Therapy dogs have ‘repawted’ for duty at Goulburn Courthouse as part of a program to reduce anxiety for vulnerable people, Member for Goulburn Pru Goward and Liberal Candidate for Goulburn Wendy Tuckerman announced today.

“Guide Dogs NSW/ACT has finished training a number of lovable Labradors who will attend court on Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays to comfort anyone doing it tough,” Ms Goward said.

“The dogs have been specially selected for the Canine Court Companion program because of their gentle nature and ability to happily interact with strangers.”

Ms Tuckerman said the program is being expanded to Goulburn following a successful trial of therapy dogs at Manly Courthouse.

“The pilot program received unanimous support with victims of crime, court staff, stakeholders and police among those who said they felt more relaxed after patting and chatting to the dogs,” Ms Tuckerman said.

In addition to Manly and Goulburn, Guide Dogs NSW/ACT Labradors are also patrolling courts in Burwood, Campbelltown, Gosford, Sutherland and Lismore, with additional regional sites to come over the next four months.

Therapy Dogs will be located in foyers, waiting rooms and safe rooms as required.
“Goulburn Courthouse is a busy and often stressful environment and the sight of floppy ears and wagging tails will be a welcome distraction for court users with a lot on their minds,” Ms Tuckerman said.

“As a dog-lover myself, I know just how much having a furry friend around can lift a person’s mood. This is a great win for our busy regional courthouse.”

Guide Dogs NSW/ACT is best known for providing Guide Dogs and other mobility aids to people with sight loss, but has been operating an expanding Pets As Therapy program for over 30 years.


Goulburn locals struggling in the private market are preparing to move into new affordable homes, with the NSW Government announcing the completion of 20 social and affordable homes designed for over-55s.

Minister for Social Housing and Member for Goulburn Pru Goward visited the housing, which will provide accommodation for people over 55 who are currently on the social housing waiting list or in need of affordable housing.

“There is an increasing number of older people in our community who need access to housing and support services,” Ms Goward said.

“This development will provide affordable, accessible and modern homes for people over 55, tailored to suit their needs and lifestyle.

Liberal Candidate for Goulburn Wendy Tuckerman welcomed the investment.
“The NSW Government’s commitment to deliver more housing means that people in Goulburn who are currently struggling to find a stable, affordable place to live will soon have a home of their own,” Ms Tuckerman said.

The 20 housing units are developed and operated by BaptistCare for the NSW Government’s $1bn Social and Affordable Housing Fund (SAHF).

Ms Goward said the SAHF proved what could be achieved when the Government worked with organisations like BaptistCare to deliver great outcomes for vulnerable people.

“By embracing a collaborative approach, the Government and BaptistCare are helping people to break the cycle of disadvantage and move towards greater independence,” Ms Goward said.

“Partnerships like these will ensure a pipeline of houses for vulnerable people for years to come.”

Mike Furner, BaptistCare’s General Manager of Housing and Retirement Living, said the Goulburn development is one of eight projects BaptistCare was providing with an overall of 500 SAHF dwellings across rural, regional and the Sydney metro area.

“Our strategy is to provide housing and support services that extend beyond the boundaries of just accommodation,” Mr Furner said.

Through the SAHF, tenants receive a service package that includes access to accommodation and are offered tailored access to supports like training, education opportunities and health services.

The SAHF is a key initiative of Future Directions for Social Housing in NSW, the NSW Government’s 10 year plan for social housing which is expected to deliver 23,000 social housing, 500 affordable housing and 40,000 private housing dwellings over 10 years.


Hundreds of preschools across NSW have opened their doors to the first cohort of subsidised three year olds, thanks to a historic investment from the NSW Government to ensure every child has access to two years of quality early childhood education.

Member for Goulburn, Pru Goward said for the first time ever preschool subsidies have been extended to include all three and four-year-olds, saving families across the Goulburn electorate an average of $825 a year.

“Not only does this investment mean better opportunities for children in Goulburn, Yass and the Highlands, it also means parents have more money in their pockets,” Ms Goward said.

Liberal Candidate for Goulburn, Wendy Tuckerman said this is just one way the NSW Government is improving the cost-of-living for families in the Goulburn electorate and right across the State.

“I look forward to seeing children starting school more equipped with the skills to succeed, thanks to this historic investment,” Ms Tuckerman said.

Minister for Early Childhood Education Sarah Mitchell said universal access to two years of preschool education will provide extensive benefits to both children and the community.

“Funding three-year-olds is an issue that has been raised with me a number of times during my time as Minister, so I am proud the NSW Government is listening and delivering,” Ms Mitchell said.

“The benefits of having two years of quality early childhood education includes better performance throughout primary and high school, as well as longer term benefits like better university and TAFE attendance, and better outcomes post-tertiary education.

“In June last year when the Budget was delivered, NSW was the only state in Australia in the financial position to offer three-year-old preschool subsidies, and I am proud that other states have since followed suit and modelled their policy off ours.”

The NSW Government’s Start Strong program was introduced in 2016 and has already seen significant success for children attending preschool for 600 hours in the year before school – a reduction in average daily fees by 25 per cent and an increase in enrollments by 40 per cent.


Goulburn’s Big Fat Smile Community Preschool on Reynold Street has secured $10,459 in funding for outdoor education through the NSW Government’s 2018 Community Building Partnership (CBP) Program.

Member for Goulburn, Pru Goward joined Liberal Candidate for Goulburn Wendy Tuckerman and Big Fat Smile Executive Rob Thomas at the preschool to announce the funding.

Ms Goward said the State Government funds will provide much-needed upgrades to the preschool yard with renovations including the children’s sandpit area, making for a better learning environment through sensory experiences and play based learning activities.

“The CBP program is fantastic for the Goulburn electorate – the grassroots funding means Big Fat Smile can help create a more vibrant and inclusive local community in Goulburn,” Ms Goward said.

Ms Tuckerman said the NSW Government’s strong economic management ensures we are in a position to invest in these important local projects like Big Fat Smile.

“I congratulate the staff at Big Fat Smile and all of the organisations that were successful in their Community Building Partnership applications – I look forward to seeing how these projects make a real difference to our community,” Ms Tuckerman said.

Mr Thomas thanked the NSW Government for providing the funding.

“The project will make a terrific difference to the Centre, we are constantly looking to improve the children’s learning environments in all weather, encouraging gross motor skills development in a safe environment”, Mr Thomas said.

The Community Building Partnership program has funded some 13,800 community projects since it commenced nearly a decade ago.

For more information about the NSW Government’s 2018 Community Building Partnership Program, visit


Goulburn locals will enjoy an upgraded aquatic centre with a new warm water pool, water play area, café and extra parking under a NSW Liberals & Nationals Government.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian today announced the Goulburn Mulwaree Council will receive $10 million towards the upgrades – an investment made possible thanks to the strong financial management of the NSW Liberals & Nationals.

“Upgrading the Goulburn Aquatic and Leisure Centre is another example of the NSW Government’s commitment to improving local sporting facilities around the State,” Ms Berejiklian said.

“Hundreds of locals enjoy coming to the aquatic centre to swim, participate in aqua aerobics and use the gym. We are committed to promoting healthy and active lifestyles among young people across NSW.”

Liberal candidate for Goulburn Wendy Tuckerman said it was great news for the area.

“A number of sports groups and schools in Goulburn will benefit from the aquatic centre upgrades,” Ms Tuckerman said. 

“The revamp of the aquatic centre is another great example of how the NSW Liberals & Nationals Government is funding grassroots community infrastructure to support local communities.”

The upgrades include a new 10-lane 25 metre pool, refurbishment of the existing 25m indoor pool, warm water pool, water play area, cafe, new amenities, expanded car park and landscaping.

Goulburn Mulwaree Council Mayor Bob Kirk welcomed the funding announcement.

“It’s great news for the local area! We have an ambitious plan for the aquatic centre and remain committed to delivering the upgrades for everyone to enjoy,” Mr Kirk said.