• Tweed to win with new cross border law

    The Tweed economy is set to win from new NSW laws which make it easier for licensed tradespeople to operate across the State border, according to Tweed Nationals MP, Geoff Provest.

    “The Government on Wednesday introduced the Mutual Recognition (Automatic Licensed Occupations Recognition) Bill 2014 which supports border regions like the Tweed by reducing costs for small businesses and workers,” Mr Provest said.

    “I have long campaigned on cross border issues which go well beyond the vexed issue of daylight saving time.”

    In a major step forward to enhance mutual recognition of trades, NSW is the first state to introduce laws allowing certain tradespeople accredited in other states to practice in our state without the need for a NSW licence.

    “The legislation helps the cross-border communities by removing paperwork and fees, and eliminating red tape for small businesses.”

    The Mutual Recognition (Automatic Licensed Occupations Recognition) Bill 2014 will come into effect once Regulations have been prepared that will specify the particular occupational licences that will be recognised under the new law.

    Full Hansard transcript http://bulletin/Prod/parlment/hansart.nsf/V3Key/LA20140917005

  • 2014 Child Protection week – 7th to 13th September

    Nationals Member for Tweed Geoff Provest today welcomed the start of Child Protection Week, which is an opportunity to raise awareness about preventing child abuse and neglect.

    Mr Provest said “National Child Protection Week is a reminder to a community to that child protection is everyone’s business – we all have our part to play in keeping children and young people safe.

    “The 2014/15 NSW Budget provided $1.6 billion for vulnerable children, young people and families this included increases in funding for Early Intervention and Statutory Child Protection.

    “Additionally, under the Safe Home for Life reforms, the NSW Government will invest half billion dollars over four years to create a stronger child protection system which puts children at the centre.”

    Family and Community Services Minister Gabrielle Upton said “The NSW Government will continue to work to better protect our children and young people and support our caseworkers on the frontline.

    “Since 2011, the NSW Government has worked to improve the system by delivering real reforms like Safe Home for Life, shining a light on the system by increasing transparency and transitioning Out-of-Home Care to the non-government sector,” Ms Upton said.

    If you think a child or young person is at risk of harm, phone the 24 hour Child Protection Helpline on 132 111.

    For more information and resources on child protection visit

  • Improving access and safety at Tweed Heads Court

    Nationals Member for Tweed Geoff Provest MP today inspected the newly renovated Tweed Heads Courthouse with Registrar Karen Gavenlock.

    Mr Provest said the NSW Government had spent $150,000 upgrading the local courthouse to improve fire safety and disability access.

    “The NSW Government is investing in key infrastructure and resources so we can deliver better court services for local communities like Tweed Heads,” Mr Provest said.

    “One of our key priorities is to provide better access and support for people with a disability.

    “The courthouse has been redesigned to enable people with a disability to navigate their way around the building more easily.

    “It also has new technology to improve sound and acoustics for people who are hearing impaired, particularly those with cochlear implants and hearing aids.

    “A new sliding glass door at the court registry will now make it easier for parents with prams and people in wheelchairs to access the foyer and counter.

    “Builders have also fitted the courthouse with a state-of-the-art fire safety system.

    “The improvements will significantly improve facilities for all court users.

    “It is vital that everyone has an opportunity to access the local courthouse and registry.

    “This is about improving the justice experience for everyone in Tweed Heads.”

    The Tweed Heads Local Court was built in 1983


    Nationals Member for Tweed Geoff Provest is calling on organisations in the Tweed electorate to submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) for a share in up to $12 million funding under the ClubGRANTS Category 3 program.

    “EOI applications for the 2014/2015 funding round to help build or upgrade community facilities and infrastructure is now open until 15 September 2014,” Mr Provest said.

    “In this upcoming funding round, Category 3 grants will focus on providing funding to develop or enhance infrastructure facilities in local communities.

    “I urge the community to take up this terrific opportunity in this ClubGRANTS Category 3 round to develop and enhance our sport, recreational and cultural infrastructure,” Mr Provest said.

    Minister for Hospitality, Gaming and Racing, Troy Grant encouraged projects that responded to an identified community need, demonstrated particular benefit to regional or remote NSW and/or for disadvantaged communities to apply.

    “Community organisations in NSW will be able to build or upgrade facilities and projects that can demonstrate particular benefits for disadvantaged communities will be highly regarded.

    “Those eligible to apply for grants of between $100,000 and $500,000 include local government, non-profit organisations, and non-trading cooperatives with facilities such as sports grounds, recreational parks, a community skate park or BMX course, children’s play areas, a music performance space, a community art studio, a local museum, or gallery,” Mr Grant concluded.

    Successful Expression of Interest applicants will be invited to submit a full application.

    ClubsNSW CEO Anthony Ball said through ClubGRANTS, registered clubs this year delivered more than $100 million to worthy causes and local communities.

    “ClubGRANTS is a successful program that has been running for more than 15 years, and now thanks to ClubGRANTS Category 3, clubs can help fund crucial community infrastructure and services for local communities across the state,” Mr Ball said.

    An Applicant Information Pack providing information on eligibility criteria, application processes and assessment criteria for the ClubGRANTS Category 3 2014/15 funding round is available at

    The Expression of Interest Form will be available from Monday 1 September at and must be lodged using the online form by no later than 5pm on Monday, 15 September 2014. There will be no extension to this deadline.

    For more information please contact ClubGRANTS on (02) 9995 0575, email or visit


    Nationals Member for Tweed Geoff Provest today announced the NSW Government would fund 2 projects in Tweed as part of a plan to promote walking and cycling across the state.

    Mr Provest said the funding was part of the NSW Government’s commitment to invest in active transport as a part of an integrated transport solution.

    “Funding will be provided to Tweed Shire Council to improve walking and cycling connections in our community which provide a convenient way for people to get to work, school or just enjoy their weekend,” Mr Provest said.

    Projects funded in Tweed include:

    • Cycleway Salt Water Crescent to Casuarina Way, Kingscliff – $60,000
    • Improvements to Tweed Heads Cycleway – $65,000

    “These projects are great news for our local community and will encourage and enable more people to walk and ride, contributing to a more active, healthy community,” Mr Provest said.

  • Transforming planning for 21st Century

    Nationals Member for Tweed Geoff Provest today encouraged local homeowners and businesses to take advantage of new online planning tools, which will make the planning system faster and simpler.

    The new ePlanning tools are now live, bringing the State’s planning system into the digital age to help plan for a growing NSW.

    “Too many local people have told me the planning system is tough to navigate,” Mr Provest said.

    “That’s why I’m pleased the NSW Government has invested in making the planning system simpler and more convenient.

    The new ePlanning tools include:

    • Planning Viewer – to show the planning rules that apply to properties in NSW where a standard Local Environmental Plan has been adopted
    • Interactive buildings – users will be able to click on an interactive 3D image model of a standard home, commercial or industrial property and understand in plain English what development standards apply and what work can be undertaken as exempt development.
    • Local Insights – to see a range of useful planning related statistics and projections at a council level and the location of current development applications where available, from mobile devices, tablets or computers.

    The NSW Government has also been working with councils to:

    • Expand the Electronic Housing Code to 89 council areas. This tool allows users submit complying development applications online.
    • Enable all NSW councils to offer residents the ability to track development applications online, through grant funding.

    The first release of these versions of the ePlanning tools can be accessed at


    Nationals Member for Tweed Geoff Provest today said Education Week is an important time to recognise the valuable contribution of local public schools.

    Mr Provest said this year’s Education Week is from Monday, 28 July to Friday, 1 August – and marks 60 years since Education Week was first celebrated in 1954.

    “Education Week is the time for us all to celebrate the achievements of public schools, their students, staff and school communities,” Mr Provest said.

    “In 1954, the theme for Education Week was ‘lighting the way to a better world’. So much has changed since then, but our local public schools remain committed to that philosophy.

    “Let’s use Education Week as an opportunity to take a closer look at the valuable contribution schools make to our young people and community, and to celebrate and praise their work.”

    Mr Provest said that in three years the NSW Liberals & Nationals Government has introduced six major reforms:

    • Great Teaching, Inspired Learning will improve the quality of teaching and learning by lifting entry requirements for teaching degrees, supporting early career teachers and mandating professional development for every teacher;

    • The Resource Allocation Model, backed by our support for Gonski funding reforms, ensures more funding to the schools which need it most;

    • Local Schools, Local Decisions provides principals and communities with greater local authority to ensure schools best respond to the needs of their students;

    • Every Student, Every School strengthens the support for 90,000 students with disabilities, learning or behavioural needs;

    • Connected Communities is an innovative education reform that positions schools as ‘hubs’ in some of NSW’s most complex and disadvantaged communities by linking school education to other services, such as health, welfare, early childhood education and care, and vocational education and training; and

    • The $80 million Rural and Remote Education Blueprint for Action will help bridge the gap in educational achievement between city and country students.

    “I encourage all members of the community to get involved in the Education Week celebrations at your school and discover the fantastic work being done by our local teachers and students.”


    Deputy Premier and Minister for Small Business Andrew Stoner and Member for Tweed Geoff Provest today visited the Small Biz Bus as it stopped by Tweed Heads to give valuable assistance to local small businesses.

    Mr Stoner and Mr Provest were joined by the NSW Nationals Parliamentary Team who were on a bus stopover of their own – visiting Tweed Heads before heading off on a week-long regional bus tour of Northern NSW.

    Mr Stoner said the Small Biz Bus – delivered through the Office of the Small Business Commissioner’s Small Biz Connect program – had made 300 visits across NSW over the past year.

    “Seventeen of these visits have been at locations in the Northern Rivers area, including Tweed Heads, which is enjoying its second visit today,” Mr Stoner said.

    “I am delighted to be here taking part in this stopover and seeing first-hand all the Bus has to offer local small businesses.”

    During the visit, Mr Stoner announced the key achievements of the Small Biz Connect program.

    “Over the last financial year, NSW small businesses benefited from more than 40,000 hours of high quality face-to-face support and personalised business advice,” Mr Stoner said.

    “Sixty per cent of these services were delivered in regional areas. The practical support delivered has ensured operators are not only able to set up and run a successful business, but that they also have the tools and resources to guide them.

    “Small businesses are the backbone of the Australian economy, with more than 683,000 operating in NSW and comprising 96 per cent of all NSW businesses.”

    Mr Provest congratulated local companies that had taken the opportunity to seek support from the NSW Government’s Small Biz Connect program.

    “More than 6,700 small businesses operate in the Tweed Heads region and they are well serviced by the North Coast’s experienced mobile business advisors,” Mr Provest said.

    “The local NORTEC Small Business Support Unit, based in Byron Bay, Lismore and Grafton, has delivered almost 2,500 hours of support and business advice to the Northern Rivers area in the past year.

    “It has found the entrepreneurial spirit very strong in this region with more than half of all Small Biz Connect clients (55 per cent) intending to start a business.”

    For more information about the Small Biz Connect program, including the Small Biz Bus, please visit


    Member for Tweed, Geoff Provest, is encouraging local small businesses to take advantage of the expert business advice on offer when the Small Biz Bus visits the Tweed in two weeks’ time.

    “Having the Small Biz Bus here gives local business operators a great opportunity to get high quality advice and find out what services are available to assist them in the longer term,” Mr Provest, said.

    The Small Biz Bus is a mobile advisory and information service for small businesses in NSW. It is funded by the NSW Government and managed by the Office of the NSW Small Business Commissioner.

    The Bus will be at:
    • Tweed Heads – Tuesday 22 July Civic Centre car park (Corner of Wharf and Brett Streets) 9am to 3pm

    • Kingscliff – Wednesday 23 July Marine Parade (in front of the Cenotaph) 9am to 3pm

    Small Business owners can access the support of expert advisers on the Small Biz Bus free of charge. Further to this initial visit, small business owners can engage these expert advisers on an ongoing basis.

    “I am really pleased that we have this service available to help ensure our small businesses get the support they need to thrive, which is essential to keeping the local economy strong,” Mr Provest said.

    “I would like to thank Tweed Shire Council for its assistance and for hosting the Small Biz Bus,” he said.

    To book an appointment on the Bus or to speak to your local Small Biz Connect advisor, call NORTEC on 1300 134 359 or visit

    For more information about the services offered by the NSW Government through the Office of Small Business Commissioner visit:

  • Upgrades to local schools

    Member for Tweed Geoff Provest today announced the NSW Liberal & Nationals Government will deliver upgrades to 7 local schools as part of the 2014-15 Budget.

    The works are scheduled to commence within the 2014/15 financial year.

    These upgrades will greatly improve the educational facilities at the following schools –

    • Banora Point Public School – Upgrades to sporting field
    • Centaur Public School – Library upgrades
    • Kingscliff High School – Provide shade shelter
    • Pottsville Beach Public School – Upgrade to Covered Outdoor Learning Area
    • Tweed River High School – Fencing upgrades
    • Kingscliff High School and Tweed Heads South Public School – both receive upgrades to toilet facilities

    Since 2011 the Liberal & Nationals Government has committed almost $3.2 billion to school infrastructure and maintenance.

    “The NSW Liberal & Nationals Government is committed to providing the best learning environments possible in our schools,” said Mr Provest.