Searching for service – it’s time to get Barwon the phone coverage we need.

Unreliable mobile coverage and poor connectivity is a common theme that I hear across Barwon from individuals, organisations, businesses and emergency services.

If we are to prosper in our rural and regional economies, a fast and reliable telecommunications network is vital.

I have raised connectivity issues for the communities of Coonamble, Louth, Menindee, Pooncarie and Tibooburra with the Minister for Regional NSW, Industry and Trade.

I am seeking information from people across Barwon about places or regions that need a more reliable source of connectivity.

This could include unreliable mobile coverage, little to no coverage or known mobile black spots.

For many people technology is a way of staying informed and contacting loved ones, this is especially true for those of us in regional areas.

It is unacceptable for these places not to have a reliable network coverage especially in the event of an emergency.

My office has been advocating for upgrades for a number of locations that have been raised with us, if you have locations that require attention could you please email them to barwon@parliament.nsw.gov.au

Farmers hope for help hits another loan

Last week the NSW Government announced new drought support, but this support comes in the form of loans.

For over 12 months now, I have been talking about the need for cash based drought assistance, and the need for a cash based re-sowing and re-stocking grant.

I have been pushing for a re-sowing and re-stocking grant for months now to give agriculture the kick start it needed to get back going.

The Shooters Fishers and Farmers Party developed a policy last year on how this would work, we engaged with the Government on it. They sat, waited, and did nothing.

Now in July, we see them use our language of re-sowing and re-stocking, void of the understanding of what our farmers need, or where their recovery is even up to.

To the NSW Government I say the bull has already bolted.

Our farmers have dug deep; they have found the money and sunk the funds – the crop is in the ground.

Now here comes the Government with another loan offering.

Many farmers have been forced into low document loans, debt traps by any other name, 12 per cent through to 18 per cent interest.

If we want a viable and locally owned agriculture sector, Government can’t be negligently opening doors to debt traps.

I don’t announce programs with big headline catching dollar values that’s not my gig.

I develop and advocate for common sense policies that actually take into consideration the people they’re supposed to help, perhaps the NSW Government should try it.

Member for Barwon Roy Butler

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