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Snippets - March 14, 2023

March 14, 2023


(L-R): PRP CEO Paul Richard, PRP Orange Medical Liaison Officer Kay Hillan and Phil Donato reviewing plans for the installation of a new PET/CT scanner. Photo: Supplied.

Independent MP for Orange, Phil Donato, today joined with PRP Diagnostic Imaging CEO Paul Richard, Orange-based medical specialists, a cancer patient and members of the public in announcing PRP's $10 million investment in its Orange facility, including new PET/CT (Positron Emission Tomography / Computed Tomography) imaging equipment.

"More than four years ago I was approached by local doctors who had genuine concerns when Orange was overlooked for a PET/CT Scanner in favour of Dubbo," Donato said in a statement.

A PET/CT (Positron Emission Tomography / Computed Tomography) scanner is specialist and latest technology imaging equipment that assists in the early detection of cancer, diagnosis and ongoing monitoring capabilities.


Donato said: “These local doctors know all too well the cancer patient load here compared to Dubbo, and questioned the business case for installing the specialist imaging equipment in Dubbo when Orange missed out.

"None of us begrudge Dubbo, or any other regional city or town, getting new medical equipment and services as they all should be, however Orange has clear and demonstrable needs for a PET/CT scanner.”


Donato said he “first raised this issue with the NSW government in September 2018, when I queried the health minister over the business case".

"Over the past four years I've publicly raised the need for a PET/CT scanner for Orange, to assist our oncologists best treat our patients, and to limit patient's needs for extended and costly travel for this service.

"PRP's CEO Paul Richard took notice of the issue which I'd been broadcasting, and his organisation's subsequent business case well and truly supported investing in this specialist equipment, to be installed here in Orange.”


Donato said the service was supported by Medicare, “just as it would be if it were installed at a NSW Health facility - so for local patients this is as good as it gets”.


He said that “under the Liberal Nationals government, as exposed in the Regional Health Inquiry, we have seen insufficient investment in regional health services, which have sent it into decline, and, in some places, reaching crisis point.

"It shouldn't take the private sector to step in and provide such important publicly accessible medical equipment, but we certainly appreciate PRP's leap of faith in delivering this equipment for our community's health when the government has obviously been far too stagnant."
 

Orange has picked up prizes in the 2022 Tidy Towns Awards, announced on the weekend in Singleton.


Recent work by Orange City Council and community groups to enhance the Waratah Wetlands saw Orange take out the Habitat and Wildlife Conservation category for larger regional cities.


The wetlands are a new recreational area with walking paths and picnic tables in North Orange, alongside the Waratah sporting fields.


Orange also won the Heritage and Culture category in the section for larger regional cities for the Flame of Hope and Reconciliation event.


Held in May last year as a reconciliation initiative with the Orange Indigenous community, the event included a torch relay from the CSU campus to a cauldron in the South Court area.

Orange Tidy Towns Community Committee Chair councillor Kevin Duffy was delighted with the latest awards, according to an Orange City Council statement.

“The Tidy Towns awards are a fantastic acknowledgement of the important work that’s done in Orange to build our community and create sustainable local infrastructure,” Duffy said.



Councillor Kevin Duffy with the award. Supplied.

“I’m looking forward to congratulating the award winners when we have a local presentation in the coming weeks.”

 

Nationals candidate for Orange, Tony Mileto, has said in a statement that the NSW government’s proposed savings account for newborns “will change the lives of children … in the Orange electorate forever”.


"It will give generations to come the financial foundation for the rest of their entire life," Mileto said. "By making small investments over time, we will be able to grow the wealth of an entire generation in the Orange electorate so they can secure their financial future with education and housing.”

The Kids Future Fund would see the NSW government put $400 into the account when the child is born.


“Each year, the child’s parents will be able to contribute up to $1,000 to the fund,” the Nationals said. “The government will match these contributions up to $400 per year. If parents make a contribution of $400 each year, alongside the government’s co-contribution, the fund is expected to be around $28,500 by the time the child turns 18.


“If parents contribute the maximum amount of $1,000 per year, the fund is expected to be around $49,000.”


For families receiving Commonwealth Family Tax Benefit A, the government

will automatically contribute $200 a year to the child’s account without requiring a matched contribution from parents.


If the parents also contribute $200 each year, the Government will match this with an additional $200.

When the child turns 18 they will be able to draw down on the fund for two purposes:


  1. Housing – a contribution towards purchasing a residential property;

  2. Education – textbooks and other learning materials, laptops, private tuition fees, micro-credentials, tools required for getting a qualification.


The fund will be open for children aged up to 10 years old (in the 2023 calendar year).


From 2024, funds can only be created for newborns.


The Financial Review estimates that from 2030 the fund will cost taxpayers up to $710 million a year.

Labor leader Chris Minns said families were more concerned about cost of living increases than trying to find extra money to put into a savings account.

 
Newman Park tribute. Copyright: Orange News Examiner.

Orange City Council is asking for community suggestions to help draft plans to preserve a unique World War I memorial in Newman Park.

Council has received a $10,000 grant from the NSW government’s Community War Memorials Fund to produce a heritage landscape plan.

“A major feature of Newman Park is an avenue of elm trees, which were planted in 1919 as a memorial to students from the nearby East Orange Public School who died during WW1,” said a council statement. “There is also a low-set, bluestone memorial which includes a plaque.”

Orange Mayor Jason Hamling said the memorial was an important part of Orange’s history.

“The avenue of trees in Newman Park is now more than 100 years old and it’s important that we make sure we look after it and plan for the future,” Hamling said in a statement.

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