I hope this round-up finds you well.
It’s been a very full two weeks, I have been in Walgett a couple of times, Bourke, Nyngan, Carinda, Warren and even managed a stop off for a good lunch at the Nevertire Hotel.
As I write this I am in Argent St Broken Hill, preparing for very full days at the western division conference that has an agenda packed with ministers and shadow ministers and mayors and councillors from across western NSW.
It’s a great chance for ministers and shadow ministers to understand what is happening in western councils.
It’s been a pretty good time for councils, with millions of dollars in state and federal grants going to the 13 councils in Barwon for vital community projects.
I am keen to see this continue.
Last Friday night I received news of the tragic death of a farmer at Gilgandra, a father to four young kids and a husband to one of the kindest and genuine women I have ever known and worked with.
His death will drive work that my team and I have already started on farm safety – we all deserve to be able to go to work and come home safely to our families at night.
I hope you all have a good two weeks, we are all watching closely what will happen with water at Menindee, I expect a decision from the Water Minister very soon.
We know the right thing to do is put water into the lakes system and keep it there, let’s hope that is what happens.
I’m on the record many times saying the regional health inquiry that’s currently going on is a once in a generation opportunity to change health, health outcomes and health services in the bush.
I’ve said that to you the people of Barwon and I’ve also said that to the members of parliament on the health inquiry.
I’ve implored the inquiry to not make this inquiry a political football and to do a proper job.
We need prospective, positive, forward looking recommendations out of this inquiry.
In my opinion doing a proper job means getting out into our communities.
They always planned to do regional visits but I felt the original list of places fell short – they were only visiting one place in western NSW.
Both myself and a number of councils wrote to the committee asking that they visit more places and go further west.
Due to the pressure, the regional health inquiry committee will now be heading out to Broken Hill, Walgett and Cobar along with more towns outside of Barwon.
For all the information on the inquiry visit the NSW Parliament website.To order photos from this page click here