As I write this we are into the final Parliamentary sitting week of the year.
Its been a busy couple of weeks out and about in the Hunter electorate and in Parliament.
This week we will pass the Secure Jobs, Better Pay legislation. By introducing this Bill, what our government is doing, is promoting job security, helping to close the gender pay gap, modernising the workplace bargaining system, and importantly, getting wages moving again.
Workers have been held back and this has made our country fall behind, with wages kept low and insecure work at an all time high. This Bill will address those issues.
Last week also marked six months since our Government was elected and what a six months it has been.
Aged Care reform was one the first Bill passed by this Parliament and in the last few weeks we have seen the Fair Work Commission awarded aged care workers 15 per cent interim pay rise recently. his is a first step in the right direction.
Thank you to the aged care workers and unions who fought for this outcome, and everyone who voted to fix aged care.
We have also legislated more minutes of care for residents from October 2023, 24/7 nurses in nursing homes from July 2023, capped home care package admin fees and banning exit fees, improved transparency and accountability and addressed 37 recommendations from the Royal Commission into Aged Care.
There is more to do and we are not wasting a single day day in office getting on with the job we were elected to do.
I recently had Catherine King, Minister for Infrastructure in the electorate to talk about the significant infrastructure projects for the Hunter electorate.
I took the Minister along to show her the plans for the $269 million Muswellbrook Bypass, the Coulsons Creek Road upgrade which will receive funding of $38.6 million, the Muswellbrook Town Centre plan which will get $10.5 million to complete and the plans for the Cessnock Skate Park which has been allocated $1 million.
This significant investment in the Hunter will support local jobs, increase connectivity and help grow the region.
The commitment Muswellbrook bypass will improve safety, reduce congestion and support around 1,800 direct and indirect jobs.
These investments will make a real difference for locals. I fought hard for these projects - we promised them, and now we're delivering them.
I also spoke In Parliament about our local sporting champions. The Hunter has produced some outstanding sportspeople in the past, and it is important that we support the next crop of our local sporting talent.
Unfortunately succeeding in sport doesn't just take talent and determination - parents also often put their hands in their pockets to get their children to competitions.
The Local Sporting Champions program provides financial assistance to young people to compete, coach or umpire in their chosen sport.
As always, my office is open and ready to assist you with any Federal Government issues you may have. I look forward to hearing from you and working with our community to deliver for the Hunter.
Dan Repacholi is the Federal Member for Hunter