FEDERAL Member for New England, Barnaby Joyce has welcomed a number of major grant announcements for constituents as the overall tally has climbed above $97.5 million six months on from the September Federal election.
Reflecting on his first six months as the Member for New England, Mr Joyce said he was delighted to be able to deliver to his constituents funding for key projects like $80 million for the Bolivia Hill re-alignment project, a proposal which he said had fallen through the cracks as the former Kevin Rudd ALP government had gone into caretaker mode.
Mr Joyce said while he had realised major national goals like the $320 million comprehensive drought support package and had lobbied hard to ensure Grain Corp remained out of the hands of foreign ownership, it was satisfying to ensure important community projects like the Armidale Airport upgrade [$3.5m] and $1.2m for the upgrade of Chaffey Dam for the Tamworth Regional Council received funding.
Other achievements included Trades Skills Centre funding for Barraba Central School [up to $985,500], Guyra Community Trade Skills [up to $834,088], and the Sapphire City Primary Industry Trade Skills Centre [up to $661,000].
“Anyone can make a lot of promises during an election campaign, but the real work begins once you’ve been elected,” he said.
He said the precarious state of the Treasury, a legacy of the former Kevin Rudd ALP Government, had meant some hard work lobbying to ensure pledges were met.
“I’ve been criss-crossing the electorate engaging with constituents and finding out what really matters to them,” Mr Joyce said.
He cited the case of funding for the Ashford Medical Centre which with the change of government had fallen under the label of “uncommitted discretionary spending” but after representations to the Minister for Health Peter Dutton, had been delivered.
“Inverell Shire Council can now go ahead with this important project which, when finished will provide up to date rooms for the two visiting doctors as well as a community health centre.
Mr Joyce said the recent visit to Copeton Dam and a meeting with the Walcha Shire Council by the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Communications, Paul Fletcher, was an example of bringing Canberra to the electorate to assist constituents in their campaign to reduce mobile phone black-spots.
“There is still a lot of work to be done, but this is not a bad start,” Mr Joyce said.
“We’ll be out there representing and lobbying on behalf of the constituents of New England as hard as we can to make sure they have a strong and committed voice at the table.”
Federal Member for New England, Barnaby Joyce and students from the Quirindi Public School.
Parliamentary Secretary for Communications the Hon Paul Fletcher, MP; the Member for New England, the Hon Barnaby Joyce MP; and, Inverell Shire Council Mayor, Cr Paul Harmon discuss mobile phone black-spots at Copeton Dam with Inverell Shire councillor David Jones.
Walcha Shire Council General Manager Jack O’Hara, Walcha Council Mayor Cr Janelle Archdale chat with Parliamentary Secretary for Communications the Hon Paul Fletcher, MP and the Member for New England, the Hon Barnaby Joyce MP.
The Member for New England, the Hon Barnaby Joyce MP, with Guyra Shire Council’s Cr Dot Vickery, General Manager Peter Stewart and Mayor, Cr Hans Hietbrink.