On the back of tragic suicide rates and persistent problems with street kids, the State Government has responded decisively and given the old Ambulance station at the railway crossing to the community.
The aim is to give youth a place where they can meet other youth or concerned adults who can offer support. A working committee will sound out the community to see what the facility should look like and supply. All options are on the table.
It looks like we are getting our fair share of the Poles and Wires money, as promised.
And it looks like this largesse is achieving the desired effect. The unemployment rate for our Valley has fallen from a staggering 10.5 per cent in 2015 to 5.7 per cent in September 2018. This is an astonishing achievement. It goes a long way towards developing a self-sustaining economic growth.
The Maria River Rd grant will aid this growth. If a percentage of Port Macquarie’s tourists travel north and have lunch at Crescent Head, visit the Art Gallery or markets at Gladstone, swim in the creek at Hat Head, scuba dive with the sharks at South West Rocks and enjoy dinner and a movie, sleep over and possibly look to explore our beautiful river and mountains, then we are looking at lots of employment in our valley.
And what do we want for our unemployed and the hundreds of school leavers each year - employment.
Needless to say, I write to thank the state government for responding to our needs, with the ulterior motive of encouraging this state government investment into our economy to continue and thereby enhance the economic growth we need.
Protection for Paramedics
As a local paramedic of 22 years’ service, I was heavily involved with the fight for fair protection through Death and Disability Insurance for NSW paramedics after the NSW state government stripped the paramedic insurance protection scheme in 2016.
In short, the Mike Baird government stated that the scheme had become too expensive, this being due to the fact that paramedics are seven times more likely to be injured at work than the average worker and actually have an injury rate twice that of police officers.
As part of the state-wide fight to maintain protection for us and our families, a work colleague and I met with our local member Melinda Pavey in late 2016 in order to voice our concerns and seek assistance.
Ms Pavey listened intently to our grievance, recognised that what was happening was “not right” and promised to “look into it”.
Unfortunately, as time passed it became clear that Ms Pavey had no intention what-so-ever of rocking her Party’s boat. Repeated phone calls and emails from myself were sometimes not responded to, and sometimes when answered were like something out of the script of that BBC classic 'Yes Minister'.
Fortunately, many other MPs, including Nationals such as Adam Marshall and Stephen Bromhead, were willing to speak up against their own government’s decision and stand up for what is right by going public in their support for paramedics.
The then premier, Mike Baird, agreed to reinstate fair insurance protection for paramedics in early 2017 and his successor, Gladys Berejiklian upheld this decision.
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