Mark Coulton MP, Federal Member for Parkes

Coulton’s catch-up for week ending 22 July

Monday, 24 July 2017

Calls for submissions to regional education review
Members of the Electorate of Parkes community are invited to have their say in a landmark review into regional, rural and remote education initiated by the Nationals/Liberal Government. 
This marks an important milestone of the independent review with the release of a discussion paper and launch of an online platform for public submissions. 
The discussion paper, prepared by the reviewer Emeritus Professor John Halsey, identifies the key issues and challenges faced by rural students and poses areas of focus to stimulate ideas about possible solutions.
I urge members of our education community, families and employers to consider the discussion paper and take the opportunity to share their ideas and experiences about how best we can support local students to succeed in school and beyond.
We’re listening closely to regional communities throughout the Electorate of Parkes in our efforts to improve the education and preparation of young people from the country to develop into their best selves and fully participate in the 21st century economy.
We know regional, rural and remote students are more likely to have developmental vulnerabilities, such as lower language and cognitive skills, when they start school. Their NAPLAN results are generally lower and they go on to be under-represented in higher education.
The Halsey Review was part of the Coalition’s efforts to ensure regional, rural and remote students not only achieve success at school, but go on to further study, training and employment.
Students living outside our major cities face unique challenges compared to their city cousins which can cause significant disparities between their education outcomes. 
Submissions will close at 5pm, AEST 29 August 2017. For more information visit: https://www.education.gov.au/independent-review-regional-rural-and-remote-education 

Parkes to Narromine Inland Rail EIS
The next stage of the transformational Inland Rail project between Brisbane and Melbourne is underway with the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Parkes to Narromine section released to the public.
This is the first EIS for the once-in-a-generation 1,700 kilometre rail project, which would include extensive upgrades to the rail track between Parkes and Narromine to ensure it meets Inland Rail standards.
The EIS will ensure the community’s voices are heard, and issues relevant to the successful delivery of Inland Rail are taken into account.
The National/Liberal Government’s $8.4 billion investment in Inland Rail will create 16,000 jobs during construction, and better connect domestic and international markets.
Inland Rail will increase reliability, improve service standards, and reduced freight costs, while also boosting growth opportunities for businesses in the regions.
The Inland Rail is expected to increase the volumes of grain, cotton, chilled beef and other commodities being moved by rail. It will make it easier to move freight from farms, mines, and ports to NSW, national, and overseas markets.
The Parkes to Narromine section will make use of 106km of existing track and require 6km of new rail connection at Parkes. Works are expected to include reconstruction of the existing track, replacement of bridges and culverts, enhanced level crossings and crossing loops.
Consultation for the Parkes to Narromine Project Environmental Impact Statement closes 18 August 2017. The EIS is available online: www.inlandrail.com.au and www.majorprojects.planning.nsw.gov.au

More Australians into jobs
Since the Coalition came to office in September 2013, more than 700,000 jobs have been created. The latest employment data shows the strength of the Australian economy, with more Australians in employment than ever before and full time employment surging.
In the past year alone, employment has jumped 240,200, or 2 per cent – that’s well above the decade average rate of 1.6 per cent. The figures show that a record 12,166,900 Australians are employed with a record 8,356,000 Australians are in full-time employment.  The total number of people working in Australia has now increased for the past nine months and full-time employment has now risen by 166,700 in the six months to June 2017, the largest increase in full-time employment in the first half of a calendar year on record.
These figures highlight the success of the Government’s Budget measures, which are helping stimulate jobs growth.
The best form of welfare is a job so the Nationals/Liberal will continue to relentlessly pursue policies to ensure as many Australians are in work as possible.

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Mark coulton MP, Federal Member for the ELECTORATE Of Parkes

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