State Matters with Paul Toole

Prevention: Last summer, 41 people tragically drowned. Ensure we don’t experience another horror season this summer. Grants program close on August 4.
Prevention: Last summer, 41 people tragically drowned. Ensure we don’t experience another horror season this summer. Grants program close on August 4.

Water Safety Fund Now Open  

Applications are now open for organisations in the Bathurst Electorate to improve water safety in the community and help prevent drownings throughout NSW. Last summer, 41 people tragically drowned at a range of locations across the state. To ensure we don’t experience another horror summer season, I urge local community-based organisations that run water safety initiatives to apply for funding.

The Water Safety Fund Community Grants Program will prioritise initiatives that target high-risk groups and locations, identified in research undertaken by Royal Life Saving Society Australia for the government. Grants range from $25,000 to $250,000, and collaborative projects between water safety and community organisations will be given precedence. Applications for the Water Safety Fund Community Grants Program close on 4 August 2017. Visit www.watersafety.nsw.gov.au/Pages/water-safety- fund/Water-Safety-Fund.aspx

Keep Looking When Cooking 

Did you know that almost half of the house fires in Australia start in the kitchen – all because cooking was left unattended? To help prevent kitchen fires, Fire & Rescue NSW has released the Keep Looking When Cooking mini mag. You can find this magazine in cafes, bars, community centres and other locations across NSW, it features a great collection of recipes from firefighters that will give you the answer to that perennial question – “What’s for dinner tonight?” The Keep Looking When Cooking mini mag also has handy tips on how to stay fire safe in the kitchen.

Fires can spread in minutes, but it only takes seconds to stop them. You can also jump online to download the mini mag recipes, as well as lots of other recipes being added daily from the community at www.fire.nsw.gov.au

There are lots of safety tips available for the whole family, with some great educational resources also for children visit www.fire.nsw.gov.au

Time to Get Ready! 

Every year in NSW, around 160 million drink containers are tossed into our parks, streets and waterways, making up about 49 per cent of all litter volume. The cost of cleaning this up is a whopping $180 million every year. This is set to change in less than six months with schools, charities, sporting and community groups in the Bathurst Electorate being able raise money as part of the NSW Government’s container deposit scheme by collecting and receiving donated eligible containers that they can then refund at an approved collection point.

Eligible drink containers under the scheme include most between 150ml and three litres. Exceptions include those that are consumed mostly at home and that are recycled in council kerbside systems. More detail about the scheme, including how and where to redeem eligible containers from 1 December. Visit www.epa.nsw.gov.au/waste/cds-intro.htm

Easing the Cost of Living for Seniors 

The NSW Government has secured a two-year deal with one of Australia’s biggest energy suppliers, creating savings of up to 25 per cent for seniors in the Bathurst Electorate on their gas and electricity usage charges.

From July 1 AGL will offer Seniors Card members a 25 per cent guaranteed discount off electricity usage and 19 per cent guaranteed discount off gas usage charges on a two year energy plan. Given we are now well and truly into winter, the timing of this renewal could not be better, as every dollar saved for our seniors counts. More than 1.5 million older people in NSW have a Seniors Card, with more than 5600 businesses now offering Seniors Card discounts, up from 1600 in January 2015. For more information on the Seniors Card, visit

www.seniorscard.nsw.gov.au