Member for Warren-Blackwood, Terry Redman has congratulated his Federal Nationals colleagues for leading the Commonwealth Government’s $444,000 commitment to combat feral pigs and weeds in WA, under the Managing Established Pest Animals and Weeds initiative.
Mr Redman said the funding, administered as part of the national Agricultural Competitiveness Whitepaper, would fund coordinated efforts to manage feral pigs, including the creation of a State-wide community-led ‘Feral Pig Alliance’.
“Feral pigs have a considerable impact on the profitability of farm businesses and cause significant damage to the environment by trampling or feeding on crops and livestock and by spreading unwanted diseases and parasites,” Mr Redman said.
“This funding is an important part of pest management efforts already underway at State level thanks to a number of Royalties for Regions-funded initiatives introduced during the previous term of Government.”
Mr Redman said the commitment would also facilitate knowledge-sharing and skill development for land managers to implement the best techniques for the management of high priority Weeds of National Significance (WoNS).
“I welcome the Federal Minister for Agriculture Barnaby Joyce and Minister for Regional Development Fiona Nash’s initiative in leading efforts to curb the significant ongoing challenges posed WA’s WoNS,” Mr Redman said.
“This commitment is a great outcome for WA’s agricultural sector and will afford groups access to innovative tools, knowledge and techniques to accelerate the eradication of target species.”
The Nationals’ spokesperson for agriculture and food Hon Colin de Grussa MLC said it was incumbent on the McGowan Government to build on the Commonwealth Government’s commitment to biosecurity.
“The Labor Government has already made it clear that agriculture is not one of its priorities by slashing funding to Royalties for Regions-funded programs such as the Grower Group R&D Grants,” Mr de Grussa said.
“Given the importance of biosecurity, the State Minister for Agriculture and Food has a responsibility to the sector to continue delivering a number of vital State-based programs such as the $20 million Boosting Western Biosecurity Defences initiative.”
More Bush Fire Summits needed for adequate regional input.
Member for Warren-Blackwood, Terry Redman, expressed his disappointment over the limited number of regionally based attendees invited to the Bushfire Mitigation Summit held in Mandurah.
Mr Redman said he was surprised and astounded that many bushfire brigades in his electorate were not invited to the McGowan Government’s ‘once off’ Bushfire Summit.
“Bushfire mitigation strategies and the proposed regional fire service are very important issues that have serious consequences for communities in the South West. I would have thought Bushfire Brigades in this area would be invited to contribute to such significant issues,” Mr Redman said.
Under questioning in the Upper House last week, the Minister for Emergency Services, Hon Fran Logan said there were 66 attendees invited to the Mandurah Summit.
Mr Redman responded that “this is a disappointing number considering there are 579 Bushfire Brigades, 92 Volunteer Fire and Rescue Services and 108 regional Local Governments.”
In response to a further Parliamentary question Minister Logan said those that were invited had ‘skin in the game’.
Mr Redman said, “I make the point that every one of those bushfire brigades, volunteer fire and rescue services and local governments has skin in the game. These are the people that need to be providing input to emergency services management, but are not being included in the discussion.”
Mr Redman said that whilst he thought the Summit was a valuable discussion for those who attended, he was disappointed that out of the 66 attendees, 15 were Members of Parliament and 20 were Government agency representatives.
“This is hardly a good demonstration of accountability from a new government on such a critical issue following the Waroona, Margaret River and Northcliffe fires,” Mr Redman stated.
Mr Redman hoped that similar summits would be held around the State otherwise volunteer fire fighters are in for a difficult time if this limited consultative effort is a measure of things to come.
Local Nationals MP Terry Redman has welcomed a funding increase to the Federal Government’s Stronger Communities Program.
The $22.5 million third round of the program will mean communities in regional WA will once again have access to up to $150,000 per federal electorate.
Member for Warren-Blackwood, Terry Redman said small grants were big contributors to local projects.
“Continuing the Stronger Communities Program means more projects in regional WA will receive funding.”
Applications for round three of the grants will open mid-2017, and will match dollar-for-dollar contributions from community groups up to $20,000.
Mr Redman congratulated Federal Nationals Ministers Fiona Nash and Darren Chester on ensuring the Stronger Communities Program funding continued.
“The National Party understands the importance of small grants to local communities,” Mr Redman said. “This ongoing funding is important for regional development, and I commend the Federal Government on this initiative.
He said that The Nationals in Western Australia had made sure regional development funding over the last eight years included regional projects of significance through to small grassroots support.
“Over the last eight years Royalties for Regions has delivered hundreds of small grants to community organisations,” Mr Redman said.
“Regional Grants Scheme and Community Chest Fund supported projects have improved our communities and assisted in delivering essential services.”
“Our State Labor Government needs to come clean on whether or not they will continue these grants as part of their changes to Royalties for Regions.”
Member for Warren-Blackwood, Terry Redman, stated he was disappointed that the newly released Federal budget outlined underwhelming funding for mobile communication towers.
“You would think that something as fundamental as regional communications would be a priority,” Mr Redman said.
Up-to-date communication technology is vital for regional businesses, agricultural practices and tourism, as well as the safety of families.
“Nothing will unlock the economic potential of regional WA like communications technology,” Mr Redman said.
The Nationals WA committed $105 million of Royalties for Regions funding over 8 ½ years towards 344 new mobile phone towers in regional WA. In contrast the Federal budget only provides for $60million for the whole of Australia for 2017-18 to 2019-20.
“I find it interesting in the Federal budget announcements that reference is made to the number of mobile towers that have been built in WA, yet there is no reference to the significant Royalties for Regions contribution made by the WA Government.”
“With communications a Federal responsibility, I am extremely disappointed that such a trivial amount has been allocated for regional phone towers in the budget,” Mr Redman said.
Member for Warren-Blackwood, Terry Redman is encouraging future leaders in the agricultural industry to apply for the 2018 Nuffield Scholarship program.
Mr Redman said the awards afforded primary producers scholarships to research a topic that would add value to the Australian agricultural industry by supporting their overseas travel and study.
“The Nuffield Scholarship program has proven to be a launching pad for scholars from Australia and across the world who are passionate about growth and innovation in the agricultural sector,” Mr Redman said.
“The program has enabled scholars to make a significant impact at a regional and local level, both in their communities and in farm management.”
Mr Redman said Warren-Blackwood boasted many talented and passionate agricultural professionals and noted the opportunities that often arose from participating in the program.
“Scholars produce a written report and communicate their knowledge and experience to others in the industry,” Mr Redman said.
“This knowledge builds the capacity of industry, enabling farmers and agriculture professionals to remain competitive in an ever changing global landscape.
“Ongoing communication, networking and events with fellow Nuffield scholars ensures the learning experience continues even after their participation in the program concludes.”
Applications for the 2018 program close June 16, 2017.
For more information visit: http://nuffield.com.au/scholarships/
Families, businesses and communities in Warren-Blackwood can look forward to improved telecommunications services thanks to a $69 million commitment announced by the Nationals WA.
Member for Warren-Blackwood, Terry Redman said if the Nationals WA were returned to Government, regional Western Australians would have faster and more reliable mobile phone and internet access.
“I have listened to issues raised across the electorate regarding access to internet services, the unreliability of satellite connections and the need for adequate broadband coverage in the region,” Mr Redman said.
“Mobile reception and internet access is vital for business, emergency services, tourism and education in regional WA.”
“Our $69 million commitment will deliver greater social and economic benefits to people living, working and travelling in regional areas.”
The Nationals investment into regional telecommunications will include:
“The Nationals have a strong record having invested more than $105 million in regional telecommunications since 2012 through our flagship Royalties for Regions program,” Mr Redman said.
“We are proud to have driven the construction of 344 new or upgraded mobile phone towers and small cell satellite installations across regional WA.”
“While responsibility for telecommunications largely rests with the Federal Government, the Nationals proactive investment has led these developments because we understand the importance of appropriate telecommunications.”
Mr Redman said he was proud to be part of The Nationals team taking up the fight to get a better deal for regional WA.
“I understand the unique challenges, opportunities and priorities faced by the people of Warren-Blackwood because I live and work here,” Mr Redman said.
“The Nationals are the only party solely dedicated to regional WA and we can be trusted to ensure this important investment into telecommunications continues into the future.”
For more information visit www.nationalswa.com/policies
The Nationals WA have today reaffirmed their commitment to ensure regional people are adequately and effectively represented in the State Parliament.
Member for Warren-Blackwood, Terry Redman said any calls to reduce the number of Members of Parliament was simplistic and did not take into account the unique geographical challenges faced in WA.
“I am proud to be part of The Nationals’ team of passionate local champions who are taking up the fight on behalf of regional WA,” Mr Redman said.
“Regional representation is vitally important for country people, who often engage their local Member of Parliament for advice, information and assistance on a diverse range of matters.
“As the only party solely dedicated to representing regional WA, The Nationals WA understand the importance of ensuring country people have a seat at the decision making table in Perth.”
Mr Redman said any reduction in the number of Members of Parliament would result in increased representation in the metropolitan area at the expense of regional WA.
“Regional electoral districts are already expanding as electoral boundaries change and no amount of technology or travel options can compensate for this growth,” Mr Redman said.
“Regional electorates often span thousands kilometres and have a multitude of towns and communities scattered throughout each with their own unique challenges, opportunities and priorities.
“Without an appropriate level of regional representation, these communities will not be considered a priority in Perth.
“The Nationals do not support any measures that would diminish the voice of regional WA in State Parliament.”
The Nationals WA will invest $61 million to improve regional road safety across regional WA if returned to Government at the March 11 State election.
Member for Warren-Blackwood, Terry Redman said today’s announcement reaffirmed the Nationals strong commitment to improve regional road safety and reduce fatalities on country roads.
“It’s a stark reality that regional WA has a significant higher rate of road death when compared to the metropolitan area,” Mr Redman said.
“While there is no magic solution when solving the issue of road safety, the Nationals believe a targeted, coordinated effort is required to reduce road fatalities across regional WA.”
Mr Redman said State Government initiatives such as the Towards Zero campaign and Road Trauma Trust Account (RTTA) have steadily reduced fatality rates, however it is clear some areas of WA required greater focus and a clear strategy.
“A collaborative and concerted effort from Government, industry and all road users is needed to reduce the number of fatalities on our roads,” Mr Redman said.
“This is why we will use Royalties for Regions, in conjunction with the RTTA, to make WA roads safer starting in the Wheatbelt where the death toll is highest, and then expanding successful elements of the program across regional WA.”
The Nationals WA $61 million Road Safety Strategy will deliver:
“The Nationals are the only party solely dedicated to regional WA and we understand the issues that matter to country people,” Mr Redman said.
“This strategy reaffirms our commitment to regional road safety and we will continue to work hard with the community until we reach the ultimate goal of zero road fatalities.”
The Patient Assisted Travel Scheme (PATS) will receive a massive $52 million boost if The Nationals WA are returned to Government at the State election.
PATS provides vital financial assistance to regional West Australians by subsidising travel and accommodation for patients travelling long distances to seek specialist medical services.
Member for Warren-Blackwood, Terry Redman welcomed today’s announcement that The Nationals’ will increase existing subsidies, revise eligibility requirements and expand the scheme if re-elected on March 11.
“Unlike city people, regional West Australians often travel vast distances to access vital health services so this scheme is essential,” Mr Redman said.
“As the only party solely dedicated to regional WA, The Nationals’ understand the importance of ensuring all regional West Australians have access to specialist health services regardless of where they live.”
Mr Redman said The Nationals’ flagship Royalties for Regions program had provided a funding boost to PATS in 2008/09 but there was room to transform the program to ensure it better meets the needs of regional West Australians.
“A recent Parliamentary inquiry into PATS highlighted a number of issues with the way eligibility is determined, the outdated subsidy schedule for fuel and accommodation expenses, the health services and the claims process,” Mr Redman said.
“This is why The Nationals WA are committed to the continual improvement of this important Scheme to ensure the standard of healthcare in regional areas, and access to services, matches that of the metropolitan area.”
For more information visit: www.nationalswa.com/policies
The Greenbushes Community Resource Centre has been serving the community of Greenbushes since 1995.