Namoi News

Roy Butler MP Member for Barwon

Namoi News

Roy's Column

Roy's Column

Roy Butler MP Member for Barwon

Author: Kate Schwager/Friday, September 11, 2020/Categories: Politics

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After the year we’re having it’s important to stop and ask yourself and those around you R U OK?

On 10 September as a Nation we come together and ask that question, but it’s important that we keep asking and keep checking in with each other. Times are getting better in Barwon, the crops are looking great and the stock numbers are back on the rise – but never assume that this means mentally everyone’s OK. So ask the question R U OK? and be prepared to stop, listen and provide support.

This past weekend I have been on the road with the Police from the Western Region as part of the 10th Annual Wall to Wall Police Remembrance ride. Every day the members of the NSW Police Force go to work not knowing what to expect, sadly some never come home from their shift. To the Police right across Barwon, stay safe out there and thank you for what you do.

This week I am heading back into Parliament, following the events of last week its sure to be heavy on the politicking.

Check on your strong friends, check on your quiet friends, check on your happy friends, check on each other.

Roy

The Nationals Koala Bluff

Last week the NSW National Party has their bluff to leave the Coalition called. I never thought they would leave, after all they didn’t leave in August 2018, June 2019, August 2019, February 2020… all times when the Deputy Premier has announced their intention to leave.

The Nationals will continue to vote as the party room says they should, even if it is against regional NSW.

I spoke with Rob Stokes last week, he was willing to talk to me and my Party and was still willing to talk to The Nationals about the Koala SEPP, but they have chosen to talk to the media instead.

It's odd to me that the Deputy Premier of this State can't influence the policy of the NSW Government. My Party and I aren't but we have been able to.

The Koala SEPP is an important issue, we all want to see koalas protected and core habitat preserved. The issue is about public good – the preservation of koalas and their habitat – being costed to private balance sheets.

If we can address the issues of private property owner’s, especially farmers incurring losses we should be able to move forward.

NSW kids can come home from Queensland boarding schools

After weeks of appeals to the Queensland Premier we finally received the good news that NSW kids at Queensland boarding schools will be able to come home.

Over 400 NSW kids attend boarding schools in Queensland, many of them coming from remote and regional NSW where we’ve had no cases of COVID, these kids and their families were tied up in politicking.

The news means that parents will be able to go to Queensland and collect their kids for the school holidays, on return to Queensland they won’t be required to quarantine provided they’ve stayed at home during the break.

My Narrabri Team and I have been on the phone a number of times a day to the Queensland Government appealing to them to change the rules to allow these families to be able to reunite.

Since early August we’ve worked with the Isolated Children’s Parents Association, Country Women’s Association Branches and individual parents to get this result – the people power has really paid off; it’s a huge relief for parents and families right across NSW.

Menindee Project can't go on

The Menindee Lakes Water Saving Project should be paused pending a Federal Royal Commission.

We cannot have a scenario where one environmental asset is destroyed to gain water for others – it goes against all sense.

The building of the Wentworth to Broken Hill pipeline was always suspected as being a way to decommission the lakes – that is what we see happening here.

The National Party has confirmed it is not interested in protecting the environmental significance of the lakes. Nor protecting the residents of Sunset Strip, Menindee and the lower Darling.

The whole Far West of the State are watching closely, their connection to the lakes and the Darling River runs deep, they will not stand idly by.

The billions of dollars spent on recovering water under the Murray Darling Basin plan has fallen well short of expectations. The people of Menindee have walked away from the Government consultation in disgust; I share their feelings about the process.

I’ve been a part of the fight to get Government to listen and now I’m walking up to the front of the fight on their behalf.

My Team and I are getting together the tools we have in our arsenal. We will expose what’s going on here and the impact that it is having on the Menindee community, local irrigators, and the downstream-connected communities.

Update on Black Spots

At the beginning of July I asked about places or regions that need a more reliable source of connectivity. This included unreliable mobile coverage, little to no coverage or known mobile black spots.

The responses from this have been enormous and I thank you for taking the time to contact me and provide me with this information.

Since then my team and I have been working tirelessly on a plan to get us the reception we all deserve. We’ve mapped the places with poor coverage and yes it would have been easier to mark the places that don’t have black spots!

My team and I are now working with the Helen Dalton the Member for Murray to put forward a united front for western NSW and all regional communities. 

My office will continue to advocate for upgrades for these locations and black spots in Barwon, if you have questions, please contact Grace in my Broken Hill Office on (08) 8087 3315.

You can view the map online at https://www.roybutler.com.au/barwon_black_spots_update

Apply now for the Regional Youth Taskforce

Applications are now open for the second NSW Government Regional Youth Taskforce.

As a member of the Regional Youth Taskforce you will advise the Minister on issues that affect young people living in regional NSW.

The Taskforce will allow you to have your say on ways Government can improve outcomes for young people in regional NSW and better deliver services.

Up to eighteen members who reflect the diversity of young people in regional NSW will be selected.

To be eligible you must be aged between 12-24, and live in regional NSW (outside Sydney, Newcastle and Wollongong).

For more information and to apply: www.nsw.gov.au/regional-nsw/regional-youth-taskforce

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