29 July, 2023
Coulton's Catch Up - June 27, 2023
A celebration of 15 years
On Friday night, June 23, a special dinner was held in Dubbo to celebrate the 15 years I have now spent rep- resenting the people of the Parkes electorate at the fed- eral level. I was joined by many friends, supporters, col- leagues, and family members for this special occasion.
My thanks to all involved in this wonderful night, which included speeches by special guests - leader of the Nationals the Hon. David Littleproud MP and shad- ow minister for Indigenous Australians senator Jacinta Nampijinpa Price.
It’s been a privilege to be part of the Nationals Party for regional Australia and to have the honour of contin- uing the work of representing the Parkes electorate for more than a decade. Many would know that I couldn’t do this without my lovely wife Robyn and so many of you who have supported me over the years to be your federal representative.
Visits to Redi.E and Apollo House in Dubbo
On June 23, I was joined by leader of the Nationals Mr Littleproud and Senator Nampijinpa Price in Dubbo to visit some local programs supporting Aboriginal peo- ple in the area.
Our first stop was the Regional Enterprise Devel- opment Institute (Redi.E) to meet general manager and Gamillaroi man Peter Gibbs who introduced us to his team and discussed the work Redi.E does to deliver employment, training, and community services.
This is an Aboriginal owned not-for-profit assisting both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people, including through their hospitality traineeships at the fabulous Wilay Café, where we were treated to some delicious food.
I was keen for Senator Nampijinpa Price and Mr Littleproud to meet Mr Gibbs and find out about what his team is doing, advocating in practical ways to improve pathways to employment for Aboriginal Australians not only in Dubbo but all the way out to Wilcannia where Redi.E runs the Outback Store providing food to that community. We also met with Wiradjuri Elder Riverbank Frank Doolan at Apollo House, where he works at LeaderLife Dubbo with Founder and CEO Joh Leader, growing community and holistically sup- porting people in Dubbo’s Apollo Estate. Leader Life’s programs include social enterprise such as their lime farm at Narromine, where participants produce excel- lent lime-based products.
LeaderLife and Redi.E are just two of many programs in Dubbo making a real difference to people by actively getting alongside them to help them grow and achieve their goals.
Last week in parliament I delivered several speeches and statements, one of which was in honour of the life and legacy of the late Joy McKean, a great in Australian country music. Joy, along with her famous husband Slim Dusty, and their children, have all produced music which has meant a lot to me personally, so it was my privilege to be part of commemorating her life and achievements.
I have also pushed again for the minister for infras- tructure to indicate the government’s firm support for the continuation of the Inland Rail.
The consequences of decision-making on this crucial piece of infrastructure will affect generations to come across not only inland NSW but the whole of Australia.
The Inland Rail has been a core driver in my desire to make a difference as federal member for Parkes.
The vision for this infrastructure is increased pros- perity, jobs, growth, and development for the people I represent and the country as a whole, which is why I am passionate about seeing this accomplished.
Transcripts of my speeches in parliament are all available to read on my website, with some also avail- able as videos on YouTube, so I invite you to explore the available content.