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Bourke’s ‘Champion’ to retire

Retiring NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard in talks with Maranguka Chairman Alistair Ferguson in Bourke earlier this year. Photo TWH

Tricia Duffield

Retiring NSW Health Minister, Brad Hazzard, who helped steer New South Wales through the COVID-19 pandemic, has nominated his work with Maranguka at Bourke as one of the highlights of his political career.

Speaking to Sydney Morning Herald columnist, Peter FitzSimons, last week, Mr Hazzard said “an almost spiritual focus, has been the past 10 years working in Bourke empowering the Aboriginal community to re-direct money to improve social outcomes – the Maranguka project – reducing the need for funding to law and order issues.

Mr Hazzard nominated the Maranguka project as a highlight along with his work with former Premier Gladys Berejiklian on controlling the COVID-19 and decriminalising abortion as highlights of his career.

Over the last 10 years, Mr Hazzard has been known as ‘the Champion of Bourke’ due to his active interest in the Maranguka social experiment here in Bourke.

Publicity surrounding crime levels in Bourke reached a low point when the town was described as ‘the most dangerous town in the world’ by the Sydney Morning Herald which compared Bourke’s crime rate with United Nations data.

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