By KEVIN ANDERSON, MEMBER FOR TAMWORTH
G’day Gunnedah and welcome to 2023! Thank you for continuing to show your support to the Gunnedah Times in the New Year. It’s so important that we continue to support this great local paper.
I trust you had a good Christmas and New Year period, catching up with family and friends or enjoying some time away, if you were lucky enough.
The world may slow down for a couple of weeks as the year ticks over, but there’s been plenty going on behind the scenes to help make our region a better place to live, work and play.
We are getting on with the job of meeting the workforce challenges faced in our health system. We know how difficult it can be to attract and retain health workers right across regional and rural Australia, which is why the NSW government has made a range of scholarships available to aspiring nurses and midwives.
If you or anyone you know is interested in a career in health, this is a great opportunity to get your foot in the door. Gunnedah TAFE has a fantastic nurse training facility and with undergraduate, enrolled, and postgraduate scholarships now available, now’s the time to jump on the NSW Health website and take advantage of this financial support.
The first few weeks of the year also brought about great news for our region’s roads with $2 million in emergency road funding hitting the coffers of Gunnedah Shire Council. This is on top of the $504,644.34 delivered to council under the Pothole Repair Round last year and there’s even more to come with council now finalising their applications for the fast-tracked $500 million road repair round, which I know will deliver millions for Gunnedah’s roads.
We can’t control the weather, but what we can do is provide the financial support our councils need to get our roads back on track and we are delivering that funding as soon as we can.
We also delivered $1.3 million to Centacare New England North West last week to assist them with setting up a new program designed to keep at-risk kids away from the criminal justice system.
We know that youth crime has been a major issue across regional areas like Gunnedah over the past 12 months and we need to do everything we can to keep kids away from making the wrong decisions.
This funding will allow Centacare to expand on its successful Youth on Track program, with the ‘Keep on Track’ program which will allow police and education providers to refer at-risk or disengaged youth to a social worker at Centacare.
This is great news for our entire region as the program will cover Tamworth and Gunnedah, as well as areas like Moree and Narrabri where these young offenders often travel from.
Finally, I want to let local businesses know that the NSW government’s Regional Job Creation fund is back open and I’m encouraging any businesses who may be looking to expand to get in touch with the Department of Regional NSW and get an application in.
Wishing you all the best for the year ahead and I look forward to seeing you all at some point this year.To order photos from this page click here