Rolling out welcome mat in Muswellbrook

NSW Nationals

Teachers, healthcare professionals and police will be provided extra support to relocate to the Upper Hunter Electorate as the first initiative being rolled out by the NSW Government to help attract, prepare, and retain key workers in regional NSW.

Nationals Member for Upper Hunter Dave Layzell said the $30 million investment in The Welcome Experience will be piloted in eight locations including Muswellbrook next year with the goal of rolling it out across more locations in 2024.

“The need for this program is very timely because the message coming loud and clear from both the public and private sector is that we desperately need workers right across the Upper Hunter Electorate,” Mr Layzell said.

“When I met with public school teachers, local independent school teachers as well as nurses and midwives in recent months, they told me staffing shortages and especially the very limited availability of casuals is affecting their workplaces and impacts the daily provision of services from healthcare to education.

“As we contemplate the future of employment in the Upper Hunter, a diversified economy will require the long term, reliable income provided by NSW Government jobs.

“I am committed to working with Muswellbrook Shire Council, Upper Hunter Shire Council and Singleton Council to sell the liveability our region offers now and into the future for prospective residents.”

Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional NSW Paul Toole said The Welcome Experience is about making the move to Muswellbrook a little easier for key workers.

“The bush is renowned for its hospitality but moving to a new town can be daunting, especially with a family,” Mr Toole said.

“That’s why the NSW 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.

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

The Welcome Experience forms part of Our Vision for Regional Communities and Action Plan 2023-2025 – a NSW Government initiative outlining immediate priorities and long-term strategies to make regional NSW an even better place to call home.

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