Geoff Provest MP
100% for Tweed
The safety of students and their families around Tweed schools will be given a welcome boost with the installation of extra school zone flashing lights, Member for Tweed, Geoff Provest announced.
The new lights will be installed at Pottsville Beach Public School as part of a statewide roll out of extra flashing lights at 104 schools zones.
In August last year the NSW Government announced a $5 million program to install extra flashing lights at 400 NSW schools.
The program, which will be completed in July, is running on time and under budget allowing for the installation of the extra lights at the extra school zones.
Mr Provest said the program is part of the government’s $10 million boost to school zone safety which includes $5 million for the additional lights, and $5 million for pedestrian safety infrastructure like raised zebra crossings around schools.
There’s nothing more important than making sure our kids are safe, especially when they are making their way to and from school,” Mr Provest said.
“These new lights will help us achieve this by reminding drivers to slow down and be mindful there are children around.
“Children are some of our most vulnerable road users. That’s why we’re doing everything possible to keep them safe on our roads and near our schools.”
In 2013 the NSW Government announced the expansion of the school zone flashing lights program to ensure every school in NSW had at least one a set of flashing lights.
The program has now been completed with more than 1700 schools across the state receiving a set of flashing lights by the end of 2017.
Centre for Road Safety Executive Director Bernard Carlon said that all NSW schools have prominent signs, ‘40’ pavement patches and ‘dragon’s teeth’ road markings to improve school zone visibility and remind drivers that they must slow down to 40km/h during school zone times.
“A vehicle that hits a pedestrian at 50km/h is twice as likely to cause a fatality as the same vehicle travelling at 40km/h, which is why school zone speed limits are so important,” Mr Carlon said.
“We are committed to providing a safe road environment for children, both close to home and on their way to and from school.
“We are doing this through improvements in school zone infrastructure as well as ongoing road safety education in schools and early childhood services.
“We are backing this up with targeted communication and enforcement campaigns that remind drivers to slow down in school zones.
“Drivers also face tougher penalties that apply in 40km/h school zones. Offences such as speeding, double parking and illegal U-turns attract a higher fine and additional demerit points when committed in a school zone.”
Families in Tweed will have more opportunities to find preschool places following an investment of $420,000 to upgrade early childhood education services as part of the NSW Government $8 million Capital Works program.
Member for Tweed Geoff Provest announced Bilambil Community Preschool and OOSH Inc received funding to give children quality early education in improved facilities.
“It’s great to hear that local families in Tweed will benefit from upgrades to our local services, making it a better place for children to spend their time,” Mr Provest said.
“Research demonstrates that children benefit socially, emotionally and cognitively from access to quality early childhood education so this program will have a real benefit for families with young children in Tweed.
“The investment will extend existing pre-school buildings, build new facilities, buy new vehicles for existing mobile pre-school services all with the aim to deliver more pre-school places for local families.”
The Capital Works Grants program provides funding for not-for-profit, community-based preschools to increase the number of places for children at 15 hours per week, especially in areas where there is a demonstrated shortage of places.
Minister for Early Childhood Education Sarah Mitchell said we know the success of a child’s education on their last day of school is determined by their very first day of school.
“The increased preschool places created through these grants are part of an additional 490 places spread across urban and regional areas of NSW,” Mrs Mitchell said.
“The NSW government is fully committed to supporting providers to deliver quality care that working parents and carers can rely on.
The NSW Government has allocated up to $12 million in funding to Northern NSW to increase social and affordable housing supply in the region.
Minister for Social Housing, Pru Goward said the funding would help alleviate the shortage of housing in the region following the recent flooding.
In the immediate aftermath of the floods, the Department of Family and Community Services (FACS) assisted almost 1,300 people with accommodation.
“A month on from the recent flooding, it’s time to look at how we address the longer term housing needs of the community, we know people want to remain in the communities they love,” Minister Goward said.
An additional $2 million will support local services to “head lease” properties which will enable an additional 30 properties to be leased over the next three years.
Up to a further $10 million has been allocated to increase social and affordable housing supply in Northern NSW over the next three years.
The NSW Government will release a new site in Tweed Heads for mixed development of social, affordable and private housing as part of its Communities Plus program.
Member for Tweed, Geoff Provest MP welcomed the additional funding and thanked the Government and the Department of Family and Community Services for their ongoing assistance in what he described as a devastating time for the community.
“Some people have lost everything in the recent floods. This additional funding will be a massive game-changer for some of the worst affected people in our community.”
Schools, community groups, and other local organisations have been awarded funding to help deliver projects which commemorate the service and sacrifice of World War 1 veterans.
Minister for Veterans Affairs David Elliott has announced a total of $50,000 would be delivered to community groups across NSW as part of the 2016/17 Anzac Community Grants Program.
Forty-nine grants have been given to schools, community groups, museums, historical societies and other local associations.
“The Anzac Community Grants Program is a fantastic way to support organisations across NSW which are delivering projects in honour of our veterans,” Member for Tweed Geoff Provest said.
“These grants valued at anywhere from a couple of hundred dollars to $2000 and can be put to good use for valuable community projects.”
The successful applicants include:
Mr Elliott congratulated all recipients of the 2016/17 grant round.
“It is timely to receive an Anzac grant as we continue to commemorate the Centenary of Anzac and a century of service across the state,” he said
Farmers will now receive free quad bike training in a major boost to the safety improvement program aimed at significantly reducing the number of deaths on rural properties across NSW.
Member for Tweed, Geoff Provest said that eligible farmers and their workers who complete an approved training course will also receive a free helmet – worth around $120 – suitable for use while they are riding their quad bikes and that these changes announced represent a further saving to farmers of up to $230.
SafeWork NSW has partnered with Tocal College to deliver up to 100 training events in regional and remote areas across NSW. From 8 May, free training will also be available through authorised Registered Training Organisations. Eligible farmers and their workers who complete this training also receive a helmet compliant to NZS 8600:2002.
Previously, farmers attending an approved training course (costing up to $510) received a rebate of $310.
Mr Provest said more than 200 farmers had attended Tocal College training days since the quad bike safety program was launched last year.
“I want as many farmers in Tweed to undertake this training so they can be as safe as possible at work on their properties,” Mr Provest said.
“We know time is money to farmers and it’s not easy for them to give up a day’s work to undergo quad bike training.
“While we can’t put more hours in the day, we can make the training free, and encourage farmers to use helmets, as the next step in our campaign to increase farm safety,” Mr Provest said.
In March, the Government doubled the rebates to $1000 for the purchase of a side-by-side vehicle, $500 for the retrofitting of operator protective device to an existing quad bike and $90 for the purchase of an approved helmet.
Farmers can apply for two rebates, up to the value of $2000, recognising that farmers often have more than one quad bike.
See SafeWork.nsw.gov.au for more information.
Member for Tweed Geoff Provest has invited older road users to attend a free workshop to learn about changes to licensing rules and other matters to help them stay safe when out and about.
Mr Provest said the ‘Older Road User’ workshop delivered by Roads and Maritime Services will be held at South Tweed Community Hall from 3pm to 5pm on Tuesday 9 May.
“It can be hard to keep up with changes to licensing rules, so this free two hour workshop will provide information and tips to improve safety for older road users.”
“Information and checklists will be provided for all road users, whether they drive, ride, walk, catch public transport or use a mobility scooter, or a combination of these.”
“The workshop will look at issues such as driver licensing after the age of 75, safe driving habits, mobility scooters, and the top 10 misunderstood road rules in NSW.”
Bookings are essential and can be made by calling 02 6622 1903 or emailing email@example.com.
The workshop will be held at South Tweed Community Hall on the corner of Heffron Street and Minjungbal Drive, Tweed Heads South.
More information can be found by visiting www.rms.nsw.gov.au
Fraudulent behaviour by social housing tenants is being targeted by the NSW Government with the commencement of a social housing amnesty on 24 April 2017 run by the Department of Family and Community Services (FACS).
Minister for Social Housing Pru Goward, said that the amnesty, which provides social housing tenants with an opportunity to report undisclosed income, financial assets, property and unauthorised occupants without fear of prosecution, ensures the system is fair for all.
“This amnesty will weed out the people who are breaking the rules and ensure a fairer housing system that provides our most vulnerable with a stable home to live in,” Ms Goward said.
“Any FACS Housing or Aboriginal Housing Office tenant that makes a declaration falling under one of our protected amnesty categories will not face consequences.”
Member for Tweed Geoff Provest, said the current amnesty was based on the positive outcomes of similar programs run in 2013 and 2014, which resulted in increased annual revenue of more than $10 million that has been reinvested into public housing.
“This is money that goes back into the social housing system to deliver better quality services to more people,” Mr Provest said.
“I encourage all social housing tenants to take this opportunity to declare or report a change in circumstances to FACS without fear of prosecution or being charged back rent.”
The amnesty will run until 11 June 2017. During the amnesty period tenants and members of the public can provide declarations or information 24 hours, 7 days a week by filling out our form online at www.facs.nsw.gov.au/amnesty, contacting 1800 422 322 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Disaster Recovery Centres have been established to help residents in Northern NSW affected by the recent floods.
Member for Tweed, Geoff Provest, said the centres at Murwillumbah and Lismore opened at noon today, Thursday 6 April.
“Recovery Centres provide a one-stop-shop for residents, businesses and farmers to access recovery assistance from a range of agencies and organisations,” Mr Provest said.
“For those requiring assistance, representatives of key welfare, business and insurance agencies will be on- hand or available via referral from the site, to give help, advice and information to residents and business people.”
Agencies based at the Recovery Centres include: Health, Disaster Welfare, Primary Industries, Insurance Agencies, Family and Community Services, Business Connect, Legal Aid, EPA, Centrelink, Red Cross and Safe Work NSW.
Details are as follows:
The Recovery Centres will open daily from 9am – 6pm.
A recovery committee chaired by Euan Ferguson has been appointed to manage the recovery process and will meet regularly to ensure a coordinated approach is adapted to the recovery.
For more information on how to seek assistance, visit www.emergency.nsw.gov.au.
Member for Tweed Geoff Provest has today announced that the NSW Government will waive fees to replace vital documentation lost during the flood disaster.
Anyone who has lost documentation such as boating or drivers licenses, photo identity cards, car registration or mobility parking scheme permits, can get these important documents replaced free of charge.
“We understand that the community in these regions are doing it tough and, although at this stage this is a small offer of relief, we’re prepared to do what we can to help them get back on their feet,” said Mr Provest.
“This is about helping people who have lost everything to get back those important and vital documents they need.
“I urge all residents impacted by the recent floods to contact Service NSW on 13 77 88 or visit https://www.service.nsw.gov.au/
This assistance applies to residents in Local Government areas covered by Natural Disaster declarations.
The documents that can be replaced free of charge are:
The Northern Rivers Community Legal Service has been saved from a funding crisis by the NSW Government providing more than $6 million in additional funding for NSW CLCs over the next two years, Member for Tweed Geoff Provest announced today.
“The end of a federal grant on 30 June may have led to staff cuts and reduced services at Northern Rivers CLC. The NSW Government has stepped in to ensure total statewide funding for CLCs does not fall in the next two years,” he said.
The Northern Rivers CLC supports the Tweed community through outreach legal services at Tweed Heads and Pottsville as well as Murwillumbah
“The State Government realises the importance of this work and wants to ensure it can continue to help disadvantage people with their legal problems,” he said.
“This is a great outcome for the people of Tweed who rely on CLC lawyers for free services on critical issues such as domestic violence, consumer law and debt.”
CLCs provide free legal help to about 55,000 people each year at more than 30 locations in metropolitan, regional and rural NSW. Early legal advice can prevent problems from escalating.
The NSW Government’s funding injection is in addition to renewing in 2017-18 and 2018-19 the $6.4 million it has already committed to CLCs in 2016-17. The NSW Government has increased its core funding to CLCs every year since 2011.