News

  • NEW SURFING EVENT TO BE HELD AT CABARITA BEACH

    A new surfing event will be held for the next three years at Cabarita Beach as part of the NSW Pro Surf Series.

    The event to be held next year from the 1-3 February promises to attract a world class line-up of surfers to the region.

    This fantastic new event will provide a boost to tourism for the Tweed area, and I am pleased it has been secured by the NSW Government, through our tourism and major events agency Destination NSW

    The 2nd round of the NSW Pro Surf Series will be an official World Surf League Qualifying Series event, attracting top surfers and showcasing the Tweed region to surfers and fans from around Australia and the world

    It is estimated that the Series as a whole will contribute almost $4 million to the NSW economy in visitor spend over the next three years, making a positive impact on the State’s coastal communities as competitors and spectators stay in local hotels, eat at local restaurants and visit local attractions,

    Other events in the NSW Pro Surf Series will be held at Maroubra Beach on 15-17 January, Avoca Beach on 9-11 February and Boomerang Beach on 1-3 March.

    A fantastic opportunity to showcase the Tweed our beautiful beaches and surrounds.

  • POLICE SATURATE ROADS TO TACKLE RISING TOLL

    NSW Police will be out in force across NSW as part of Operation Saturation which is aimed at tackling the recent spike in the NSW road toll.

    Member for Tweed Geoff Provest is urging the community to play its part to prevent more fatalities on NSW roads.

    “With 229 people killed on our roads so far this year, which is 25 more than the same time last year, the NSW Government and the NSW Police Force are pleading with road users to be more cautious,” Mr Provest said.

    “Too many lives have been lost because of dangerous behaviour such as speeding, drinking driving, not wearing seatbelts and talking on mobile phones.

    “We are seeing both drivers and pedestrians being killed across NSW in accidents that could easily be avoided.

    “Operation Saturation is designed to make road users sit up and take not of their behaviour and be more cautious on the road.

    “The current statistics are concerning and are showing an upward trend. An average of 15 lives have been lost ever fortnight on our roads since the end of April.

    “I am pleading with my local community to slow down, obey the road rules and look out for others.

    “We are seeing an over representation in fatalities in Western Sydney and regional NSW.

    “Police will be out in force until the end of September to target some of the biggest killers on our roads in areas where serious accidents are happening,” Mr Provest said.

    Operation Saturation – fully funded by the Community Road Safety Fund, which redirects speed camera fines back into the community to make our roads safer – will begin at midnight tonight (Wednesday 26 August 2015) and run until September 28.

    Since May, the NSW road toll has spiked, with an increase in pedestrians, passengers and older road users killed compared to the same time last year.

  • GRANTS AVAILABLE FOR LOCAL SPORT AND RECREATION PROJECTS

    Member for Tweed Geoff Provest is encouraging local organisations to apply for grants of up to $1 million to help upgrade sport and recreation facilities through the ClubGRANTS Category 3 program.

    “Sport and recreation is part of our State’s social fabric and the NSW Government is investing in facilities for the community to enjoy for generations to come,” Mr Provest said.

    “There’s up to $8 million available and I encourage our local clubs and council to get their applications together to have the best chance of receiving a funding injection.

    “Particular emphasis will be placed on projects that benefit disadvantaged and regional and remote communities in this program round.

    “On top of funding for sport and recreation infrastructure, $2 million for emergency relief facilities and $2.5 million for cultural infrastructure annually for the next four years is available through separate rounds opening in the coming months.”

    Deputy Premier Troy Grant said the funding program will provide a much needed boost to sport and recreation facilities in local communities right across the State.

    “The NSW Government knows local sports grounds and facilities are just as important as our major stadiums and are vital to a healthy community,” Mr Grant said.

    Expressions of interest for sport and recreation grants are now open until October 2015. Applications will be assessed by the independent ClubGRANTS Fund committee made up of representatives from Sport NSW, Clubs NSW, Office of Liquor, Gaming and Racing, Arts NSW, Office of Regional Development and sporting associations.

    Approved applicants will be invited to lodge formal applications by 16 December 2015 and successful projects will be announced early next year.

    Further information and applicant information packs are available on the Office of Liquor, Gaming & Racing website www.olgr.nsw.gov.au

  • Are you going through a separation, property settlement or experiencing family violence and dont know how to explain it to your children?

    A re-vamped website that helps children and young people to navigate complicated legal issues has today been launched by Attorney General Gabrielle Upton.

    Issues such as parental break ups, family violence, criminal issues and property settlements are all issues that can affect children and young people, and Ms Upton said the justice system needs to be easily understood and accessible for everyone.

    “Sadly, young people can suffer the most when families break up and are often in need of our legal assistance. Helping them understand the legal issues impacting their life can help reduce any stress or anxiety they are feeling,” Ms Upton said.

    The updated Best for Kids website, developed by Legal Aid NSW, has legal information and resources for young people and families on a wide range of legal issues which can impact their lives including family law, care and protection, family violence, criminal law, consumer credit and debt.

    The website includes answers to questions about what happens when parents separate, what is an AVO, what happens at court and the role of an independent children’s lawyer, what happens when children are removed from their parents’ care, how to deal with debt and money issues and what young people should do if approached by the police.

    The website also features videos for parents including on family violence, mediation and property settlements.

    Legal Aid NSW Chief Executive Bill Grant thanked police, the courts and the child actors for their role in developing and producing the videos.

    “They have helped make this a fantastic resource, designed to be easily accessible from mobile phones,” Mr Grant said.

    “Videos and online animated brochures also explain what children’s lawyers do for a child or young person. These lawyers are usually appointed by the Court to represent a child’s interests in family law cases and care proceedings.”

    For more information, go to www.bestforkids.org.au

    Remember domestic and family violence takes many forms. It involves violent, abusive or intimidating behaviour carried out by a partner, carer or family member to control, dominate, humiliate or instil fear.

    Domestic Violence is a crime and if you need support the 24 hour Domestic Violence Line is available on 1800 65 64 63

  • PROVEST WELCOMES IMPROVED 10/50 SCHEME

    Geoff Provest, Nationals Member for Tweed, has welcomed the improvements to the 10/50 scheme, saying it would provide better protection for critical habitat, animals and would minimise tree clearing along the coast simply to improve views.

    The 10/50 scheme introduced after the devastating 2013 bushfires enables residents in bushfire-prone areas to remove trees within 10m and vegetation within 50m of their property without seeking approval.

    “This Government strongly believes that property owners should be empowered to protect their property, but it was clear that some people were clearing trees for reasons which had nothing to do with bushfire protection,” Mr Provest said.

    A review of the 10/50 scheme by the NSW Rural Fire Service, Office of Environment and Heritage and the Department of Planning concluded residents should retain the right to protect their homes from bushfire, but made 30 recommendations to tighten the scheme.

    Mr Provest said the NSW Government had accepted all 30 recommendations and had introduced legislation to Parliament to amend the Rural Fires Act 1997 and separately tighten the NSW RFS Code of Practice.

    “Around half of these recommendations introduce greater environmental protections such as excluding Koala habitats, littoral rainforest, Aboriginal places, and trees within 100 metres of the coastline,” he said.

    “Critically endangered plants, critical habitats, all mangroves, saltmarshes and a range of critically endangered ecological communities have also been excluded from the scheme”

    The NSW RFS said the review encourages councils to take greater responsibility for their bushfire prone land. The RFS can exclude low-risk pockets of bushland from the scheme if it is satisfied that council has appropriate mitigation strategies in place.

    Residents can check their eligibility for the 10/50 scheme and also view a copy of the report at www.rfs.nsw.gov.au/1050

  • NEW LAW TARGETS ANTI-SOCIAL BEHAVIOUR

    Social housing will be safer thanks to legislation that makes it easier to evict anti-social tenants who commit serious crimes, said Minister for Family and Community Services and Social Housing, Brad Hazzard.

    Other changes in the Residential Tenancies and Housing Legislation Amendment (Public Housing – Antisocial Behaviour) Bill 2015, introduced in State Parliament today, allow the eviction of tenants who fraudulently claim a rental subsidy and do not pay the money back.

    “The NSW Government will not stand for people who make life difficult for the majority of good social housing tenants,” Mr Hazzard said.

    “The vast majority of public housing residents are law abiding citizens who deserve to live in a safe environment.”

    The proposed One Strike policy for a serious breach of a tenancy agreement means the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT) must terminate a tenancy where it is proven, on balance of probabilities, that a tenant has committed a serious criminal offence; serious drug crimes, grievous bodily harm, storing an unlicensed firearm and offences under the “show cause” provisions of the Bail Act.

    The legislation also introduces:
    • A Three Strikes policy so that Department of Family & Community Services (FACS) officials can issue a Notice of Termination if a tenant has received three Breach of Tenancy Agreement notices in a 12 month period.
    • Confidential Neighbourhood Impact Statements so the Tribunal has to take account of the impact of bad behaviour on neighbours.

    FACS will also introduce a policy change to allow for 12 month probationary leases for public housing tenancies that last longer than two years – a policy change allowed under current legislation.

  • NEW CHINDERAH PONTOON ON TWEED RIVER OFFICIALLY OPENED

    Member for Tweed Geoff Provest and the Mayor of Tweed Councillor Gary Bagnall today officially opened the new Chinderah Pontoon on the Tweed River.

    Mr Provest said river access to Chinderah was important for local and visiting boaters.

    “Tweed River is one of the most popular waterways in NSW due to its proximity to south-east Queensland, warm climate and suitability as a holiday destination,” Mr Provest said.

    “The new pontoon near the southern end of Chinderah Bay Drive will give boaters better access to Chinderah village, while providing fishers and other community members improved facilities on the foreshore.”

    The pontoon is 30 metres long and three metres wide, and is connected to the shore by a 17.5 metre gangway.

    Installation of the new boating infrastructure was completed in May and included building a new pathway to the pontoon, as well as associated landscaping.

    Mr Provest said the pontoon was delivered through a partnership of the NSW Government, Tweed Shire Council and the Chinderah community.

    “The NSW Government provided $120,000 for the new facility through the Better Boating Program, which delivers recreational boating infrastructure improvements across the state,” he said.

    Tweed Shire Council also contributed $120,000 and managed the delivery of the project.

    Mayor of Tweed, Councillor Gary Bagnall said: “The Tweed River is one of our shire’s greatest environmental and recreational assets and this new pontoon is an excellent addition to our river infrastructure.

    “With the surrounding mangroves and sea grass beds, it is important to take care when using this particular pontoon.

    “I know the people of the Tweed Shire will enjoy this new asset and that it will further enhance their experience of our wonderful river.”

    In August 2014, the NSW government announced a further $14 million in annual funding to be allocated for the next five years as part of the new NSW Boating Now program, which replaces the Better Boating Program.

    Revenue is raised from boat registration and licence fees to fund the Program for improvements to public wharves and jetties, boat ramps, car/trailer parking, sewage pump-out facilities, dinghy storage and boating improvement studies.

    For more information on the NSW Boating Now program visit http://www.rms.nsw.gov.au/projects/key-build-program/better-boating-program/index.html

  • SKILLED INVESTMENT HEADS NORTH

    The North Coast workforce is a thriving economic hub for skills that is benefitting from unprecedented growth in capital investments with industry, Minister for Regional Development, Skills and Small Business John Barilaro announced today.

    Mr Barilaro joined the Member for Tweed Geoff Provest to encourage more public and private partnerships that involve skilling young students with on the job training.

    “The North Coast is a strong example of what a skilled workforce looks like when governments and industry partner to deliver long term capital investments,” Mr Barilaro said.

    “This region has seen increased demand for online and on-the-job delivery of vocational education and training, with new Assessor and Education Support roles that meet industry demand for year-round services,” he said.

    Recent capital investments in the Tweed include:
    • A new state-of-the art automotive space designed to be multi-purpose, which is easily modified to accommodate different demands;
    • The construction teaching section refits shipping containers as Portable On-site Delivery Spaces (PODS) delivers onsite training in Civil Construction to skill local residents for jobs on the Pacific Highway; and,
    • North Coast TAFE partnership with Genevo to develop and install a solar energy storage system that provides electricians with the skills to install the equipment into Australian households and businesses.

    Mr Provest said North Coast TAFE is taking the lead with industry partnerships like the Ducere Foundation that delivers fee-for-service blended delivery Diplomas in Business and Management.

    “These investments represent a large proportion of the enrolment growth we have seen in the region with increase demand for nursing, aged care, construction, business, technology, design, and the automotive industries,” Mr Provest said.

  • GOVERNMENT RECALL ISSUED FOR AFFECTED SAMSUNG TOP LOADER WASHING MACHINES

    Member for Tweed, Geoff Provest has today warned residents across Tweed that a Government recall had been issued to Samsung regarding six top loader washing machine models.

    The machines, of which more than 144,000 were sold nationally between 2010 and 2013, have been found to pose a fire risk.

    Mr Provest said that it was imperative that consumers are aware of the potential dangers associated with the affected model machines.

    “I want to make this very clear. Don’t wait until it is too late. It is time for consumers to take action. If you have a Samsung washing machine, now is the time to check to see if you are affected”, Mr Provest said.

    “If you do have an affected machine, it should only be used if you are able to monitor it. If you notice smoke or odd smells coming out of the machine – turn it off at the power point immediately.

    “While there has been a voluntary recall in place since 2013, both the NSW Government and Samsung remain concerned by the number of consumers that have not taken part in the recall to date.

    “To prevent further incidents occurring, it is essential that anyone who has one of these machines contact Samsung and organise to have it repaired.”

    Under the terms of the Government recall, Samsung will repair machines on-site in consumers’ homes. The reworked machines meet the safety requirements of Australian Standards and are independently certified following repair.

    “The previous ‘voluntary’ recall may have led residents across Tweed to think it was optional to take part. I want to stress how important it is for affected consumers to take action now and have their washing machine inspected and repaired,” Mr Provest said.

    “Machines that are yet to be inspected by Samsung pose a fire risk as moisture may penetrate electrical connectors within one area of the machine causing a fire hazard. Model name and number details can be found on the back of the washing machine.”

    The affected model numbers are:

    • SW75V9WIP/XSA
    • SW65V9WIP/XSA
    • SW80SPWIP/XSA
    • WA85GWGIP/XSA
    • SW70SPWIP/XSA
    • WA85GWWIP/XSA

    If people are uncertain whether their machine is one of those in the recall they should contact Samsung for assistance. Free inspections of affected machines can be arranged by calling Samsung on 1800 239 655 or by visiting www.samsung.com.au/washingmachinerecall.

    For more information on the recall or for photographs of the six models visit the NSW Fair Trading website.

  • BETTER OUTCOMES FOR YOUNG PEOPLE

    Member for Tweed Geoff Provest today called on local organisations to apply for funding under the next round of the Youth Opportunities Program.

    The NSW Government’s Youth Opportunities Program provides grants to organisations to deliver youth-led and youth-driven community projects that have a positive development focus.

    Up to $1 million will be awarded to projects that engage young people to lead and increase community participation.

    Mr Provest said that the NSW Government is encouraging organisations and community groups to submit projects aimed at empowering and increasing the confidence of young people across the state to reach their full potential.

    “This is the NSW Government supporting grass-roots projects focused on making a positive difference to the lives of many young people including those from Aboriginal and culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, disadvantaged youth and those with a disability,” Mr Provest said.

    Since the Youth Opportunities program launched in 2012 almost $6 million has been granted to more than 85 youth development projects.

    Information relating to the program guidelines, the application process and dates for the workshops are available at: www.youth.nsw.gov.au. The on-line application process opens on Monday 27 July 2015 and closes at 5:00pm on Monday 31 August 2015.