End of year Regional Wrap

Dec 21, 2020 | Newsletters

It was looking really good for a while for our border communities, but after the most recent outbreak on the Northern Beaches, we are back to our NSW-Victoria permit system.

People from the “green zone” — regional New South Wales — will be allowed to enter and asked to watch for symptoms.

Those from “orange zone” areas — Greater Sydney — are encouraged to get tested on arrival in Victoria and quarantine until they get a negative result.

While people from “red zone” areas, which currently includes the Northern Beaches local government area and other NSW exposure sites, will not be permitted to enter.

This is a timely reminder for us to not be complacent as we go about our day-to-day lives, and to always follow health advice from officials.

If travelling to other states be sure to check their requirements.  Each State has it’s own rules.  For links to each state go to Coronavirus (COVID-19) – Official Australian Government information

Recently I joined Regional Health Minister Mark Coulton in Tumut to announce a new health care model which improves access for patients in the Snowy Valleys Council area.

The Nationals in Government are committed to continuing to improve health care services in the regions and this new model aims to improve access to local health care and provide better continuity of care for patients.

This year’s budget will see $3.3 million in new models of primary care to help pioneer local solutions to team based care and provide better healthcare services across regions in western and southern NSW. 

The Nationals in Government want our regional communities to benefit from continued access to essential health services and reduce the time it takes to travel for primary care.

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It was also great to visit the Hunter Region with Nationals Leader Michael McCormack, which is just one of the many areas where we are seeing a boost in Government infrastructure spending.

Construction to build the new 900m two-lane Cessnock road, which will be 1.5m higher than the existing one, has now begun.

This project will make a huge difference for the communities of Cessnock and Maitland, giving them a more reliable road and also mitigate flood events.

DIGITAL FARM IN WAGGA 
During a trip to Wagga Wagga, I was able to show Communications Minister Paul Fletcher around the CSU Digital Farm, on the same day the regional city was announced as an NBN Digital Fibre Zone.

This means businesses will get equivalent broadband services at the same price as their urban counterparts.
Another significant announcement from the Communications Minister over the past month has been the RISE Program.
I am a big supporter of regional arts so I was pleased that 21 percent of the $60 million RISE fund is going to organisations based in regional areas.

The RISE program is just one part of our Government’s ongoing commitment to the Arts in Australia.


As we head towards the end of a stressful and uncertain year, I hope you and your family are able to spend quality time together over the Christmas and New Year break.

I also hope our economy can keep recovering, our agriculture industry continue to grow, and lost jobs return, as we make our way into 2021.