Pubs and clubs in regional NSW had a big win last week with our decision to allow them to open as restaurants from Friday, 15 May.
This was a great result for the industry, and for the regional MPs - including myself - who have been working hard to make sure that any easing of restrictions will support businesses in the bush - not just those in Sydney.
I have heard from a large number of café, restaurant and pub owners who were concerned about how their businesses would survive during COVID-19 restrictions, and I referred those concerns directly to Premier Gladys Berejiklian last week. I particularly emphasised the important role local pubs play in small, rural towns. It was great news when the Treasurer announced pubs and clubs would be permitted to open as restaurants, albeit with limits on the provision of alcohol and gaming.
This is a massive win for the regions and I'm really grateful to the Premier, Deputy Premier John Barilaro and the leadership team for recognising the needs of regional businesses.
Thank you to all the hospitality business owners who have contacted me in recent weeks. Please continue to provide me with your feedback.
On Friday I was pleased to announce more than $220,000 for council-run childcare services in the Dubbo Electorate:
- $194,367 for Dubbo Regional Council's Dubbo Family Day Care and Rainbow Cottage Child Care Centre Dubbo
- $29,250 for the Mid-Western Regional Family Day Care Scheme.
NSW has been the first to guarantee to match the Commonwealth funding, providing council services with 100 per cent of their previous fee revenue (up to a daily cap), and this will mean a huge amount to many families.
Community halls are crucial for country towns and Gulgong is no exception, which is why it was terrific to announce $50,000 from the Community Building Partnerships program for Mid-Western Regional Council for works to the roof and guttering at the Gulgong Memorial Hall.
Dundullimal Homestead, one of the Dubbo tourism sector's hidden gems, will also receive $7,200 to restore three rooms in the Grooms Quarters.
The Western NSW Local Health District continues to have no new confirmed cases of COVID-19 and that's thanks to YOU: every single person who has followed the health advice has saved lives this year. But we cannot afford to become complacent and I want to urge everyone to please continue to practice physical distancing and good hand hygiene. If we continue to do all the right things, then we won't have to go backwards.
As usual, for information on COVID-19 and the restrictions go to www.nsw.gov.au/covid-19.
Do you have something to say? We welcome your letters which may run in print and online.