News

  • BETTER ACCESS TO TWEED RIVER WITH UPGRADE WORK STARTING AT CLARRIE PURNELL PARK IN CONDONG

    Boaters will soon have improved access to the Tweed River with an upgrade of the boat launching area at Clarrie Purnell Park in Condong starting soon.

    Mr Provest said the NSW Government provided Tweed Shire Council a $232,000 grant through the NSW Boating Now program to stabilise the river bank for safer boat launching access.

    “The erosion of the river bank is compromising the safety, accessibility and amenity of this popular boating destination in the upper Tweed estuary,” Mr Provest said.

    “The NSW Government has provided $37.5 million from NSW Boating Now to support delivery of the 192 Priority Regional Projects identified in the 11 Regional Boating Plans.

    “An additional $10 million has also been set aside for major projects, $5 million for boat trailer parking initiatives and another $10 million for the delivery of second round projects in the last two years of this program.

    “NSW Boating Now aims to further enhance the boating experience by improving the capacity and amenity of boating infrastructure on NSW waterways.

    “Priority regional projects were identified following consultation with councils, local sports clubs and organisations as well as every day boaters. These projects include upgrades and new infrastructure such as boat ramps, jetties, pontoons, car parks and sewage pump out facilities.”

    For more information about NSW Boating Now or the Better Boating program visit the Roads and Maritime website at http://www.rms.nsw.gov.au/projects/key-build-program/boating-now/ or Transport for NSW at http://maritimemanagement.transport.nsw.gov.au/

  • LOCAL POLICE SUCCESSFULLY PUSH DOWN CRIME

    Member for Tweed Geoff Provest has praised the work of the hard-working men and women in the Tweed Byron Local Area Command for their excellent work to reduce local crime.

    Mr Provest said the latest quarterly data from the Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research (BOCSAR) reflects the tireless efforts of local police and the cooperation of the community.

    In the 24 months to December 2015, only one of the 17 major offence categories showed a significant upward trend state-wide, while seven offences were trending down.

    Mr Provest said local data from the Tweed followed the state-wide trend, with several offences stable or trending down.

    “I am very proud to see a downward trend in the following major crime categories:

    • Domestic violence related assault is down 19.4% (Tweed LGA)
    • Steal from motor vehicle is down 22.7% (Tweed LGA)
    • Malicious damage to property is down 17.2% (Tweed LGA)

    “I credit these results to the appointment of our new Superintendent Wayne Starling and the proactive work of our local police and their efforts to investigate and prosecute crime across our community,” Mr Provest said.

    BOCSAR has again identified increases in prohibited drug possession throughout NSW, including a 30.6 percent increase in amphetamine possession and a 35.9 percent increase in cocaine possession.

    “The secondary crime statistics relating to drug possession remain a concern and highlights the need for the NSW Liberals & Nationals Government to continue to implement our targeted plan to stamp out drugs and support affected communities,” Mr Provest said.

    “Data relating to drug possession showcases the success of the NSW Police Force to find drugs in our communities, hold dealers to account and deter further use.

    “The NSW Government is committed to providing our local police with the resources they need to protect the community and today’s report showcases this success.”

  • 2016 YOUNG REGIONAL $10,000 SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM NOW OPEN

    Member for Tweed Geoff Provest today encouraged local youth aged 18-25 years old to apply for the NSW Government’s Young Regional Scholarship program.

    Mr Provest said this program is enabling the next generation of arts professionals based in regional NSW to fulfil their creative ambitions.

    “Our community has a fantastic array of young artistic talent and I urge people to apply now for this potentially career-changing opportunity,” Mr Provest said.

    “I want our young artists to connect with arts organisations and seek training opportunities so they can reach their potential and develop their careers.
    “The NSW Liberals & Nationals Government is committed to supporting art and culture throughout regional and remote NSW,” Mr Provest said.

    Deputy Premier and Minister for the Arts Troy Grant said he was proud the NSW Government has created a scheme exclusively for regional youth.

    “The 2015 successful recipients showcased the innovative and vibrant artistic talent of young people in regional NSW, and their activities will inject new skills back into the regions,” Mr Grant said.

    “I have great confidence in the 2015 scholarship alumni developing their talent and I look forward to hearing first-hand from this year’s recipients how they intend to reach their career goals with this support.

    “The NSW Liberals & Nationals Government is investing in artistic talent throughout regional NSW to ensure the community is supported with a diverse and thriving arts and cultural scene,” Mr Grant said.

    Local artists and arts workers can apply from any art form, including dance, design, digital arts, history, Aboriginal arts, literature, music, theatre, screen and the visual arts.

    The scholarships are available to fund activities including mentorships or internships, residencies, short-term courses and workshops, travel and the creation of new work.

    For the purpose of this scholarship, regional NSW is defined as Local Government Areas outside the metropolitan and metropolitan fringe of Sydney, Newcastle and Wollongong.

    Applications close on 27 June 2016. For more information or to apply for a NSW Young Regional Artists Scholarship visit: www.arts.nsw.gov.au.

  • TWEED RIVER ENTRANCE DREDGING TO IMPROVE NAVIGATION

    Member for Tweed Geoff Provest said the entrance of the Tweed River will be dredged over coming weeks to improve boating navigation for commercial and recreational vessels.

    “It is planned to remove about 21,000 cubic metres of sand. Thanks to the success of the Tweed River Entrance Sand Bypassing Project, this is a relatively small amount compared with past dredging campaigns,” Mr Provest said.

    “The floating dredge Port Frederick will carry out the sand removal and is expected to begin in late March. Work is expected to take around three weeks depending on weather and swell conditions.”

    Mr Provest said that sand had moved into the entrance area naturally and reduced the water depth available in the defined channel area.

    “Dredging will reinstate a clear navigation channel and create an additional small buffer depth to allow for sand to settle. Sand will be picked up by the dredge and taken to locations off Point Danger, where it will be deposited evenly.”

    “The works will improve navigational safety for commercial fishers and other commercial operators and recreational boaters who use the Tweed River entrance.”

    The Tweed River Entrance Sand Bypassing Project is a joint initiative of the NSW and Queensland Governments with financial and other assistance being provided by Tweed Shire Council and Gold Coast City Council.

  • “Lot 490” handed back to Traditional Owners

    Member for Tweed, Geoff Provest, today joined with the NSW Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, Leslie Williams MP, in handing the Title Deeds for Lot 490 to the Tweed-Byron Aboriginal Land Council.

    “No issue has attracted more comment from the community, no issue has polarised opinion more than the future of Lot 490,” Mr Provest said.

    “For more than a decade we have seen consultations, promises, protests and petitions in order to determine the future of the land and balance the conflicting proposals for its use.”

    Lot 490 is more correctly described as being Lots 1 and 2 DP1117599 and was formerly Crown Land. In 2005, the plan of management identified that Lot 1 should be used for tourist accommodation while Lot 2 should be managed for public recreation and environmental protection.

    In 2008, the then Labor Government entered into an agreement with Leighton Properties for the development of a tourist resort on Lot 1 and in 2012, development consent was given. However, in late 2012 Leighton subsequently advised the government that it was not proceeding with the project.

    Petitions calling for the property in its entirety to be protected were presented to Parliament on 13 August 2013 and 5 August 2014. However, on 13 June 2013, an Aboriginal Land Claim was made over Lot 1 and Lot 2 and any future plans for the land were put on hold until this could be determined.

    In October 2015, Labor introduced a bill into the NSW Parliament which would have seen Lot 490 become a National Park before the claim was determined. This would have constrained the ways the land could be used by the Aboriginal owners and was opposed by indigenous groups.

    “Today, the culmination of this process sees the title deeds for Lots 1 & 2 being handed to the elders of the Tweed Byron Aboriginal Land Council,” Mr Provest said.

    “This acknowledges the historical significance of the land and returns full ownership to the traditional guardians.”

    Minister Leslie Williams said that LALCs such as Tweed Byron LALC are able to use the land claims they are awarded to best suit their needs.

    “The land claims process exists as a compensatory measure to provide economic, social and cultural benefit to Aboriginal Communities,” Mrs Williams said.

    However, Mr Provest said that plans for the future use of the land must take environmental protections and zoning restrictions into account.

    “Lot 490 is now private property under the control of our local Land Council and I wish it well as it manages this important cultural asset,” he concluded.

  • NSW LEADING THE WAY ON NATIONAL DOMESTIC VIOLENCE ORDER SCHEME

    Member for Tweed Geoff Provest has welcomed the introduction of model laws in NSW that will hold domestic violence perpetrators accountable nationwide.

    “These model laws mean that Domestic Violence Orders issued to protect victims and their families in Tweed will be automatically recognised and enforced across State and Territory borders,” Mr Provest said.

    In December 2015, the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) agreed each State and Territory would introduce model laws to automatically recognise and enforce Domestic Violence Orders across Australia, including New Zealand orders registered in Australia.

    “I am proud to be part of a government that treats domestic violence like the crime it is, with NSW leading the nation as the first State or Territory to bring a bill to parliament,” Mr Provest said.

    “The national recognition scheme will improve information sharing across borders, and better protect the safety of victims if they choose to move interstate.”

    This means the NSW Police Force will be able to work more closely with their interstate counterparts to target, monitor and reduce domestic violence offending.

    A victim will no longer need to register an interstate order in a NSW court, which can be traumatising for victims and potentially alert a perpetrator to their new location.

    The Attorney General Gabrielle Upton said she was proud to introduce the new laws.

    “I call on the other States and Territories to fast track their adoption of these new model laws as soon as possible,” Ms Upton said.

    “I look forward to taking this up with my Federal and State and Territory counterparts next month at the Law, Crime and Community Safety Council (LCCSC) meeting in Queenstown.”

    COAG and the LCCSC are overseeing the establishment of an interim national information sharing system for Domestic Violence Orders, which will be used to develop a comprehensive model for sharing information across jurisdictions.

  • PROMOTING RESPONSIBLE PET OWNERSHIP

    Subsidised de-sexing for pets, discounted micro-chipping and education for children about dogs are all programs set to benefit local communities from the NSW Government’s Responsible Pet Ownership Grants Program.

    Member for Tweed, Geoff Provest today encouraged Tweed Shire Council to apply for grants for activities and workshops developed in collaboration with community groups.

    Mr Provest said that individual councils could apply for grants of up to $15,000, while collaborative council projects could receive up to $50,000.

    “The Responsible Pet Ownership Grants Program helps councils to address important issues such as educating children about animal behaviour, how community members can deal with menacing and dangerous dogs, and reducing dog attacks. There are also programs that deal with the issue of feral cats,” Mr Provest said.

    Minister for Local Government Paul Toole said the NSW Government had committed $900,000 over three years towards this important Program.

    “In the last round of the Responsible Pet Ownership Grants Program, funding was provided to 29 councils,” Mr Toole said.

    “These successful programs promote safety around cats and dogs and are an excellent opportunity for community collaboration.”

    The closing date for round three applications is Friday, 29 April 2016.

    The Responsible Pet Ownership Grants Program will continue through until 2017.

  • TWEED RESIDENTS URGED TO HAVE THEIR SAY ON REVIEW OF CTP GREEN SLIPS

    Member for Tweed Geoff Provest, has welcomed the NSW Government’s announcement to conduct a major review of the NSW Compulsory Third Party (CTP) Green Slip Scheme to drive down costs for motorists and better protect those seriously injured in a road accident

    Mr Provest said the current scheme, which has been operating since 1999, is now in urgent need of reform to ensure it remains affordable for vehicle owners and delivers the appropriate benefits to injured people in a timely manner.

    “Green Slip prices in NSW are now the highest in the country with an average of $630 for a standard passenger vehicle. We have seen a 70% rise in premiums since 2008 and without reform, we are likely to see further significant price rises in coming years” Mr Provest said.

    “This is a major hit on the family budget every year, especially if a household has two or more vehicles.

    “Apart from being expensive, the scheme is also very inefficient with only 45 per cent of the premiums collected being paid to injured people as benefits and some claims taking over five years to resolve.

    “We need to ensure more of the money collected through Green Slip Premiums ends up where it was intended – in the hands of the most seriously injured road users” Mr Provest said.

    The NSW Government has released a CTP Options paper and is seeking public comment. The Options Paper is available at www.sira.nsw.gov.au

    The review focuses on achieving four key objectives:

    1) Increasing the proportion of benefits to seriously injured road users
    2) Reducing the time it takes to resolve a claim
    3) Reducing opportunities for claims fraud
    4) Lowering Green Slip prices

    “I encourage residents to visit www.sira.nsw.gov.au to have their say on how we can create a CTP scheme that is more efficient, fairer and sustainable,” Mr Provest said.

    The CTP Options Paper is open for feedback until 22 April. No decision has been made regarding what option will be adopted.

  • TWEED LOCAL WOMAN OF THE YEAR ANNOUNCED

    Member for Tweed Geoff Provest has welcomed today’s announcement of Nerida Dean as the 2016 Local Woman of the Year for Tweed.

    Mr Provest said Mrs Dean’s nomination recognised her outstanding achievements and many years of hard work and dedication.

    “It’s the work of local heroes like Nerida that serves as an inspiration to women across their community and New South Wales,” Mr Provest said.

    Nerida is an active member of the wider North Coast community, assisting people transition from work to retirement and providing advice on how to transition successfully, both vocationally and emotionally. She is actively involved with the NSW Cancer Council, serves on the Executive of the Kingscliff Chamber of Commerce and has been a Rotarian for over 20 years.

    “I’ve personally walked the streets with Nerida selling Daffodils on Daffodil Day to raise funds for the Cancer Council and it is truly a privilege to be able to acknowledge Nerida’s work in our community,” Mr Provest said.

    Mrs Dean attended the 2016 NSW Women of the Year award ceremony in Parliament House today with other winners from all over NSW where she received her award from the Minister for Women, Pru Goward and the Deputy Premier, Troy Grant.

    For more information on the 2016 NSW Women of the Year awards visit www.women.nsw.gov.au

  • TWEED TO BE DECLARED REGIONAL CITY

    Planning Minister Rob Stokes and Parliamentary Secretary for the North Coast Chris
    Gulaptis today released a proposal that will see Tweed recognised as a regional city
    for the first time.

    Mr Stokes said the draft North Coast Regional Plan is the NSW Government’s
    blueprint for the North Coast region over the next 20 years and will focus on
    generating jobs, providing homes and protecting the area’s natural environment.

    “I am pleased to announce this draft Plan will recognise the Tweed as a regional city,
    recognising its place on the North Coast and in the state,” Mr Stokes said.

    “This draft Plan sets out a vision for the North Coast over the next two decades to
    help vibrant and sustainable communities flourish now and into the future.”

    Mr Gulaptis said the draft Plan will build on the strengths of the North Coast, while
    protecting its environment and heritage.

    “This draft Plan is about providing new homes and jobs while maintaining the area’s
    unique character,” Mr Gulaptis said.

    The draft plan also recognises Coffs Harbour and Port Macquarie as regional cities.
    Member for Tweed Geoff Provest welcomed the new regional city status.

    “The Tweed is a key regional centre for the North Coast and for NSW as a whole,
    and I am delighted it will be declared a regional city,” Mr Provest said.

    Member for Lismore Thomas George welcomed the draft Plan.

    “This plan will help our region grow and prosper into the future,” Mr George said.

    The community can make submissions on the draft Plan until Wednesday, 2 June
    and can also provide feedback via an online survey and interactive map.

    The draft Plan, survey and interactive map can be viewed at
    www.planning.nsw.gov.au/northcoast