Newsletter 6 November: The US Election and the Bushfire Local Economic Recovery Grants

Nov 6, 2020

My Fortnightly Update

The US Election 

It would be remiss of me not to mention the US election in this newsletter.

After our own Australian elections, I do not believe there is another election around the world that has more repercussions for us as a nation. The United States is one of our closest friends and allies, and our alliance goes far beyond whoever the Prime Minister or the President is.

The results are not yet clear and we will wait for a declared and agreed outcome before I comment further. However, it will be incumbent on whoever the next President is to reaffirm America’s strong presence in the Indo-Pacific region as we enter increasingly uncertain times.

Our alliance will remain fundamental to our national security whoever the next President is, and I know the Coalition Government stands ready to work with whoever emerges as the 46th President of the United States.

Local Economic Recovery Grants

Earlier this week the Commonwealth and NSW Governments announced more joint funding for areas in NSW to boost local communities as they continue to recover from the 2019-20 bushfires. These areas have been through an incredibly difficult past few months after the bushfires were quickly followed by the COVID-19 pandemic. These grants will assist communities to continue to rebuild, and will inject much needed economic stimulus into areas that need it most.

The Local Economic Recovery grant program has allocated money to a wide range of industries. From the forestry industry in the Batlow/Tumut region to the oyster industry down on the far South Coast, these sectors of the economy support many families and livelihoods in those regions. That is why we must support those businesses to get back on their feet, and the Coalition Government is showing up to do just that!

I have been out and about in these local areas and have seen firsthand the challenges facing communities. The grants will support businesses that have lost livestock, assets, and infrastructure to continue their recovery and bounce back even stronger.

Throughout NSW, $177m has been allocated to 71 very deserving projects. I am delighted to note that amongst the recipients were 26 projects along the far South Coast and up through the Monaro, which were granted $56,064,164, and in the beautiful Shoalhaven region 8 projects were approved to receive $17,292,707. Along with the forestry and oyster industries, funding has also been allocated to the apple, dairy, viticulture, and tourism industries. All of these sectors of the NSW economy were damaged by the bushfires and then COVID-19. This grant program is continuing evidence of the Coalition Government’s ongoing commitment to support businesses and local communities in bushfire affected areas.

For details of Local Economic Recovery projects approved across New South Wales see

Shoutout – The Gut Foundation

Today’s Shoutout goes to a particularly worthy recipient – The Gut Foundation.

Earlier this week I had the tremendous honour of participating in a fundraising lunch for The Gut Foundation. This organisation was founded in 1983 by the Gastroenterological Society of Australia, and members have worked tirelessly since then to help in the prevention of gastrointestinal diseases and conditions through research and education.

During the lunch – a somewhat festive occasion as it was held on Melbourne Cup Day – I met with a broad range of supporters who had dealt with serious gastrointestinal conditions. Their stories were both inspiring and powerful. Erin was also a guest speaker and interviewer at the lunch, and while I am delighted that she supports the Foundation, I’m not entirely sure that my thoughts on the times I’ve embarrassed my children were necessarily relevant to the topic at hand!

These types of conditions can be difficult to raise with doctors or family members, but the consequences of not doing so can be devastating. It is crucial that anyone who experiences symptoms consult a medical specialist to seek the appropriate advice.

The Gut Foundation has a fabulous website that is a good starting point should you wish to check your gut health:

If you’d like to make a donation to The Gut Foundation to allow them to continue their research towards eliminating bowel disease, please click below:

A huge thankyou to The Gut Foundation administrators, researchers and health professionals, for a very informative and enjoyable lunch, but, far more importantly, for the phenomenal work you are doing to improve our nation’s digestive health.

Remembrance Day

On Wednesday 11 November we commemorate Remembrance Day, a tribute still incredibly significant to us as Australians, over 100 years after the end of the First World War. It is a time when we reflect on the great sacrifice previous generations made so that we can live in the free and democratic society we have today.

In those four years of war more than 330,000 Australians served overseas. Tragically over 60,000 Aussies died, mainly our young men. On November 11 each year we honour these brave men and women for their magnificent, selfless service to this country. It is up to us to ensure their legacy never fades.

As a veteran who has served this country overseas, my experience of war has been markedly different from that of the major wars of the 20th century. My father served during World War Two, and like those courageous Diggers who served in the First World War, he and his mates faced a very uncertain future. The outcome of their wars had the potential to change their lives, their families’ lives, and the future of their country. They went to the other side of the world to fight for their country and the future they believed in, and fought bravely in the most appalling of circumstances.

This year the Australian War Memorial will hold a televised Remembrance Day ceremony to be broadcast all around the nation. To learn more visit:

Applications Open for Men’s Shed Funding

Men’s Sheds across Australia have been invited to apply for funding as part of the newest round of the National Men’s Shed Development Programme (NDSP).

I would encourage all Sheds in New South Wales to apply. Now more than ever, Men’s Sheds offer men a critical avenue for social support and engagement.
Men’s Sheds can apply for financial support across the following funding categories:

  • Category 1: Health, Wellbeing, and Events $8,000 maximum
  • Category 2: Shed Improvements $8,000 maximum
  • Category 3: Equipment $5,000 maximum

Applications for this round of funding close on Friday 27 November.

For more information on how to apply for Round 21 of the National Men’s Shed Development Programme (NDSP), please head to

My Podcast ‘Noise Before Defeat’

Five episodes of my 6 series podcast have now been released. The final episode of my podcast ‘We stress test banks, why not national security?’, will be released on Tuesday 10 November.

In this final podcast of the series, I discuss what Australia must do to address its vulnerabilities, capitalise on its strengths and secure its sovereignty in this most uncertain world.

In this episode I describe success and failure, and why a national security strategy is needed. This strategy must ensure that Australia is not just listening to noise but creating a strong, unified and self-reliant nation.

Click below to listen to my podcast on Apple Podcast or Spotify.……/noise-before-defe…/id1536352140


Last Fortnight’s Media


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