Jai Rowell MP, Member for Wollondilly
Jai has been the Member for Wollondilly since 2011. Jai was raised in the local area, attending Bowral High School before graduating with a law degree from Western Sydney University. Jai is married to Belinda with two sons, Will and Menzies.
Jai has held numerous positions within the private and public sectors. He was an advisor to the Assistant Treasurer and Minister for Communications, Senator the Hon Helen Coonan, and has worked in advisory roles to a number of Federal and NSW State parliamentarians before standing for office in 2011. Jai also served his community as a local councillor for 8 years from 2004 – 2012 and was appointed to serve on the Local Government Association of NSW. Jai was then promoted and served in Premier Mike Baird’s first Cabinet as the Minister for Mental Health and Assistant Minister for Health. Jai oversaw a renewal and regeneration of NSW Mental Health sector including a record investment into the provision of mental health services and combined portfolios saw approximate stewardship of approximately $2 billion. As a result, Jai has an impressive field of knowledge spanning local, state and federal government, and has developed a keen understanding of our complex legal system.
Delivering for Wollondilly
Jai loves the Wollondilly and Southern Highlands regions and has secured hundreds of millions of dollars’ in infrastructure and investment into health, education, roads, sewerage and services for the area.
Jai is a passionate advocate for the Wollondilly and Southern Highlands community. He has delivered sewerage connections to towns across Wollondilly, better facilities and support for our Rural Fire Service volunteers and fire brigades as well as securing funding for major road upgrades, as well as school upgrades and funding for a major upgrade to Bowral Hospital and the newly completed upgrade to Campbelltown Hospital, upgrade to Picton Road Highway Interchange and Appin Road safety improvements.
Jai has also been a key advocate for the Wilton Junction project which will see the fifth largest regional centre in NSW created near Wilton. Wilton Junction will see new billions of dollars invested into the Wollondilly region including new high schools and primary schools, healthcare services, jobs and employments, new community facilities and much needed transport links.
As a local dad, Jai is pleased to oversee the introduction of these vital achievements to safeguard the wellbeing of Wollondilly residents.
Jai has a strong track record of standing up for our community’s best interests when it comes to CSG in sensitive areas and led the charge against CSG in water catchment areas. Jai was instrumental in the successful buy back of CSG exploration licences, PEL 454 and 2, which covered most of the Wollondilly and Wingecarribee Shire regions. Jai has a proven track record of delivering the services and infrastructure our community needs.
Jai is an active supporter of local charities and community groups, raising hundreds of thousands of dollars for the community including funds for our local Rural Fire Service Brigades, Wollondilly storm victims as well as supporting a number of other not for profit organisations in Wollondilly and the Southern Highlands.
Parliamentary Career and Ministry
Since entering NSW Parliament, Jai has been heavily involved in shaping Government policy, serving as Chair of the Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters as well as serving as Deputy Chair of the Committee on Law and Safety, Standing Committee on Parliamentary Privilege and Ethics as well as a member of the Committee on Investment, Industry and Regional Development.
During his parliamentary career, Jai has held a number of key positions within the Government. He was elected Deputy Government Whip in August 2013 and was promoted to Chief Government Whip in early 2014 ensuring the smooth running of the Parliament.
As Minister for Mental Health, Jai oversaw the introduction and implementation of the Living Well strategy – a once in a generation overhaul of mental health care service delivery. The Living Well strategy, which is a 10 year roadmap for Mental Health services across NSW, also saw an injection of $115 million of new funding into mental health care funding over three years.
The Living Well strategy focussed on five key delivery outcomes which include;
- strengthening prevention and early intervention with a stronger focus on services for children and young people;
- a greater focus on community based care including the transition of long-stay psychiatric hospital patients into community care as well as providing more community based services;
- developing a more responsive system through improved specialist care services for mental health consumers with complex needs
- working together to deliver person-centred care including better integration between state and federal government services, the consumer and carers as well as mainstream health, justice and human services; and
- building a better system by investing in and developing the mental health workforce and increasing NGO capacity to deliver mental health services for government.
Through the Living Well strategy, Jai also focused on strengthening the rights of Mental Health consumers to participate in treatment planning and have their views and preferences respected. Also included in the strategy were greater provisions for carers and families to be involved with the treatment and decision making of their loved ones, as well as increased protections for young people.
With a strong focus on delivering improved services and access to first class mental health services to rural and regional services, Jai expanded mental health and dental services across rural and regional areas, increasing the number of declared mental health facilities across NSW particularly in rural and regional areas. As Minister, Jai also introduced tele-health services including tele-assessments to enable faster access to admission and mental health resources to rural and regional communities.
One of Jai’s proudest achievements within the Mental Health portfolio was the creation and implementation of the LikeMind service, which is a one-stop-shop of Mental Health services including the collocation of other associated government and non-government agencies. Mental health consumers often require a number of different services from traditional mental health services from housing assistance to financial and community support. By locating all the health and support a consumer needs in one holistic service delivery function, mental health consumers are not buffeted around the system.
- Sewerage connections to Wollondilly – the largest unsewered population in NSW
- Picton Road and Hume Highway Interchange
- Appin Road Safety Upgrades
- Campbelltown Hospital Upgrade
- Bowral Hospital Upgrade
- Bowral Public School Upgrade
- Wilton Junction Project Approval
- Brigade Aid fundraiser for local RFS Brigades
- Wilton Public School Upgrade
- Wollondilly Storm Relief Fund
- CSG Exploration Buy Back of PEL 454 & 2
- Ban of CSG in sensitive water catchment areas
- Expansion of Mental Health services at Campbelltown Hospital
- Lifeline Macarthur – Additional Funding
- Picton High School Upgrade
- Yanderra Public School Upgrade