A re-elected Morrison Government will provide $368,000 to help develop a new strategy for local farmers to better cope with drought and lower rainfall totals.
Announcing the funding commitment for Finley’s Research and Development facility, incumbent Member for Farrer Sussan Ley said the initiative will allow Southern Growers to better understand how they can diversify farming systems to recover from the current drought, and adapt to lower rainfall and irrigation water supplies.
The funding announcement comes after Ms Ley confirmed a re-elected Coalition would also supply $1.4 million to Deniliquin Hospital to upgrade its emergency department.
‘‘I am delighted with this announcement which demonstrates the Morrison Government’s commitment to Farrer, and more specifically the Berrigan Shire,’’ Ms Ley said of the Souther Growers support.
‘‘The Finley area has been one of the hardest hit by the drought, and I am standing with the community every step of the way as we work through variable and difficult conditions.
‘‘This project enables a future-focused strategy which acknowledges the realities of irrigated agriculture, and is only possible because of the Morrison Government’s plan for a stronger economy.’’
Ms Ley was in Deniliquin on Tuesday to formally announce her commitment to Deniliquin Hospital, before going to Finley that afternoon.
The proposed scope of works at the hospital includes:
●General modernisation to bring the ED to a contemporary standard;
●Creates a functional layout for improved efficiency and patient flow, enhancing ED waiting times;
●Reconfiguration of the ED entry, both ambulance and public entries;
●Creation of a separate waiting room area for patients requiring privacy;
●Reconfiguration of the ED treatment spaces to provide a discrete area for vulnerable patients and their families; and
●Provides separation of the ED from the inpatient accommodation.
Ms Ley said the Federal Government does not normally put money into hospital services and rarely puts money into hospital buildings, but she said she was prompted to intervene by the community.
‘‘I have seen continuously through your newspaper that we need more, we need better, we need it now, we have elderly folk and they don’t want to travel to Echuca and certainly don’t want to travel to Albury where the cross border issues complicate matters even further,’’ she told Pastoral Times cadet journalist Olivia Duffey.
‘‘I give you my assurance that I will stay on the case as we take the next important steps as a community towards the service that you deserve and that you need.
‘‘It is the community that has insisted to all levels of government that they want improvements, they want a re-profiling of their hospital service, they do not want to see it downgraded and they want to know it is fit for purpose and fit for the future.
‘‘The next step would be to refurbish two treatment areas behind the emergency department so that we have two areas that treat vulnerable patients, and child and adolescent mental health patients.’’