News

  • BETTER SOCIAL HOUSING EXPERIENCE IN TWEED HEADS

    The NSW Government today announced that a site in Tweed Heads is being made available for redevelopment as part of the Communities Plus Neighbourhood Projects.

    This follows the NSW Government’s recent announcement to provide support to the region in the aftermath of the recent devastating floods by increasing social and affordable housing supply.

    Minister for Social Housing Pru Goward said the tender process would be offered through a tender process to both not-for-profit Community Housing Providers (CHPs) and private sectors developers to ensure that the housing needs of the community are met.

    “The two vacant lots in Boyd Street will be redeveloped to deliver more social housing mixed with private and affordable housing in the Tweed community”, said Minister Goward.

    Member for Tweed Geoff Provest welcomed the announcement of the tender and thanked the NSW Government for their continued support to the flood affected Tweed Electorate.

    “The Liberal and National Government is delivering on its promise to help people in our community get back on their feet and ensure that social housing needs are met.”

    Communities Plus is a $22 billion building program that will deliver 23,500 new social and affordable housing dwellings and 40,000 private homes in mixed communities to produce a better social housing experience.

    The RFP for the Tweed site will be offered to the market from today.

    All interested private sector developers and not-for profit CHPs can get the RFP package by going to www.tenders.nsw.gov.au

  • MAKING LIFE FAIRER FOR TWEED FIRST HOME BUYERS

    Member for Tweed Geoff Provest has welcomed a comprehensive package of measures which will give first homebuyers in Tweed a fair go at owning their own home by significantly reducing stamp duty and providing more housing choice.

    Mr Provest said the reforms could save first homebuyers up to $34,360 and would now apply to both existing and new homes. Stamp duty on lenders mortgage insurance, often required by banks, will also be abolished.

    “While there are no easy solutions when it comes to housing affordability, residents who are saving to own their own home in Tweed will benefit greatly from these reforms,” Mr Provest said. “Stamp duty is a hurdle for first home buyers across Tweed, so to give residents a fair go we will abolish stamp duty for all first home buyers on properties costing up to $650,000 and provide stamp duty discounts on properties up to $800,000. This means many first homebuyers will not be paying stamp duty at all in Tweed

    These changes to stamp duty and support for new infrastructure will make regional Australia an even more attractive place for people to live, work and play.

    “These are just some of the measures we are introducing to give local first homebuyers a fair go.”

    More information on the NSW Government’s housing affordability package can be found at: www.nsw.gov.au/housingaffordability

  • MORE SUPPORT FOR OUT-OF-SCHOOL-HOURS CARE IN TWEED

    Member for Tweed Geoff Provest is encouraging not for profit providers of out of school hours care to apply for grants to expand or establish new services to provide flexible options for working families in Tweed.

    Mr Provest said the announcement of the expansion to the criteria for the $20 million Before and After School Care Fund is a great opportunity for not for profits to apply for the $30,000 grants.

    “Many families in Tweed rely on before and after school care to juggle work and other commitments, Mr Provest said.

    “Opening the fund to not-for-profit service providers means extra support to help community spaces offer out of school hours care and ease the burden in areas of high demand.

    “Every school community in Tweed has different needs and these changes will have real benefits in areas where schools don’t have the capacity to establish or further expand services on site.”

    Minister for Early Childhood Education Sarah Mitchell said grants from the fund can be used for site modification and fit-out costs, project management, or to pay for necessary equipment to support new or expanded services.

    “More than 160 schools and five local councils have taken advantage of the fund,” Mrs Mitchell said.

    “We know families need flexibility, so we’re providing a flexible approach that allows not-for-profits, local councils and schools to provide more care options.

    “NSW has a diverse early childhood education sector, and this Government has choices in place for families so that they can choose a centre that meets their needs.”

    As part of these changes it is also now possible for community organisations to pool their resources and prepare a joint proposal.

    Since 2011, the Liberals & Nationals Government has spent more than $1.6 billion in Early Childhood Education, investing $382 million this financial year alone.

    For more information, visit the Department of Education website at www.dec.nsw.gov.au/our-services/children-and-youth/out-of-hours-school-care-grant.

  • EXTRA SCHOOL ZONE FLASHING LIGHTS

    The safety of students and their families around Tweed schools will be given a welcome boost with the installation of extra school zone flashing lights, Member for Tweed, Geoff Provest announced.

    The new lights will be installed at Pottsville Beach Public School as part of a statewide roll out of extra flashing lights at 104 schools zones.

    In August last year the NSW Government announced a $5 million program to install extra flashing lights at 400 NSW schools.

    The program, which will be completed in July, is running on time and under budget allowing for the installation of the extra lights at the extra school zones.

    Mr Provest said the program is part of the government’s $10 million boost to school zone safety which includes $5 million for the additional lights, and $5 million for pedestrian safety infrastructure like raised zebra crossings around schools.

    There’s nothing more important than making sure our kids are safe, especially when they are making their way to and from school,” Mr Provest said.

    “These new lights will help us achieve this by reminding drivers to slow down and be mindful there are children around.

    “Children are some of our most vulnerable road users. That’s why we’re doing everything possible to keep them safe on our roads and near our schools.”

    In 2013 the NSW Government announced the expansion of the school zone flashing lights program to ensure every school in NSW had at least one a set of flashing lights.

    The program has now been completed with more than 1700 schools across the state receiving a set of flashing lights by the end of 2017.

    Centre for Road Safety Executive Director Bernard Carlon said that all NSW schools have prominent signs, ‘40’ pavement patches and ‘dragon’s teeth’ road markings to improve school zone visibility and remind drivers that they must slow down to 40km/h during school zone times.

    “A vehicle that hits a pedestrian at 50km/h is twice as likely to cause a fatality as the same vehicle travelling at 40km/h, which is why school zone speed limits are so important,” Mr Carlon said.

    “We are committed to providing a safe road environment for children, both close to home and on their way to and from school.

    “We are doing this through improvements in school zone infrastructure as well as ongoing road safety education in schools and early childhood services.

    “We are backing this up with targeted communication and enforcement campaigns that remind drivers to slow down in school zones.

    “Drivers also face tougher penalties that apply in 40km/h school zones. Offences such as speeding, double parking and illegal U-turns attract a higher fine and additional demerit points when committed in a school zone.”

  • CAPITAL WORKS GRANTS TO EXPAND EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION PLACES IN TWEED

    Families in Tweed will have more opportunities to find preschool places following an investment of $420,000 to upgrade early childhood education services as part of the NSW Government $8 million Capital Works program.

    Member for Tweed Geoff Provest announced Bilambil Community Preschool and OOSH Inc received funding to give children quality early education in improved facilities.

    “It’s great to hear that local families in Tweed will benefit from upgrades to our local services, making it a better place for children to spend their time,” Mr Provest said.

    “Research demonstrates that children benefit socially, emotionally and cognitively from access to quality early childhood education so this program will have a real benefit for families with young children in Tweed.

    “The investment will extend existing pre-school buildings, build new facilities, buy new vehicles for existing mobile pre-school services all with the aim to deliver more pre-school places for local families.”

    The Capital Works Grants program provides funding for not-for-profit, community-based preschools to increase the number of places for children at 15 hours per week, especially in areas where there is a demonstrated shortage of places.

    Minister for Early Childhood Education Sarah Mitchell said we know the success of a child’s education on their last day of school is determined by their very first day of school.

    “The increased preschool places created through these grants are part of an additional 490 places spread across urban and regional areas of NSW,” Mrs Mitchell said.

    “The NSW government is fully committed to supporting providers to deliver quality care that working parents and carers can rely on.

  • $12 MILLION FOR MORE HOUSING IN NORTHERN NSW

    The NSW Government has allocated up to $12 million in funding to Northern NSW to increase social and affordable housing supply in the region.

    Minister for Social Housing, Pru Goward said the funding would help alleviate the shortage of housing in the region following the recent flooding.

    In the immediate aftermath of the floods, the Department of Family and Community Services (FACS) assisted almost 1,300 people with accommodation.

    “A month on from the recent flooding, it’s time to look at how we address the longer term housing needs of the community, we know people want to remain in the communities they love,” Minister Goward said.

    An additional $2 million will support local services to “head lease” properties which will enable an additional 30 properties to be leased over the next three years.

    Up to a further $10 million has been allocated to increase social and affordable housing supply in Northern NSW over the next three years.

    The NSW Government will release a new site in Tweed Heads for mixed development of social, affordable and private housing as part of its Communities Plus program.

    Member for Tweed, Geoff Provest MP welcomed the additional funding and thanked the Government and the Department of Family and Community Services for their ongoing assistance in what he described as a devastating time for the community.

    “Some people have lost everything in the recent floods. This additional funding will be a massive game-changer for some of the worst affected people in our community.”

  • ANZAC COMMUNITY GRANT AWARDED IN POTTSVILLE

    Schools, community groups, and other local organisations have been awarded funding to help deliver projects which commemorate the service and sacrifice of World War 1 veterans.

    Minister for Veterans Affairs David Elliott has announced a total of $50,000 would be delivered to community groups across NSW as part of the 2016/17 Anzac Community Grants Program.

    Forty-nine grants have been given to schools, community groups, museums, historical societies and other local associations.

    “The Anzac Community Grants Program is a fantastic way to support organisations across NSW which are delivering projects in honour of our veterans,” Member for Tweed Geoff Provest said.

    “These grants valued at anywhere from a couple of hundred dollars to $2000 and can be put to good use for valuable community projects.”

    The successful applicants include:

    • Pottsville and District RLS Sub-Branch to install a display cabinet to feature Pottsville specific military memorabilia

    Mr Elliott congratulated all recipients of the 2016/17 grant round.

    “It is timely to receive an Anzac grant as we continue to commemorate the Centenary of Anzac and a century of service across the state,” he said

  • QUAD BIKE SAFETY TRAINING NOW FREE FOR LOCAL FARMERS

    Farmers will now receive free quad bike training in a major boost to the safety improvement program aimed at significantly reducing the number of deaths on rural properties across NSW.

    Member for Tweed, Geoff Provest said that eligible farmers and their workers who complete an approved training course will also receive a free helmet – worth around $120 – suitable for use while they are riding their quad bikes and that these changes announced represent a further saving to farmers of up to $230.

    SafeWork NSW has partnered with Tocal College to deliver up to 100 training events in regional and remote areas across NSW. From 8 May, free training will also be available through authorised Registered Training Organisations. Eligible farmers and their workers who complete this training also receive a helmet compliant to NZS 8600:2002.

    Previously, farmers attending an approved training course (costing up to $510) received a rebate of $310.

    Mr Provest said more than 200 farmers had attended Tocal College training days since the quad bike safety program was launched last year.

    “I want as many farmers in Tweed to undertake this training so they can be as safe as possible at work on their properties,” Mr Provest said.

    “We know time is money to farmers and it’s not easy for them to give up a day’s work to undergo quad bike training.

    “While we can’t put more hours in the day, we can make the training free, and encourage farmers to use helmets, as the next step in our campaign to increase farm safety,” Mr Provest said.

    In March, the Government doubled the rebates to $1000 for the purchase of a side-by-side vehicle, $500 for the retrofitting of operator protective device to an existing quad bike and $90 for the purchase of an approved helmet.

    Farmers can apply for two rebates, up to the value of $2000, recognising that farmers often have more than one quad bike.

    See SafeWork.nsw.gov.au for more information.

  • FREE LICENSING WORKSHOPS FOR OLDER ROAD USERS

    Member for Tweed Geoff Provest has invited older road users to attend a free workshop to learn about changes to licensing rules and other matters to help them stay safe when out and about.

    Mr Provest said the ‘Older Road User’ workshop delivered by Roads and Maritime Services will be held at South Tweed Community Hall from 3pm to 5pm on Tuesday 9 May.

    “It can be hard to keep up with changes to licensing rules, so this free two hour workshop will provide information and tips to improve safety for older road users.”

    “Information and checklists will be provided for all road users, whether they drive, ride, walk, catch public transport or use a mobility scooter, or a combination of these.”

    “The workshop will look at issues such as driver licensing after the age of 75, safe driving habits, mobility scooters, and the top 10 misunderstood road rules in NSW.”

    Bookings are essential and can be made by calling 02 6622 1903 or emailing info@acecolleges.edu.au.

    The workshop will be held at South Tweed Community Hall on the corner of Heffron Street and Minjungbal Drive, Tweed Heads South.

    More information can be found by visiting www.rms.nsw.gov.au

  • SEVEN WEEK PUBLIC HOUSING TENANT AMNESTY BEGINS

    Fraudulent behaviour by social housing tenants is being targeted by the NSW Government with the commencement of a social housing amnesty on 24 April 2017 run by the Department of Family and Community Services (FACS).

    Minister for Social Housing Pru Goward, said that the amnesty, which provides social housing tenants with an opportunity to report undisclosed income, financial assets, property and unauthorised occupants without fear of prosecution, ensures the system is fair for all.

    “This amnesty will weed out the people who are breaking the rules and ensure a fairer housing system that provides our most vulnerable with a stable home to live in,” Ms Goward said.

    “Any FACS Housing or Aboriginal Housing Office tenant that makes a declaration falling under one of our protected amnesty categories will not face consequences.”

    Member for Tweed Geoff Provest, said the current amnesty was based on the positive outcomes of similar programs run in 2013 and 2014, which resulted in increased annual revenue of more than $10 million that has been reinvested into public housing.

    “This is money that goes back into the social housing system to deliver better quality services to more people,” Mr Provest said.

    “I encourage all social housing tenants to take this opportunity to declare or report a change in circumstances to FACS without fear of prosecution or being charged back rent.”

    The amnesty will run until 11 June 2017. During the amnesty period tenants and members of the public can provide declarations or information 24 hours, 7 days a week by filling out our form online at www.facs.nsw.gov.au/amnesty, contacting 1800 422 322 or emailing amnesty2017@facs.nsw.gov.au