Morongla Show to Shine with help from the Country Show Support Package

Morongla Show is set to shine brighter than ever in 2022, thanks to NSW Government support through the Country Shows Support Package.

Member for Cootamundra, Steph Cooke said the Country Shows Support Package, which has already delivered over $100,000 to country shows across the Cootamundra electorate has also seen Morongla Show successful in their application to receive $15,000 to support the delivery of their 2022 show.

“These grants will provide certainty to show organisers to lock in suppliers, hire equipment and purchase goods, which is also great news for local businesses,” Ms Cooke said.

“Our local shows are a fantastic tradition and this grant will ensure they continue to delight people and be a part of our history for many generations to come.”

“I encourage everyone to get behind their local show and see all the amazing things they have to offer,”

“From best grown flowers, to wood chopping, petting zoos and rides for children of all sizes, there is something for everyone at our country and agricultural shows and it is something the whole family can enjoy together.”

Mr David Langfield, President of Morongla Show Society said that the funding will assist the committee to run the show quite well this year and allow improvements to be made to some of the equipment they are using.

Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional NSW Paul Toole said the $5 million Country Shows Support Package provides a funding opportunity for the 190 agricultural shows that are planned across NSW in 2022.

“It’s been a tough few years for country shows, with drought, bushfires, storms, floods and COVID-19 disrupting plans, but as they say, the show must go on and these grants are helping make that happen,” Mr Toole said.

“Country shows are the heartbeat of so many rural communities – they not only celebrate the best of the best in the community but allow visitors to experience the tastes, sights and sounds of the bush.”

The $5 million Country Shows Support Package is part of the NSW Government’s $200 million Regional Recovery Package, which will deliver long term support and certainty for the regions as the state reopens.

Applications are open until Friday, 29 April 2022, or when funding is exhausted. For further information, including program guidelines and eligibility criteria, go to: www.nsw.gov.au/CountryShows.

Support for the 2022 West Wyalong Show

The West Wyalong Show is gearing up for a huge two days of events in 2022, thanks to NSW Government support through the Country Shows Support Package.

Member for Cootamundra, Steph Cooke said the Country Shows Support Package, which has already delivered $99,513 to country shows around the Cootamundra electorate has another recipient, with the West Wyalong Show Society Inc to receive $13,677 to support the delivery of the 2022 West Wyalong show.

“These grants will provide certainty to show organisers to lock in suppliers, hire equipment and purchase goods ahead of this year’s show in September, which is also great news for local businesses,” Ms Cooke said.

“Our local shows are a fantastic tradition and this grant will ensure they continue to delight people and be a part of our history for many generations to come.”

“I encourage everyone to get behind their local show and see all the amazing things they have to offer. From best-grown squash, to wood chopping, petting zoos and watching which dog takes out best in show, there is something for everyone to enjoy at our country and agricultural shows.”

Diane Redman, President of the West Wyalong Show Society Inc said that the commitment by the NSW Government to country shows after a tough couple of years is greatly appreciated by all members of the society.

“We are looking forward to bringing the show back in 2022 bigger and better than ever,” Mrs Redman added.

Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional NSW Paul Toole said the $5 million Country Shows Support Package provides a funding opportunity for the 190 agricultural shows that are planned across NSW in 2022.

“It’s been a tough few years for country shows, with drought, bushfires, storms, floods and COVID-19 disrupting plans, but as they say, the show must go on and these grants are helping make that happen,” Mr Toole said.

“Country shows are the heartbeat of so many rural communities – they not only celebrate the best of the best in the community but allow visitors to experience the tastes, sights and sounds of the bush.”

The $5 million Country Shows Support Package is part of the NSW Government’s $200 million Regional Recovery Package, which will deliver long term support and certainty for the regions as the state reopens.

Applications are open until Friday, 29 April 2022, or when funding is exhausted. For further information, including program guidelines and eligibility criteria, go to: www.nsw.gov.au/CountryShows.

Free Car Seat Checks At Cowra To Protect Your Precious Cargo

Parents are urged to book a free child car seat check in Cowra this week as research shows two-out-of-three child restraints are not being properly used.

Transport for NSW will host the free car seat check in the Cowra Aquatic Centre car park between 10am and 1pm on Thursday 7 April, with a qualified child restraint specialist on hand to ensure your most precious cargo is kept safe and sound.

Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke said the car seat checks would take just a few minutes each and were open to the whole community.

“This is a great opportunity for everyone who has a child seat in their car – parents, grandparents and carers – to come along and ensure it is fitted correctly to provide maximum protection for your child,” Ms Cooke said.

“Research show two-thirds of child restraints are not being properly used. A child could sustain devastating injuries in the event of a crash, or even sudden braking, if a restraint is incorrectly fitted.”

“Common mistakes made include not tightening the straps properly, not checking clips and using loose bolts in need of replacement.”

Minister for Regional Transport and Roads Sam Farraway said the car seat checks will provide information about national child restraint laws, the types of restraints available and advice on moving children from one restraint type to the next, with Cowra Council also giving away a free car seat on the day.

“There is nothing more important than the safety of our children. A quick, free check could save a child’s life,” Mr Farraway said.

Registrations are essential and bookings can be made by calling the Cowra Information and Neighbourhood Centre (CINC) on 6340 1100.

Transport for NSW is planning further car seat check events at Coonabarabran, Walgett, Broken Hill, Lithgow and Oberon before the end of June.

For more information contact: bookings.western@transport.nsw.gov.au.

Advancing Arts Accessibility For All At The Cowra Civic Centre

Attending performances and functions is set to become a gala experience for Cowra residents and visitors with a major upgrade to the town’s Civic Centre, thanks to the NSW Government’s Regional Tourism Activation Fund.

The upgrade includes installation of a Hearing Aid Loop, automatic entrance and toilet doors, fitting of retractable raked seating in the upstairs 88-seat theatrette and recarpeting throughout.

Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke said the $337,038 grant will make the venue a more welcoming, inclusive and accessible public building.

“Arts Tourism is a key part of the NSW Government’s strategic plan, with many of our regional events designed to draw visitors, so it’s essential that the venue is able to support everyone,” Ms Cooke said.

“This will enable people with hearing impairments to use existing hearing aids to participate fully in events including stage productions, cinema screenings, conferences and civic events.”

“The fitting of automatic doors on entrances and toilets will improve access for all users, regardless of age or level of ability, and the recarpeting will remove some significant trip hazards for facility users.”

Jonathan Llewellyn, Manager at the Cowra Civic Centre said this funding to improve accessibility for all was integral to increasing the dignity, respect and independence of patrons who might have had difficulties in accessing the venue in the past.

“Along with the improvements to access and reduction in hazards, making a shift to more comfortable seating will make a difference to those patrons who find the current seating challenging, which in turn will make every experience in the theatrette more enjoyable,” Mr Llewellyn said.

“In particular by providing a hearing-loop for those patrons with hearing impairments it means we are able to overcome a hurdle for those who can find the noise from crowds overwhelming and be more inclusive to all visitors.”

Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional NSW Paul Toole said the Regional Tourism Activation Fund is helping establish unique tourism experiences that attract visitors and showcase what our regions have to offer.

“Projects backed through the Regional Tourism Activation Fund will give domestic and international visitors more great reasons to holiday away from the city,” Mr Toole said.

Under Stream One, grants of between $200,000 and $5 million were made available for projects delivering unique and high impact visitor experiences. Stream Two provided grants of between $50,000 to $500,000 for projects aimed at improving the accessibility and inclusion of tourism experiences for people with disability.

The $30 million Regional Tourism Activation Fund is part of the NSW Government’s $2 billion Regional Growth Fund. For more information, go to:

www.nsw.gov.au/RTAFund.

Cowra Hospital Master Plan Released

Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke is strongly encouraging the Cowra community to have their say on the $70.2 million redevelopment of Cowra Hospital with the master plan released today.

Ms Cooke said the redevelopment, which will be built behind the existing hospital on the campus, will ensure patients, staff and the Cowra community have access to the high-quality health services they need close to home.

“As the Cowra Hospital redevelopment takes shape, it is crucial the community takes this opportunity to provide their feedback on the master plan to the project team,” Ms Cooke said.

“The Cowra Hospital master plan outlines the vision of Health Infrastructure for the redevelopment which includes upgraded inpatient beds, contemporary facilities and new health services including the hospital’s first CT scanner.”

The master plan released for the Cowra Hospital includes:

“I continue to advocate in the strongest possible terms to ensure we deliver a hospital that the Cowra community both expects and deserves,” Ms Cooke added.

“The feedback of the community, in addition to that of Health Clinicians and staff, is an essential part of this.”

Minister for Regional Health Bronnie Taylor said the existing hospital campus provided the perfect location for the upgraded Cowra Health Service, which will include new on-site parking for staff, patients and visitors.

“The project team has been working with Western NSW Local Health District (WNSWLHD) staff and clinicians as well as local stakeholders who have provided valuable input into the master plan,” Mrs Taylor said.

“This is an important project for the Cowra community, and everyone to view the master plan and provide their feedback on how we can best meet the health needs of the region.”

Four community information sessions will be held in the Nguluway Room at the Cowra Shire Council over the next fortnight where community members can drop in to view the master plan and ask the project team questions.

In-person community information session times include:

Thursday 31 March, 9.30am – 11.30am

Tuesday 5 April, 9.30am – 11.30am

Thursday 7 April, 4:30pm – 5:30pm

Wednesday 13 April, 11:30am – 1:30pm

Online webinar sessions times include:

Tuesday 5 April, 5 – 6pm

Thursday 7 April, 4.30pm – 5.30pm.

The community is encouraged to register their interest by booking on (02) 9978 5432.

Construction is on track to commence in 2023 and the community will continue to be updated as planning progresses and we move towards construction. 

The Cowra Hospital redevelopment is part of the NSW Government’s record $10.8 billion investment in health infrastructure over four years to 2024-25, with nearly a third of the capital allocation in this financial year going towards regional and rural health facilities. To register for online information sessions and to find out more about the redevelopment, visit www.cowrahospitalredevelopment.health.nsw.gov.au.

Regional Jobs the Focus as Work Starts on New Overtaking Lane at Mirrool

Jobs available in regional NSW continue to grow thanks to the $75 million Newell Highway project and the Newell Highway Program Alliance.

Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke said that to date, the Alliance has completed 23 new overtaking lanes with seven more in construction and 10 in planning.

“Work started on Tuesday March 29 on a southbound overtaking lane at Mirrool, about 15 kilometres north of Ardlethan, to provide another opportunity to pass slow-moving and heavy vehicles on the Newell,” Ms Cooke said.

“The project will support around 120 jobs, including 60 locals, and is expected to take seven months to complete, weather permitting.”

“Local shires in the Cootamundra electorate including Bland, Weddin, Narrandera and Coolamon have all benefitted in many different ways including employment, through the Newell Highway upgrade.”

Former Dubbo High School student Hailee Strawns had never considered a career in project management until the NSW Infrastructure Traineeship Program opened her eyes to a new world of opportunity.

Hailee, who completed Year 12 in 2019, came across the traineeship program while studying a Diploma of Business at the University of NSW.

She began her traineeship with Transport for NSW in Dubbo and has now started an eight-month rotation with the Newell Highway Program Alliance, a partnership delivering approximately 40 new overtaking lanes along the full length of the Newell Highway.

“I thought the traineeship was an amazing opportunity for school leavers, especially for regional people,” Hailee said.

“Once I started the traineeship with Transport for NSW, I realised project management was a lot like business – it had many similarities and I loved that.”

Work will be carried out on a two-week roster, weather permitting:

Week 1: 7am to 6pm from Tuesday to Friday, 8am to 6pm on Saturday and Sunday.

Week 2: 7am to 6pm from Monday to Thursday, no work from Friday to Monday.

For the safety of motorists and workers, changed traffic conditions will be in place including reduced speed limits of 40 km/h and 60 km/h during work hours and 80 km/h after hours.

Motorists are advised to drive to the conditions and follow the directions of all signs and traffic control.

The Australian and NSW governments are jointly funding a $1.455 billion upgrade of the Newell Highway, with the Australian Government contributing $60 million to build new overtaking lanes and the NSW Government contributing $168 million.

More information on the Newell Highway overtaking lanes is available on the Transport for NSW website.

More information about the NSW Infrastructure Traineeship program is available on the NSW Government website.

Flight Simulators Lead Warbird Enthusiasts to Temora

Warbird flight simulators will soon land at the Temora Aviation Museum, giving more people an opportunity to explore the sky, thanks to the NSW Government’s Regional Tourism Activation Fund.

Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke said $438,110 in funding will help install aP40 Kittyhawk, P51 Mustang and Spitfire full motion flight simulators, making Temora the only destination in Australia with this type of attraction.

“These simulators will ensure the Temora Aviation Museum remains a unique and iconic tourism destination in the Riverina and it’s fantastic to be able to provide unique tourist attractions that aren’t on offer anywhere else in Australia,” Ms Cooke said.

“The experience will include a pre-flight briefing, similar to combat flights in World War Two, from there people will take to the sky in a fully immersive experience where they will feel the turns and bumps of a real flight.”

“The upgrades also include a self-guided audio tour through a handheld wand or mobile app, allowing visitors to start and stop the tour in their own time, providing subtitles for the hearing impaired and access to multimedia on personal devices.”

Peter Harper, Deputy Chief Executive Officer at the Temora Aviation Museum said the project is such an exciting prospect for not only the museum but the whole of Temora.

“We will be able to change from being just a museum, and instead become an experience that the whole family can enjoy,” Mr Harper said.

“In addition to providing the self-guided tours, which complement our group of hard-working and passionate volunteers, means the Temora Aviation Museum will be an affordable, inclusive and unique experience for all.”

Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional NSW Paul Toole said the Regional Tourism Activation Fund is helping establish unique tourism experiences attracting visitors and showcasing what our regions have to offer.

“Projects backed through the Regional Tourism Activation Fund will give domestic and international visitors more reasons to holiday away from the city,” Mr Toole said.

Under Stream One, grants of between $200,000 and $5 million were made available for projects delivering unique and high impact visitor experiences, Stream Two provided grants of between $50,000 to $500,000 for projects aimed at improving the accessibility and inclusion of tourism experiences for people with disability.

The $30 million Regional Tourism Activation Fund is part of the NSW Government’s $2 billion Regional Growth Fund. For more information, go to: www.nsw.gov.au/RTAFund

Transport Infrastructure Boost Announced in 2022-23 Federal Budget

The Liberal-National Coalition handed down their 2022-23 Federal Budget this week which included a record investment in transport infrastructure.

The rolling 10 year infrastructure investment pipeline will increase to a record breaking amount from $110 billion to $120 billion to better our road and rail networks.

A number of new and existing projects will benefit from the substantial boost, most notably for the Cootamundra electorate was the announcement of $16 million for the planning of the Sheahan Bridge upgrade which is located in the Cootamundra-Gundagai Regional Council area.

Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke welcomed the strong financial commitment by the Federal Government to upgrading transport infrastructure including the Sheahan Bridge along the Hume Highway.

“The Sheahan Bridge is a vital section of Hume Highway that provides a safe connection for motorists and freight operators over the Murrumbidgee River floodplain between North and South Gundagai,” Ms Cooke said.

“The original bridge was built way in 1977 with the $78 million duplication funded by the Federal Government completed in mid 2009 as part of the Hume Highway dual lane project.”

“Considering the age of the structures and the immense increase in traffic we have seen along the route in recent years, particularly freight, I have no doubt that the section is due for an upgrade in order to keep up with the ever growing demand.”

This commitment towards funding for transport infrastructure is being further echoed by the NSW Government through the continuing benefits from the $400 million Fixing Country Rail, $500 million Fixing Country Bridges and the $543 Fixing Local Roads programs.

“Just under the Fixing Local Roads program alone across three rounds, the NSW Government has funded over $44 million worth of projects in the Cootamundra electorate,” Ms Cooke added.

“It’s not just the major transport routes that are seeing improvements, our back roads and laneways that are well travelled by local residents are receiving upgrades as well.”

This is the ninth Federal Budget handed down by the Coalition Government with Treasurer Josh Frydenberg to deliver the full 2022-23 Budget tonight.

NSW Seniors Festival Begins

Seniors throughout the Cootamundra Electorate are encouraged to get out and join in local activities while reconnecting with their community during this year’s NSW Seniors Festival which starts on Friday 25 March and runs until Sunday 3 April 2022.

More than 90 community organisations and councils across the state will host events in the coming weeks to celebrate this year’s NSW Seniors Festival.

Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke said she hopes to see people in the area participating and taking the opportunity to reconnect with friends and other members of the community.

“We’d like to see as many local seniors take part in this year’s Seniors Festival as possible. We know that the last couple of years have not been easy, and we hope that the festival brings some much needed joy,” Ms Cooke said.

“Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, we saw increased rates of loneliness and isolation, especially amongst the elderly in our rural communities, so the theme of ‘Reconnect’ for this year’s festival is very meaningful.”

Minister for Seniors Mark Coure said local councils and organisations received up to $10,000 to organise activities focussed on getting older people out and about.

“The Seniors Festival is a great opportunity for people to come together in a safe and fun environment,” Mr Coure said.

“There are plenty of ways for everyone to get involved, so please make sure to look up what’s happening around you.” 

The 2022 Seniors Festival will be held from Friday, 25 March until Sunday, 3 April and includes the ever-popular Premier’s Gala Concerts and Expo.

The grants are in line with the NSW Government’s Ageing Well in NSW: Seniors Strategy 2021–2031.

Festival grant recipients will also deliver programs to help and support seniors make the best of their later years.

For more information from the NSW Government about the 2022 NSW Seniors Festival, please visit: seniorsfestival.nsw.gov.au.

For more information on events happening in the Cootamundra electorate during the 2022 Seniors Festival, please visit:

  • Cootamundra-Gundagai Regional Council
https://www.visitgundagai.com.au/whats-on
https://www.visitcootamundra.com.au/whats-on-events
  • Hilltops Council
https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/hilltops-seniors-expo-re-connect-community-tickets-267230853677?aff=ebdsoporgprofile&fbclid=IwAR3kIhfrhn0NNeKzEYwV_7RdkCikfmqWnyyefXu1kfbolLOPPtzxOxuOrvc
  • Cowra Shire Council
https://www.cowracouncil.com.au/files/assets/public/news/media-releases/2022-seniors-festival-program.pdf
  • Narrandera Shire Council
https://www.narrandera.nsw.gov.au/events

Alternatively, please contact your local council or community centre directly for event information in your area.

Cootamundra Electorate to Benefit Following $125 Million Investment to Drive Farms of the Future

Primary producers in the Cootamundra electorate could benefit from the NSW Government’s $125 million investment in the Primary Industries Productivity and Abatement Program to drive sustainable land management, boost productivity and help reduce emissions.

Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke said this announcement is great news for the region as it will create new opportunities for farmers and enable them to be directly involved in the lower carbon economy.

“The NSW Government has recognised Regional NSW is the engine room of the State and primary producers are key to pumping more than $13 billion into the NSW economy each year,” Ms Cooke said.

The Primary Industries Productivity and Abatement Program has three focus areas:

  • $52 million to develop market and industry foundations, including trusted and transparent data, metrics and frameworks to assess carbon and biodiversity outcomes;
  • $72 million to build critical mass and capacity, including incentives for land managers to reduce emissions at scale; and
  • $1 million for accelerating finance for natural capital and low carbon farming, by working with the finance sector to increase investments in natural capital and low carbon farming.

The Program will invest in improving carbon management on farm land, public land and Aboriginal-managed lands across the State.

Treasurer and Minister for Energy Matt Kean said primary producers and land managers are playing an important role in helping NSW achieve its goal of reducing emissions by 50 per cent by 2030 and achieving net zero by 2050.

Minister for Agriculture and Western NSW Dugald Saunders said the program is all about building economic resilience and creating jobs in regional communities, by encouraging sustainable farming practices through grants programs and partnerships with financial institutions.

Minister for the Environment James Griffin said the funding will allow primary producers and land managers to develop new revenue streams through carbon markets while also achieving biodiversity and natural capital benefits for NSW.

More info on the program: www.energysaver.nsw.gov.au/netzeroland