Power bills are often one of the biggest overheads for not-for-profit organisations, so I was thrilled to announce last week that 10 community groups in the Parkes electorate will share in a total of $67,700 to help reduce their energy costs.
Provided through the Federal Government's Powering Communities Program, the grants of between $5000 and $12,000 will fund the installation of solar panels, energy efficient lighting and hot water systems.
Congratulations to the Warialda Anglican Church, Mungery Recreation Reserve Land Manager, Coolabah United Citizens Incorporated, Gilgandra Museum and Historical Society, South Broken Hill Football Club, Camp Cypress, Nurruby Children's Services, Coolah Men's Shed, Tooraweenah CWA and Narrabri Clay Target Club on their successful applications.
Groups like these are the heart of communities around my electorate, and these grants will allow them to grow, invest and support local jobs.
Changes to Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment
Changes have been made to the Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment to better align with new testing and isolation requirements agreed to by National Cabinet.
Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) results are now accepted in addition to PCR results.
People will need to have advice of a positive test from a testing clinic or health professional or evidence that they have registered a positive result from a home-administered RAT with NSW Health.
Effective from 18 January 2022, people who have lost at least a day of work because they are isolating due to being COVID-19 positive, caring for someone who is COVID-19 positive or meet the definition of a close contact may be eligible for up to $750.
Claims can be made via your Centrelink Online Account in myGov or by calling 180 22 66.
Individuals will have 14 days from the commencement of their isolation period to claim the payment.
National plan to end violence against women and children
Last week the Federal Government released the draft National Plan to End Violence against Women and Children 2022-2032 and committed $1 million to ensure ongoing engagement with victim-survivors throughout the life of the Plan.
The draft National Plan outlines a shared long-term commitment to a future free from all forms of gender-based violence in Australia - built on four pillars: Prevention, Intervention, Response and Recovery.
Everyone is invited to give feedback on the draft via the questionnaire at engage.dss.gov.au until Monday January 31.
Don't miss the chance to have your say on this important national document that will pave the way to ending family, domestic and sexual violence in Australia.
Supporting country shows
Agricultural shows make an important social and economic contribution to our communities in the Parkes electorate, however, sadly, a number of show societies were forced to cancel their events last year due to COVID-19.
To help cover some of their financial losses, I encourage these show societies to apply for a one-off payment under round two of the Coalition Government's Supporting Agricultural Shows and Field Days Program.
Grants from $10,000 to $70,000 will be available for eligible show societies and field day organisations that were forced to cancel events last year due to COVID-19.
These grants provide show societies and field day organisations with the confidence they need to go ahead and plan their events for this year.
Applications open on January 28 and close February 17. Further information will be available on 28 January from the Community Grants Hub website: communitygrants.gov.au.