News

  • FINGAL HEAD COASTCARE GETS NSW GOVERNMENT BOOST

    Fingal Head Coastcare will receive a $4,600 conservation grant, Environment Minister Mark Speakman and Member for Tweed Geoff Provest announced today.

    The money will pay for a computer and data projector to prepare and present education programs to schools and community groups and a trailer and other equipment for bush regeneration activities.

    Mr Provest congratulated Fingal Head Coastcare on its successful application.

    “Fingal Head Coastcare makes an important contribution to educating the community and undertaking critical local conservation projects, including by investing over 2,500 volunteer hours last year alone,” Mr Provest said.

    Mr Speakman said it was grassroots conservation work such as this that drove generational behaviour change for the better.

    “It’s important for the government to support local initiatives which encourage community involvement in conservation, and that’s why I’m so pleased to support Fingal Head Coastcare,” Mr Speakman said.

  • MORE PROTECTION FOR DOMESTIC VIOLENCE VICTIMS IN TWEED

    Member for Tweed Geoff Provest welcomed changes to the Apprehended Domestic Violence Order (ADVO) Scheme, which passed the NSW Legislative Assembly today, to better protect victims in Tweed.

    Mr Provest said he is proud the NSW Liberals & Nationals Government treats domestic violence like the crime it is and will implement all 17 recommendations of the statutory review of the Crimes (Domestic and Personal Violence) Act 2007.”

    “These changes are vital to protect domestic violence victims and their families in Tweed, Mr Provest said.

    “This builds on the NSW Government’s reputation as a national leader in the protection of domestic violence victims.”

    Crimes categorized as ‘domestic violence offences’ will now also include any and all NSW or Commonwealth criminal offence where the defendant intends to coerce, control or cause fear in the victim, like using a mobile service to menace, harass or cause offence.

    “The law will also ensure ADVOs are written in plain English and spell out examples of the consequences of breaches to improve information for perpetrators and victims.

    “We know victims are often reluctant to come forward because they are afraid of their partner, so the NSW Government is making it easier for them to get an ADVO without having to prove a fear of violence in court.

    “This means magistrates will be able to hear final applications for ADVOs even if the victim doesn’t appear in court and police will be notified of any application to change or revoke an ADVO.”

    “Perpetrators may threaten the victim’s new partner, which is why we are also ensuring a victim’s current partner is included in the legal definition of a domestic relationship, so everyone affected by domestic violence has the legal protection of an ADVO if they are targeted.

    The legislation will also enshrine in law that self-represented defendants cannot personally cross-examine child witnesses during ADVO applications, and that a person cannot apply for an ADVO to be revoked after it has expired.

    NSW leads the nation as the first jurisdiction to introduce model laws to recognise and enforce domestic violence orders across the country, to better protect victims and hold perpetrators to account, regardless of where they live.

  • REGIONAL NSW INVITED TO PARTNER AND CREATE ART

    Member for Tweed Geoff Provest is calling on local art organisations to apply for funding to support strategic partnerships that deliver high-quality arts and cultural activities.

    Mr Provest said the Regional Partnerships round of arts funding grants is now open until 20 June 2016 under the NSW Government’s 2016/17 Arts and Cultural Development Program.

    “Funding is available to support strategic partnerships across the arts and cultural sectors, including partnerships with local government authorities or other public, private or community organisations,” Mr Provest said.

    “This funding can support significant strategic and long-term partnerships in our community to stimulate strong and diverse arts and cultural activities.

    “The NSW Government is committed to investing in arts and cultural activity to support employment and professional development of artists and cultural workers.”

    Deputy Premier and Minister for the Arts Troy Grant said examples of collaborative partnerships could include regional organisations working with metropolitan-based theatre companies to tailor local programs, or regional galleries partnering with local health services so patients can participate while recovering.

    “This support is providing opportunities for more people to experience arts and culture and is in line with our Government’s Create in NSW policy framework that focuses on access, strength and excellence,” Mr Grant said.

    Applications are invited from organisations, partnerships and groups in regional NSW for new projects or significant development of current projects.

    Grants of up to $150,000 over two years are available for projects which can commence after 1 January 2017 and be completed by 31 December 2018.

    Further information and application forms are available at www.arts.nsw.gov.au

  • BETTER ACCESS TO TWEED RIVER WITH UPGRADE WORK STARTING AT CLARRIE PURNELL PARK IN CONDONG

    Boaters will soon have improved access to the Tweed River with an upgrade of the boat launching area at Clarrie Purnell Park in Condong starting soon.

    Mr Provest said the NSW Government provided Tweed Shire Council a $232,000 grant through the NSW Boating Now program to stabilise the river bank for safer boat launching access.

    “The erosion of the river bank is compromising the safety, accessibility and amenity of this popular boating destination in the upper Tweed estuary,” Mr Provest said.

    “The NSW Government has provided $37.5 million from NSW Boating Now to support delivery of the 192 Priority Regional Projects identified in the 11 Regional Boating Plans.

    “An additional $10 million has also been set aside for major projects, $5 million for boat trailer parking initiatives and another $10 million for the delivery of second round projects in the last two years of this program.

    “NSW Boating Now aims to further enhance the boating experience by improving the capacity and amenity of boating infrastructure on NSW waterways.

    “Priority regional projects were identified following consultation with councils, local sports clubs and organisations as well as every day boaters. These projects include upgrades and new infrastructure such as boat ramps, jetties, pontoons, car parks and sewage pump out facilities.”

    For more information about NSW Boating Now or the Better Boating program visit the Roads and Maritime website at http://www.rms.nsw.gov.au/projects/key-build-program/boating-now/ or Transport for NSW at http://maritimemanagement.transport.nsw.gov.au/

  • LOCAL POLICE SUCCESSFULLY PUSH DOWN CRIME

    Member for Tweed Geoff Provest has praised the work of the hard-working men and women in the Tweed Byron Local Area Command for their excellent work to reduce local crime.

    Mr Provest said the latest quarterly data from the Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research (BOCSAR) reflects the tireless efforts of local police and the cooperation of the community.

    In the 24 months to December 2015, only one of the 17 major offence categories showed a significant upward trend state-wide, while seven offences were trending down.

    Mr Provest said local data from the Tweed followed the state-wide trend, with several offences stable or trending down.

    “I am very proud to see a downward trend in the following major crime categories:

    • Domestic violence related assault is down 19.4% (Tweed LGA)
    • Steal from motor vehicle is down 22.7% (Tweed LGA)
    • Malicious damage to property is down 17.2% (Tweed LGA)

    “I credit these results to the appointment of our new Superintendent Wayne Starling and the proactive work of our local police and their efforts to investigate and prosecute crime across our community,” Mr Provest said.

    BOCSAR has again identified increases in prohibited drug possession throughout NSW, including a 30.6 percent increase in amphetamine possession and a 35.9 percent increase in cocaine possession.

    “The secondary crime statistics relating to drug possession remain a concern and highlights the need for the NSW Liberals & Nationals Government to continue to implement our targeted plan to stamp out drugs and support affected communities,” Mr Provest said.

    “Data relating to drug possession showcases the success of the NSW Police Force to find drugs in our communities, hold dealers to account and deter further use.

    “The NSW Government is committed to providing our local police with the resources they need to protect the community and today’s report showcases this success.”

  • 2016 YOUNG REGIONAL $10,000 SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM NOW OPEN

    Member for Tweed Geoff Provest today encouraged local youth aged 18-25 years old to apply for the NSW Government’s Young Regional Scholarship program.

    Mr Provest said this program is enabling the next generation of arts professionals based in regional NSW to fulfil their creative ambitions.

    “Our community has a fantastic array of young artistic talent and I urge people to apply now for this potentially career-changing opportunity,” Mr Provest said.

    “I want our young artists to connect with arts organisations and seek training opportunities so they can reach their potential and develop their careers.
    “The NSW Liberals & Nationals Government is committed to supporting art and culture throughout regional and remote NSW,” Mr Provest said.

    Deputy Premier and Minister for the Arts Troy Grant said he was proud the NSW Government has created a scheme exclusively for regional youth.

    “The 2015 successful recipients showcased the innovative and vibrant artistic talent of young people in regional NSW, and their activities will inject new skills back into the regions,” Mr Grant said.

    “I have great confidence in the 2015 scholarship alumni developing their talent and I look forward to hearing first-hand from this year’s recipients how they intend to reach their career goals with this support.

    “The NSW Liberals & Nationals Government is investing in artistic talent throughout regional NSW to ensure the community is supported with a diverse and thriving arts and cultural scene,” Mr Grant said.

    Local artists and arts workers can apply from any art form, including dance, design, digital arts, history, Aboriginal arts, literature, music, theatre, screen and the visual arts.

    The scholarships are available to fund activities including mentorships or internships, residencies, short-term courses and workshops, travel and the creation of new work.

    For the purpose of this scholarship, regional NSW is defined as Local Government Areas outside the metropolitan and metropolitan fringe of Sydney, Newcastle and Wollongong.

    Applications close on 27 June 2016. For more information or to apply for a NSW Young Regional Artists Scholarship visit: www.arts.nsw.gov.au.

  • TWEED RIVER ENTRANCE DREDGING TO IMPROVE NAVIGATION

    Member for Tweed Geoff Provest said the entrance of the Tweed River will be dredged over coming weeks to improve boating navigation for commercial and recreational vessels.

    “It is planned to remove about 21,000 cubic metres of sand. Thanks to the success of the Tweed River Entrance Sand Bypassing Project, this is a relatively small amount compared with past dredging campaigns,” Mr Provest said.

    “The floating dredge Port Frederick will carry out the sand removal and is expected to begin in late March. Work is expected to take around three weeks depending on weather and swell conditions.”

    Mr Provest said that sand had moved into the entrance area naturally and reduced the water depth available in the defined channel area.

    “Dredging will reinstate a clear navigation channel and create an additional small buffer depth to allow for sand to settle. Sand will be picked up by the dredge and taken to locations off Point Danger, where it will be deposited evenly.”

    “The works will improve navigational safety for commercial fishers and other commercial operators and recreational boaters who use the Tweed River entrance.”

    The Tweed River Entrance Sand Bypassing Project is a joint initiative of the NSW and Queensland Governments with financial and other assistance being provided by Tweed Shire Council and Gold Coast City Council.

  • “Lot 490” handed back to Traditional Owners

    Member for Tweed, Geoff Provest, today joined with the NSW Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, Leslie Williams MP, in handing the Title Deeds for Lot 490 to the Tweed-Byron Aboriginal Land Council.

    “No issue has attracted more comment from the community, no issue has polarised opinion more than the future of Lot 490,” Mr Provest said.

    “For more than a decade we have seen consultations, promises, protests and petitions in order to determine the future of the land and balance the conflicting proposals for its use.”

    Lot 490 is more correctly described as being Lots 1 and 2 DP1117599 and was formerly Crown Land. In 2005, the plan of management identified that Lot 1 should be used for tourist accommodation while Lot 2 should be managed for public recreation and environmental protection.

    In 2008, the then Labor Government entered into an agreement with Leighton Properties for the development of a tourist resort on Lot 1 and in 2012, development consent was given. However, in late 2012 Leighton subsequently advised the government that it was not proceeding with the project.

    Petitions calling for the property in its entirety to be protected were presented to Parliament on 13 August 2013 and 5 August 2014. However, on 13 June 2013, an Aboriginal Land Claim was made over Lot 1 and Lot 2 and any future plans for the land were put on hold until this could be determined.

    In October 2015, Labor introduced a bill into the NSW Parliament which would have seen Lot 490 become a National Park before the claim was determined. This would have constrained the ways the land could be used by the Aboriginal owners and was opposed by indigenous groups.

    “Today, the culmination of this process sees the title deeds for Lots 1 & 2 being handed to the elders of the Tweed Byron Aboriginal Land Council,” Mr Provest said.

    “This acknowledges the historical significance of the land and returns full ownership to the traditional guardians.”

    Minister Leslie Williams said that LALCs such as Tweed Byron LALC are able to use the land claims they are awarded to best suit their needs.

    “The land claims process exists as a compensatory measure to provide economic, social and cultural benefit to Aboriginal Communities,” Mrs Williams said.

    However, Mr Provest said that plans for the future use of the land must take environmental protections and zoning restrictions into account.

    “Lot 490 is now private property under the control of our local Land Council and I wish it well as it manages this important cultural asset,” he concluded.

  • NSW LEADING THE WAY ON NATIONAL DOMESTIC VIOLENCE ORDER SCHEME

    Member for Tweed Geoff Provest has welcomed the introduction of model laws in NSW that will hold domestic violence perpetrators accountable nationwide.

    “These model laws mean that Domestic Violence Orders issued to protect victims and their families in Tweed will be automatically recognised and enforced across State and Territory borders,” Mr Provest said.

    In December 2015, the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) agreed each State and Territory would introduce model laws to automatically recognise and enforce Domestic Violence Orders across Australia, including New Zealand orders registered in Australia.

    “I am proud to be part of a government that treats domestic violence like the crime it is, with NSW leading the nation as the first State or Territory to bring a bill to parliament,” Mr Provest said.

    “The national recognition scheme will improve information sharing across borders, and better protect the safety of victims if they choose to move interstate.”

    This means the NSW Police Force will be able to work more closely with their interstate counterparts to target, monitor and reduce domestic violence offending.

    A victim will no longer need to register an interstate order in a NSW court, which can be traumatising for victims and potentially alert a perpetrator to their new location.

    The Attorney General Gabrielle Upton said she was proud to introduce the new laws.

    “I call on the other States and Territories to fast track their adoption of these new model laws as soon as possible,” Ms Upton said.

    “I look forward to taking this up with my Federal and State and Territory counterparts next month at the Law, Crime and Community Safety Council (LCCSC) meeting in Queenstown.”

    COAG and the LCCSC are overseeing the establishment of an interim national information sharing system for Domestic Violence Orders, which will be used to develop a comprehensive model for sharing information across jurisdictions.

  • PROMOTING RESPONSIBLE PET OWNERSHIP

    Subsidised de-sexing for pets, discounted micro-chipping and education for children about dogs are all programs set to benefit local communities from the NSW Government’s Responsible Pet Ownership Grants Program.

    Member for Tweed, Geoff Provest today encouraged Tweed Shire Council to apply for grants for activities and workshops developed in collaboration with community groups.

    Mr Provest said that individual councils could apply for grants of up to $15,000, while collaborative council projects could receive up to $50,000.

    “The Responsible Pet Ownership Grants Program helps councils to address important issues such as educating children about animal behaviour, how community members can deal with menacing and dangerous dogs, and reducing dog attacks. There are also programs that deal with the issue of feral cats,” Mr Provest said.

    Minister for Local Government Paul Toole said the NSW Government had committed $900,000 over three years towards this important Program.

    “In the last round of the Responsible Pet Ownership Grants Program, funding was provided to 29 councils,” Mr Toole said.

    “These successful programs promote safety around cats and dogs and are an excellent opportunity for community collaboration.”

    The closing date for round three applications is Friday, 29 April 2016.

    The Responsible Pet Ownership Grants Program will continue through until 2017.