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Matters of State

Friday, February 23, 2018

Thank you to everyone who lent a helping hand on Thursday afternoon in Wellington, resurfacing the local football ground at Kennard Park as part of the 2018 NSWRL Hogs for the Homeless Tour. Home of the Wellington Cowboys and many other key sports the new ground, that is also getting facilities upgraded will hopefully inspire many more kids to stare down social demons and participate in sport and community on a pathway out of the doldrums. Special thanks to everyone who came out it was a great effort made by all.

EVENT FUNDING OPEN FOR RURAL AND REGIONAL NSW

I am encouraging organisers of new and second-year events held between July and December 2018 to apply for the NSW Government’s 2018 Incubator Event Fund, which supports events held in rural and regional NSW.

The Fund offers a one-off grant of up to $20,000 to assist with activities such as marketing, public relations, venue hire and attendee research.

The Fund is one of three streams included in the Regional Flagship Events Program and is part our record $43 million investment aimed at increasing overnight visitation and expenditure across rural and regional NSW.

Applications for round two of the 2018 Incubator Event Fund are open until Sunday 18 March 2018.

To lodge an application and to view the criteria visit, www.destinationnsw.com.au/rfep.

THUMBS UP FOR THE START OF NEW COACH SERVICE BETWEEN DUBBO AND TAMWORTH

I am pleased to announce a trial of new coach services connecting Tamworth with Dubbo beginning next month.

The trial will start operating on Monday 12 March 2018 after strong interest from the community during consultation by NSW TrainLink.

The community was able to tell NSW TrainLink their thoughts on the new services through surveys, with more than 50% of Dubbo participants claiming they would use the service several times a year.

The overwhelming majority of survey participants said they would use the coach to visit family and friends in Tamworth and at stops along the route.

Interestingly, the Tamworth community indicated it was interested in travelling to Dubbo for holidays and recreation, which will provide economic benefits through tourism for our region

The purpose of the services is to better connect regional centres, to support economic growth throughout regional NSW.

The trials will run for at least six months and NSW TrainLink will continue to review the service and customer feedback to see if improvements can be made.

PRODUCTIVITY COMMISSION TO BE ESTABLISHED IN NSW

NSW will soon establish its first ever Productivity Commission to drive micro-economic reform and tackle burdensome regulation in NSW.

The Commission, led by the NSW Productivity Commissioner, will spearhead a reform agenda, focused on four core themes: including making it easier to do business, lowering the cost of living, making housing more affordable and finally making NSW the easiest state to move to.

An expert panel chaired by former NSW Premier the Hon Nick Greiner, commissioned to review NSW’s regulatory policy framework, recommended the appointment of a Commissioner to oversee regulatory quality in NSW.

The NSW Commission will be set up with the aid and advice of eminent Professor Gary Banks, former head of the Commonwealth Productivity Commission.

An online portal will follow the announcement of the Commissioner, allowing citizens and businesses to identify the most important regulatory roadblocks, and provide fresh ideas to reduce the burden.

Until next week

Troy

Matters of State

Friday, February 16, 2018

After a quiet and restful birthday on Sunday, this week was once again full of activity at State Parliament including the announcement for more state funding of the Dubbo Stampede, the city’s DREAM festival and for Flavours of Mudgee.

FIRST HOME BUYERS TAKING UP STAMP DUTY RELIEF

First homebuyers are flocking back into the NSW housing market with the number of people taking advantage of the NSW Government’s stamp duty concessions more than tripling since the Government introduced its housing affordability package in July last year.

The NSW Government last year eliminated stamp duty for first home buyers purchasing a new or existing property valued up to $650000 and $800000. The data released this week shows there was a strong take-up in regional NSW with above 180 first home buyers in Dubbo saving on stamp duty.

If you are still undecided about whether you can afford to buy a home I want the people of the Dubbo electorate to know about the stamp duty relief package and invite you to see if 2018 could be the year you can get into the housing market.

PREMIER’S GALA CONCERT TICKETS AVAILABLE

I am encouraging residents of the Dubbo electorate to get in quick and book their free tickets to the 2018 Premier’s Gala Concert, to be held in Sydney this April.

The concerts will be the highlight of the 60th 2018 NSW Seniors Festival and tickets are available from Monday 19th February to anyone aged over 60.

The theme for the Seniors Festival Diamond Anniversary year is ‘Let’s do more together’ - a great way to do that is to organise a group excursion to see some of the best musical talent Australia has to offer.

The Minister for Ageing Tanya Davies recently announced David Campbell and Marcia Hines will headline a suite of exciting performers at the music extravaganza, to be held at the International Convention Centre (ICC) Sydney on Thursday 5 and Friday 6 April.

This star-studded line up will be hugely popular so I encourage all local seniors to snag their tickets as soon as possible, they will no doubt book out quickly.

Other performers include country music singer Darren Coggan and X Factor Finalists Jess and Matt. Entertainer Susie Elelman has also been announced as this year’s official ambassador.

The NSW Government has provided $200,000 to support more than a hundred other events to be held across the state.

The 2018 NSW Seniors Festival runs from Wednesday 4 to Sunday 15 April and includes a two-day Expo alongside the concerts and the Comedy Debate, to be hosted by Jean Kittson at Sydney Town Hall.

For tickets to the 2018 Premier’s Gala Concerts visit Ticketek online at www.ticketek.com.au or phone 1300 130 613.

For further information about events in Sydney and across NSW go to www.seniorsfestival.nsw.gov.au .

Until next week

Troy

Matters of State 9 Feb 2018

Friday, February 09, 2018

I have had a busy first week back at State Parliament, having meetings with my fellow Ministerial colleagues and community members, implementing a new NSW Road Safety Plan and urging everyone to be prepared and remain vigilant to the ongoing threat of fire during this very dry season.  

Making the Regions Roads Safer

I am pleased to announce the Road Safety Plan 2021, which details priority actions to help save lives on NSW roads.

If you live in the country you are four times more likely to die in a road crash than if you live in a metropolitan area.

It will include a new Saving Lives on Country Roads safety infrastructure program, with an initial $125 million government commitment. Almost 8 in 10 fatalities on country roads (where speed limit is 100km/h or higher) involve the vehicle crossing the centre line (54%) or running off the road to the left (23%).

Under this new Saving Lives on Country Roads program, we will initially roll out an estimated 1600km of rumble strips and up to 300km of life-saving flexible barriers and other targeted safety works to help prevent run off road and head on crashes.

We will also have stronger penalties for thousands of drink and drug driving offenders, with police being given the power to issue on the spot fines and licence suspension for low range drink driving, ensuring swift and certain penalties.

The initiatives are in addition to ongoing programs, including our Safer Roads infrastructure program, safety around schools and mandatory road safety education for every child in NSW.

For more information, see: http://towardszero.nsw.gov.au/roadsafetyplan

 Remain prepared for bush fires with ongoing dry conditions

In my role as Minister for Emergency Services this week I met with NSW RFS Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons and senior firefighters at the NSW RFS Headquarters.

I had the chance to thank the firefighters and personnel from all of our emergency service agencies, as well as the support staff and volunteers, who have worked tirelessly this season and whose effort and dedication we will again rely on in the coming months.

I urge the public to help fire agencies by ensuring they remain prepared for fires.

Fires ignite and spread quickly, which is why it is so important that you discuss and have a written bush fire survival plan. This way the entire family knows what to do and where you will go in the event of an emergency.

Mowing the lawn, removing flammable items from around the yard, clearing gutters and ensuring hoses can reach all corners of your home can make all the difference in a fire. 

Until next week

Troy 


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