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New South Wales News

GOVERNMENT FAILS TO DELIVER ON REGIONAL ROADS PROMISE TO NORTHERN RIVERS COMMUNITIES

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NOTICE OF MEMBERS EXTRAORINDARY LAND DEALING MEETING

GOVERNMENT FAILS TO DELIVER ON REGIONAL ROADS PROMISE TO NORTHERN RIVERS COMMUNITIES

MINISTER for Regional Transport and Roads Sam Farraway has been forced to admit that not one single kilometre of a promised 15,000 kilometres of regional roads has been transferred from local councils to State ownership.

Under questioning by John Graham MLC during a recent Budget Estimates hearing, Minister Farraway could not bring himself to say the words “it is zero”, despite it being clear that zero roads have been transferred under the program.

The Minister dashed the hopes of regional motorists and cash-strapped regional councils that the glacial roll-out of the program would be sped up, saying the Government’s key 2019 election commitment is “not a burning topic” amongst regional councils.

The Minister also cast doubt on whether the full complement of 15,000 kilometres promised would be transferred, repeatedly stating that the policy was “up to” 15,000 kilometres.

Shadow Minister for Regional Transport and Roads Jenny Aitchison said the Minister’s evidence confirmed that the promise was a cynical attempt to pork barrel regional communities.

“This was a “magic pudding” election promise; every Nationals and Liberal candidate could point to a potential road in their electorate which could be eligible for reclassification or transfer, and the Government still, nearly four years later, hasn’t transferred a single one of them,” Ms Aitchison said.

The Labor candidate for Clarence Dr Leon Ankersmit said the promise clearly is a burning topic amongst locals whose tyres and cars are being wrecked by our potholes that are voluminous and crater deep … it is burning holes in their pockets.

“We’ve got priority regional roads in the Clarence Valley and Richmond Valley Councils that have been put on the back burner by this city-centric Government,” Dr Ankersmit said.

“When this policy was announced it was 15,000 kilometres of regional roads and then the dissembling started with ‘up to’.

“That is the whole problem with this particular election commitment; it has been short on action, vague on detail and has left local councils and locals in limbo land.”

“Clarence Valley Council is seeking to have a number of regional roads transferred to State ownership and management, but importantly, with council keeping state funded maintenance contracts to protect local outdoor jobs. Roads identified for transfer include Grafton to Yamba Road, Eight Mile Lane, Armidale Road, Orara Way, Wooli Road, Big River Way and Ulugundahi View; Iluka Road, Clarence Way, Tyringham Road, and Goodwood Island Road.

“Council is also seeking to have the following local roads reclassified to regional roads and transferred to the State: Angourie Road, Brooms Head Road, Gardiners Road, Amos Road and Palmers Channel South Bank Road, Coaldale Road, Rogans Bridge Road, Pringles Way, Ashby-Tullymorgan and Ashby-Jackybulbin Road, Old Glen Innes Road, Coldstream Road and Tucabia Road, and Sherwood Creek Road.”

Dr Ankersmit confirmed Clarence Valley Council wants to hand back all 378km of regional roads under its control or 15% of its total road network to the State Road network, also keeping maintenance contracts, with some relevant applications done in collaboration with neighbouring councils.

“This includes the full length of the Clarence Way.” Dr Ankersmit said.

“Richmond Valley Council is seeking to have Casino to Woodburn Road transferred to State ownership and what will be the Old Pacific Highway from Boundary Creek Road to South Woodburn Interchange to be a State asset with the State assuming responsibility for its maintenance.”

“However, at this point Richmond Valley Council has only been contacted about transferring the Broadwater to Evans Head Road from local to regional road. The issue about additional funds to Council to maintain the newly classified regional road has not been addressed.”

“Richmond Valley Council also nominated Naughtons Gap Rd (via East Street) from Bruxner Highway in Casino to the Lismore Kyogle Road to be re-classified from local to regional road, whilst remaining under Council control to protect local jobs.”

“Council also supported Kyogle and Lismore Councils in their proposal to have the Lismore Kyogle Road, as well as Lismore Coraki Road, and Wyrallah Road returned to the State.”

“I echo the Shadow Minister for Regional Transport and Roads that the promise to transfer 15,000 km of regional roads to the State was a cynical attempt to pork barrel regional communities.” said Dr Ankersmit.

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‘Buckle Up on the Bus’ Campaign Launched by Transport for NSW

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NOTICE OF MEMBERS EXTRAORINDARY LAND DEALING MEETING

‘Buckle Up on the Bus’ Campaign Launched by Transport for NSW

 

Regional bus passengers across NSW are set to receive important reminders to “Buckle up on the bus” with the launch of Transport for NSW’s new advertising campaign. This campaign will be featured on TV, radio, digital media, social media, and regional print newspapers starting today.

Howard Collins, Coordinator General at Transport for NSW, stated that this advertising campaign is the second phase of a program aimed at ensuring regional bus passengers understand that buckling up is mandatory on all buses equipped with seatbelts in NSW.

“The first phase of the campaign saw Transport for NSW install posters, stickers, and decals on more than 2,500 buses across regional NSW,” Mr. Collins explained.

Research by Transport for NSW highlighted a lack of awareness among many bus passengers regarding the physics of a bus crash—when a bus stops suddenly, loose items continue to move at speed. The new advertisement dramatically illustrates the impact of a bus crash, showing a locket snapping off a passenger’s neck and flying through the air, symbolizing the connection to a loved one and their irreplaceable loss.

The campaign is a direct result of recommendations from the Bus Industry Taskforce, which was formed last year to enhance bus services and improve safety following the tragic Hunter Valley bus crash.

“As the campaign states, ‘In the event of a crash, the bus will stop, you won’t.’ This highlights the importance of every adult adhering to their legal obligation to wear a seatbelt when available on a bus, and for parents and carers to discuss this safety measure with their children,” Mr. Collins said. “Wearing a seatbelt doubles your chances of survival in a crash – it’s a simple act that is not only a legal requirement but one that could save your life or your child’s life.”

BusNSW Executive Director, Matt Threlkeld, also endorsed the campaign. “The industry seeks community support to build a culture where passengers, including school students, understand that wearing a seatbelt on a bus is not a personal choice but a legal requirement,” Mr. Threlkeld said.

 

For more New South Whales news, click here.

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Three FRNSW Veterans Honoured with Australian Fire Service Medal

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Three FRNSW Veterans Honoured with Australian Fire Service Medal

 

Three distinguished veterans of Fire and Rescue NSW (FRNSW) have been awarded the Australian Fire Service Medal (AFSM) in recognition of their exceptional service and dedication to community safety. The AFSM, established in 1988, honours the distinguished service of firefighters, both permanent and volunteer, and is presented annually on the King’s Birthday by the Governor-General, based on recommendations from Commonwealth and State ministers.

This year’s honourees are:

Assistant Commissioner – Regional Operations, Cheryl Anne Steer

Assistant Commissioner Cheryl Anne Steer began her career 28 years ago and has risen through the ranks to lead Regional Operations for FRNSW. Known for her operational excellence and effective management of major emergencies, she also mentors female firefighters and promotes values-based leadership. As co-chair of the FRNSW Women’s Inclusive Network (WIN) and director of the Relief and Welfare Fund, she supports colleagues in need. Additionally, she contributes to documenting the history of female firefighters at the Museum of Fire.

Chief Superintendent – Capability Management, Paul Johnstone

Chief Superintendent Paul Johnstone has dedicated 38 years to the fire service since joining the New South Wales Fire Brigades in 1985. His career includes roles in inner Sydney, Operational Staffing, and HAZMAT/Counter Terrorism. He has led significant improvements in medical capabilities, firefighter training, and in-water rescue capabilities. His contributions extend to enhancing policies, standards, and procedures, and he played a critical role in the response to the 2021/22 floods.

Captain, Paul James Dorin, Corrimal Fire Station

Captain Paul James Dorin joined FRNSW in 1993 as an On-Call firefighter. He is known for his commitment to community service and has developed numerous safety initiatives, including the Home Care Disability Fire Safety Program and the Smoke Alarm Action Day project. Beyond his duties, Captain Dorin is a talented cartoonist, using his art to raise funds for research into birth defects and childhood diseases such as cancer and epilepsy.

FRNSW Commissioner Jeremy Fewtrell praised the award recipients for their exemplary service and dedication. “All three firefighters are widely recognized for their devotion to duty and their professional, thoughtful, and caring approach to their work,” Commissioner Fewtrell stated. “I’m personally very proud of them and they thoroughly deserve the recognition.”

Emergency Services Minister Jihad Dib highlighted the professionalism and commitment of the honourees, stating, “Their professionalism consistently gets the job done. They have earned this recognition through courage and commitment, and I’m very pleased these firefighters are being honoured on the King’s Birthday in this way.”

 

For more New South Whales news, click here.

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War Memorials Across NSW to Receive Funding

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NOTICE OF MEMBERS EXTRAORINDARY LAND DEALING MEETING

War Memorials Across NSW to Receive Funding

 

The NSW Government has announced funding for 19 war memorials across the state through Round 2 of the 2023/24 Community War Memorials Fund. A total of $150,000 has been allocated to support projects that preserve and enhance these significant community landmarks.

Funding Details

This round saw 28 applications from 23 Local Government Areas, with successful applicants coming from 16 Local Government Areas and representing 13 electorates. The funded projects span the state, from Bombala in the far south to Lake Cargelligo in the west, and McKees Hill in the far north.

Key highlights include:

  • Bombala RSL sub-Branch: Awarded $10,000 for a condition assessment of the Bombala War Memorial to identify necessary conservation works.
  • Blackheath War Memorial Arch: Also receiving funds for vital conservation efforts.

The Community War Memorials Fund aims to ensure that local war memorials remain well-maintained and continue to serve as places of reflection and remembrance.

Ministerial Comments

Minister for Veterans, David Harris, expressed pride in the initiative, emphasizing the importance of preserving these historical sites.

“It is wonderful to announce this funding, which will be used for important projects around the state. Our communities are proud of their military history, and local war memorials are a vital part of our culture enabling us to reflect on over 100 years of our veterans’ service and sacrifice.

A total of $150,496.65 was awarded to councils, RSL sub-Branches, and community groups, with grants ranging from $2,000 to $15,000 to fund conservation projects in 13 state electorates in both metropolitan and regional areas. I encourage all communities to review the status of their local war memorials and to apply for funding for any restoration work that is needed.”

Community Responses

Mr. Vern Carmody, Honorary Secretary of the Bombala RSL sub-Branch, expressed gratitude for the grant which will aid in the preservation of the Bombala War Memorial.

“Thank you to the NSW Government for this grant for the heritage assessment of our wonderful war memorial at Bombala. This will assist us to attain an assessment of the repairs and conservation required for this historical cenotaph that was erected for the citizens of Bombala in 1922. The memorial is a centrepiece of the Dawn Service and Veterans’ March every Anzac Day, and also used for Remembrance Day activities. Bombala RSL sub-Branch would also like to thank the staff of the Snowy-Monaro Regional Council who assisted us in the preparation of the grant application.”

Dr. Rosemary Dillon, CEO of Blue Mountains City Council, highlighted the cultural and historical significance of local war memorials.

“Local war memorials are central features of our towns and villages, and they are precious to us all. They pay respect to those who put their country and their fellow servicemen and women before them. They are an ode to those who fought so we can have the freedoms we take for granted today. Erected around 1929, the Blackheath War Memorial contains 76 names of local men who served overseas in the First World War, including six who died on active service. This funding will go towards restoration works at Blackheath War Memorial, which will help with the protection and conservation of the memorial for years to come.”

Next Steps

Round 1 of the 2024/25 Community War Memorials Fund is currently open and will close on 24 July 2024. Communities are encouraged to review their local war memorials and apply for funding to address any conservation needs.

For more information and to apply for funding, visit the NSW Veterans Affairs website.

Conclusion

The NSW Government’s commitment to funding war memorials underscores the importance of preserving these sites as part of Australia’s cultural heritage. By providing financial support for their upkeep, the government ensures that future generations can continue to honour and remember the sacrifices made by veterans.

 

For more New South Whales news, click here.

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