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Country Labor dialogue

C o n n ec t i n g C o u n t ry C omm u n i t ies – n o v embe r 2 0 1 0

Celebrating a great Labor man

Premier Kristina Keneally with Harold Mair,


who was honoured at the Annual Dinner
in his name.
Premier Kristina Keneally was the guest speaker at the Annual
Harold Mair Dinner. She is pictured with Courtney Roche, Country
Organiser, Chris Ryan, President Albury SEC and
Country Organiser Courtney
Glenn Elliott-Rudder, President Wagga Wagga SEC.
Roche reports…
A wonderful night was had by all
Last month Premier Kristina Keneally was who attended the Annual Harold
the guest speaker at the Annual Harold Mair Dinner in Albury last month.
Mair Dinner hosted by the Albury Branch to Thank you to the Albury Branch
for organising such a fantastic
celebrate Harold’s many achievements. night. It was great to see so
many Members come together to
Harold was instrumental celebrate Harold’s tireless work for
in the establishment and the Albury community.
development of many
A special thanks to Sam Dastyari,
facilities around Albury.
the NSW General Secretary who
Harold was the State Member made time to attend the dinner
for Albury for 10 years after in Harold Mair’s honour, and all
serving 10 years on Albury of the visiting Local Government
Council and is still widely Premier Kristina Keneally with Albury delegates who attended.
respected as and effective Branch President, Darren Cameron
and Labor candidate for Farrer,
Courtney Roche
advocate for Albury. NSW Country Organiser
Christian Emmery.
$27.6 million Upgrading the Dubbo
boost for rural
and regional to Coonamble rail line
hospitals Minister for Transport John Robertson
An additional $27.6 million in visited Dubbo to provide an update on the
funding for new beds and medical
equipment in 2010/11 has been
NSW Government’s $33 million upgrade
allocated to 52 hospitals in rural and of the Dubbo to Coonamble Rail Line and
regional NSW following Australia’s
hear from local people about transport
historic health reforms.
The new funding was announced by
issues in the region.
Federal Minister for Health and Ageing,
Nicola Roxon and NSW Minister for
Health, Carmel Tebbutt, and follows
the $1.2 billion allocated over four
years to NSW through the health
reform agreement with the Federal
Government.
“We are committed to strengthening
health services in regional
communities” Nicola Roxon said.
This investment includes more than
$11 million in new medical equipment
for emergency departments and
surgery at 51 regional hospitals, and
$9.9 million for 33 new beds across
Wagga Wagga, Coffs Harbour and
Ballina Hospitals. hard to support our local farmers.
The NSW Government is working
“We recognise the particular health
needs of communities in rural and
regional NSW, and this new funding “The NSW Government, through $6 million for 25,000 steel
will go a long way to enhancing the Country Rail Infrastructure sleepers between Dubbo
services for those communities,” Authority, will spend $18.5 and Gilgandra
Carmel Tebbutt said. million on re-sleepering work $2.5 million to renew the
and renewal of the major rail Coolbaggie Creek bridge
bridge over Coolbaggie at Eumungerie
Creek at Eumungerie on the
Dubbo to Coonamble line. John Robertson said the
upgrades are part of the NSW
“This investment will provide
Government’s $155.3 million
greater efficiency for the
2010-11 budget commitment
movement of grain and other
to the regional rail network.
agricultural products along the
line,” John Robertson said. “The NSW Government is
serious about investing in our
The investment includes:
local agricultural industry and
$10 million for 42,000 steel ensuring we support our local
The NSW Health Minister Carmel sleepers between Gilgandra farmers,” said John Robertson.
Tebbutt opening the new health
and Coonamble
facility at Eugowra.
New visitor facility for Barrington Tops
Minister for Tourism and Minister for the Hunter Jodi McKay officially
opened a new visitor facility at the Mountain Maid Gold Mine near Gloucester.
The Keneally Government has
invested $820,000 into the
upgrade of the facilities, part of
an ongoing effort to increase
tourist numbers to the area.
“This event sees the gold mine
site in the Copeland Tops State
Conservation Area, in Barrington
Tops, re-open to the public for the first
time in two years,” Jodi McKay said.
Now that these works are complete,
visitors can once again access
the site, which not only contains
remnants of the gold-mining
era such as shafts and mining The NSW Government has invested $820,000 upgrading the facilities at
the Mountain Maid Gold Mine.
structures, but is also an important
wildlife habitat area.
As part of the redevelopment of The NPWS will also now be The Hunter region received the
the site, the Government has been offering ‘Hidden Treasures’ tours highest number of overseas visitors
working with Gloucester Tourism to around Mountain Maid Gold Mine in a decade last financial year, with
develop a ‘Discovery’ program for on Wednesdays and Saturdays, 122,000 overseas visitors coming
the general public and tour groups, explaining the history behind the to the area – staying nearly 2 million
which help attract even greater mine and introducing people to the nights and injecting $130 million into
numbers of visitors to the area. fauna and flora of the park. the Hunter economy.

Big dry finally broken: Entire State out of drought


NSW has broken free from a historic run of drought years. Not a single
inch of the State is now officially drought declared.
“October drought figures paint immediate return for those farmers
a bright picture for NSW. From who will still need to go through
western NSW, the north, and planting and growing new crops,
through the centre of our State there is no denying this is great
down to the south-west corner news,” Steve Whan said.
the country looks magnificent,”
Even as recently as December
Minister for Primary Industries,
2009, 95% of the State was in
Steve Whan said.
drought or considered marginally
“Not since June 2001 has NSW in drought.
been free of drought and now we
The NSW Government has
are on the brink of a $2.85 billion
committed $535 million in drought Primary Industries Minister Steve
winter crop harvest. While we do Whan announced the official end
assistance measures since the
need to recognise that the drought of the drought.
drought began.
breaking does not mean an
Duncan Gay gets award for most scones
Minister for Primary Industries, Steve Whan awarded the shadow
spokesman Duncan Gay with the Scone Organiser of the Year Award
as he hit the milestone of 51 meetings and no outcome.
“Mr Gay is to be congratulated for “I marvel that Duncan Gay boasts for the Coalition, but managed to
what must be the 51st meeting with he’s had over 50 meetings with alienate the Farmers Association
farmers and miners that has resulted the Mining industry and Farmers and Minerals Council.
in the Coalition abandoning farmers Association, fails to reach any
“Duncan Gay is to be congratulated
and still failing to formulate a policy,” agreement, then puts out a press
for this latest meeting, which surely
Steve Whan said. release saying he’s had yet another
is a victory for catering as the
meeting.
“Mr Gay spent the week flip flopping company providing the scones must
on supporting farmers calls for a “Of course, this latest meeting, love the endless meetings in search
moratorium on mining, then saying which on Duncan Gay’s own count of a policy,” Steve Whan said.
it was unhelpful, before completely must be meeting number 51, has
backflipping on the issue. failed to resolve a policy position

Coalition Basin call not even


backed by own backbenchers
If the Opposition really believed in its campaign to rip up the
Murray-Darling Basin Plan, surely its own members would have
signed the petition calling to stop it?

Five hours after the Coalition “It is obvious the Opposition is so initiatives on their own properties,
launched a new website calling lacking in agricultural policy that which return water for the
for signatories, only five of their not even their own team members environment while ensuring the
own members had registered their believe what they’re trying to tell productive capacity of the farm.
support for the campaign. the people of NSW.
“Having a dummy spit won’t help
“Clearly this is another example of “The Keneally Government has secure the long term future of
the flimsy grandstanding typical made it clear we will not be ticking agriculture in NSW, it will be
of an opposition desperate to off on any plan that fails to balance through strong advocacy on
gain political points by any means properly the needs of farmers, local behalf of farmers and communities,”
possible and bereft of real policy on communities and the environment. Steve Whan said.
this vital issue,” Primary Industries
“Already my department has been
Minister, Steve Whan said.
assisting farmers to implement
Federally funded water conservation

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