2 June, 2023
Roy's Round Up - May 16, 2023
State parliament is finally sitting again, and the new
government is getting down to business. There have
already been some significant pieces of legislation proposed,
with the government eager to fulfill its election
promises relating to such things as amending the constitution
to prevent privatisation of water.
But the first week of a new parliament and a new
government, is always a period of ceremony and adjustment.
Some of my time has been spent settling into a
new office space, which is shared with Phil Donato, the
member for Orange. So far it, has proven to be a much
better base of operations in parliament.
This week, I will be accompanying the health minister
around various parts of the electorate, before returning
to parliament for consecutive sitting weeks.
Meeting with minister park
I had a meeting last week with the new health minister,
Ryan Park, about the situation at Nyngan and Wee
Waa hospitals. He gave me his personal assurance, that
the Government has no intention of closing either hospital,
and that they will work on solutions to staffing
In a media statement issued last night, the minister said: “
The NSW Government has no intention
of closing the health services at Nyngan and Wee Waa.”
“We are working closely with Western and Hunter
New England Local Health Districts, to ensure these services
continue to provide safe and reliable care that
meets the community’s needs.
“Due to staffing challenges, services have had to be
temporarily reduced at Wee Waa and Nyngan to ensure
the well-being of staff and the continuation of safe care
to the community,” he said.
“The intention, is for these
services to be restored to normal operations and the districts
are working hard to recruit staff to ensure this
occurs,” he added.
“While these local health districts
continue to actively recruit to fill existing vacancies,
they’re also working hard to redeploy nursing staff from
other areas and engage agencies to cover any gaps in the
rosters,” he concluded.
The minister will be heading out
to visit some medical centres across Barwon this week.
After a long break since parliament rose in December last year, it’s back on again! I have been sworn in for my second term in the 58th NSW Parliament. The opening session of parliament was a long day that consisted of official photos, swearing an oath of loyalty to Australia and to the people of NSW, a smoking ceremony, and a lot of ritual that owes its origin to many centuries of parliamentary tradition.
part of the first week was taken up by maiden
speeches, the election of the speakers, congratulations
for The King’s Coronation, and the new government and
opposition settling into their new roles. It is an honour to
be serving the people of Barwon and NSW again. I look
forward to getting even more done in this term.
Regional health committee
Last week in parliament, Dr Joe McGirr MP for
Wagga moved a notice of motion asking for the establishment
of a ‘Legislative Assembly Select Committee
on Rural, Regional and Remote Health Outcomes’.
government acted quickly, and the committee was established
last Thursday, with Dr McGirr as its chair. The
purpose of the committee is to see that the recommendations
of last year’s regional health inquiry are carried
out. I want to thank the member for Wagga for his
engagement on regional health issues in pushing for the
lower house committee. I will continue to work with
Joe, and look forward to bringing him out west into
Barwon to see first-hand the situation in so many of our
Tibooburra airstrip upgrade
The NSW Government is investing $200,000 to
repair and regrade Tibooburra’s dirt runway.
This upgrade ensures the Aerodrome complies with
Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) requirements,
and can safely operate in a range of weather conditions,
ensuring remote communities have better access to air
emergency services, and the ability to take-off and land
private aircraft in more-challenging conditions.
Young Offenders Act
In the first week of May, I attended an event at
Sydney University Law School called “Reflecting on 25
Years of the Young Offenders Act of 1997”.
It was interesting to hear how the Act came about,
from some of the people who helped develop it and
advocate for it in parliament a quarter of a century ago,
and how juvenile justice was changed as a result.
I also had a discussion with some of the legal minds
who were there about some of the failures of the act in
Barwon, and other areas of the state, and some of the
ways forward. Resourcing for youth justice and youth
programs has not been applied well and, particularly in
Barwon, there is a lack of referral options for young
Youth crime is something common to many
towns across the country, which is why it is important to
spend the effort reviewing, reforming, and repairing our
youth justice system.
I will be advocating in parliament for a review of the
act and ways that we can improve the act and the way it
is applied in regional areas.
I visited Canberra in the first week of May, where I
had a productive meeting with senator David Pocock.
We spoke about the failure in successive governments’
policies around gas. We have plenty of conventional gas
in Australia, we just export too-much of it at very low
prices making energy (gas) more expensive for people in
We discussed the need for a domestic gas reservation
policy, and a public interest test on exports. These
changes would negate the need for risky gas projects
that could damage ground water and would lower gas
prices. Before leaving Canberra, I went to the National
Press Club of Australia, to listen to three leading
economists give their thoughts on the federal budget and
what we could expect from it.
I had some interesting conversations about government
policy in regional Australia and talked to Danielle
Wood, CEO of the Grattan Institute, one of the
economists who spoke that day and who said she was
keen to travel into Barwon.
I welcome any visit from people interested in the electorate, particularly someone who is an expert in their field, because it can only help to broaden and deepen their knowledge of regional NSW.