It was great to get an opportunity to have a look at the progress of the new Mudgee Hospital during the week.
The $70 million project is well and truly on track to be completed by the middle of the year, and it will be a real game changer for the people of Mudgee and the surrounding region.
One of the most important aspects of the new hospital is the fact that it will feature services such as maternity, oncology, renal and dental, meaning that people will not need to leave town and access these elsewhere.
Health Infrastructure and Hutchinson Builders have been working closely to ensure the facility will be state-of-the art and after having a look through I know it is going to be amazing.
While I was in Mudgee I joined with the mayor Des Kennedy to visit the Cudegong Rural Fire Service centre, where Superintendent Troy Porter gave us an update on the fires burning in our region.
Thursday was a terrible day when it came to fire conditions, and it is important to remember that while the RFS and other agencies have worked hard to try and get on top of these fires we are still in summer and the danger isn’t over.
Only this week we saw a blaze break out in the Goonoo Forest north of Elong Elong, which caused some considerable concern.
I’d like to thank everyone who’s been involved in fighting these fires and doing their best to protect lives and properties.
Understandably there is a large focus on the bushfire emergency at the moment, but it is also important that we don’t forget the ongoing drought that is also gripping our part of the world.
While we have had bits and pieces of rain in recent weeks, the drought is far from over and during the week I met with State and Federal Nationals MPs to discuss a number of issues, but largely our plans regarding further drought response.
While the rain has been great for those who got it, there are others who haven’t been so lucky and we need to remember that.
It has also come at a cost, with fish kills at different points along the Macquarie River.
We need to keep working with our regional communities to get through this, and that was the overwhelming message to come out of the discussions