TUCKERMAN URGES PRESCHOOLS TO APPLY FOR CAPITAL WORKS GRANTS

Member for Goulburn Wendy Tuckerman MP is encouraging preschools across the region to apply for the NSW Government’s $4 million Capital Works Grants program, which is now open for applications.

Mrs Tuckerman said this funding is part of the NSW Government’s $42.1 million investment in building new, and expanding existing early childhood services across the State.

“There are more children attending 600 hours of preschool in NSW than ever before,” Mrs Tuckerman said.

“This is why, as a Government, we need to support services to ensure the appropriate infrastructure is in place to accommodate for the growing number of enrolments in preschools.”

Minister for Education and Early Childhood Learning Sarah Mitchell said this round of grants will accommodate for an additional 230 preschool places across the State.

“Through the creation of more preschool places, even more children in NSW will have access to a top-quality early childhood education, which will set them up for life,” Ms Mitchell said.

“This Government knows how important an early childhood education is on a child’s emotional, social and cognitive development, so it is crucial we support services to nurture kids to be the best they can be in the years before school.”

The Start Strong Capital Works Grants program is open to all not-for-profit community preschools in NSW and can be used to build new services, extend or renovate existing services, or respond to crisis situations.

Applications will be open until early August 2019 and can be submitted via SmartyGrants. For more information, visit the Department of Education website.

BIG SAVINGS FOR SENIORS

Hard-working Seniors will soon be able to save hundreds of dollars a year through the NSW Government’s new Seniors Savers Card.

Member for Goulburn, Wendy Tuckerman said all people aged over 60 and working more than 20 hours a week will be eligible to receive discounts at more than 7000 businesses across the state including restaurants, cinema tickets and hairdressers.

“Seniors who choose to stay in the workforce can benefit from the thousands of discounts and services under the NSW Seniors Card Program,” Mrs Tuckerman said.

Previously, only seniors over the age of 60 working less than 20 hours a week were able to access the Seniors Card.

“I know many seniors in our community are feeling the growing pressure of everyday living costs so this new card means they can save money for the things that matter to them”, Mrs Tuckerman said.

Minister for Seniors John Sidoti said the NSW Government recognises and values the contribution seniors make to our society.

“With people working longer and retiring later, fewer are qualifying for a Seniors Card at age 60, so the introduction of this new card means seniors across the state won’t miss out on being part of the savings bonanza,” Minister Sidoti said.

The Seniors Savers Card is one of more than 70 NSW Government rebates and savings available as part of the NSW Government’s Cost of Living initiative.

For more information on the NSW Seniors Card, visit www.seniorscard.nsw.gov.au 

$113 MILLION TO CREATE CONNECTED COMMUNITIES

The NSW Government will create better-connected communities across the State, thanks to a $113 million investment to deliver critical infrastructure and service upgrades.
Planning and Public Spaces Minister Rob Stokes said the 2019-20 NSW Budget provides funding for vital infrastructure to support both new and growing communities.

“We are delivering vital community infrastructure so that when people move into a new home they are also moving into a well-connected community,” Mr Stokes said.

The Budget includes $58 million in new funding for work to commence on infrastructure projects across NSW, including road upgrades across Greater Sydney, a new pedestrian and cycleway bridge over Parramatta River, as well as water and sewerage works in Yass, Quenbeyan-Palerang and Warnervale.

“This funding will help deliver essential services needed to support growing communities where new homes are being built, as well as improving some of the pinch points on our roads to ease congestion,” Mr Stokes said.

The funding is provided through the NSW Government’s Housing Acceleration Fund (HAF) grants, which provide early investment in infrastructure projects that are a blockage to housing delivery or would only typically be considered after new homes have been built.

A further $55 million in the Budget will also deliver vital infrastructure and service upgrades in 10 separate Aboriginal communities through the Government’s Roads to Home initiative.

New roads, footpaths and streetlights will be among the upgrades to be delivered at these communities to provide better connections to surrounding neighbourhoods and services.

“These upgrades will make it easier for people in these areas to get to and from work and school, improve road safety, and enable communities to start and grow new businesses,” Mr Stokes said.

“Community consultation will soon begin with the Aboriginal communities identified with work to commence later this year.”

ABERCROMBIE RIVER BRIDGE PROGRESSES

Member for Goulburn Wendy Tuckerman has toured construction works on the new Abercrombie River Bridge north of Taralga, in the state’s Southern Tablelands.

Mrs Tuckerman said the bridge replacement project, funded by the Australian and NSW governments and Upper Lachlan Shire Council, with work carried out by Oberon Council, would improve an important freight link between Oberon and Goulburn.

“The old timber bridge had been in operation since the 1950s and was severely deteriorated, having experienced floods and increasing vehicle use during its many decades of service,” Mrs Tuckerman said.

“The new concrete bridge and associated road approaches will provide safer access for the local community, including our farmers, as well as creating a new freight link for industry.

“It’s also going to provide new opportunities for tourism as well as other regional investment, demonstrating the brilliant outcomes that can be achieved when three levels of government work closely together.”

The NSW Government awarded $675,000 to the $1.5 million project as part of the Restart NSW Fixing Country Roads program.

The new 40m bridge is two-lane, suitable for B-doubles and will reduce the need for heavy vehicle detours of up to 100km.

Member for Hume Angus Taylor said the new bridge was part of a record investment in infrastructure by the Australian Government, in partnership with state and local governments.

“I was travelling from Goulburn to Oberon not long ago and was really impressed with the scale of this project,” Mr Taylor said.

“Many millions of dollars are being spent across Hume on infrastructure upgrades like the Abercrombie River Bridge to improve our road corridors, and get us there faster and safer.”

Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional New South Wales, Industry and Trade John Barilaro said the $543 million program was about delivering targeted investment in roads to improve freight links in regional NSW.

“Freight contributes more than $60 billion to the NSW economy each year so we are committed to reducing pinch points and creating new freight links to help keep that industry moving,” Mr Barilaro said.

“Projects like the replacement of Abercrombie River Bridge reduce operating costs and provide new investment opportunities for local industry.”

Upper Lachlan Shire Council Mayor John Stafford said, when completed, the new bridge will significantly improve access and road safety for local road users as well as visitors to the Shire.

“On behalf of Upper Lachlan Shire Council I would like to thank the Australian and NSW Governments for their funding contributions, which in addition to $88,000 in funding from Council, has made this project possible. I would also like to thank Oberon Council for working with us to bring this project to fruition.” 

Mayor of Oberon Kathy Sajowitz said this project has been a great opportunity to work with our neighbouring Council for the benefit of residents and visitors to both Shires.

“The new bridge will provide substantial improvements to the safety of this route and will enhance the experience for travellers along The Tablelands Way. Oberon Council is proud to have partnered with Upper Lachlan Shire Council in this project.” 

The new bridge is expected to open to traffic next month.

EMERGENCY DROUGHT RELIEF EXTENDED

The State’s toughest drought on record continues to bite with farmers and rural communities bearing the brunt of the crisis.

While some regions have experienced rain during the past few months, 97 per cent of the state remains in drought, and the seasonal outlook remains bleak with the Bureau of Meteorology forecasting drier than average conditions.

That is why the NSW Liberals & Nationals in Government have today announced an Emergency Drought Relief package, bringing the total funding to more than $1.8 billion across the state, to further support farmers and regional communities.

Liberal Member for Goulburn Wendy Tuckerman said the additional support will assist local farmers and businesses, including on-farm measures such as transport subsidies and waiving land rates, and off-farm measures to boost the local economy and support the community. 

“The Liberals & Nationals understand the effect this drought is having on regional economies, communities and families,” Mrs Tuckerman said.

“The extension of the Emergency Drought Relief package means more assistance for primary producers, more infrastructure to provide safe and secure water supplies, and investments aimed at stimulating the local economy.

“The social and economic viability of rural and regional communities in Goulburn remains my priority. We are all in this together.”

The extended drought assistance measures for 2019/20 include:

  • $185 million for on-farm Emergency Drought Relief Package support measures including transport cost rebates for fodder, stock and water and the waiving of annual land rates
  • $36 million in funds to support rural and regional communities including mental health, sporting grants, money for pre-schools and skilled pathway opportunities
  • $55 million in the Emergency Drought Relief Package for water infrastructure projects, emergency water carting, improving town drinking water, reducing water wastage and rebates for water licences.

The NSW Liberals & Nationals in Government have also established a $170 million Drought Infrastructure and Stimulus Package for regional communities.

Mrs Tuckerman said these off-farm measures help mitigate against the ripple effect; the long-term impact that stressful situations like drought can have on our communities.

“I understand that it’s not just the farmers who are struggling – this drought is hurting our local businesses and communities – and as your local MP, I am determined to make sure nobody gets left behind,” Mrs Tuckerman said.

“It’s also why we are also investing $8 million in funding to improve access to and delivery of mental health services in our community because we know the effects of the drought can extend much further than infrastructure or a dollar figure.”

For more detail on available drought support measures, visit www.droughthub.nsw.gov.au