It's well-known that NSW is facing the worst drought on record, and with record low rainfall rates, regional communities are not getting the water they need to grow crops, water livestock or even drinking water. Last week, the Water Supply (Critical Needs) Bill 2019 was introduced to Parliament by the NSW Water Minister, The Hon Melinda Pavey MP, with the intention being to expedite the planning processes so we can build more dams now, so when it does rain, we can capture as much water as possible to get regional NSW through future droughts. Hopefully there is some common sense and bipartisanship shown by the Opposition and the cross bench, and this Bill is allowed to pass through the Parliament in the near future.
Last week in Parliament I was able to ask a question of NSW Minister for Corrections and Counter Terrorism, The Hon Anthony Roberts MP, about many of the programs available in the NSW Corrective Services sector. Recently I had the good fortune of hosting Minister Roberts for a visit to Macquarie Correctional Centre, where we were shown some of the wonderful art, music and skills programs the inmates take part in.
A couple of the art program participants actually completed some amazing paintings of the Minister, and while it is important to remember they are incarcerated for a reason, these programs are important in providing them with the confidence and skills to help with their rehabilitation and ability to adapt once they are back in the community.
First of all this week I'd like to congratulate Dubbo Chamber of Commerce and all of the businesses that were recognised at last Friday night's Rhino Awards. The event was a wonderful celebration of the Dubbo business community, which like so many others is showing tremendous resilience through a really tough time. A big congratulations to Andrew Bassett and the team from Fitness Focus, who took home the coveted Gold Rhino.
- Member for Dubbo Dugald Saunders