Early NSW Government announcements about next week’s State Budget are very encouraging for the future of the Clarence and Richmond Valleys, according to Clarence Nationals MP Chris Gulaptis. “We have already had good news on police resources, road safety, mental health and drug and alcohol rehabilitation,” Mr Gulaptis said. “The NSW Police Force will benefit from a record $3.9 billion next year, despite already falling crime rates. “This includes $250 million for 50 additional highway patrol officers in regional areas, roadside alcohol testing and a doubling of mobile drug testing. Along with the multi-billion dollar Pacific Highway upgrade, that will help cut the local road toll.” Mr Gulaptis thanked Nationals colleague and Minister for Roads Melinda Pavey for securing $600 million in new money for road safety. “There is going to be a lot of money invested to save lives on country roads through infrastructure safety upgrades,” Mr Gulaptis said. “I am also pleased with pre-announcements on measures to address mental health and drug and alcohol abuse. “The Government announced a $55 million investment to help deliver mentally healthy workplaces across the state. This is the biggest investment in workplace mental health in the country’s history. “Locally, a new 40 bed drug and alcohol rehabilitation facility at Adele House near Coffs Harbour will be built thanks to a $5 million NSW budget contribution,” Mr Gulaptis concluded.