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 communities.

As I have always said, any easing of restrictions has to come on the advice of our health authorities. So I am most pleased that the people of the Dubbo Electorate and across NSW have worked so hard to reduce coronavirus transmission, and the health authorities deem it safe to begin to stage our recovery!

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Last week, well ahead of the planned opening, the $70.7 million Mudgee Hospital opened for clinical operations, boosting the health sector in the town and the wider Mid-Western region.

I am so grateful to the Western NSW Local Health District and Health Infrastructure, who have been able to work together to bring forward the opening as part of the COVID-19 response.

The new facility will enable Mudgee’s highly valued health staff to provide the very best care to the community for years to come, which is particularly important right now.

It’s been an incredible journey to see this hospital emerge from nothing. I’d like to congratulate the many workers involved, along with the clinical staff who provided input along the way.

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I was happy to announce last week that Trangie, Mudgee and Gulgong showgrounds would benefit from $167,326 in funding as part of the NSW Government’s COVID-19 stimulus package.

When COVID-19 hit it forced the postponement or cancellation of agricultural shows and many activities that showgrounds rely on for their income. This investment by the NSW Government will provide a boost for our local showgrounds and the communities they serve by supporting local tradies and suppliers with work, as well as strengthening showground infrastructure for the future.

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In more great news for our region, the Western NSW Local Health District continues to have no new confirmed cases of COVID-19 and that’s thanks to YOU: every single person who has followed the health advice has saved lives this year. But we cannot afford to become complacent and I want to urge everyone to please continue to practice physical distancing and good hand hygiene. If we continue to do all the right things, then we won’t have to go backwards.

As usual, for information on COVID-19 and the restrictions go to www.nsw.gov.au/covid-19.

Until next week,

Dugald

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