Last week I was thrilled to visit Graphite Energy's Energy Storage Centre at Lake Cargelligo to announce a whopping $9.8 million in funding for a low-cost green hydrogen project they're working on in partnership with Toshiba International Corporation and MGA Thermal.
This funding, provided through the Federal Government's Modern Manufacturing Initiative, will go towards a $20 million project to develop a hydrogen production system with integrated thermal energy storage at the Lake Cargelligo facility.
This is a very exciting project that is set to make a real difference as we transition to renewable energy and work towards achieving net zero emissions.
This grant shores up Graphite Energy's operations at Lake Cargelligo, enabling it to expand its production capability and employ more staff in order to participate in the emerging green hydrogen market. It's fantastic to see great local manufacturers like Graphite Energy in Lake Cargelligo growing, creating jobs, and taking more of their outstanding product to the world!
Dubbo's world-class health facilities on show
It was a pleasure to host Regional Health Minister David Gillespie in Dubbo last week, showcasing some of our amazing health facilities.
First stop was a tour of the newly-opened Western Cancer Centre. This was particularly special for me, as it was the first time I've had the opportunity to visit the $35 million facility since it opened. After years of campaigning for the centre, it was so exciting to see it in action, and wonderful to meet Wellington's Tracey Brown - the first patient to receive radiation therapy at the new centre. It's so heartening to hear how the centre is already benefitting people like Tracey, who was able to drive to Dubbo each day to receive treatment for prostate cancer, instead of having to spend four weeks in Sydney.
Minister Gillespie and I also got a sneak peak at the new buildings at the University of Sydney School of Rural Health Dubbo campus, before the first intake of students begin the new Doctorate of Medicine degree next year. The Federal Government provided more than $9 million for capital works to establish the graduate-entry medical program through the Murray-Darling Medical Schools Network and are contributing more than $57.5 million to the University of Sydney to enable regional training as part of the Rural Health Multidisciplinary Training program.
We also visited the Royal Flying Doctor Service base in Dubbo to thank the team for all they've done during the COVID-19 pandemic, and stopped by the Macquarie Home Stay which provides a home away from home for families needing to stay in Dubbo for medical treatment. It was great to show the Minister this wonderful accommodation facility, as I'm working to secure funding to help expand the service to accommodate even more families.
Out and about in the Warrumbungle and Lachlan shires
I had a big week on the road last week, visiting Coonabarabran, Condobolin and Lake Cargelligo, meeting with a number of constituents and organisations, as well as checking out some of the projects rolling out thanks to Federal Government funding.
It was great to stop in at Cooinda Coonabarabran to hear more about the kitchen and laundry upgrade they're undertaking thanks to $2.1 million in funding through the Federal Government's Building Better Regions Fund.
I also paid a visit to Western Plains Regional Development in Condobolin to take a look at their plans for a building renovation which is being funded through a $110,000 grant under the Future Drought Fund's Network to Build Drought Resilience program.
Lachlan Shire Council Mayor John Medcalf and General Manager Greg Tory took me on a tour around Condobolin and Lake Cargelligo to see some of the projects funded under the Local Roads and Community Infrastructure program, like the Condobolin Youth Centre renovation and Lake Cargelligo walkway, as well as the Lake Cargelligo Swimming Pool which underwent a major upgrade thanks to more than $800,000 in funding through the Building Better Regions Fund.
It's so wonderful to see so much positive activity happening right across the electorate, and hear just what a difference these projects are making on the ground.
Fostering drought resilient leaders
I was pleased to announce last week that 10 mentees and nine mentors from the Parkes electorate have been selected in round one of the Australian Government's Future Drought Fund Drought Resilience Leaders mentoring program.
The program is a partnership between the Australian Government and the Australian Rural Leadership Foundation and will bring participants together to share knowledge and experience to create a new generation of drought resilient leaders.
Congratulations to each of the successful applicants in the Parkes electorate, including mentees Emma Fessey (Brewarrina), Michelle Mort (Bourke), Georgia Hunt (Narrabri), Claudia Bryant (Broken Hill), Milly Ferguson (Dubbo), Emily Sinderberry (Bobadah), Peter Thornton (Dubbo), William Archer (Narromine), Phoebe Bridges (North Star), and Angus Groves (Dubbo) and mentors Bruce Maynard (Narromine), Deanne Stanfield (Nowley), Graham Lyon (Dubbo), Holly Pender (Merah North), Jillian Kelly (Coonamble), Kim Chandler (Dubbo), Lucy Staughton (Gunnedah), Peter Thornton (Dubbo), and Roger Fitzgerald (Moree).
For more information, visit https://rural-leaders.org.au/programs/drought-resilience-leaders-program/