Dugald with Macquarie Homestay president Rod Crowfoot.

Funding for Macquarie Homestay

Last week I was really proud to announce almost $25,000 from the Community Building Partnerships program for Macquarie Homestay to construct walking paths, shaded seating areas and sensory gardens in the grounds.

Macquarie Homestay is already a home away from home for many people needing to travel to Dubbo for medical treatment. This funding will enhance that by enabling guests to enjoy some time outside with their family and friends.


Last week saw the official handover of the new Mudgee Hospital – which has been fast-tracked in light of COVID-19 – to the Western NSW LHD. This is an important milestone as it means staff can now start moving equipment to the new hospital – which looks amazing – in preparation for its opening in a matter of weeks!


I was pleased to announce $137,000 to help the Lions Club 201N4 District get donated fodder to about 117 farming families across western NSW. It’s just in time, too, as District secretary Peter Perry and disaster relief coordinator Anne Jones resume hay drives from their property at Gollan. Lions Club volunteers have provided donated fodder and care packages to more than 3,000 people over the past few years. COVID-19 restrictions put their hay drives on hold temporarily but, with a risk assessment now approved, they can resume.


COVID-19 has posed plenty of challenges for us all. But it has also brought some opportunities, including for some local businesses which answered the Government’s call to manufacture essential medical supplies. Native Secrets in Dubbo, and Indigiearth and Baker Williams Distillery in Mudgee, are all now producing hand sanitiser to help meet the unprecedented demand. Thank you!


NSW is set to further ease restrictions. The following will be allowed from Friday May 15:

  • Outdoor gatherings – up to 10
  • Cafes and restaurants – up to 10 seated patrons at any one time
  • Up to 5 visitors to a household at any one time
  • Weddings – up to 10 guests
  • Indoor funerals – up to 20 mourners. Outdoor funerals – up to 30
  • Religious gatherings/places of worship – up to 10 worshippers
  • Use of outdoor equipment with caution
  • Outdoor pools – open with restrictions

Go to nsw.gov.au/covid-19 for a full list of restrictions.

This is great news, but it doesn’t mean we should be complacent. It is too soon to allow for regional holidays and recreational travel. With restrictions slowly being relaxed, we still need to ensure that we practice physical distancing and proper hygiene in order minimise any potential spread.

Until next week,


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