16 April, 2023
Coulton's Catch Up - April 4
Tyron and Jolie excel in shearing
Two young people from the Parkes
electorate, Tyron Cochrane from Goodooga
and Jolie Orcher from Bourke,
recently excelled in the Junior Golden
Shears; a prestigious New Zealand shearing
Tyron is only 18, and is the first
Australian to win the title since 1961 as
well as the first Aboriginal Australian
ever to win this competition.
These outstanding young people are
role models for their communities, and
an example of the excellent work of the
Regional Enterprise Development Institute
in connecting young Aboriginal people
to their future careers. It was my privilege
to bring this accomplishment to the
attention of the house last week in parliament.
Where is key funding for the Parkes
It has been 10 months since the election,
and five months since the federal
budget, yet key funding for the Parkes
electorate, is still to be released by the
The Growing Regions Program was
supposed to be Labor’s answer to the former
Coalition government’s Building
Better Regions Fund, but is yet to be
The Local Roads and Community
Infrastructure (LRCI) program however
was already well-established and was a
Coalition initiative, which has been
extremely popular, yet neither program
has seen funding released.
I have called on the minister for transport,
and the minister for local government,
to prioritise access to this funding,
which is so needed by councils and communities
in the Parkes electorate.
Supporting the resources sector
Last week in parliament, I spoke in a
ministerial statement on the resources
sector, highlighting the crucial role of the
Parkes electorate as a powerhouse in
mining and resources. Broken Hill’s
Cobalt Blue Project at Thackaringa, lithium
mining at Fifield, gold deposits near
Dubbo and Tomingley, as well as a rare
earth project at Toongi, are only a few
examples of resources projects currently
underway in the Parkes electorate.
If we’re going to be serious about
having a cleaner environment and reducing
our emissions, we can’t ignore the
crucial role of our resources sector.
It is through greater efficiency and
technology, that we will become both a
cleaner and wealthier economy.
Mining and agriculture drive this
electorate and are the reason Australia is
as strong as it is.
We can produce both food and energy
for ourselves, and we need to support
these industries, rather than crippling
them, so I was pleased to stand-up and
make this point to the Parliament in my
Rural generalists program is going
Back in 2021, the former Coalition government put $49.7 million into the Rural Generalist Training Scheme (RGTS) to boost doctor numbers in the bush. Recently in parliament, I caught-up with the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine (ACRRM) who have been delivering this program, and was pleased to hear of its ongoing success in securing enrolments. The training of doctors takes time, however, with programs like this, my hope is that we begin to see more rural general practitioners emerge and take up positions across the Parkes electorate. I have received many constituent appeals for more doctors in regional areas, and this is only one of many programs established to attempt to overcome the challenge of attracting doctors to the bush. These outcomes take time, and involve multiple complex factors; however I will continue to work with organisations such as the ACRRM and the Rural Doctors Association of Australia to find solutions. It is encouraging to see the popularity of the Rural Generalist Training Scheme.