News

  • RURAL WORKPLACES IN TWEED TO BENEFIT FROM $2 MILLION QUAD BIKE SAFETY REBATE

    Member for Tweed Geoff Provest today announced that rural workplaces across the Tweed can apply for a rebate of up to $500 to implement safety measures aimed at reducing quad bike tragedies and injuries on farms.

    Mr Provest said the rebate was announced at the NSW Farmers Conference in Sydney as part of a push to encourage and support land managers to adopt a range of harm prevention strategies to protect their workers, family members and themselves.

    “Quad bikes are currently a leading cause of death on Australian properties with 220 deaths in the past 16 years and thousands more people seriously injured,” Mr Provest said.

    “Last year alone there were 22 quad bike fatalities and half of those deaths were workplace related so we have to act now to reduce that number.

    “The $2 million Quad Bike Safety Improvement Program is a step forward to protecting people who work on farms in our region.”

    The $500 rebate can go towards the purchase of compliant helmets, Operator Protector Devices including rollover bars, the purchase of a safer vehicle such as a side-by-side vehicle, and training courses tailored to farmers.

    It was announced during the NSW Farmers Conference where SafeWork NSW and Local Land Services launched an agreement to promote the safer use of quad bides in rural workplaces.

    Tocal College has also been awarded the contract to deliver 100 quad bike-training courses across NSW as part of the SafeWork NSW Quad Bike Safety Improvement Program.

    The rebate will be available until 30 June 2017. Further information is available at www.safework.nsw.gov.au.

  • PUBLIC SCHOOLS IN TWEED SHARE RECORD CAPITAL AND MAINTENANCE SPEND

    Member for Tweed Geoff Provest said local public schools will benefit from the NSW Liberals & Nationals Government’s record investment in school infrastructure announced in last month’s State Budget.

    Mr Provest welcomed the expenditure, which will improve the learning facilities for local students.

    “The NSW Government will spend $554 million in 2016-17, an increase of 37 per cent on last year’s expenditure,” said Mr Provest.

    The capital works in Tweed include:

    • Upgrades to Pottsville Beach Public School
    • Construction of a COLA at Fingal Head Public School

    Mr Provest said the 2016-17 Budget includes an allocation of $330 million over two years to address priority maintenance needs in schools, including $31.17 million for schools in the North Coast region.

    “This budget contains a substantial boost to the NSW Government’s maintenance program,” Mr Provest said.

    “The NSW Liberals & Nationals Government is determined to provide the best learning environments possible in our schools.”

    School principals consulting with Asset Management Units will select high priority maintenance projects through the planned maintenance program.

    Under the Local Schools, Local Decisions reform, implemented by the current Government, principals now have greater decision making responsibilities about maintenance.

    Since 2011, the NSW Government has committed almost $4.9 billion to school infrastructure and maintenance, with almost $2 billion allocated for school maintenance.

  • TRAVEL SUBSIDIES FOR TRAINEES AND APPRENTICES SET TO INCREASE

    Trainees and apprentices in Tweed will get a financial boost and more support to help complete their courses with the NSW Government today announcing substantial increases in subsidies towards overnight travel for off-the-job training.

    Member for Tweed Geoff Provest said the Vocational Training Assistance Scheme’s (VTAS) overnight accommodation subsidy will double from $28 per night to $56 per night and the fuel subsidy will increase from 12c to 33c per kilometre.

    “These substantial increases in travel subsidies are long overdue, and will be a big help for trainees and apprentices in regional areas,” Mr Provest said.

    “The NSW Government wants to help more young people into training that will lead to a job, so for students who have to travel a 120 kilometre round trip for training, the fuel subsidy will put $40 in their pocket.

    “Up to 46 trainees and apprentices in Tweed could benefit from the changes,” Mr Provest said.

     The NSW Government has set a State Priority of increasing the proportion of people completing apprenticeships and traineeships to 65% by 2019.

    Reducing the financial barrier faced by many regional trainees and apprentices in carrying out their training and course work will go a long way to achieving this target.

    Increases to Vocational Training Assistance Scheme subsidies take effect from Friday 1 July 2016.

    For more information on the Vocational Training Assistance Scheme, visit the Training Services NSW website at http://www.training.nsw.gov.au/

  • HOSPITAL, EDUCATION AND POLICE ARE THE TWEED WINNERS IN NSW BUDGET

    The NSW Government will invest one million dollars a month over the next year to upgrade the Tweed Hospital and the same amount to build the new Tweed police station, it was revealed in the 2016 NSW Budget handed down on Tuesday, according to Tweed Nationals MP Geoff Provest.

    “We’re keeping our election promises and helping make the Tweed a healthier, safer and better educated place,” Mr Provest said.

    “In 2016-17 the Government will invest more than $12 million each for the Tweed Hospital and new police station.”

    “Funding for school education continues to increase because the Nationals Education Minister was the first to sign up to Gonski a few years back.”

    “There is $3 million for the Surfing Australia High Performance Centre at Casuarina, cementing the Tweed’s position as the surfing capital of the North Coast.”

    “Road funding has been allocated for specific projects including an upgrade of Clothiers Creek Road, the Tweed Valley Way exit to Tumbulgum, and better footpaths in Tweed Heads and Banora Point.”

    “All this is extra investment is only possible because of the strong economic management of the Baird Government.”

    Mr Provest said the Baird Government had now paid back almost all of Labor’s debt thanks to $3 billion-a-year surpluses.

  • TWEED RESIDENTS IN LINE FOR NEW, CONVENIENT PROPERTY CRIME REPORTING

    Member for Tweed Geoff Provest today urged residents to make use of a new community crime reporting portal offering a quick and secure way to report crime in Tweed.

    The NSW Police Force Community Portal, which went live on Wednesday 15 June 2016, gives members of the public the option to report lost property, theft and intentional damage, including graffiti, online via a secure, efficient and convenient platform.

    Use of the portal, which is linked to a Service NSW account, also allows people who report non-urgent crime to make and receive updates on their cases.

    Lost property, intentional damage and theft resulted in 600,000 police reports in 2014 and 2015 across NSW.

    To use the portal, community members must simply create a MyServiceNSW account on the Service NSW website, which they’ll then be able to connect with the NSW Police Force, to successfully complete a report.

    Commissioner Scipione said the Community Portal would not replace the ability for people to report these types of crimes to police in person or on the phone, but it adds a convenient online reporting tool.

    “Lodging a report via the Community Portal can be completed in a matter of minutes, it’s incredibly efficient and you’ll be notified once your report has been received,’’ Commissioner Scipione said.

    “The portal also facilitates two-way communication between officers, PoliceLink and the community – so members of the public can be kept informed should their report require further investigation.”

    Mr Provest said the tool would be extremely useful for people in the Tweed Byron Local Area Command and the report can also be used for insurance purposes.

    “This fantastic initiative allows Tweed locals to report crime through a handy, secure online option,” Mr Provest said.

    “Service NSW is working with agencies across government to save customers time and hassle – if you don’t already have a MyServiceNSW account, I encourage you to register at https://my.service.nsw.gov.au/MyServiceNSW/index#/createAccount.’’

    The NSW Police Force Community Portal can be accessed via: http://www.police.nsw.gov.au/community_portal/home

  • LICENCE RENEWAL – A CLICK ONLINE TO SAVE TIME

    Tweed residents now have the option of renewing their driver licences online, wherever and whenever they want to.

    Member for Tweed Geoff Provest said NSW Driver Licences could be renewed online for up to one, three or five years using the Service NSW web or mobile sites.

    “Driver licence renewal is one of the most popular transactions across government, with around a million people renewing their licence each year,” Mr Provest said.

    “But renewal time often creeps up on drivers, so we want to take the hassle out of it. Previously, to renew your driver licence you had to travel into a Service NSW Centre or motor registry office and join a queue to process it. Now, those eligible have the option to renew their licence at home or at work, at a time that suits them best.

    “Through Service NSW we are expanding access to government services to make it more convenient, providing more services face-to-face through our Service Centres or agencies, as well as 24/7 online access and a dedicated phone contact centre.”

    Those eligible to renew their NSW Driver Licence online will not need to have their photo retaken, as their new licence card will use the same photo as their previous licence card.

    New licence cards will be issued by post within 10 business days, with customers required to print and sign an interim licence for use in the meantime.

    An eligible driver renewing their licence online may only need to visit a Service NSW centre as often as once every 10 years to update their photo or sit an eye test.

    Mr Provest said the addition of online licence renewal meant that the many of the governments most popular transactions could now be completed digitally, including registration renewal.

    “Service NSW is about providing customers with choice, about how and when they access government services. Making services available online means customers in Tweed can save time, as they don’t have to travel to a Service Centre or registry office if they don’t want to,” he said.

    Those who have restrictions on their licence such as medical or other conditions are unable to renew their licence online. For more information about online licence renewals, including eligibility criteria, visit www.service.nsw.gov.au or phone13 77 88.

  • POLICE CONTINUE STRONG ENFORCEMENT WITH MOST MAJOR CRIME CATEGORIES DOWN OR STABLE

    Member for Tweed Geoff Provest has welcomed the latest quarterly crime data which shows 15 of the 17 major offence categories remain stable or have trended down in the 24 months to March 2016.

    Statewide, two categories have risen in the latest quarterly report. Steal from retail store is up 7.9 per cent while indecent assault, act of indecency and other sexual offences are up 8.4 per cent.

    The statewide offences trending down were:

    • Robbery without a weapon (down 23.3 per cent)
    • Robbery with a firearm (down 38.7 per cent)
    • Robbery with a weapon not a firearm (down 21.6 per cent)
    • Break and enter dwelling (down 7.8 per cent)
    • Break and enter non-dwelling (down 7.1 per cent)
    • Steal from motor vehicle (down 5.1 per cent)

    Mr Provest said the results were reflective of proactive police work.

    “The NSW Police Force is out every day to ensure public safety and to target crime in our community,” Mr Provest said.

    We are seeing the downward trend of the following major crime categories in Tweed:

    • Assault – domestic violence related is down 26.7%
    • Steal from motor vehicle is down 25.6%
    • Malicious damage to property is down 17.1%

    “I’m pleased to see the majority of offences remaining stable or trending down and I thank the officers from the Tweed Byron LAC for their tireless work.

    “I also want to thank the community for doing their bit for community safety by reporting crime and remaining vigilant.”

  • 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