On Thursday 23 November, the Mayor attended the Central NSW Joint Organisation meeting at State Parliament House. At the meeting, Mayor Statham took the opportunity to raise critical matters with The Premier, Treasurer and Minister for Climate Change, Energy and the Environment.

The Mayor raised the following matters with the Premier, The Hon. Chris Minns, MP:

  • The slow paced and difficult approval process for natural disaster restoration works, the Mayor received assurances on upfront funding for works;
  • The loss of the Resources for Regions Program in the 2023/24 and the need to promptly allocate funds held in the Regional Development Trust; and
  • The need for State and Federal consensus on their preferred economic transition model and governance structure was also discussed.

The following matters were brought to the attention of the Treasurer, The Hon. Daniel Mookhey, MLC:

  • Federal natural disaster funding being sent from the Commonwealth but not flowing immediately to Councils;
  • Water security and access to funding; and
  • The need for a diesel rebate and rates rebates for drought affected farmers;

The Mayor discussed the following matters with The Hon. Penny Sharpe, MLC (Minister for Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Heritage:

  • Security of the NSW Government’s $50M commitment for visitor and tourism facilities in the new Gardens of Stone State Conservation Area;
  • The shelving of the road tunnel through Blue Mountains to Hartley; and
  • The importance of mental health initiatives for struggling farmers and their families.

The successful Joint Organisation visit to Parliament House was sponsored by Mr Philip Donato, Member for Orange and Mr Roy Butler, Member for Barwon.