26 September 2023

Moving PS members to call the bush home

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Public Service teachers, healthcare professionals and police are to receive extra support to relocate their homes as part of a pilot by the Department of Regional NSW to attract, prepare and retain key workers in regional NSW.

Announcing the Department’s Welcome Experience pilot, Minister for Regional NSW, Paul Toole said eight locations are to take part next year, including Broken Hill, Walgett, Coffs Harbour, Muswellbrook, Goulburn, Griffith, Corowa and Bega, with the goal of rolling the program out into more locations in 2024.

“Government is upping the ante with this new program to ensure key workers who provide so much support to our communities are given the best possible support to relocate and feel welcome,” Mr Toole said.

“There is nothing more valuable than local knowledge, especially when you are moving somewhere new,” he said.

“This service acts a bit like a concierge – people are matched with locals giving them the opportunity to ask questions about healthcare and childcare services and even which area of town might best suit their family.”

Minister for Regional Health and Mental Health, Bronnie Taylor said the pilot service introduced key workers to a friendly face before they made the move to regional NSW.

“From the moment our key workers make the decision to move to the bush, they will be partnered with locals who will make the transition so much easier,” Mrs Taylor said.

“From being on hand to assist in navigating their new community to helping create social connections or even accessing vital services such as childcare, healthcare or helping their partners find a job, this service will make a huge difference,” she said.

“This is about ensuring our communities have access to quality services that are staffed with key workers, who feel welcomed in the areas they live and work in.”

Minister for Education and Early Learning, Sarah Mitchell said Government would work closely with Councils, community organisations and other local service providers to ensure the service was personalised to each area.

“The Welcome Experience will not only benefit essential workers and their families but also the community as a whole by improving safety, education and healthcare outcomes for the wider region,” Ms Mitchell said.

“Not only do to we want teachers and other key workers and their families to feel welcomed, but we also want them to establish a sense of belonging and feel right at home.”

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