News

  • 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.

  • NEW ONLINE TOOL ASSISTS BUSINESS WITH WORKERS COMPENSATION QUERIES

    NSW Minister for Finance, Services and Property Dominic Perrottet today announced a new interactive self-service resource that provides NSW businesses with information on their workers compensation arrangements.

    The Minister said WorkCover NSW developed the online tool, Employer Assist, to provide businesses with information specific to their needs, without having to navigate through large volumes of information on the agency’s website.

    Employer Assist is an interactive mobile, tablet and desktop experience that provides businesses with a user-friendly overview of workers compensation insurance at their fingertips. This helps businesses navigate the workers compensation journey, outlining what can be expected at every step and how to best to obtain assistance.

    The NSW Government remains committed to helping to make it easier to do business in NSW by providing more streamlined and accessible services.

    Content within Employer Assist addresses 90 per cent of common questions businesses have asked when calling WorkCover’s Customer Service Centre.

    The tool prompts employers with a series questions to help them determine the information they require. Businesses can find out most things they need to know about workers compensation, including how to obtain a certificate of currency, what they need if they are starting a new business and what to do if a worker is injured. The tool is optimised for mobile, tablet and desktop use and multi-language support for Employer Assist is being developed.

    The Employer Assist platform is one of a number of initiatives WorkCover Insurance will be implementing to improve the customer experience by simplifying and modernising its interactions with customers. A companion resource for injured workers is also currently in development.

    Employer Assist can be accessed at www.workcover.nsw.gov.au/employerassist

  • INVESTING IN QUALITY TEACHING IN TWEED

    Member for Tweed Geoff Provest is welcoming the launch of a major new investment which will enable some of the best local public primary school teachers to mentor and coach other teachers, improving the results of students.

    The $224 million Quality Teaching, Successful Students package begins this term and will benefit 13 schools in Tweed.

    “It’s great to see schools in Tweed benefit from this key election commitment. Improving the skills of our teachers will help students achieve better results,” Mr Provest said.

    “Expert educators have knowledge and skills that are even more valuable when they are shared with their colleagues.”

    The program will enable selected teachers to:

    • Mentor and coach other teachers;
    • Observe teachers in their classrooms and demonstrate effective teaching strategies;
    • Monitor student performance data across the school to ensure teachers are focused on areas of need; and
    • Collaborate within their school and with colleagues in other schools.

    A recent three-year study of 6,000 NSW public school teachers found that collaborating with colleagues was the most significant professional learning practice for primary teachers.

    “This initiative, made possible by NSW signing up to the Gonski agreement, gives schools an opportunity they have been seeking for years – to use their best, most experienced teachers to improve teaching and learning in every classroom,” Mr Piccoli said.

    “In line with the Local Schools, Local Decisions education reform, principals – who are best placed to make decisions about their schools – will determine how to use this new staffing resource.”

  • Far North Coast gets more support for Domestic Violence Victims

    Attorney General Gabrielle Upton and Geoff Provest, Member for Tweed, have today met community workers following this month’s Tweed Heads launch of the NSW Government’s new approach to domestic and family violence – It Stops Here: Safer Pathway.

    The 2015/16 NSW Budget delivered $2.3 million to continue the expansion of the program, which will be rolled out across the rest of NSW from 2015 to 2019.

    Attorney General Gabrielle Upton said Waverley and Orange were the first locations in NSW to trial the initiative and since it began in September last year the life-changing program has helped support more than 4077 victims and their children.

    “The NSW Government is working hard to eradicate domestic violence and this reform is about ensuring victims in the Far North Coast receive the help they need when they take the incredibly brave step to stand up to domestic and family violence,” Ms Upton said.

    Mr Provest said Tweed Heads is one of four new sites for the Safer Pathway program that will now include the area within the Tweed-Byron Local Area Command.

    “Victims of domestic violence will no longer have to re-tell their stories every time they seek help from government and non-government agencies,” Mr Provest said.

    “Services work closely together to share relevant information and create a coordinated, holistic response for victims and their children.”

    Women’s Domestic Violence Court Advocacy Services, administered by Legal Aid NSW, host the Local Coordination Points, which accept referrals of women and children who are victims of domestic violence. Victims Services host coordination points for male victims.

    Ms Upton said it was important to make it as easy as possible for victims to take part in the criminal justice system and they receive the support they need.

    “Helping victims feel safe is a key part of this reform from individual safety plans and regular updates on police investigations to extra support as they are navigating the court process,” Ms Upton said.

  • GRANTS AVAILABLE FOR LOCAL FOOTY CLUBS

    Member for Tweed Geoff Provest today announced the NSW Footy Facilities Fund is now open for applications until 12th August 2015.

    The program is a joint initiative of the National Rugby League and the NSW Government, and offers funding for projects throughout NSW.

    “This program is an important initiative that will help fund grassroots footy clubs in Tweed and throughout NSW,” Mr Provest said.

    “The NRL and the NSW Government want to get behind our local footy clubs, and support their work in the community.”

    The main objectives of the Footy Facilities Fund are to increase regular and ongoing participation opportunities in Rugby League and to improve the standard of grounds and facilities.

    Additionally, applications can be strengthened by addressing one or more of the following:
    • improving safety at sport and recreation facilities (e.g. providing safer playing field, access pathways for players, disability ramps)
    • increase the security at sport and recreation facilities (e.g. installation of fencing)
    • remove barriers to promote inclusion in Rugby League (e.g. upgrade of amenities to increase female participation, provision of disability access, upgrade of referee amenities)
    • develop environmentally sustainable sport and recreation facilities (e.g. installation of drainage, rainwater tanks, more efficient lighting)
    • building strong communities.

    For more information and to apply, visit www.dsr.nsw.gov.au/grants or call 13 13 02.

  • MOBILE BLACK SPOT INITIATIVE DELIVERS NETWORK COVERAGE FOR REGIONAL NSW

    The NSW Government will fix 795 mobile phone black spots in regional communities to make it easier for residents to stay connected, Member for Tweed Geoff Provest announced today.

    Mr Provest said communities including Nunderi and Burringbar will benefit from 144 additional mobile network towers, to eliminate some of states worst black spots,
    “Today’s announcement delivers a key election commitment for residents who deserve a first class mobile coverage, which is critical for people living outside major cities who need access to emergency services,” Mr Provest said.

    Minister for Regional Development John Barilaro said the combined Commonwealth and NSW Government investment is the greatest increase in mobile network coverage to metropolitan, regional and remote communities delivered by a single public funding programme in the history of Australian mobile communications.

    “The NSW Government’s investment of $24 million, along with $28 million of Federal Government funding and a contribution from the networks, will result in a total investment of $92 million,” Mr Barilaro said.

    “We will deliver 144 new or upgraded mobile base stations that will cover more than 14,000 square kilometres to benefit businesses and residents across regional NSW.”

    Mr Fletcher said the outcome of the Mobile Black Spot Programme had significantly exceeded expectations.

    “It is pleasing that the NSW Government has worked closely with the Commonwealth Government to maximise the amount of funding available – and in turn maximise the impact of this Programme to provide new and improved mobile coverage in areas which need it,” Mr Fletcher said.

    The investment will improve coverage along major transport routes, in small communities and locations prone to experiencing natural disasters, with funding to be rolled out over a 3-year period. A map of locations is available here www.communications.gov.au/mobile_coverage

  • NSW Budget delivers for Tweed Hospitals, Schools, Roads and Police

    The NSW Liberal and Nationals Government’s latest Budget delivers for core State responsibilities in the Tweed, including the Tweed Hospital, Tweed schools, Tweed roads and the construction of a new Tweed Heads police station, according to Tweed Nationals MP, Geoff Provest.

    “The Budget commits to beginning the major redevelopment of the Tweed Hospital announced earlier this year; it delivers record funding for Tweed public schools and more funding for Tweed independent schools; it funds road upgrades and reseals across the shire; and it commits a further $13 million in the coming year to build the new Tweed Heads Police Station,” Mr Provest said.

    “Just as importantly it confirms the Government has reached its objective of making NSW Number One again, meaning more jobs on the way for young people and better prospects for Tweed small business.”

    Mr Provest said he was particularly pleased about the police station news.

    “This funding will enable construction to start on the new $25.2 million project,” he said.

    “This has been a long time coming for my local community and I’m pleased construction on the new station could begin as early as the second half of this year,” Mr Provest said.

    “This project has had a few delays, with changes to both location and design, but now it’s time to get the work started.”

    “As confirmed by the latest crime statistics, Tweed police do a terrific job protecting the community and they deserve the best facilities in order to continue to do their job now and into the future.”

    Deputy Premier and Minister for Police Troy Grant said the new station will be a boost for the local community who have been patient for a long time.

    “The new station will be built with state-of-the-art equipment to ensure it meets the needs of a growing population,” Mr Grant said.

    “I applaud Geoff Provest for his tireless efforts in securing this funding for his local community.”