WINGECARRIBEE SHIRE COUNCIL INQUIRY

Member for Goulburn Wendy Tuckerman and Member for Wollondilly, Nathaniel Smith have welcomed Local Government Minister Shelly Hancock’s decision today to hold an independent public inquiry into the performance of Wingecarribee Shire Council.

Mrs Tuckerman thanked the Minister for today’s inquiry announcement and the appointment of Viv May to continue in the Administrator’s role.

“The inquiry is an opportunity for the community to be heard, it’s important to fully understand what has taken place, why and what needs to happen to ensure the Wingecarribee Shire Council can best represent the community going forward,” Mrs Tuckerman said.

Mr Smith said today’s decision is a grave one, but it has the overwhelming support of ratepayers, and, more importantly, is the right one.

“The Inquiry can focus on the previous Council’s sins while freeing up Lisa Miscamble and her new executive team to concentrate on building a modern, professional and ratepayer focused culture that the community deserves.

“A more responsive, community oriented council presents greater opportunity to unlock the region’s potential and I am even more optimistic that we can now forge a brighter, stronger, and more resilient future for the Southern Highlands,” Mr Smith said.

GOULBURN ELECTORATE GETS MORE FREE TRAINING OPTIONS DURING LOCKDOWN

The NSW Government has announced an additional 3000 training places for people across NSW to skill up at home during lockdown.

An extra 60 short courses are now on offer to study for free.

Member for Goulburn Wendy Tuckerman said the announcement is welcome news from TAFE NSW.

“I encourage you to have look at what is there, courses include but are not limited to business skills, mental health, marketing, finance and IT – which is just a few.

“There has never been a more crucial time to upskill or reskill to prepare for the future,” Mrs Tuckerman said.

Minister for Skills and Tertiary Education Geoff Lee said the courses are an expansion of the 10 free skillsets recently announced by TAFE NSW.

“We know there is great demand for training at the moment, which is why we have added additional free courses and more training places so people can come out of lockdown with skills they can take with them into the workplace,” Mr Lee said.

“The free courses are available to anyone across the State who is unable to work due to public health orders.”

“We have specifically targeted those LGA’s and suburbs in lockdown and are working with local communities and industry to understand what skills are in demand and where shortages exist.”

Training will be funded through the JobTrainer program, which has already seen more than 120,000 people in NSW skill up since it was announced in October last year.

For more information and to see full eligibility, please visit: https://education.nsw.gov.au/skills-nsw/skills-initiatives/skill-up-from-home

NEW ANIMATION BRINGS BARTON HIGHWAY UPGRADES TO LIFE

A new animation of the $200 million Barton Highway upgrade demonstrates how duplicating an eight-kilometre stretch of road just south of the NSW-ACT border will ease congestion and boost freight productivity.

Senator for NSW Perin Davey said the animation provides a unique opportunity for the 13,000 motorists and heavy vehicle operators who travel along this section of road each day, to understand what it will be like to drive on the upgraded section of highway.

“The animation allows motorists to gain a first-hand view of the key features of the design, including the new two-lane northbound carriageway, which will run south of the NSW-ACT border through to Kaveneys Road,” Senator Davey said.

“Using this technology, viewers are able to get a feel for exactly how these new features will look – from the new central median strip, through to the configuration of various intersection upgrades.

“The Barton Highway is a vital part of the NSW-ACT transport network and this project will go some way towards boosting the overall freight efficiency of the entire area.”

State Member for Goulburn Wendy Tuckerman said community feedback helped refine the design, which is outlined in the new animation.

“Community feedback and targeted stakeholder engagement informed a number of changes, including the widening of the median treatment at the Kaveneys Road intersection, realigning the northbound lanes to preserve two identified ring trees of Aboriginal cultural significance, vertical alignment of the northbound lanes to the existing Barton Highway and U-turn facilities at major side road intersections,” Mrs Tuckerman said.

“We’re pleased we were able to adjust the design to specifically meet the needs of the community and ensure that frequent users have the best outcome and a safer experience.

“On top of delivering safer, smoother journeys, the project is also supporting the local economy, with about 70 per cent of the workforce made up of local workers, businesses and suppliers.

“We thank the community for its input to date and ask for their continuing patience as planning work progresses on the next stage of the highway duplication towards Murrumbateman.”

The Australian and NSW Governments have together committed $200 million towards the upgrade of the Barton Highway, with $150 million provided by the Australian Government and $50 million by the NSW Government.

This funding is being utilised across two projects along the corridor, with Stage 1 already under construction (the Barton Highway Upgrade Package), and planning for Stage 2 (the Barton Highway Corridor Upgrade) currently underway.

The initial stage of duplication is expected to be completed in 2023, weather permitting.
To view the animation and for more information on the highway upgrade, visit nswroads.work/barton

GOULBURN ELECTORATE BOUNDARY REDISTRIBUTION

This past week the NSW Electoral Commission announced that there will be changes to the electorate boundaries of Goulburn which will see the entire Hilltops LGA now held in the electorate of Cootamundra.

This means the communities of Boorowa, Mount Collins, Hovells Creek, Reids Flat, Godfreys Creek, Frogmore, Taylors Flat, Rugby and Rye Park will be a part of the Cootamundra electorate at the next NSW State election to be held in 2023.

The NSW Electoral Commission conducts boundary redistribution after every second New South Wales election, to ensure the number of electors within each electoral district remain equal.

The redistribution determination is made after an extensive consultation process which involves input from stakeholders, including members of the public.

Current Member for Goulburn Wendy Tuckerman is saddened to see the boundary change which means her hometown will no longer be in the electorate she represents at the next election.

Mrs Tuckerman said it is a great honour to have been elected by the communities of the Boorowa region since 2004.

“It has been a privilege to see the tremendous progress which has been made in the Boorowa district in that time and I thank every constituent, small business, community organisations and other stakeholder with whom I have worked with. The election is not until 2023 so we still have work to do and I look forward to continuing to represent the communities till then,”

The member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke is looking forward to seeing the entirety of the Hilltops LGA into the seat of Cootamundra and welcomes the opportunity to continue to work closely with the communities and Member for Goulburn to ensure that their voices are being heard and progress continues.

SPEED LIMIT REDUCTION FOR AVOCA’S SHEEPWASH ROAD

A speed limit reduction on Sheepwash Road will come into effect at Avoca next week, following safety concerns raised by local residents.

Member for Goulburn Wendy Tuckerman said a 2.6-kilometre section of Sheepwash Road will be reduced from 100km/h to 80km/h from 600 metres south of Bresnahans Lane to just before the Nowra Road intersection.

“The safety of all road users remains our priority and we’ve listened to community concerns about this stretch of road,” Mrs Tuckerman said.

“Transport for NSW carried out a review in accordance with the NSW Safe Systems Approach, which considered a number of factors like roadside environment, width of the road and crash history.

“As a result, new signs will be installed at each location and the new speed limit has come into effect from Wednesday, 18 August.”

Traffic control and a reduced roadwork speed limit will be in place for the safety of road users and workers while the signs are installed.

Electronic signs will be in place for one week before and after the speed limit reduction to alert road users to the change.

Motorists are asked to keep to the displayed speed limit for the safety of all road users.

Members of the community can sign up at the Safer Roads NSW website to receive updates about changes to permanent speed limits in their area and to have a say on speed limits.

For more information visit https://www.saferroadsnsw.com.au.