Restructure wins support from farmers

THERE has been quite a lot of media noise about what's happening with DPI jobs at Orange with respect to the merging of parts of the DPI, livestock health and pest authorities and catchment management authorities.

I indicated what is to happen with regard to that issue some weeks ago. Orange is receiving 39 trade and investment jobs in a major restructure and losing three DPI jobs for a net gain of 36 jobs. I'm not expecting any changes at Molong.

Before this change there were just over 500 DPI and trade and investment staff in Orange.

My expectation is that in other parts of the electorate, there will be a reduction in positions formerly belonging to the CMA of two.

The merge has generally been well received by local farmers who view it as a way of improving and streamlining the agencies they have to deal with to create a "one stop shop" for agricultural issues.

Over the next nine months Orange will also welcome 100 new mental health workers. This is on top of the extra staff for the linear accelerator (14), drug and alcohol rehab centre (20) and new nurses and midwives.

Key issues at Centroc

Yesterday and today I have been present at the Centroc summit being held in Bathurst.

This body incorporating a group of Central NSW councils is a great example of local councils working together in the interests of getting the best results for the central west.

Today I will be a part of a panel including local government minister Don Page to discuss key issues facing member councils.

I congratulate the member councils on their support of this summit.

Construction starts

On Tuesday yet another multi-million dollar project in Orange started at the TAFE Orange campus with the new Aboriginal Learning Centre.

Aboriginal Health Services CEO Jamie Newman gave a warm and poignant welcome to country, and together with TAFE Western institute director Kate Baxter, we turned the first sod to mark the start of construction.

Orange TAFE already has a proud record in providing further education facilities for indigenous Australians.

I am sure TAFE Western institute director Kate Baxter and her staff will enjoy watching their vision emerge from the ground up. Congratulations to all involved.

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