Swansea E-News 

Welcome back to my fortnightly newsletter.

Recently in local news, the Bus Industry Taskforce will hold a passenger forum in Newcastle, to hear from passengers about their experiences with bus privatisation.

In state news, the Minns Labor Government has gotten on with delivering on our commitment to convert temporary teaching positions to permanent positions. In just two months 5,500 teachers have been converted to permanent positions.

The Community Notice Board contains information on the Community War Memorials Fund, flu vaccination bookings, the Belmont Hospital Volunteer Auxiliary, Belmont & District Residents' Action Group, savings for pensioners, Swansea Mobile Shower and Orange Sky Laundry. 


Bus Industry Taskforce Passenger Forum

The Bus Industry Taskforce has had its terms of reference expanded following the tragic Hunter Valley bus crash. The Taskforce will examine the adequacy and completeness of retrofitting seat belts on school buses in regional NSW, and whether fitting seatbelts on buses should be expanded to other areas. Along with evaluating the adequacy of safety management systems used by bus operators.

As a result of the expanded guidelines, the passenger forum in Newcastle will be delayed. I will keep the community updated on when the forum will be held.

Hunter Valley Bus Tragedy

I was deeply saddened by the tragic Hunter Valley bus crash and my thoughts are with the family and friends of all involved.

This tragic event has left the Hunter Valley community heartbroken. I thank the first responders who attended the scene of this accident and when meeting with those first responders. I expressed the Government's support for them and that the Government will be here to support them with the mental toll responding to such an incident will have taken.

The Government has established drop-in support clinics for the community at Branxton Community centre and Singleton Youth Centre, along with a $100,000 donation to the Rotary Australia Hunter Valley Bus Tragedy Fund. We will continue to support the community through this tragedy.

Hunter Surf Life Saving Awards of Excellence

I was proud to attend the Hunter Surf Life Saving Awards of Excellence and present the awards for Youth Athlete of the Year, Open Athlete of the Year, and the Masters Athlete of the Year. It was fantastic to see so many local athletes and surf life saving volunteers nominated including Redhead SLSC Daniel Collins who took out Senior Athlete of the Year and Lani Waller who took out Youth Athlete of the Year. Along with Katrina Pastourmoglou from Swansea Belmont SLSC who took out Administrator of the Year.

Nowhere to Hide Campaign

Great to attend the International Transport Workers Federation ‘Nowhere to Hide’ campaign launch at the Port of Newcastle.

The campaign highlights wage theft and modern slavery on internationally registered cargo vessels which deliver 95% of the goods the Australian economy relies upon.

There is a role for us all to play and shine a light on the fight against modern slavery.


Active and Creative Kids Voucher Program

The Minns Labor Government is establishing a permanent Active and Creative Kids voucher program which will support around 600,000 school-aged kids to participate in sports and creative programs across the state by helping low and middle income families with cost-of-living pressures. 

The former Liberal Government had cut the program with funding to expire at 30 June. However, the Minns Government will extend the program until the end of 2023 and introduce a new means-tested voucher available for low and middle-income families from term 1 2024.

Labor Delivers More Permanent Teachers

The Minns Labor Government has delivered on our election commitment to convert temporary teaching and support staff positions to permanent positions.

In the first two months around 5,500 teachers and support staff have been converted to permanent positions with the Government committing to offer 16,000 temporary teachers and school-based support staff conversion to permanent contracts by the beginning of Term 4, 2023.

Planning Reforms to Deliver More Social and Affordable Housing

New NSW planning law will be used by the Government to have State-owned Housing Corporations focus on tackling the State’s housing crisis, by building more social and affordable homes, faster.

The new reforms will provide the NSW Land and Housing Corporation (LAHC) and the Aboriginal Housing Office (AHO) with an expanded State Significant Development (SSD) approval pathway for projects with more than 75 homes or more than $30 million capital investment. The Government will also:

  • Change the existing self-assessment powers for LAHC and AHO, increasing from 60 dwellings and 2 storeys to 75 dwellings and 3 storeys. Self-approval will mean a faster pathway to the start of construction.
  • Landcom will have the same self-assessment powers for affordable housing developments of up to 75 dwellings as well as access to a State Significant Development pathway for developments over $30 million where at least 50% is affordable housing.
  • Reducing the minimum lot size to 400m2 for dual occupancies being delivered as a complying development by LAHC, AHO, Community Housing Providers and Aboriginal Community Housing Providers. This effectively means creating more space for more homes.
  • Social and affordable housing providers will be exempt from attracting State infrastructure contributions.

The Government is committed to acting on the housing crisis.


Community War Memorials Fund

The next round of the Community War Memorials Fund is now open and closes at 5pm on 25 July. $125,000 in funding is available for the protection and repair of war memorials. Funding is available to assist with a range of conservation projects including condition assessments, specialist cleaning and repairs, which are all important aspects of how we manage the places of commemoration that help us acknowledge our military history. Community groups can apply for up to $10,000. To be eligible for funding, the memorial must be listed on the NSW War Memorials Register. More information on the program and details for how to apply are available at the Veterans Affairs website.

Belmont & District Residents' Action Group

The Belmont & District Residents' Action Group is a local community group that advocates on behalf of Belmont and surrounding suburbs on a range of local issues. The group engages with local, state and federal levels of government. The group is seeking new members and if you would like to join, please contact Robin Gordon on robingordon1942@gmail.com.

Book Your Flu Shot Today!

Have you had your flu shot yet? With the flu season just around the corner, it is important that we protect ourselves and our loved ones from the harmful effects of the disease by getting vaccinated. Priority groups, including children aged 6 months to under five years, people aged 65 and over, Indigenous Australians from 6 months of age, pregnant women and those with serious health conditions are encouraged to book in now for their free influenza vaccine. For more information or to book your vaccine visit the NSW Health website.

Belmont Hospital Volunteer Auxiliary

The Belmont Hospital Volunteer Auxiliary truly are a great help to hospital staff. Beginning 50 years ago with a trolley service to patients and staff, the Auxiliary now has a team of more than 30 volunteers who provide 3 services:

  • Patient Care which does administration work for all the departments within the hospital. It also sells craft and personal items to assist our patients and visitors
  • Meet & Greet work from the foyer and assist visitors navigate around our hospital
  • Kiosk provides food and beverages to staff, visitors and patients

All services run 5 days per week. The Auxiliary are always looking for more volunteers to join their team. They work on a weekly or fortnightly roster (with the option to work full or half days). If you are keen to join this wonderful team call Fay Smith (President) on 0427 488 499 or Doris Lack (Vice President) on 0405 059 747.

Savings for Pensioners 

The rise in the cost of living has been hitting many people hard, especially pensioners. Here are 10 ways for NSW pensioners to save:

  1. Council rate rebates: Pensioners are entitled to up to $250 a year off their council rates. For more information visit the Lake Macquarie City Council and Central Coast Council websites. 
  2. Electricity rebate: The Low Income Household Rebate will shave up to $285 a year off your electricity bill for households with a retail provider.
  3. Gas rebate: This rebate will give you a discount of up to $110 a year.
  4. Water rates: Eligible pensioners can access a quarterly rebate, shaving hundreds of dollars a year off a typical household bill.
  5. Regional seniors travel card: The regional seniors travel card provides eligible seniors living in regional, rural and remote areas of NSW with a $250 prepaid card to help ease the cost of travel. 
  6. Revenue NSW Unclaimed Money: Find “lost” money waiting to be claimed from inactive bank accounts, shares and investments, insurance policies, unpaid wages, unclaimed super and deceased estates.
  7. Travel vouchers: Pensioners are entitled to four Pensioner Travel Vouchers each calendar year. They can be used for two return or four single trips, giving access to free or discounted travel in economy class on NSW TrainLink Regional services within regional NSW.
  8. Free car rego: Pensioners in NSW don’t pay registration fees or motor vehicle tax on one of their cars. They also receive free driver’s licences, free driving tests and concessions on the cost of Mobility Parking Scheme permits.
  9. Free glasses: You can get yourself one pair of single vision glasses or one pair of bifocal glasses in a two-year period under the NSW Spectacles Program.
  10. Seniors Card: The NSW Seniors Card is packed with discounts for thousands of retailers and services across the state from groceries to tradespeople and insurance.

I encourage all seniors to apply for these savings if they haven't already. 

Swansea Mobile Shower Van  

Orange Sky Laundry

Get in Touch

Click here to email Yasmin Catley MP

Click here to visit Yasmin's website 

Shop 1

204 Pacific Highway

Swansea NSW 2281

PO Box 306

Swansea NSW 2281

Phone: (02) 4972 1133

Fax: (02) 4972 1494

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Authorised by Yasmin Catley MP, Shop 1, 204 Pacific Highway, Swansea NSW 2281.
Produced using parliamentary entitlements