Matters of State: Honouring Justice of the Peace

Servicing the community Member for Dubbo Troy Grant, William Bleechmore and NSW Attorney General Mark Speakman. Half a century of service as at JP.
Servicing the community Member for Dubbo Troy Grant, William Bleechmore and NSW Attorney General Mark Speakman. Half a century of service as at JP.

It was a great privilege to attend a ceremony last week at Parliament House that honoured Justices of the Peace (JPs) who’ve attained 50 years of service.

I would particularly like to congratulate local resident William Bleechmore, whom has attained this remarkable achievement providing half a century of service as a JP.

As a JP Mr Bleechmore has played an important part in the legal system and in our community by helping hundreds of people at key moments in their lives. I am also pleased to report last week the latest data of labour force indicators and trends across NSW regions became available.

The Youth Unemployment rate in the Far West and Orana region was the lowest in the state at 4.8 per cent.  With the state average of Youth Unemployment at 10.7 per cent, this is a great result for the Dubbo Electorate and the Orana region.

Celebrating grandparents

I am encouraging organisations in the Dubbo electorate to take advantage of the NSW Government’s 2018 Grandparents Day event grants, to show grandparents and seniors how valuable they are to the community. A share of $200,000 is available for organisations across NSW to host events that engage seniors of all ages and abilities.

These events can be held on or around Grandparents Day, to be celebrated on Sunday, October 28 this year. Grandparents are true stars in our community, devoting their time and supporting their families and friends near and far.

Last year the NSW Government doubled the amount of funding available, giving organisations more opportunities to deliver better quality events that reach more local residents. I encourage local businesses, schools and councils in the region to start thinking about what valuable experiences they can offer grandparents and seniors to say thanks for all that they do.

More than 200,000 grandparents in our state give almost 13 hours of unpaid, informal care for children each week and we don’t want this selfless service to go unnoticed. Applications for the 2018 NSW Grandparents Day event grants program are open until June 15. Visit

Privacy protection is everyone’s business

Last week was Privacy Awareness Week (PAW), each year it takes on greater significance as technology evolves and people place more personal information online. As we conduct an increasing amount of business and socialising online, we must be vigilant about reviewing social media privacy settings, choosing complex passwords and taking care when using public computers to access personal information.

PAW reminded us of the importance of safeguarding our privacy, particularly as new technology enables faster and easier collection, analysis and sharing of information. The NSW Government is aware of the need for legislation to evolve with technology in our rapidly changing world. Visit

Safeguard Koals

I welcome the release of the NSW Koala Strategy by the Premier and the Minister for the Environment. This is the biggest commitment by any state government towards securing the much-loved marsupial in the wild.

The NSW Koala Strategy is a major step forward for koala conservation across NSW and will support a range of conservation actions over the next three years. A new partnership with Taronga Zoo and tertiary institution will deliver professional development training in wildlife care at Taronga Western Plains Zoo Dubbo.

Announcing the $44.7 million package to support the NSW Koala Strategy, the Minister for the Environment Gabrielle Upton said the community expects the iconic koala to be protected. Visit

Until next week, Troy