UPCOMING MOBILE OFFICES:

Bowraville August 16

10am to 12pm – Ex Services Club – 57 High St

Dorrigo August 23

10am to 12pm – Heritage Hotel – 19 Cudgery Street

Scotts Head August 26

10am to 12pm – Surf Club – 1 Short Street

Pat Conaghan MP

Useful Info

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

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 2022 – Australia’s plan for a stronger future

The Government’s economic plan has helped Australia weather the biggest economic shock since the Great Depression, outperforming the performance of all major advanced economies.

This Budget marks the next stage in leading Australia’s strong economy into the future.

EXTENDING TAX RELIEF

Around 60,000 taxpayers in Cowper will benefit from tax relief of up to $1,500 this year, made up of the $1,080 low and middle income tax offset and a $420 cost of living tax offset.

The Government’s Tax Plan has already benefited 62,500 in Cowper.

HELPING WITH COST OF LIVING

In addition to the one-off cost of living tax offset the Government is also providing a one-off cost of living payment of $250 for Australians most in need.

In Cowper, these payments will be delivered to:

  • 28,996 pensioners;
  • 9,364 disability support recipients;
  • 3,522 carers;
  • 12,773 jobseekers; and
  • 18,419 eligible self-funded retirees.

Together, with the recent pension increases, this will see the 28,996 pensioners in Cowper receive more than $500 in additional support over the next 6 months, when they need it most.

Since we were elected in 2013, pensions have increased by $179.20 per fortnight for singles and by $270 per fortnight for couples.

REDUCING THE COST OF FUEL

Events abroad are pushing up cost of living pressures. That’s why we are taking practical measures now – by cutting fuel excise in half.

Australians will save 22 cents a litre every time they fill up their car for the next six months.

This will help the owners of around 100,000 passenger vehicles in Cowper.

This could mean a saving of $30 a week for a family with two cars, or $700 over the next six months.

UPSKILLING WORKERS

The Budget continues to support job seekers and young people. Australia currently has a record high of 220,000 in trade apprenticeships.

We already have 3,000 apprentices in Cowper and new measures in the Budget will lead to more opportunities for apprentices and trainees with expanded wage subsidies.

DIGITAL TECHNOLOGY BOOST

The Government is providing for a new Technology Investment Boost to encourage small businesses to go digital, which will benefit 19,800 businesses in Cowper.

These businesses will have access to a new bonus 20 per cent deduction on digital and technology expenses such as buying computers, online sales platforms, accounting software, cyber security and cloud computing.

SKILLS AND TRAINING BOOST

Small businesses will also have access to a new 20 per cent bonus deduction for training and upskilling employees. Around 4,500 businesses in Cowper will be able to access this bonus deduction. The Boost will support businesses to invest in the training and upskilling of their employees while reducing their tax bill.

SUPPORTING BUSINESS INVESTMENT

The Morrison Government is continuing tax incentives that will allow around 19,800 businesses in Cowper to write-off the full value of any eligible asset they purchase.

Additionally, around 5,900 businesses in Cowper will be able to use the extended loss carry back measure to support cash flow and confidence. This has already helped businesses invest more in the local economy and to create local jobs and will continue to do so.

PANDEMIC SUPPORT

The Morrison Government’s JobKeeper payment supported 5,800 businesses and 19,900 employees in Cowper through the pandemic, to help keep them connected to their place of work, setting the groundwork for the recovery.

The Government also supported business in Cowper through the pandemic with the tax-free cash flow boost which helped around 5,300 small and medium businesses providing $213 million in payments.

INVESTING IN INFRASTRUCTURE

The 2022 Budget supports jobs by investing in community infrastructure, major road and rail projects, and road safety upgrades. $3,878,029,108 has been committed in Cowper since coming to Government for projects that will ease congestion, connect communities and improve road safety.

MAKING HOUSING MORE AFFORDABLE

The Morrison Government’s Home Guarantee Scheme is being extended with 50,000 places available per year. Already the scheme is supporting jobs in the construction sector and assisting home buyers into their first home by allowing them to buy a property with as little as five per cent deposit.

This scheme has already helped 11,516 in New South Wales. We are also supporting home buyers and the construction industry through our HomeBuilder program which has supported 25,973 in New South Wales.

GUARANTEED FUNDING FOR HOSPITALS

Under the Morrison Government, funding for public hospitals in New South Wales continues to increase, up 99.44% since we came to Government.

MAKING TELEHEALTH PERMANENT

The Morrison Government has strengthened Medicare by making telehealth consultations permanent. In Cowper, there have been 641,871 telehealth consultations funded through Medicare since the start of the pandemic.

MORE AFFORDABLE MEDICINES

In the last year the Morrison Government has funded 2,720,147 free or subsidised medicines in Cowper through the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme.

In this Budget, the Morrison Government continues to lower the cost of life saving medicines with new PBS listings for breast cancer and cystic fibrosis. We are also reducing the PBS Safety Net thresholds. Around 2.4 million Australians will benefit from earlier access to further subsidised or free PBS medicines.

Since coming to government, we have made nearly 2,900 new or amended medicine listings through the PBS.

SUPPORT FOR THE NDIS

This Budget guarantees record funding for the NDIS, which is supporting over 500,000 participants across Australia and 5,028 in Cowper.

RECORD SCHOOLS FUNDING

Under the Morrison Government, funding for public schools in Cowper continues to increase as a part of the Quality Schools Package, increasing by over 32% to 2029.

Specific funding increases for local schools in Cowper is available from: dese.gov.au/school-funding/estimator

MORE AFFORDABLE CHILDCARE

We are increasing funding for preschools in Cowper and making childcare more affordable and accessible. Ongoing childcare funding in this Budget will directly benefit over 6,390 families living in Cowper.

ENHANCING PAID PARENTAL LEAVE

The Government is increasing flexibility and choice for eligible Australian families by enhancing paid parental leave. Both parents will be able to access and share a single fully flexible 20-week scheme. The Government is also introducing an additional household income test of $350,000 when both parents are working, benefiting women who are the main breadwinner.

The Government supported 1,429 families with parental leave payments last year and these changes will make it easier for families to share work and care.

RECORD INVESTMENT IN AGED CARE

This Budget continues a further record investment in aged care to help the 39482 senior Australians living in Cowper. This investment will deliver more home care places, more funding for aged care centres and increases in the amount of time that nurses and carers spend with residents.

SUPPORTING CLEAN ENERGY

The Government remains committed to reducing emissions to Net Zero by 2050.

Supported by the Government’s policies, 27,300 rooftop solar panels have been installed in Cowper. Since coming to office, the Government has also supported 7,255 clean energy projects in New South Wales through the Government’s green bank, the Clean Energy Finance Corporation.

Click here to find out more about the Budget.

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 raa.nsw.gov.au 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.

ELIGIBILITY

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

HERE’S SOME HELPFUL CONTACTS

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
tim.cotter@industry.gov.au
0429 447 307
02 4014 5977

Natalie Gillam | AusIndustry Central Coast, Hunter and North Coast NSW Assistant Regional Manager
natalie.gillam@industry.gov.au
0434 606 779
02 4014 5922

What grants have been awarded in Cowper?

Additional information can be found at Grant Connect.

While encouraging rigorous debate and the sharing of diverse opinions, there is an expectation for community members to treat the page and each other with respect and courtesy. These standards apply to interaction across all online services connection to the Cowper Electorate Office.

By interacting with our social media pages, you understand and agree that the Electorate Office has ultimate control over all its online services. The Office may remove or exercise its discretion not to accept or publish your contribution for legal, editorial or operational reasons including if the Office considers it to be:

  1. defamatory, or otherwise unlawful or that it violates laws regarding harassment, discrimination, racial vilification, privacy or contempt;
  2. intentionally false or misleading;
  3. an infringement of intellectual property rights including copyright;
  4. abusive, offensive or obscene;
  5. inappropriate, off topic, repetitive or vexatious. For example, the office reserves the right to reject comments that have appeared across multiple posts unrelated to the topic.
  6. compromising the privacy of any person or containing inappropriate personal information;
  7. seeking to endorse commercial products or services;
  8. seeking to directly solicit donations;
  9. deliberate provocation of other community members; or
  10. impersonating someone else and/or posting on behalf of a suspended member.

If you breach these Terms of Use, the Office may block your account from being able to interact with the page.

Pages cannot be monitored 24 hours a day, and comments are turned off once they are unable to be effectively managed by our team.

If you have concerns about content or issues expressed on our social media pages, we invite you to contact us via email at Pat.Conaghan.MP@aph.gov.au or call the office during business hours.

 

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.

MyGov
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.

Stay Connected

Follow me
on Facebook

Follow me
on Instagram

Subscribe to
my newsletter