Drought-impacted farmers in the region will be first and foremost on my agenda as the Minister for Better Regulation and Innovation.
My portfolio is touching on one of the biggest issues in our region.
My electorate office has been inundated with complaints about a cumbersome, clunky application process for support and assistance that takes too long to fill out.
We are right at the forefront of drought assistance and support. We deal nearly every day with someone who is affected by the drought, whether it relates to livestock, cropping and small businesses.
It’s important that in these really dry times is we do everything we can to support them.
I met this week with the Premier, Gladys Berejiklian, and the Deputy Premier, John Barilaro, and spoke with the Agriculture Minister, Adam Marshall, about what we need to do to make it easier for drought-affected landholders, farmers and businesses to access the support and assistance they need.
When I discussed this red tape issue with the Premier, she absolutely agreed with me from her visits to drought-stricken areas in NSW, she was getting the same feedback.
So I’m looking to try to simplify the process and we want to make it easier for people to access the support and assistance they need.
We have started that work to see what we can do there and looking at making it easier to get this important assistance and support.
What we want to try and do is to come up with a scheme of ‘Tell Government Once’ (TGO). I have heard that in some instances someone can be halfway through an application, their internet drops out and they have to start all over again.
Once you put your details in under TGO, like you do for Service NSW accounts, all that information is there.
You don’t have to go back to scratch to start the process over again. It avoids a time-consuming, sometimes frustrating process. People just won’t engage if it’s too hard.
We’ve had preliminary conversations with the Minister for Customer Service, Victor Dominello, as the digital privacy portfolio sits with him.
Cyber-security, the privacy of information is critical and we have to get that right first before you TGO.
You have to ensure personal details are kept private and they are not shared with anyone who does not have the right to view them.
I want to make sure that everything I do at a ministerial level can benefit our communities too.
That my ministerial portfolio has direct relation to what is in our community, on our streets within the Tamworth electorate.
I am going to put drought fairly and squarely in the heart of government and how we are going to improve the lives of the people out here in the bush and the Premier gets that.