NSW BUSHFIRE RELATED UPDATES
NEW ONE-STOP SHOP CUSTOMER CARE SPECIALISTS FOR BUSH FIRE AFFECTED COMMUNITIES
- Bush fire affected families and businesses can now access all available assistance being offered by local councils, the State Government and Federal Government, through the NSW Government’s new Bush fire Customer Care program.
- The one-stop shop service, administered by Service NSW, connects affected people with a Customer Care specialist, who can check their eligibility for assistance and help them access it.
- The Customer Care specialists will operate like case managers and connect bush fire affected customers with services and support information including:
- Accommodation advice;
- Relevant charitable services;
- Mental health and wellbeing services;
- Support for businesses;
- Clean-up services;
- Financial assistance;
- Insurance and legal support;
- Replacing lost ID; and
- Volunteer RFS and SES payments.
- To connect with a Customer Care specialist call Service NSW between 7am and 7pm on 13 77 88. The Contact Centre hours have been extended to include weekends while communities recover.
DOORS OPEN FOR $75,000 PRIMARY PRODUCER GRANT
- Primary producers affected by bush fires can now apply for a Special Disaster Grant of up to $75,000 to help pay for recovery costs.
- The Special Disaster Grant is administered through the NSW Rural Assistance Authority (RAA) and available to eligible, fire-affected primary producers within Category C declared Local Government Areas (LGAs) since 31 August 2019.
- To apply for the Special Disaster Grant visit www.raa.nsw.gov.au or call 1800 678 593 to speak to the RAA. Service NSW Service Centres are able to assist producers with information.
PROTECTING BUSHFIRE VICTIMS FROM UNLICENSED BUILDERS
- The NSW Government is taking action to protect bushfire victims from unlicensed builders performing illegal work.
- In NSW, tradespeople need a licence for any residential building work valued at more than $5,000, and all specialist work regardless of the value.
- The Government has made it easy to know whether someone is qualified or not by developing an online licence check tool, so be vigilant, verify their licence, ask for references and request a written contract for any work over $1,000.
- To check the licence of a NSW tradesperson, please visit http://bit.ly/NSWLicenceCheck.
NSW GOVERNMENT BUY REGIONAL CAMPAIGN EXPANDED TO HELP BUSH FIRE AFFECTED BUSINESSES
- Shoppers wanting to directly support businesses in towns impacted by bushfire or drought can connect with sellers via the NSW Government’s Buy Regional webpage, which is now taking new business listings after delivering substantial sales in the lead up to Christmas.
- Business owners in both bushfire and drought affected areas across regional NSW can register for free by visitingwww.nsw.gov.au/buyregional, which currently has more than 350 businesses listed and 435,000 page views.
- Buy Regional features links to charity organisations and advocate partners such as Buy from the Bush, Thankful4Farmers and One Day Closer To Rain.
BUSHFIRE DISASTER STATE MEMORIAL
- A State Memorial for those impacted by the recent bushfires to be held on Sunday, 23 February at Qudos Bank Arena at Sydney Olympic Park.
- The event will give members of the public from across NSW an opportunity to come together to recognise the lives lost, the sacrifices made and to think of those directly impacted by the fires.
- There will be a separate opportunity to formally thank volunteers and emergency services workers in the near future.
FUTURE OF SOUTH WEST SLOPES FORESTRY INDUSTRY STRONG WITH BUSH FIRE RECOVERY OPERATIONS UNDERWAY
- The SW Slopes forestry industry has begun salvage operations in burnt softwood plantations, with most of the merchantable burnt timber expected to be recoverable over the coming year.
- Salvageable pine trees need to be harvested within around 12 months, however finished product can be stored for years under the correct conditions.
- For more information please visit www.forestrycorporation.com.au.
OTHER NSW GOVERNMENT UPDATES
NSW GOVERNMENT INVESTS $42 MILLION TO LOWER IVF COSTS
- Women seeking fertility treatment can now apply for a $500 rebate under the NSW Government’s $42 million election commitment to cut costs for IVF services.
- The NSW Government is also expanding publicly supported IVF services in three public hospitals, making fertility treatment much more affordable for up to 6,000 women.
- For more information go to www.health.nsw.gov.au/affordable-ivf.
PLANS UNVEILED FOR THE FUTURE OF BUILDING AND CONSTRUCTION
- Dodgy developments will be a thing of the past under NSW Government plans that will see the implementation of ratings systems for professionals in the building industry and strong new powers to prevent occupation certificates from being issued on suspect developments.
- The new rating system will help the building regulator determine who the risky players are in the industry and prevent dodgy apartments from being sold to unexpecting buyers
- The changes form part of the NSW Building Commissioner’s work plan which, for the first time, outlines publicly how the government plans to overhaul the building and construction industry in NSW under Six Reform Pillars.
- The six reform pillars cover legislation and regulations changes, ratings systems, improving skills within the industry, ensuring contracts help meet standards, digitising the industry and establishing NSW as a leader in modern construction methods.
EXPERT PANEL ANNOUNCED FOR REGIONAL ROADS RECLASSIFICATION
- The NSW Government has established an expert panel to identify up to 15,000 kilometres of council-managed roads in rural and regional areas to hand back to the state, easing the burden on local ratepayers.
- The Panel will conduct a review of the road classification framework and recommend roads for transfer to the State Government.
- The Panel is expected to meet this month and will prepare a discussion paper and consultation strategy for public release shortly afterwards.
- The draft Terms of Reference will be distributed directly to councils for their consideration and feedback.
MORE ENROLMENTS THAN EVER BEFORE IN 2020
- Public schools across the State will open their doors to the largest cohort of students ever recorded on Day 1, Term 1 this year
- Approximately 497,000 primary school students and 318,000 high school students are enrolled so far for 2020, with 71,000 alone starting kindergarten.
- The NSW Government is rolling out the largest ever investment in public education in the history of NSW, with $6.7 billion over four years to deliver 190 new and upgraded schools, $1.3 billion on school maintenance over five years and $500 million to provide schools across the State with new air conditioning.
- The Government will continue preparing for growing enrolments over the coming years, with more than 130,000 extra students expected to be in NSW public schools by 2036.
Source: 16 News http://www.16news.com.au/index.php/2020/01/28/nsw-government-weekly-update-24-january-2020/