News

  • GET IT IN BLACK AND WHITE BEFORE IT’S TOO LATE

    Nationals Member for Tweed Geoff Provest is urging people to make plans for their future as part of the NSW Government’s ‘Get it in Black and White’ campaign.

    In NSW only 56 per cent of people aged between 35 and 49 have a Will, only 19 per cent of people aged over 35 have an Enduring Guardian and only 40 per cent have a Power of Attorney.

    The campaign calls for people to put plans in place in the event they lose capacity or pass away.

    “This campaign empowers people to take control of their future it means decisions that have to be made at the end of your life are yours alone,” Mr Provest said.

    “Our hope is that 2015 will be the year that people will put their plans in black and white.”

    Planning ahead frees people from worry about their future.

    “Most people know that having plans in place will be important one day, but they assume this will be far in the future, leaving many vulnerable if something happens unexpectedly,” Mr Provest said.

    “By putting a plan in place now, people can take comfort in the knowledge that they and their loved ones will be supported when the time comes.”

    Black and White ambassador, journalist Tracey Spicer said there were three steps peole had to take for their wishes to be respected – making a Will and Power of Attorney, and appointing an Enduring Guardian.

    “By planning ahead you gain the peace of mind that you and your family will be looked after legally, medically and financially if you are become incapacitated through injury, dementia, stroke or frailty or if you pass away,” she said.

    The Planning Ahead Tools website has relevant information, including a section for health and legal professionals. www.planningaheadtools.com.au or call 1300 887 529

  • HELP FOR POST CHRISTMAS DEBT SHOCK

    People across Tweed facing difficulties with debt because of unfair or illegal loans and consumer contracts can get help from Legal Aid NSW.

    “No-deposit, interest free deals, or buy now, pay later offers may sound tempting, but can include hidden traps people only realise after they have signed on the dotted line,” Mr Provest said.

    “When the bills roll in after the Christmas splurge and Boxing Day sales, the New Year can bring nasty wake-up calls to many consumers.

    “Some credit providers charge exorbitant interest rates, high fees and late payment charges which add significantly to the cost of the product.

    “Lawyers at Legal Aid NSW can help people who are finding themselves in financial trouble. They can check if the contracts were fair, and the consumer was fully informed, or they can help negotiate new payment arrangements,” Mr Provest said.

    Legal Aid NSW Chief Executive Bill Grant said often people do not read, or fully understand, the small print in many consumer contracts.

    “Credit providers are required to lend responsibly and inform the customer of the major conditions. If they do not do that, these deals may be illegal,” Mr Grant said.

    “Legal Aid NSW also publishes information about debts, and many other legal problems online.”

    People can turn to Legal Aid NSW offices or ring LawAccess NSW (1300 888 529), a free legal helpline that provides legal information and referrals. For more information go to: www.legalaid.nsw.gov.au

  • NSW GOVERNMENT COMMITS TO RESTORING VITAL TWEED WATERWAYS

    The NSW Government will provide funding to ensure the accessibility and health of two key Tweed waterways, Minister for Natural Resources Lands and Water Kevin Humphries and Member for Tweed Geoff Provest announced today.

    Mr Humphries said the NSW Government will commit up to $600,000 – which includes funding under phase two of the Rescuing our Waterways program – to undertake dredging work at the Tweed River and Terranora Inlet.

    “The NSW Liberals & Nationals are committed to restoring navigation and the health of key waterways across the State by funding key dredging projects that will in turn support local economies and tourism industries,” Mr Humphries said.

    “These two vital projects aim to maintain navigation channels critical to the operations of industry, the commercial fishing fleet and tourism charter vessels.”

    “The Tweed dredging is one of the first five projects in the NSW Government’s priority north coast dredging program that will be undertaken over the next four years.

    “The NSW Government is committed to supporting our local communities by restoring waterways along the North Coast with a commitment in this year’s Budget of $10 million over four years to deliver priority dredging projects in waterways between Forster and Tweed Heads.”

    Mr Provest said the Tweed electorate would benefit enormously from the dredging works, which will be undertaken in the first half of next year.

    “Waterways are the lifeblood of many Tweed communities and the NSW Government’s commitment of up to $600,000 will mean that dredging work will now occur in the Terranora Inlet and the Tweed River from Tumbulgum to the inner bar,” Mr Provest said.

    “Hydrosurveys, geotech sampling and environmental assessments are expected to be completed early next year with the dredging to be done between March and July 2015.

    “These waterways are so important to communities throughout the Tweed and I am extremely pleased to be able to deliver funding for vital work that was long neglected by the former Labor government.”

  • REMINDER OF FREE WORKSHOP HELPING LEARNERS BECOME SAFER DRIVERS

    Nationals Member for Tweed Geoff Provest encourages parents and supervisors of learner drivers in Tweed to attend a free workshop on providing the most effective driving practice.

    The NSW Government’s Helping Learner Drivers Become Safer Drivers workshop, provided by Roads and Maritime Services, will be held at Tweed Ultima on Wednesday 3 December at 5.30pm (DST).

    “Parents and supervisors play a pivotal role in shaping young people’s driving habits and the course has been developed to help them do this job with confidence,” Mr Provest said.

    The two hour workshops include information about licence conditions for learner and P plate drivers, using the learner driver log book and the importance of constructive feedback.

    “The course also reinforces the important role of families in providing ongoing support for young motorists in the early years of driving.”

    “Parents and supervisors who have attended this course found it boosted their confidence, helped them better plan driving lessons and allowed them to share experiences with other parents and supervisors.”

    Bookings are essential and can be made by calling (02) 6650 1969 or online via www.etcltd.com.au/rms

  • KINGSCLIFF RECEIVES FUNDING FOR COASTAL PROTECTION

    Environment Minister Rob Stokes and Tweed MP Geoff Provest today announced Tweed Shire Council will receive $150,000 from the NSW Government for a project to protect the coast at Kingscliff.

    Tweed Shire Council will also contribute $150,000 to the project.

    Mr Provest said Tweed Shire Council will receive the funding for the preparation of an integrated environmental impact study, for the construction of a seawall and sand nourishment.

    “Kingscliff Beach has undergone severe coastal erosion in recent years and after extensive community consultation, Tweed Shire Council has adopted a protection strategy for a 500 metre length of the foreshore,” Mr Provest said.

    “The project has a high level of support within the community, evidenced by extensive community consultation done during the development of the preliminary environmental impact statement for the project.

    “Preliminary studies and some on-ground works have been completed. This project will deliver a study which will assess the best options for foreshore protection.”

    Environment Minister Rob Stokes said Kingscliff Beach and foreshore have significant regional, economic, recreational, cultural and social values.

    “This is why it is important to carefully consider all the options for management at this site, to ensure the desired long term outcomes will be achieved when works begin,” Mr Stokes said.

    “The coastal management program provides funds to support local government in managing the risks from coastal hazards, such as coastal erosion, and restoring degraded coastal habitats.

    “A total of 12 new projects along the NSW coast have been funded under this year’s round of the program with a total NSW Government contribution of over $800,000.

    “This in addition to more than 70 ongoing projects valued at more than $4 million under the Coastal Management Program.”

  • TWEED TO RECEIVE FUNDING FOR SCHOOL FOREST AND GRAZING INITIATIVE

    Environment Minister Rob Stokes and Member for Tweed Geoff Provest today announced two environmental grants to fund new environmental projects in the Tweed.

    Mr Stokes and Mr Provest visited Banora Point Public School to announce students and teachers will use a $2,500 Eco Schools grant for the first stage of a project called Fixing our Forest.

    “Students will restore a forest on school grounds to create an learning area rich in native species. This project will teach students about environmental management, the value of native plants and provide habitat for native species,” Mr Stokes said.

    “Across NSW, we have awarded grants to 50 Food Gardens in Schools projects worth $175,000, half of which has been targeted to assist students with special learning needs. A further $115,000 has been awarded to fund 46 Eco Schools projects

    Mr Provest announced a grant of $14,900 will got to Tweed Shire Council for their Sustainable Grazing in the Tweed Valley project.

    “This environmental education grant will help the council share knowledge with graziers about the importance of soil health as the basis for sustainable grazing systems,” Mr Provest said.

    “Reduced erosion and runoff from better practices will lead to better waterway health and farm profitability.”

    NSW Environment Minister Rob Stokes said these grants were part of a $2.4 million funding round for schools, community groups, research organisations and government agencies.

    “Protecting and enhancing the environment of NSW is our shared responsibility and these funding programs support the community to care for their own environments,” Mr Stokes said.

    The NSW Government has awarded 134 grants totalling $35.2 million through the Environmental Trust’s contestable grants programs so far this financial year.

  • MINISTER MEETS WITH TWEED PRINCIPALS

    Minister for Education Adrian Piccoli and Member for Tweed Geoff Provest last night met with local school principals to discuss the NSW Government’s needs-based school funding model.

    Mr Piccoli said schools in the Tweed would receive a total of $3.8 million in needs-based funding in 2015, an increase of $320,000 on this year’s funding.

    “This additional support is a result of the NSW Liberals & Nationals Government being the first State to sign up to the Gonski agreement, which will deliver $5 billion in additional funding to NSW students over six years,” Mr Piccoli said.

    “I spoke with local principals from government schools, and many will receive large increases in funding for their schools next year.

    “Tweed Heads South Public School will receive $515,792 in needs-based funding next year, an increase of over $62,000 on this year’s funding. Similarly, Tweed River High School will receive $586,074, an increase of over $57,000 on their current needs-based finding.

    “Public schools have long wanted a significant increase in funding with the guarantee that this funding will continue in the future.

    “Across NSW we are delivering $664 million to schools in 2015, including an additional $97 million as a result of the Gonski agreement.”

    Mr Provest said the additional funding is allocated to schools and students with the greatest need.

    In 2015, the NSW Government’s Resource Allocation Model (RAM) for distributing needs-based funding includes five loadings to improve education outcomes:

    • $253 million for students from low socio-economic backgrounds;
    • $240 million for students with low-level disability;
    • $104 million for students still developing English language proficiency;
    • $50 million to support students from Aboriginal backgrounds; and
    • $17 million for remote and isolated school communities.

    “Schools in the Tweed began benefitting from additional resources distributed under the RAM this year,” Mr Provest said.

    “We’re already seeing the results in our local schools. We heard from principals how the additional funding is helping in literacy and numeracy support, as well as teachers’ professional development.”

  • DELIVERING ON OUR COMMITMENTS: EVERY SCHOOL IN TWEED NOW HAS FLASHING LIGHTS

    Minister for Roads and Freight Duncan Gay and Minister for the North Coast and Member for Tweed and Parliamentary Secretary for Regional Roads Geoff Provest today were on hand to install the final set of flashing lights in the Tweed Shire at Duranbah Public School.

    “The NSW Liberals & Nationals Government is committed to protecting our most vulnerable and inexperienced road users – our children,” Minister Gay said.

    “That’s why we have committed $32 million to ensure every school zone in NSW has flashing lights.

    “Today is a great day because now every school in the Tweed Local Government Area has a set of flashing lights.

    “This Government is doing what it said it would and we will deliver flashing lights to every school in this state by the end of the next year – under Labor no schools would have flashing lights.

    “No government in the history of this great state has delivered this level of safety for our school zones and I am proud we have delivered on our commitment for the Tweed,” Mr Gay said.

    Mr Provest said this was a great reminder this NSW Government is deliver safer roads right across Tweed.

    “In the Tweed, seven sets of flashing lights were delivered, as part of the Phase One high risk roll out and 32 were delivered as part of Phase Two,” Mr Provest said.

    “Every school zone from Tweed Heads to Burringbar now has flashing lights.

    “This initiative is a win for everyone because it improves the safety of kids around schools in the Tweed and reminds drivers when school zones are operating.

  • DON’T WAIT – APPLY FOR THE 2014-2015 FAMILY ENERGY REBATE

    Nationals Member for Tweed Geoff Provest is reminding eligible Tweed households they can receive up to $150 towards the cost of their energy bills by applying for the 2014-2015 NSW Family Energy Rebate (FER).

    Mr Provest says those households should take advantage of the rebate offer before the submission deadline of Tuesday 16 June 2015.

    “On 1 July, 2012, the Liberals & Nationals Government introduced the Family Energy Rebate (FER) scheme to help the most disadvantaged in our community, and has committed $13.5 million to it this year,” Mr Provest said.

    “Applications will not be accepted after that date so apply as soon as you know you can meet all eligibility criteria for this energy assistance rebate.

    To be eligible for the 2014-2015 Family Energy Rebate you must:
    • Be a NSW resident; and
    • Have been assessed by the Federal Department of Human Services (DHS) as being eligible for the Family Tax Benefit (FTB) A or B during the past financial year, and have received an FTB payment; and
    • Be a customer of an electricity retailer, or a long-term resident of a residential community (caravan or mobile home park), whose name appears on the electricity account for supply to her or his principal place of residence.
    “Begin by ensuring you complete your tax return with the Australian Taxation Office or notify the Department of Human Services (DHS) if you are not required to lodge a return for 2013-2014”.

    “Once you have received confirmation from DHS regarding your Family Tax Benefit A or B (FTB) entitlement for 2013-2014, then apply for the FER.

    “Each year more than 540,000 NSW households with dependent children are eligible for FTB, so those same households can apply for FER.

    “It takes just two minutes to submit an application on line. It begins processing immediately and you receive instant confirmation of receipt of your application.

    “The NSW Government committed $228 million this financial year to ease energy costs including increasing the Low Income Household Rebate and Assistance in the Medical Energy Rebate to $235, and funded the Energy Accounts Payment Assistance and Life Support Rebate,” Mr Provest said.

    To apply for the Rebate, type “family energy rebate” into a search engine or apply online at https://applications.fer.trade.nsw.gov.au/.

  • NSW TO BAN BUTTS IN NATIONAL PARKS

    The NSW Government has announced a ban on smoking in the state’s national parks.

    Member for Tweed, Geoff Provest, said the ban will apply to the national parks estate and includes picnic areas, campgrounds, beaches, lookouts, walking tracks and on national parks roads.

    “Locals and park visitors will be made aware of the ban through a community education and communication campaign,” Mr Provest said.

    “We have 860 national parks in NSW which protect our most beautiful and most popular natural areas. We want to make sure they are safe and healthy for everyone.”

    “Cigarette butts can also be ingested by our wildlife, wash into waterways and spoil the beauty of our natural places”.

    NSW Environment Minister Rob Stokes said the ban would diminish the risk of bushfires and reduce litter in national parks, with surveys confirming cigarette butts form up to half of the measured litter across the nation.

    “Seven billion cigarette butts are littered in Australia every year, putting lives and property at risk, ruining beaches, spoiling the beauty of our parks and endangering wildlife,” Mr Stokes said.

    “The Royal Commission into the devastating Victorian bushfires, where over 170 people died, singled out cigarette butts as one of the likely causes of bushfire in the Australian environment.

    Cigarette Butts contain more than 4000 chemicals, including 43 known carcinogens such as ammonia, nitrogen dioxide, formaldehyde, hydrogen cyanide and arsenic. When cigarette butts are discarded the chemicals leach into the surrounding environment polluting the land and waterways.

    The NSW Government is serious about reducing fire risk and littering in NSW and this move will reduce litter and help to keep communities safer.

    The ban on smoking within national parks will commence on 1 January 2015.

    Police and Emergency Services Minister Stuart Ayres recently announced that the penalty for littering lighted cigarettes has doubled from $330 to $660.The fine has gone from $660 to $1320 if someone discards a lit cigarette on a Total Fire Ban day.