Lifesaving drug rehabilitation centre coming to Dubbo, and a Platypus refuge at Taronga

The lives of people across the electorate will be improved after I announced on Monday that $7.5 million will be included in next week’s NSW Budget for a drug rehabilitation facility in the Dubbo region.

So many people’s lives are directly or indirectly impacted by drug use and abuse, and it was great to have Deputy Premier John Barilaro and Treasurer Dominic Perrottet in town to help make the announcement.

This is an issue that has been front and centre for me since I was elected, and particularly since the recommendations of the Special Commission of Inquiry into the Drug Ice were handed down earlier this year.

This facility will literally be a lifesaver and I am very proud that we will be bringing it to the Dubbo region.

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Taronga Western Plains Zoo is our most iconic tourist attraction, so it makes sense that it becomes the home for a refuge that will assist one our most iconic native species – the platypus.

I joined with the Deputy Premier, Treasurer and Environment Minister Matt Kean to announced $8.8 million of funding for the refuge, which will not only aid in a world-leading conservation program but also add to the tourist offering at the zoo.

While there we also announced $14 million for a new wildlife hospital at the zoo, which will allow for greater care of injured wildlife, serve as a tourist attraction in its own right, and be a training centre for future generations of veterinarians.

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Last week I ticked another election commitment off my list when I joined with Health Minister Brad Hazzard to unveil plans for two additional carparks, totalling about 380 spots, at Dubbo Hospital.

This is something that is necessary as the hospital precinct continues to grow, and will provide ease of access for locals and visitors who need to utilise the growing facilities at the hospital.

It was also great to announce over the weekend the continuation of the free preschool program that has assisted so many people during the pandemic, which will continue for 2021.

Until next week,

Dugald

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