Red tape, burdensome regulations, viability problems and the need for funding greeted the Nationals Duty Senator for NSW John Williams on his visit to the northern part of the Hunter electorate.
Senator Williams met with representatives of Muswellbrook and Upper Hunter Shire Councils, looked over plans for the Scone railway level crossing treatment, and visited Strathearn and Murravale Aged Care Facilities, the Upper Hunter Early Learning Centre and Hunter Valley Quality Meats.
Senator Williams also attended the Hunter Valley Research Foundation breakfast where it was made clear the region needs to diversify as the mining boom flattens out.
The first round of recruits is being called for the Green Army in the Richmond electorate.
People aged 17 to 24 years of age who are enthusiastic, keen to learn new skills and work for the environment are being sought by the appointed service providers, according to the Nationals Duty Senator for Richmond John Williams.
Senator Williams said eight Green Army projects have been announced in Richmond.
He said participants will have the opportunity to undertake accredited training such as work readiness, conservation and land management, heritage conservation, project and human resource management and heritage trade skills.
“Green Army participants will also receive an allowance and be eligible to gain Certificate I or Certificate II qualifications in areas such as land management, park management, landscaping or horticulture or nationally endorsed skills set to support them in their future career prospects.
The Senate Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport References committee has recommended major changes to the way cattle transaction levies are collected and managed.
Committee member John Williams, the Nationals Senator for New South Wales, said the inquiry considered the industry structures and systems governing the collection and disbursement of marketing and research and development levies pertaining to the sale of grass-fed cattle, and had been established following disenchantment in the industry, particularly at the role and perceived non-accountability of Meat and Livestock Australia.
More than 20,000 age pensioners in the Richmond electorate will receive an increase to their payments from the 20th of this month
The Nationals Duty Senator for Richmond John Williams says single age pensioners will receive an increase of up to $11.50 a fortnight, while age pensioner couples will receive up to $17.40 extra a fortnight.
Senator Williams said this means the total pension payments for people on the maximum rate will be $854.30 a fortnight for singles and $1,288 a fortnight for couples.