I was honoured to be invited to tour the Chris O’Brien Lifehouse ‘You Can’ centre in Sydney last week, for adolescents and young adults living with cancer.

The ‘You Can’ centre is a unique place that caters to the needs of young patients and their families, providing security, comfort and support. Its apartments accommodate regional families for free while they accompany their children to treatment.

Chris O’Brien Lifehouse is a not-for-profit cancer centre with well-established relationships in cancer care, and has expressed interest in providing specialist cancer services at the Western Cancer Centre in Dubbo, which is set to open next year.

The organisation shares my passion for supporting equitable access to cancer treatment and care close to home, which is exactly what federal and state governments have set out to achieve by funding the $35 million Western Cancer Centre.

Christmas comes early with ag show grants

Last week I announced that agricultural show societies right around the Parkes electorate, including Narrabri and Wee Waa, will share in more than $212,000 of federal government funding under the Supporting Agricultural Shows and Field Days program, after having to cancel their events this year due to COVID-19.

I’m so pleased that the first payments will roll out to 17 show societies across the electorate before Christmas, helping them to look to next year’s show with optimism.

This funding will help to cover costs such as rates, utilities and insurance, which will go a long way towards
ensuring next year we can bounce back bigger and better.

The show societies set to benefit range from Warialda in the north, Condobolin in the south and Nyngan to the west, and includes regional shows such as Dubbo – all with fantastic local committees that are incredibly dedicated to their local show and community.

Managing kangaroo grazing pressure

Kangaroo populations in the western region can be a real problem for farmers, particularly in times of drought when feed is scarce.

I’m pleased to share the news that Western Local Land Services will receive $475,987 from the federal government for an exciting project, which will help with the management of kangaroo grazing pressure, especially in dry times.

The Western Local Land Service region is the largest in NSW, covering around 40 per cent of the state including areas like Dubbo, Bourke, Cobar, Tibooburra and Broken Hill.

The project will develop and pilot a model for predicting kangaroo density and resource use at property and paddock scale, and generate extension tools that support understanding and planning for kangaroo grazing pressure.

It’s one of 12 projects to share in $5 million under the under the Future Drought Fund Natural Resource Management Drought Resilience Program – Landscapes.

This is very exciting work to be undertaken by Western LLS to help local producers and landholders with innovative ways to buffer their operations against the challenges of future droughts.

Heavy vehicle safety paramount

We all know how important heavy vehicle safety is, which is why I’m pleased with the launch of another round of the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator’s Heavy Vehicle Safety Initiative.

The federal government has provided $5 million to back submissions from community and industry groups to improve heavy vehicle safety on our roads.

This is ultimately about saving people’s lives.

This year submissions must address one of the following three themes – Safer drivers, Safer vehicles and Safer road use.

If you have a project, program or campaign that will increase safety awareness and compliance that requires support to make it happen, we want to hear from you. Applications are open until February 12, 2021, with more details available here.

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