Pat Conaghan MP

Useful Info

This page provides you with useful information, and a place to apply for congratulatory messages and plaques.

Information on the 2021 Budget is available below

If you can’t find what you’re looking for here, please contact our office click here.

Pat’s team can assist you with issues arising from MyAgedCare, provider issues and Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT) assessments. Please provide your Aged Care reference number when seeking assistance. Issues regarding the quality and standards of care need to be directed to the Quality and Safety Commission in the first instance.

Pat’s team can offer limited assistance with child support issues. Please provide your Child Support number when seeking assistance.

Pat’s team can provide some assistance with accessing service records. The Department of Defence is responsible for presenting medals and awards. Should you have any issues with the application process, Pat’s office may be able to assist.

Pat’s team can communicate information and opportunities for Australian businesses in relation to the Defence Industry.

Pat’s team can communicate about the National Road Safety Strategy, road safety projects, vehicle safety standards regulations and the Federally-funded Black Spot Program.

Pat’s team can assist with issues arising from the NDIS, provider issues and assessments. Please ensure you have your NDIS number available when seeking assistance.

If you’re having phone or internet issues, Pat’s team may be able to assist by advocating on your behalf. Assistance can be provided with NBN Co., major telcos including Telstra, Optus, TPG, Vodafone, Dodo, iPrimus. Note: assistance cannot be provided with all Australian retail service providers (RSPs). In most instances you need to lodge a complaint through the provider. Please provide your complaint reference number and account number.

Pat’s team can assist with issues relating to Centrelink, including payments such as the Aged Pension, Disability Support Pension, JobSeeker, Family Tax Benefit Parts A and B. Please provide your Centrelink Reference Number (CRN) when seeking assistance.

Pat’s team can liaise with the Australian Maritime Safety Authority and the Australian Civil Aviation Authority and Air Services Australia for matters relating to the regulation of the maritime and aviation sectors.

Pat’s team can assist with Higher Education matters relating to policy, funding and programs. Course and scholarship issues should be taken up directly with the higher education institution. Assistance with matters relating to Youth Allowance and other government assistance payments for students is provided by Services Australia.

Pat’s team can assist with visas or visa applications in a limited capacity as legislation precludes MPs from intervening in this process. You will need to provide your application ID number and the decision record if possible. Other information may be requested on a case-by-case basis.

Pat’s team can provide assistance with domestic and international industry and trade services and opportunities.

Pat’s team can assist with Medicare issues. Please provide your Medicare number when seeking assistance.

Pat’s team can assist with issues relating to Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) payments, claims, medals, certificates and grants. For DVA Gold and White Card holders, please provide your DVA number when seeking assistance.

Pat’s team can provide some assistance with Australian Passport issues, travel advice and consular assistance on a case-by-case basis.

Pat’s team can liaise with the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) to provide assistance on your behalf. General information can be obtained from the ATO website. For specific enquiries please contact the office and we will determine whether assistance can be provided on a case-by-case basis.

Budget 2021 – Securing Australia’s Recovery

We’ve come a long way over the last year, and all Australians can be proud of the role they have played.

Around the world, there are currently around 800,000 new cases of COVID-19 per day, however here in Australia, this scale of tragedy has been avoided.

Last year, the UK, French and Italian economies declined by over 8%, Canada and Japan contracted by around 5%.

Australia’s economy contracted by just 2.5%.

We now has over 74,000 more people in jobs than we had pre-COVID, which makes us the first advanced economy to have more people employed than pre-COVID-19.

Our Government’s plan is working, and this year’s Budget is about securing our recovery and building for our future. It includes:

  • Further tax relief for over 10 million low and middle-income earners, to reward hard work and stimulate spending through our economy. The Government’s Tax Plan has already benefited 60,200 people in Cowper, and around 56,600 taxpayers will benefit from tax relief of up to $2,745 this year.
  • Record investment in skills and training – including 450,000 JobTrainer places and wage subsidies to support 170,000 new apprentices and trainees. We already have 2,195 apprentices in Cowper, and these new measures will lead to more opportunities for apprentices and trainees.
  • Increasing the affordability of childcare for around 250,000 families, who will be better off by an average of $2,200 each year. We are increasing funding for preschools in Cowper and making childcare more affordable and accessible. Childcare reforms in this Budget will directly benefit over 1,370 families living in Cowper.
  • The expanded instant asset write off, which helps businesses invest – from tradies and farmers buying vehicles, to major manufacturers expanding production lines. This will allow around 19,200 businesses in Cowper to write off the full value of any eligible asset they purchase. Additionally, around 5,600 businesses in Cowper will be able to use the extended loss carry back measure to support cash flow and confidence. This has helped businesses invest more in the local economy and to create local jobs.
  • The JobKeeper payment has supported 5,800 businesses and 19,900 employees in Cowper to help them through the pandemic and keep them connected to their place of work, setting the groundwork for the recovery.
  • The tax-free Cashflow boost has helped around 5,300 small and medium businesses providing $213 million in payments to help businesses in Cowper to stay afloat.
  • The HomeBuilder program has received 23,175 applications in New South Wales and continues to support jobs in the construction sector and assists owner-occupiers with grants of $25,000 to build a new home or substantially renovate an existing home.
  • Encouraging home ownership by expanding the First Home Super Saver Scheme, helping 10,000 more first home buyers build a home with 5% deposit and 10,000 single parents purchase a home with a 2% deposit.
  • A 10-year, $110 billion infrastructure pipeline to ease congestion, improve safety and build our economic future.
  • This Budget invests in major road and rail projects, road safety and community infrastructure programs, supporting additional jobs. $3.8 billion is being committed in New South Wales for projects that will ease congestion, connect communities and improve road safety. They will support the economic recovery in the short term and boost productivity in the longer term.
  • Measures to encourage more Research & Development and manufacturing onshore.
  • Around 14,978 individuals in Cowper have received the Coronavirus Supplement, which was added to JobSeeker to provide additional support through this crisis. We have also made permanent changes to the JobSeeker rate to help those in need.
  • Around 29,302 Age Pensioners and 6,722 carers in Cowper received three support payments since the start of the pandemic totalling $1,250.
  • Nearly $18 billion in new funding to significantly improve the aged care system – including another 80,000 new home care packages (bringing the total to 275,000).
  • This Budget delivers a record investment in Aged Care to help the 39,482 senior Australians living in Cowper. This investment will deliver more home care places, more funding for residential aged care and increases the amount of time resident are cared for while strengthening regulators to monitor and enforce the standards of care.
  • Hospitals, schools, aged care, Medicare, mental health, and disability support services will always be guaranteed under the Government.
  • Government funding for public schools in Cowper continues to increase as a part of the Quality Schools Package. Funding increases for local schools in Cowper is available from:
  • New medicines listed on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme to treat breast cancer, lung cancer, severe osteoporosis, severe asthma and chronic migraines. The Government has a commitment to fund every medicine on the PBS recommended by the medical experts, putting lifesaving treatments within the reach of every Australian. In the last year there have been 2,634,714 free or subsidised medicines delivered in Cowper through the PBS.
  • Further mental health funding to provide more headspace centres, a new network of 40 Head to Health centres and more services through Medicare.
  • The Government is providing additional investments in respiratory clinics, pathology testing and tracing, and the continuation of telehealth services. In Cowper there have been 412,582 telehealth consultations through Medicare since the start of the pandemic and these services are now being extended.
  • Record funding for schools, hospitals, women’s safety and disability support.
  • Further investment in dams and irrigation projects and technologies to reduce greenhouse emissions, like clean hydrogen and energy storage.

Click here to find out more about the Budget.

COVID-19 is still far from over, however Australia is on the road to recovery.

This Budget is about securing our recovery, so we can come back stronger.

Assistance is available for residents, businesses, primary producers and Councils across the mid-north coast who’ve been impacted by the recent severe storms and flooding.
The Australian and NSW Governments are working together to help communities rebuild and recover, and there are a number of  recovery grants and support services available through the Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements (DRFA).

Small business recovery grants up to $50,000 (direct damage)

The grants are designed to provide short-term targeted assistance for recovery and reinstatement activities, including safety inspections, repairs to premises and internal fittings, and replacement of stock.

Primary producer recovery grants up to $75,000 (direct damage)

The grants are designed to provide short-term targeted assistance for recovery and reinstatement activities, including salvaging crops and repairs to damaged farm infrastructure (e.g. fencing) and equipment.

To connect with a Customer Care specialist, call Service NSW between 7am and 7pm on 13 77 88 or visit the NSW Disaster Assistance Finder.

Small-medium Business Recovery Loan Scheme
The Prime Minister has announced that the small-medium business recovery loan scheme will be extended to support flood-affected businesses, which means that businesses with a turnover of less than $250 million may be able to access loans of up to $5 million over a term of up to 10 years, with a 24 month repayment holiday.
This is in addition to the $50,000 grants that are available to flood-affected businesses and $75,000 available to primary producers.
These financial measures will really help businesses right across our region who have been significantly impacted by the floods get back on their feet.
To find out more about all the assistance available visit or call 1800 678 593

Australian Government Disaster Recovery Payment (AGDRP)

The AGDRP provides a one-off, non-means tested payment of $1,000 for eligible adults and $400 for eligible children, who have been seriously injured, lost their homes or whose homes have been directly damaged, or the immediate family members of a person who has lost their life, as a direct result of the storms and floods.

Services Australia Disaster Assistance phone lines are open now. The fastest and easiest way to claim disaster assistance is over the phone by calling 180 22 66 from 8am to 8pm seven days a week. For more information on support available visit Services Australia.


You have been adversely affected if you have experienced one or more of the following as a direct result of the major disaster:

• you have been seriously injured

• you are an immediate family member of an Australian resident or citizen who died

• your principal place of residence has been destroyed or sustained major damage

• your major asset has or assets have been destroyed or sustained major damage

• you are the principal carer of a dependent child who has experienced any of the above.

Major damage to a principal place of residence means, as a direct result of the disaster:

• the interior of the residence has sustained major damage

• the residence has been declared structurally unsound

• the residence has been breached, exposing the interior of the residence to the elements, or

• the interior of the residence has experienced sewage contamination.

Major damage to a major asset or assets (other than a water tank) means, as a direct result of the disaster:

• the major asset has or assets have been damaged by the heavy rainfall or by flood waters, to the extent that replacement is required.

Major damage to a water tank means, as a direct result of the disaster:

• damage to the extent that the water tank needs to be repaired or cleaned, or the water replaced.

Disaster Recovery Allowance (DRA)

The DRA provides a short-term income support payment to assist individuals whose income has been affected as a direct result of the storms and floods.

People eligible for DRA can access income assistance for up to 13 weeks, equivalent to the maximum rate of JobSeeker Payment or Youth Allowance.

Equivalent financial assistance will also be available to eligible New Zealand citizens (‘non-protected’ Special Category Visa, subclass 444 holders) affected by the storms and floods.

Services Australia Disaster Assistance phone lines are open now. The fastest and easiest way to claim disaster assistance is over the phone by calling 180 22 66  from 8am to seven days a week. For more information on support available visit Services Australia.

Our Health and Well-Being

As the clean-up operation continues across the mid-north coast, we all need to take some time to give ourselves a health check.

Healthy North Coast has established a 24/7 GP TELEHEALTH service to support our communities and health care service providers impacted by the floods. For help go to 1800 931 158.

It is also important that we check in on our own mental health through the healthy minds program. People affected by floods will be prioritised for this program which is free, and provides up to 10 sessions.
This program can be accessed through Connect to Wellbeing on 1300 160 339

You can also get assistance through:

Mental Health Line 1800 011 511

Lifeline Mid Coast 131114

Beyond Blue 1300 224 636

Mensline 1300 789 978

Kids Helpline 1800 551 800


NSW SES – Warnings and advice 132 500

Road Closures – Transport for NSW Live Traffic updates

The Bureau of Meteorology – Australia’s national weather, climate and water agency

Local Land Services – Information related to stock or animal welfare – 1800 814 647

Resilience NSW – The lead disaster management agency for NSW

Services Australia – Support for people affected by the NSW floods

Service NSW – NSW Government information and services

Disaster Assistance Finder – Find the assistance that is available for those affected by the NSW floods

Small Business Commissioner – Assistance for flood and storm affected businesses is now available

NSW Rural Assistance Authority – To apply for a concessional loan or grant – 1800 678 593

National Drought and Flood Recovery Agency – works with communities, all levels of government, charities and agricultural organisations to support farmers and other rural and regional Australians.


We like to acknowledge when our constituents reach important milestones. You can request a congratulatory message be sent for the following special occasions:

Occasion MP Message Prime Minister Message Governor General Message Queen Message Note
50th wedding Anniversary Y Y Y N And every year after
60th Wedding Anniversary Y Y Y Y* *Every 5th year afterwards
90th Birthday Y Y N N And every year after
100th Birthday Y Y Y Y* And every year after

*Every 5th year afterwards

Requests can be made by completing the form below and uploading a copy of the birth certificate or marriage certificate in support of the request. Should certificates not be available, you can complete a statutory declaration.

Please allow six weeks where possible for the processing of your request. Pat’s office will forward your request to the relevant State Members’ offices for congratulatory message arrangements at the state-level.

Privacy information: The Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (‘the Department’) will collect and retain any personal information provided in accordance with the Department’s Privacy Policy.
The Department will generally disclose the personal information that is collected to Government House and/or Federal Members of Parliament to facilitate the provision of congratulatory messages to the recipient/s, unless there is a specific written request for this not to occur.

Veterans or the family members of deceased Veterans can apply for a Certificate of Appreciation. Certificates are issued as part of the Australian Government’s Saluting Their Service Commemorative Grants program.

To apply visit the Department of Veteran Affairs website and complete this document.

Eligibility guidelines for a certificate can be found here.

Australian Parliament House attracts an average of one million visitors each year. Pat enjoys hosting constituents at Parliament.

Pat can assist you to reserve tickets to Question Time, arrange a tour of Parliament, and assist with other Canberra enquiries. You can phone Parliament House on (02) 6277 7111.

The Australian Government invests in community projects and initiatives. Visit the Parliament of Australia website for a summary of grants currently open or recently awarded.

If you are a business owner or a business intender, AusIndustry Regional Managers based in Newcastle may be able to help. They can visit your premise to outline whether or not there are any grants or assistance schemes your business is eligible for.

Phone AusIndustry Regional Managers to request a consultation.

Tim Cotter | AusIndustry Central Coast, Hunter and North Coast NSW Regional Manager
0429 447 307
02 4014 5977

Natalie Gillam | AusIndustry Central Coast, Hunter and North Coast NSW Assistant Regional Manager
0434 606 779
02 4014 5922

What grants have been awarded in Cowper?

Additional information can be found at Grant Connect.



Medicare general enquiries
132 011
7 days a week, 24 hours a day

Medicare telephone claims
1300 360 460
7 days a week, 24 hours a day

Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme – Taking or sending medicines overseas
1800 500 147
7 days a week, 24 hours a day

Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme General Enquiries
132 290
7 days a week, 24 hours a day

Services Australia: Centrelink online services support
132 307
Mon – Fri: 7 am – 10 pm
Sat – Sun: 10 am – 5 pm
Get help using your Centrelink online account or Centrelink Express Plus mobile app.

Centrelink phone self-service
136 240
7 days a week
24 hours a day
Check payment information, such as past and future payments; update your family income estimate; complete your Rent Assistance review; apply for an advance payment; hear your Working Credit or Income Bank balance; ask for a mailed copy of documents.

Centrelink reporting
133 276
7 days a week
24 hours a day
Report your employment income and report if you’ve met your Mutual Obligation Requirements in your Job Plan.

132 307
Mon – Fri 7 am – 10 pm
Sat – Sun 10 am – 5 pm
MyGov helpdesk – Select Option 1

Centrelink – Older Australians
132 300
Mon – Fri 8 am – 5 pm
About to retire or retirement, seniors, needing help after someone has died.

Centrelink – People with a disability
132 717
Mon – Fri 8 am – 5 pm
Illness or injury, caring for someone

Centrelink – Tip-offs and fraud
131 524
Mon – Fri 9 am – 5 pm AEST
Line is closed on South Australian public holidays.

Centrelink – International Services
131 673
Mon – Fri 8 am – 5 pm

Centrelink – Complaints and feedback
1800 132 468
Mon – Fri 8 am – 5 pm
Provide feedback, suggestions or make a complaint

Centrelink – Farmers and their partners
132 316
Mon – Fri 8 am – 8 pm
Farmer assistance hotline

Centrelink – Financial Information Service (FIS)
132 300
Mon – Fri 8 am – 5 pm
Information for financial matters and free financial seminars

Centrelink – Income Management
1800 057 111
Mon – Fri 8 am – 5 pm
BasicsCard balance enquiry 7 days a week, 24 hours a day

Centrelink – Foreign exchange
1800 050 041
Mon – Fri 8 am – 5 pm
Information about foreign exchange rates.
For more information about the delivery of government payments and services, visit  Services Australia.

Centrelink – Payment and Service Finder
An online tool to see what payments and services you may be eligible for. Click here.

My Aged Care
1800 200 422
Monday to Friday: 8am – 8pm, Saturdays: 10am – 2pm, Closed on Sundays and national public holidays.
My Aged Care is the Australian Government’s starting point on your aged care journey. Find and access the government-funded services you need. Visit the website here.

Department of Veterans’ Affairs
1800 555 254
Monday to Friday 8am and 5pm
Providing benefits and pensions to current and former serving members of the Australian Defence Force, their family and carers. Visit the website here.

Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission
1800 951 822 (free call)
Share your concerns or lodge a complaint about an aged care service provider. Visit the website here.

Healthdirect Australia
1800 022 222
Free 24 hour health advice helpline providing convenient, non-urgent health advice and information. Visit the website here.

Click the below link to download the seniors guide.

2020 PC Seniors Guide FINAL 19062020

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