The Liberal National Government has announced funding for 16 new residential rehabilitation treatment beds in the South West as part of its $14.9 million WA Meth Strategy announced in May.
Mental Health Minister Andrea Mitchell said the contract for the 16 beds at Abbotsford Private Hospital in Nannup, was one of a number that would provide a total of 60 new treatments beds across the state, all of which will be available from January 2017.
harms is a significant problem in regional areas right around Australia,” Mr Redman said.
“These beds will add to the existing stock of treatment beds in the South West and ensure continuity of treatment options for people in South West communities who are experiencing meth-related harm.”
Minister Mitchell said the WA Meth Strategy 2016, had already delivered a boost to staffing in community alcohol and other drug counselling centres across the state, a dedicated Meth Helpline, a specialist meth outpatient clinic and frontline worker training.
“There is no one-size-fits-all treatment model for treating people with drug and alcohol problems,” Minister Mitchell said.
“The best outcomes are achieved when the type of treatment matches the specific needs of the individual and State Government is ensuring that the entire spectrum of treatment and prevention options is supported and available across the State.”
The service providers were selected through a competitive tender process that provides the best value and highest quality service for taxpayer dollars.
O’Connor Men’s Sheds to benefit from latest round of grants
June 3, 2016:
Member for O’Connor Rick Wilson MP is pleased to announce four Men’s Sheds will receive a financial boost from the Turnbull Government to continue to promote and support men’s health and wellbeing in his electorate.
The grants will allow each organisation to purchase new technology, software and tools for their workshops.
Esperance Men in Sheds Inc will receive $2200 for a new wireless modem router, computer, associated software, printer and accessories
The Norseman Men's Shed Association Inc will use it's $4685 grant to buy a dust extraction system, sharpening system, bench grinder, pipe bender, tube bender, vice and a pedestal drill.
Mensheds Narrogin Incorporated has been allocated $4000 for a thickenesser planer, biscuit joiner, slide compound mitre saw, bet sander, router, bench grinder, vice, pedestal drill, hole saw set and clamps
Hopetoun Men in Sheds Inc will buy a jet oscillating sander, twin drum sander, variable speed with its $3500 grant.
Mr Wilson said the grants would help each organisation improve the important service they offered to their respective communities.
“Projects undertaken in the sheds provide a great benefit to local communities
and family ties are becoming stronger with happier and healthier men,” he said.
“I’ve been really impressed by some of the work happening at sheds I’ve visited in O’Connor and I’m pleased to see these four organisations will be able to expand that work.
“I look forward to visiting each of them in the future to see the results of these grants.”
“Men’s Sheds reduce social isolation, particularly for older men and men living in rural and remote areas, enabling positive social interactions, enhancing health and wellbeing in the men who attend,” Minister for Health Sussan Ley said.
Under the National Shed Development Programme, the Turnbull Coalition has provided the Australian Men’s Shed Association with allocated funding of $800,000 this financial year with a funding pool of $400,000 per round.
This programme allows Men’s Sheds and organisations supporting a Men’s Shed within their community to apply for funds to respond to local needs. Applications can support items such as:
Sky Muster launch to deliver faster and more affordable internet.
April 29, 2016:
Federal Member for O’Connor Rick Wilson is excited to announce that NBN’s
Sky Muster satellite network has been successfully launched today.
Residents living in regional and rural areas in O’Connor can now start connecting to
affordable, high-speed broadband.
“Being able to access fast internet in remote parts of my electorate is extremely important
and I am delighted the Turnbull Government has delivered on its commitment to launch the Sky Muster service early this year,” Mr Wilson said.
“As a Katanning farmer, I know how frustrating slow internet speeds are and I’m delighted rural and regional people in O’Connor will now be able to access an excellent service.
“The launch of Sky Muster will change the lives of people in O’Connor, where an estimated 24,505 homes and businesses are eligible to access the service.
“This is more people than any other electorate in Western Australia, so the demand here is huge.
“Residents can connect to the service if they are outside of NBN’s fixed line and fixed wireless coverage areas.
“The Sky Muster satellite is based on modern technology and is on a different band to the short term satellite service.”
Mr Wilson said the Sky Muster service would offer download speeds of up to 25 Megabits per second (Mbps) and upload speeds of up to 5 Mbps, which is faster than a typical ADSL service.
“The Australian Government has invested $2 billion in two advanced Ka-band satellites and a network of ground stations that make up the Sky Muster service,” Mr Wilson said.
The new high-speed broadband service is a practical example of the Turnbull Government’s plan to successfully transition Australia’s economy and to create more jobs.
Each service requires a professional installation of a new receiver dish and indoor modem.
“Many homes and businesses in O’Connor are still subject to very basic internet access which makes even online banking or emailing difficult. Sky Muster will change all that for thousands of Australians,” Mr Wilson said.
Equal priority will be given to new customers and current NBN Interim Satellite Service users migrating to Sky Muster. Around 5,000 users per month will be connected in the early stages of the rollout and this will increase to 10,000 installations per month later this year.
More than 600 installers have been fully trained and are expected to reach on average one to two premises per day when accounting for safety measures and extended traveling times.
A variety of different broadband plans are available from providers and pricing compares favourably with current international and local commercial satellite and mobile internet plans.
The launch of NBN’s commercial satellite service is delivering the Government’s commitment to bring high-speed broadband to rural and regional Australia.
For more information on eligibility and retailers, visit:
or freecall nbn on 1800 687 626
Member for O’Connor, Rick Wilson MP, has welcomed the Government’s decision to review the proposed Working Holiday Makers tax on the back of concerns the policy could have an adverse effect on Australia’s agriculture and tourism industries.
The proposed 32.5 per cent tax rate for foreigners employed in Australia on working holiday visas was due to come into effect on July 1 and would have coincided with the removal of the tax free threshold for backpackers.
However, Tourism Minister Richard Colbeck will embark on a further consultation process in relation to the proposed tax to ensure Australia maintains its global competitiveness as a backpacker destination.
Mr Wilson, a member of the rural policy committee that recently met with the Prime Minister to raise concerns about the tax, said he was pleased with the decision to hold further discussions and prepare a revenue-neutral proposal.
“There was no question the proposed tax would have diminished the availability of labour in the agricultural sector and affected farmers who rely on tourists during busy times of the year,” he said.
“Both tourism and agriculture are vital economic drivers in my electorate and I have been working hard to highlight the important role tourists on working visas have here in O’Connor.
“I’m keen to see the Government implement a policy that ensures we have a fair and balanced approach when it comes to taxing foreigners on working holiday visas.”
Australia is facing a shortage of 127,000 workers in the tourism sector over the next five years and while 90 per cent of the workforce is Australian, the industry relies on overseas workers to make up the numbers.
Mr Colbeck will engage in a whole-of-government process as part of the review, consulting a range of portfolios before presenting the review to Treasurer Scott Morrison.
Mr Wilson said alternative options to the proposed tax could involve a review of laws requiring employers to pay superannuation for backpackers on working holiday visas.
“Currently, employers pay a flat 10 per cent superannuation rate for tourists working in Australia,” he said.
“That money can subsequently be spent once a person on a working holiday visa leaves the country, which is of no benefit to taxpayers.
“The Government could consider removing this requirement and increasing the gross wages for tourists to compensate for changes to the tax rate for those on working holiday visas.”
1 March 2016:
Federal Member for O’Connor Rick Wilson MP has welcomed the announcement that
Mobile Network Operators can now nominate locations to build new or upgraded mobile base stations.
Mr Wilson said 4,400 new locations were nominated across Australia under round two
of the programme. He said he was hopeful the Minister for Communications, Mitch Fifield
would find the much needed funding under the programme for regional Western Australia, particularly in the O’Connor electorate.
“Being from Katanning, I understand how important mobile phone coverage is to
Australians who live in country areas,” Mr Wilson said.
“The O’Connor electorate received a $53.84 million funding package in round
one, including $14.15 million from the Federal Government for 60 new towers."
“However, I realise there is more to be done and that is why I will be pushing for more
funding under round two of the programme.”
The mobile blackspot locations nominated by the public in round two have been added to
the mobile black spot database, which includes more than 10,600 locations in Australia.
A competitive selection process for Mobile Network Operators to nominate preferred
locations for new or upgraded mobile phone towers is now open.
The operators will be required to nominate the amount of Commonwealth funding sought,
their own proposed co-contribution, funding provided from state and local governments
and other sources and data on the coverage benefits the proposed base station will provide.
The Government will then select the successful locations in accordance with the ranking
process set out in the programme guidelines, available for download at www.communications.gov.au/mobile_coverage
Monica O’Shea | 08 9842 2777 | monica.o’firstname.lastname@example.org
1 March 2016:
Federal Member for O’Connor Rick Wilson MP has welcomed the most significant changes to media laws in a generation that will protect local content in regional Australia and introduce an incentive for local content to be filmed in the local area.
“These reforms will support the viability of local media organisations in O’Connor as they face increasing competition from less regulated services in a rapidly changing digital landscape,” Mr Wilson said.
“The Government recognises the value of local content – particularly local news services – which tell the stories of regional communities.
“This has been the guiding principle through which reforms to Australia’s outdated media ownership laws have been considered.”
Mr Wilson said the reform package would strengthen the local content obligations on regional commercial television licensees.
The new obligations would apply to the majority of regional free-to-air commercial television broadcasters who, as a result of a change in control known as a ‘trigger event’, become part of a group of commercial broadcasting licences whose combined licence area populations collectively exceed 75 per cent of the Australian population.
This will ensure there is local content provided in nearly all regional television licence areas following a ‘trigger event’, including those where there is none currently required.
This package also introduces an incentive for local news to be filmed in the local area.
The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) will monitor and enforce these local programming obligations.
These proposed measures (subject to the passage of amending legislation), will commence in 2016.
The Government’s media reform package includes repealing media ownership and control rules that currently prevent:
The Government is not proposing, as part of this package, to remove the other diversity
rules including the ‘5/4’ rule, the ‘one-to-a-market’ rule or the ‘two-to-a-market’ rule.
Changes to the anti-siphoning list are not part of this package.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission will retain its powers to scrutinise
mergers and acquisitions and will be asked to update its media merger guidance
“These reforms are vital because technology is changing the way we access media. In the
digital era, these regulations unfairly restrict broadcast and publishing companies in
O’Connor from optimising the scale and scope of their operations and from accessing
resources, capital and management expertise available to other media operators,” Mr Wilson said.
Domestic media operators must have the flexibility to compete and adapt in the changing
media landscape. These proposed changes to the media control rules will allow businesses to configure themselves in a way that best suits their needs, ensuring they continue to play a significant role in the Australian community.
These reforms represent a sensible and pragmatic approach to re-balancing the regulatory settings governing the traditional media in Australia, while maintaining a framework that continues to support media diversity, global competition and local programming.
More information on the Government’s proposed media reforms can be found at
Monica O’Shea | 08 9842 2777 | monica.o’email@example.com
The Greenbushes Community Resource Centre has been serving the community of Greenbushes since 1995.