7 February, 2023
Coulton's Catch Up (Jan 31, 2023)
Australia Day celebrations
It was a pleasure to participate in Australia Day celebrations
in Warren and Coonabarabran this year. It’s
always wonderful to see our communities come together
on Australia Day, to celebrate those people who contribute
so much to our towns and villages, and to welcome
our newest Australian citizens.
Coonabarabran this year welcomed two new
Australians, while one person took the oath to become
an Aussie in Warren. They joined dozens of others
across the electorate who took this significant step to
become a part of our great country. Congratulations to
all of our new Australian citizens, as well as all of those
deserving individuals and groups who received an
Australia Day award this year.
This year we also had seven individuals recognised
in the Australia Day 2023 Honours List, including:
- Dr Sally Torr (Bourke), who became a Member of
the Order of Australia (AM) for significant service to
healthcare administration, and to the community of
- Susan Brookhouse (Coonabarabran), who received
a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for service to
wildlife care and rehabilitation.
- Peter Kierath (Narromine), who received a Medal
of the Order of Australia (OAM) for service to the community
- Elizabeth Nalder (Gilgandra), who received a
Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for service to
the community of Gilgandra.
- Peter Ryan (Dubbo), who received an Australian
Fire Service Medal (AFSM).
- Kym Stanford (Mungindi), who received an
Australian Fire Service Medal (AFSM).
- Craig Walters (Wongarbon), who received an
Australian Fire Service Medal (AFSM).
Congratulations to each of these people on this
incredible honour. You should all be very proud!
Macquarie Home Stay expansion funded
Last week, I was thrilled to hear that the NSW
Liberal and Nationals government, had stepped-up to
provide the $2.5 million required for the much-needed
expansion of Macquarie Home Stay in Dubbo.
This funding will expand the accommodation facility
by an additional 26 units, which will make such a difference
for so many families in the Parkes electorate
who need somewhere to stay while seeking medical
treatment in Dubbo.
It is, however, disappointing that the federal Labor
government failed to recognise the importance of this
vital project, despite my best efforts to reinforce the
need to multiple Labor ministers.
Over the past eight months, Labor has had every
opportunity to honour the funding commitment I made
prior to the May election, instead choosing to cut the
only program under which this project could still be
It just goes to show a complete lack of understanding
of the needs of our rural and regional communities,
and proves Labor is tone-deaf when it comes to pr-actical
projects that can change people’s lives.
Boothenba Road upgrade opened
It was terrific to officially open the $8 million
Boothenba Road upgrade in Dubbo last week along
with state member for Dubbo, Dugald Saunders, Dubbo
mayor, Mathew Dickerson, and senator Tony Sheldon.
I’m proud the former coalition government invested
$2 million into this project, which has delivered significant
safety improvements for trucks accessing the
Dubbo Regional Livestock Markets one of the busiest
saleyards in NSW.
As a cattle farmer myself, I know just what a difference
a safe and reliable road can make when delivering
livestock from the paddock to the saleyards, so it was
great to see just how these upgrades are benefitting local
producers and truck drivers.
Visit to the Far West
Last week, I had the opportunity to visit the flooded
Menindee to see how the community is going as the
water starts to recede. I caught-up with the local NSW
SES and NSW RFS crews, as well as Central Darling
Shire Council administrator, Bob Stewart, and was given
a helicopter tour to see the extent of the flooding.
It’s going to take some time before the water fully
recedes and people can get back into their flooded
homes, but the volunteers on the ground are doing a
great job assisting the community — thank-you to
everyone who has worked tirelessly over the past few
While in the Far West, I also caught up with Broken
Hill mayor Tom Kennedy to hear how a $5 million
Australian government grant will improve safety at the
Broken Hill Airport, ultimately contributing to the
major redevelopment of the outback airport which will
play a key role in the silver city’s future growth.
Senate “Disaster Committee” formed
A Senate Select Committee on Australia’s Disaster Resilience, was appointed late last year to inquire into Australia’s preparedness, response, and recovery workforce models, as well as alternative models for disaster recovery. The committee will consider the role of the Australian Defence Force, volunteer groups, not-for-