Thank you to the hundreds of people who have shared their experiences with the NSW Parliament Inquiry into Regional Health Care.

The committee is in the process of uploading the public submissions they received to the Parliament website, should you wish to go any view them.

The next stage of this inquiry is the public hearings which will commence in March. They will be broadcast live via the Parliament website, I will provide information on how you may access the live stream closer to the date.

Many of you answered the call and shared incredibly personal experiences regarding your care and experiences with the NSW Health system – thank you for coming forward and using your experience to help improve the system.

I called it a once in a decade opportunity for us to have our say and see real change in our communities. A number of people and organisations have sent their submissions to me and many more have told me what they put in – it is compelling and hard to ignore. I have faith that through our collective, loud demand for better we will be heard. My team and I will not stop in our pursuit of a better health system for everyone, no matter where you live in this great State.

You can read my full submission on my website. If you don’t have access to a computer my team can send you out a copy, just get in touch.

Water Market Transparency:

Do you think there should be more transparency in the water market?

I know the answer most would give.

In 2020 there were two Water Transparency Bills introduced into the NSW Parliament.

Neither got up.

One was introduced by Helen Dalton, the Member for Murray.

It sought transparency for everyone.

The main focus though was on entities, some not even involved in agriculture, trading or holding significant amounts of water who could distort markets and drive up prices for everyone else.

The Government Bill just looked at NSW Members of Parliament. As far as we can tell, only one Member would be affected by it, my colleague Helen Dalton.

It would not have shone a light on the traders who have a vested interest in high prices and water scarcity.

Government and some industry groups raised concerns about privacy and farm invasion. Any legitimate concerns could have been easily addressed – but they did not seek to modify the bill to cover off these concerns.

There was no attempt at negotiation, no suggested amendments.

An opportunity to make water trading, speculation, and ownership even a little more transparent was voted down.

Foreign owners, water speculators and major corporate agriculture and their dealings with water in NSW remains hard to see.

Now the NSW Government is seeking your view on transparency in water markets.

You have until February 1, 2021, to complete the online survey or submit written feedback.

More information including a discussion paper can be found here.

Millions in funding for important community projects:

This month over $13 million in funding has flowed into our communities from the Resources for Regions Program and the Crown Reserves Improvement Fund.

This funding has gone to 56 projects spread right across the electorate and will benefit the communities for years to come.

This money represents hours of hard work done mainly by volunteers at the end of a long day and on weekends (and I know the eligibility requirements and the paperwork isn’t a walk in the park).

To all the people who put work into securing this funding well-done!

My team and I can provide assistance with grant funding, from an initial discussion about what type of funding you’re looking for and what grants are suitable through to writing letters in support of your project – we’re all too happy to help.

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