Shires, allowing greater access by students from a broader geographical reach. The Country Universities model allows mature students with families or those who work full time, the flexibility to study when it suits them in a supportive university-type environment. This is great news for everyone across the North West. Finally, we will get the additional facilities needed to keep and continue to develop talent in our community, eliminating a tough choice students have to face when it comes to having to relocate to complete a university degree.
NEW ONE-STOP SHOPS
One year ago the National / Liberal coalition government delivered an unprecedented budget for NSW, with over $1billion allocated to my electorate, Barwon.
At that time, I promised Service NSW Centres to the towns of Lightning Ridge, Nyngan and Walgett. On 17 May 18, Service NSW opened its doors in Walgett and today, it was Lightning Ridge’s turn. Nyngan - you’re next.
Customers and businesses in all of these communities will have access to the same services that are delivered in metropolitan areas with low wait times, higher levels of customer satisfaction and greater access to more services at one location.
The new Service Centres were rolled out as part of the $20 million expansion of the Service NSW network into rural and regional areas.
Especially on days like this, I’m proud to be part of the Nationals – a party that delivers for rural and regional communities.
CONSERVATION OFFERS FOR LANDHOLDERS
Expressions of interest are open for $2 million in Fixed Rate Offers to support conservation by private landholders in NSW. The Fixed Rate Offers, administered by the Biodiversity Conservation Trust (BCT) offered ongoing annual conservation management payments to conserve and manage land of high conservation value under in-perpetuity conservation agreements. Expressions of Interest for this initial round will close of 29 June 2018. The not-for-profit Biodiversity Conservation Trust will offer $37 million for programs in 2018. Details of the programs are available at the BCT website www.bct.nsw.gov.au, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone on 1300 992 688.
I welcome the news that the NSW Government’s new target to support Aboriginal jobs through its procurement activities, could support the creation of new jobs in Barwon. The recently announced NSW Government’s Aboriginal Procurement Policy, which will target three per cent of Government goods and services contracts to be offered to Aboriginal owned businesses. The new policy, in conjunction with the existing Aboriginal Participation in Construction policy, will support an average of 1000 Aboriginal jobs per year over the next three years. For more information on the policy visit www.procurepoint.nsw.gov.au
NEW CULTURAL AND ARTS PROJECTS FOR BARWON
It has been a pleasure to travel around our electorate this week with Minister for Tourism and Major Events Adam Marshall to announce 7 projects in the Barwon electorate who have successfully secured $619,151 in funding as part of the first round of the NSW Government’s $100m Regional Cultural Fund (RCF).