News

  • DON’T WAIT – APPLY FOR THE 2014-2015 FAMILY ENERGY REBATE

    Nationals Member for Tweed Geoff Provest is reminding eligible Tweed households they can receive up to $150 towards the cost of their energy bills by applying for the 2014-2015 NSW Family Energy Rebate (FER).

    Mr Provest says those households should take advantage of the rebate offer before the submission deadline of Tuesday 16 June 2015.

    “On 1 July, 2012, the Liberals & Nationals Government introduced the Family Energy Rebate (FER) scheme to help the most disadvantaged in our community, and has committed $13.5 million to it this year,” Mr Provest said.

    “Applications will not be accepted after that date so apply as soon as you know you can meet all eligibility criteria for this energy assistance rebate.

    To be eligible for the 2014-2015 Family Energy Rebate you must:
    • Be a NSW resident; and
    • Have been assessed by the Federal Department of Human Services (DHS) as being eligible for the Family Tax Benefit (FTB) A or B during the past financial year, and have received an FTB payment; and
    • Be a customer of an electricity retailer, or a long-term resident of a residential community (caravan or mobile home park), whose name appears on the electricity account for supply to her or his principal place of residence.
    “Begin by ensuring you complete your tax return with the Australian Taxation Office or notify the Department of Human Services (DHS) if you are not required to lodge a return for 2013-2014”.

    “Once you have received confirmation from DHS regarding your Family Tax Benefit A or B (FTB) entitlement for 2013-2014, then apply for the FER.

    “Each year more than 540,000 NSW households with dependent children are eligible for FTB, so those same households can apply for FER.

    “It takes just two minutes to submit an application on line. It begins processing immediately and you receive instant confirmation of receipt of your application.

    “The NSW Government committed $228 million this financial year to ease energy costs including increasing the Low Income Household Rebate and Assistance in the Medical Energy Rebate to $235, and funded the Energy Accounts Payment Assistance and Life Support Rebate,” Mr Provest said.

    To apply for the Rebate, type “family energy rebate” into a search engine or apply online at https://applications.fer.trade.nsw.gov.au/.

  • NSW TO BAN BUTTS IN NATIONAL PARKS

    The NSW Government has announced a ban on smoking in the state’s national parks.

    Member for Tweed, Geoff Provest, said the ban will apply to the national parks estate and includes picnic areas, campgrounds, beaches, lookouts, walking tracks and on national parks roads.

    “Locals and park visitors will be made aware of the ban through a community education and communication campaign,” Mr Provest said.

    “We have 860 national parks in NSW which protect our most beautiful and most popular natural areas. We want to make sure they are safe and healthy for everyone.”

    “Cigarette butts can also be ingested by our wildlife, wash into waterways and spoil the beauty of our natural places”.

    NSW Environment Minister Rob Stokes said the ban would diminish the risk of bushfires and reduce litter in national parks, with surveys confirming cigarette butts form up to half of the measured litter across the nation.

    “Seven billion cigarette butts are littered in Australia every year, putting lives and property at risk, ruining beaches, spoiling the beauty of our parks and endangering wildlife,” Mr Stokes said.

    “The Royal Commission into the devastating Victorian bushfires, where over 170 people died, singled out cigarette butts as one of the likely causes of bushfire in the Australian environment.

    Cigarette Butts contain more than 4000 chemicals, including 43 known carcinogens such as ammonia, nitrogen dioxide, formaldehyde, hydrogen cyanide and arsenic. When cigarette butts are discarded the chemicals leach into the surrounding environment polluting the land and waterways.

    The NSW Government is serious about reducing fire risk and littering in NSW and this move will reduce litter and help to keep communities safer.

    The ban on smoking within national parks will commence on 1 January 2015.

    Police and Emergency Services Minister Stuart Ayres recently announced that the penalty for littering lighted cigarettes has doubled from $330 to $660.The fine has gone from $660 to $1320 if someone discards a lit cigarette on a Total Fire Ban day.

  • A DAY OF THANKS FOR TWEED PARAMEDICS

    Member for Tweed Geoff Provest has called on the community to reach out and give thanks to local paramedics today on Thank a Paramedic Day.

    Mr Provest said paramedics provide both life-saving and life-changing care and today marks an important occasion to recognise their commitment and compassion.

    “Paramedics are regularly ranked as the most trusted profession and it’s easy to see why,” Mr Provest said.

    “The dedication our local paramedics show to both patients and their loved ones is unparalleled – we are truly lucky to have them working in our community.

    “It’s not often we get the opportunity to say thanks and acknowledge the hard work of vital members of our community but today is that day and I ask everyone to reach out and say thanks to our paramedics.”

    Mr Provest said in 2013/14 NSW Ambulance provided 1,234,843 emergency and non-emergency responses – an average of 3383 responses per day or a call every 26 seconds.

    “Under the NSW Liberals & Nationals Government, the NSW Ambulance workforce continues to grow with an additional 205 paramedics now on-road since the election,” Mr Provest said.

    “We’ve also boosted the NSW Ambulance budget by $30 million this year to a record $752 million to ensure paramedics can continue to deliver their first-class care to patients.”

    Health Minister Jillian Skinner is marking today’s occasion by presenting an inaugural Minister’s Bursary for Excellence to a NSW Ambulance paramedic who has delivered excellent clinical care with integrity and compassion.

    “I have the utmost respect and admiration for our paramedics who undertake extraordinary work in what can be extraordinary circumstances,” Mrs Skinner said.

    “When we need them, they are there and for that I can only say – thank you.”

    An official Thank a Paramedic Day ceremony will be held in Sydney today to formally acknowledge paramedics, control centre staff and other members of NSW Ambulance.

    The community is encouraged to leave a message for paramedics on the NSW Ambulance Facebook, Twitter or Instagram pages using the #ThankaNSWparamedic hashtag.

    • Twitter: @NSWAmbulance https://twitter.com/NSWAmbulance
    • Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/NSWAmbulance
    • Instagram: @NSWAmbulance

  • A DAY TO APPRECIATE GRANDPARENTS

    This Grandparents Day, Sunday 26 October, families and the community come together to celebrate time with grandparents and the contribution of older Australians.

    Nationals Member for Tweed Geoff Provest and Minister for Ageing John Ajaka encourage all families to recognise and celebrate the important role grandparents play in their families and community.

    Minister for Ageing John Ajaka said the NSW Government provides $200,000 annually to have grants allocated to Grandparents Day events across the state and to ensure the awards competition continues.

    The NSW Liberals & Nationals Government is pleased to have delivered on a promise to continue this important day each year to recognise the contribution Grandparents make to our community,” Mr Provest said.

    “Grandparents are often the backbone of families. Likewise, older Australians are often the backbone of our clubs and volunteer organisations. I encourage everyone in our local community to take a moment to celebrate them on Sunday 26 October,” said Mr Provest.

    “Grandparents Day is all about recognising the important role older members of our community play,” said Mr Provest.

    “From providing childcare, to teaching their families-members to cook or read, to volunteering in community organisations, grandparents and older people are such an important part of our community.”

    “This year, we’re encouraging people to remember the times they’ve spent at home with their grandparents, whether it was learning a skill, or simply spending time together. Grandparents Day represents a great opportunity to get in touch with the special older people in your life,” said Mr Provest.

    Many council and community groups across New South Wales run events to celebrate Grandparents Day. For details please visit: http://www.grandparentsday.org.au/whats-on/events/.

    The Grandparent of the Year Awards will be announced on Sunday 26 October. The winners of each category will be available on the Council of the Ageing NSW website from Sunday.

  • TWEED COMMUNITY ENCOURAGED TO SEEK HELP TO KICK PROBLEM GAMBLING

    Nationals Member for Tweed Geoff Provest has urged the community to pay attention to a new advertising campaign and to proactively take up free and confidential services to help kick problem gambling.

    “The ‘You’re Stronger Than You Think’ campaign, launched today, reminds people they are resilient when challenged and urges problem gamblers and their families to seek help,” Mr Provest said.

    The campaign by Two Hands Director Gregor Jackson with music by Powderfinger, aims to resonate with all problem gamblers to search for the strength to tackle problem gambling head-on and turn their lives around.

    The NSW Liberals & Nationals want to remove entrenched fears and stigmas and for the community to have a compassionate understanding of problem gambling, Mr Provest said.

    Mr Provest said the $1.5 million campaign includes:

    • A central campaign video directed by AFI Best Director winner Gregor Jordan including classic Powderfinger song These Days.
    • Targeted online video and banner ads shown three million times.
    • Radio advertising and promotion through Triple M’s breakfast Grill Team including its host, former Penrith rugby league star and reformed problem gambler,
    Mark Geyer. Former Parramatta league star Nathan Hindmarsh, also a reformed problem gambler, will be among those lending support through campaign
    interviews and discussions. Triple M NRL commentator Anthony Maroon will also interview people affected by problem gambling during sports broadcasts.
    • Regional radio advertising aired across NSW including Albury, Coffs Harbour, Gosford, Griffith, Newcastle, Orange, Port Macquarie, and Wagga Wagga.
    • Popular sports sites and blogs including The Roar, Big Family, Little Income, Moments a Day and School Mum will run stories about problem gambling.
    • Campaign advertising will appear on venue-based ATM screens and receipts.
    • Community-based promotion will be led by the Gambling Help counselling services, the Gambling Help website and Facebook page.

    The central video and radio advertisements focus on character-forming life events including rising against opponents on the sporting field, winning a job, overcoming an injury, and coming through for loved ones – and how the same resolve can be used to face gambling addiction.

    We want this campaign to result in more problem gamblers and their families proactively taking up free and confidential services funded by the NSW Government.

    The campaign, funded through the NSW Government’s Responsible Gambling Fund will also involve community based promotion of Gambling Help counselling and services by phone, email, online by phoning 1800 858 858 or visiting www.gamblinghelp.nsw.gov.au

    The campaign will run from now until the end of December and then resume from April through to the end of May 2015.

  • FLASHING LIGHTS MAKE FOR SAFER SCHOOLS

    Nationals Member for Tweed Geoff Provest has some great news for the Tweed – flashing lights are now operational in all local school zones except one.

    “Tweed is one of the first areas in the State to reach this milestone ahead of the June 2015 state-wide target,” Mr Provest said.

    “This is an exciting achievement; in less than 4 years we have installed the flashing lights that Labor couldn’t install in 16 years of government and have delivered on this important commitment to parents and families.

    The only school in the Tweed electorate still to receive operational flashing lights is Duranbah Public School. Problems related to powering the lights on this deeply shaded road have delayed the installation but this has now been resolved.

    Mr Provest said flashing lights were just one of many initiatives the Liberal & Nationals Government has introduced to help protect our children and remind motorists to slow down.

    “Outside the classroom, we have infrastructure including high visibility signs and ‘40’ pavement markings on all roads with a school zone,” Mr Provest said.

    “Inside classrooms, students are learning critical road safety skills through our road safety education curriculum including SafetyTown.com.au

    “We’ve also got the Speed Adviser app for android and iPhone that uses audio alerts to inform drivers of operating school zones,” Mr Provest said.

    More information about the flashing lights program is available at roadsafety.transport.nsw.gov.au

  • HSC EXAMS START NEXT WEEK

    Member for Tweed, Geoff Provest, today wished local students well in their final preparations for the Higher School Certificate written exams, which begin next week.

    The exams start next Monday with the compulsory two-unit English paper and conclude on 5 November with the Information and Digital Technology exam.

    “Final preparations can often be stressful but I would encourage students to get plenty of rest, study hard and know that most of the work is already behind you,” Mr Provest said.

    “Students can practise multiple choice questions from past papers using the new HSC Test Yourself app recently announced by the Minister for Education Adrian Piccoli.

    “This app helps students make the most of their study time using information straight from the creator of the HSC — the Board of Studies, Teaching and Educational Standards (BOSTES).

    “This is a great resource, as students can test their knowledge on the go.

    “The most popular courses, apart from the compulsory English units, this year are Mathematics, Biology, Business Studies and Personal Development, Health and Physical Education.

    The HSC written exams will be held over 18 days from Monday 13 October to Wednesday 5 November, with 116 different exam papers.

    To receive an HSC, students must have completed the equivalent of two years of prescribed study and, in doing so, satisfactorily completed assessments and external examinations. Most candidates are awarded the HSC at the end of Year 12.

    “I wish all candidates the greatest success in these final exams,” Mr Provest said.

  • TWEED RESIDENTS ENCOURAGED TO PREPARE FOR STORM SEASON

    With the storm season officially commencing this week, Nationals Member for Tweed, Geoff Provest has said that now is the time for residents of Tweed to prepare their homes and families for the possibility of storms.

    While recognising the untiring work of local NSW SES volunteers, residents are reminded to be proactive.

    “NSW SES volunteers do an outstanding job in helping people when storms happen but communities must do their bit to ensure everyone stays safe during storm season.”

    “You can do your bit to help prevent some of this damage by preparing your household and property now, at the beginning of the storm season,” Mr Provest said.

    Acting Commissioner for the NSW SES, Jim Smith, advised that volunteers spent over 90,000 hours responding to more than 12,000 call-outs last season across the state.

    “Most of the damage we saw was from trees crashing down on to properties and vehicles as well as leaking and damaged roofs,” Acting Commissioner Smith said.

    NRMA Insurance data shows that during the last financial year, almost half of all home insurance claims in NSW were made as a result of storm damage*.

    Mr Provest said that people can limit the amount of damage caused in a storm by making a few simple preparations now. “You can get started by completing the online Home Emergency Plan at www.seshomeemergencyplan.com.au ”

    “Doing a little really can save a lot. Clear your gutters, trim overhanging branches and check that your home and contents insurance is up to date; these are all simple steps people can take to prepare for the storm season,” Mr Provest said.

    “Storms often happen suddenly and with little warning so don’t be complacent.”

    To learn how to be StormSafe visit www.stormsafe.com.au or visit www.nrma.com.au/ses

    For emergency help in storms and floods call the NSW SES on 132 500. Dial 000 in life threatening emergencies.

    * Based on NRMA Insurance home claims data sourced for Financial Year 2013 to 2014

  • GEOFF PROVEST CONGRATULATES BERT EVANS APPRENTICE SCHOLARSHIP RECIPIENT

    Nationals Member for Tweed Geoff Provest has congratulated Ms Jamie McDonald on receiving a $15,000 Bert Evans Apprentice Scholarship.

    Mr Provest said the scholarships are part of a $2.4 million program introduced by the NSW Liberals & Nationals designed to assist apprentices who face significant challenges and barriers in completing their qualification.

    “This scholarship is a credit to Jamie and I was proud to present this cheque to such a deserving young lady that will help her continue with her studies to gain her qualifications,” Mr Provest said.

    “The 40 first year recipients will receive $5,000 each year for three years. In this inaugural year of the scholarships we are also awarding scholarships to second and third year apprentices who will receive $5,000 for each year of study remaining.”

    “Apprentices play a vital role in growing the NSW economy. That is why this Government recognises the need to provide additional financial support to help apprentices complete their training and gain their qualification.”

    Minister for Education Adrian Piccoli said the scholarship program aimed to support apprentices with a disability, Aboriginal apprentices and women in non-traditional trades.

    “If young people are given support and the opportunity to excel in their trade not only will they reap the benefits but our community will prosper as well,” Mr Piccoli said.

    “These scholarships are in addition to the Country Apprentice Scholarships we have awarded which support up to 30 apprentices in rural and regional NSW each year to meet additional costs associated with their training.”

    Information on the Bert Evans Apprentice Scholarships and Country Apprentice Scholarships is available from State Training Services Regional Centres on 13 28 11 and at www.training.nsw.gov.au

  • NEW STREET ROD STANDARD INTRODUCED

    Member for Tweed, Geoff Provest, has welcomed a new standard allowing safer “street rods” to be fully registered for use on NSW roads.

    A street rod is a modified vehicle that has a body and frame built before 1949, or is a replica of a vehicle, the body and frame of which were built before 1949.

    “In December last year, the Minister for Roads & Ports, Duncan Gay, announced that new National Guidelines for the Construction and Modification of Street Rods in Australia was jointly approved by the Australian Street Rod Federation and the Australian Motor Vehicle Certification Board,” Mr Provest said.

    “Since then, a NSW Supplement has been developed to cover some additional safety and performance features necessary for vehicles to be fully registered on the NSW road network.

    “Full registration means street rods can be used on NSW roads without the restrictions applicable under the Conditional Registration Scheme for Street Rods.”

    Mr Provest spoke with the organiser of the Car Committee for “Cooly Rocks On”, Dan Hall, about the new standard this morning.

    “Dan was quite excited and believes this is a significant move forward that will enable car enthusiasts to make the most of their specialty vehicles without the constraints of conditional registration,” Mr Provest said.

    Before a street rod can be registered, it must be assessed against the new standards by a licensed certifier allowed to assess individually constructed vehicles under the Roads and Maritime Services’ Vehicle Safety Compliance Certification Scheme.

    However, those who only want to use their street rods on a limited basis, the Registration Requirements and Construction Guidelines for Street Rods in NSW can still be used for limited registration under the Conditional Registration Scheme for Street Rods.