From my Desk

Commitments delivered, and Digital Dubbo leads the way on COVID check-ins

In February 2019 I stood at Mudgee Public School alongside the Deputy Premier John Barilaro and committed to an upgrade of the toilets at the school if I was elected as the Member for the Dubbo electorate. Last week, I was able to announce that upgrades to the amenities in the infants section are complete and other works at the school are ongoing. I joined with new principal John Carters in making the announcement, and it was great to be able to formally welcome John to his new role and wish him luck for the future. The announcement came during …

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Flying cars, footy and another big golf event

It has been another big week in the Dubbo electorate, with flying cars, rugby league and golf high on the agenda. The big announcement of the week came at Narromine, where I was joined by Deputy Premier John Barilaro and Mayor Craig Davies to announce AMSL Aero will use the town’s Aerodrome precinct as the manufacturing and testing base for its electric Vertical Takeoff and Landing (eVTOL) vehicles. It’s fantastic to see businesses expanding and bringing job opportunities to regional areas, especially given the drought and COVID-19 has had such an impact on our communities. ** Another great announcement was …

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Dugald with Parkes MP Mark Coulton, Dubbo Regional Council Mayor Ben Shields and CEO Michael McMahon

Sealing and repairing local roads, Resources for Regions

Last week saw some great funding announcements to help councils in the Dubbo electorate deliver for their communities! I was joined by Member for Parkes The Hon Mark Coulton, as well as representatives from Dubbo Regional Council, to announce funding from the NSW Government’s Fixing Local Roads Program. This round of funding sees the Mid-Western LGA receive $5.3 million to complete the resealing of Aarons Pass Road, along with a series of projects to finish the sealing of all Collector Bus routes. More than 50 roads in the Dubbo Regional LGA will benefit from $4.86 million, including the Old Mendooran …

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100 jobs for Dubbo and the Renewable Energy Zone

What a week it has been for the Dubbo Electorate! Last week I was very proud to announce that Dubbo would be home to a branch of the newly formed Department of Regional NSW, with up to 100 new jobs heading our way! This reaffirms what we already know – Dubbo is the capital of western NSW! We know that government jobs are a great way of supporting industry, and strengthening and diversifying regional economies. Not only is this a huge win for Dubbo, it’s also a great result for the rest of western NSW, with more decisions to be …

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Explaining the Water Accountability and Transparency Bill

Last week I spoke in Parliament on the Government’s Constitution Amendment (Water Accountability and Transparency) Bill 2020. This bill will require all 135 Members of the NSW Parliament to declare what type of water license they own and if they trade water. It will also begin the process of reforming the public register, whilst protecting the privacy of mum and dad farmers. You can hear my full contribution to the debate at https://youtu.be/cQmTi9HD-tg There has been some misinformation circulated by certain people that my Nationals colleagues and I voted against this bill. It’s ridiculous to suggest the Nationals voted against …

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Dugald with players from the Dubbo Demons Australian Football Club

No upper limit for indoor venues and grants for community sport

What terrific news over the weekend that, from July 1, restrictions in NSW will ease ever further! From July 1: The number of people allowed inside indoor venues will be determined by the ‘one person per 4 square metres’ rule, with NO UPPER LIMIT. This includes function centres and places of worship. All activity must be seated only. Cultural and sporting events at outdoor venues with a maximum of 40,000 will be allowed up to 25 per cent of their normal capacity. Events must be ticketed and follow strict guidelines. All other restrictions including 20 guests inside the home and 20 for outdoor gatherings …

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Crown Lands funding up for grabs, more restrictions to ease

With travel restrictions eased, it was great to see people visiting our regions over the long weekend, while adhering to the COVID-19 restrictions. Visitors from all over the globe have enjoyed our world-class attractions including Mudgee’s wineries, the Gulgong Gold Experience, the Wellington Caves, Dubbo’s Taronga Western Plains Zoo, and the Narromine Aviation Museum. Now we’re encouraging everyone in NSW to discover what makes our part of the world so special! If we can seize this opportunity to have that money spent here in NSW – that will be the boost our tourism operators need to start to bounce back …

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Dugald at the Mudgee Hospital as it was nearing completion

Funding for showgrounds, Mudgee Hospital opens

Our region’s tourism and other businesses are set for a massive boost now that travel has reopened across NSW. I’ve been calling for this step forward for many weeks now, and I’m thrilled that after years of severe drought – followed by bushfires and flooding in some areas – and now COVID-19, businesses across the Dubbo Electorate might finally be able to start to bounce back. We’ve done the hard yards to help flatten the curve by following the rules, and now we look forward to welcoming tourists, which will mean more money for businesses and more jobs for our …

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Restrictions easing, more funding for community assets

The region’s tourism and other businesses are set for a massive boost from 1 June as travel within NSW reopens. I’ve been calling for this step forward for many weeks now, and I’m thrilled that after years of severe drought – followed by bushfires and flooding in some areas – and now COVID-19 businesses across the Dubbo Electorate might finally be able to start to bounce back. Taronga Western Plains Zoo will be able to welcome visitors on 1 June for the first time since late March, and I hope to see other attractions, from the wineries of Mudgee to …

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Win for regional pubs and clubs

Pubs and clubs in regional NSW had a big win last week with our decision to allow them to open as restaurants from Friday, 15 May. This was a great result for the industry, and for the regional MPs – including myself – who have been working hard to make sure that any easing of restrictions will support businesses in the bush – not just those in Sydney. I have heard from a large number of café, restaurant and pub owners who were concerned about how their businesses would survive during COVID-19 restrictions, and I referred those concerns directly to …

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