State Matters with Paul Toole

Nominations Open: 2017 NSW Women of the Year Awards. You can now nominate someone for the 2018 awards, visit: www.women.nsw.gov.au.
Nominations Open: 2017 NSW Women of the Year Awards. You can now nominate someone for the 2018 awards, visit: www.women.nsw.gov.au.

Nominations Open for NSW Women of the Year 

Lifelong dedication to the advancement of women in NSW will be recognised by a new category in the 2018 NSW Women of the Year Awards. The NSW Government this week announced public nominations for the coveted Awards are now open, including the addition of the First State Super Lifetime Achievement Award. The Awards, now in their seventh year, recognise women who have demonstrated excellence in business and society or made outstanding contributions to their community. The 2018 Awards categories include: NSW Premier’s Woman of the Year, NSW Aboriginal Woman of the Year, Community Hero, Harvey Norman Young Woman of the Year, Rex Airlines Regional Woman of the Year, NSW Business Woman of the Year, and First State Super Lifetime Achievement. Winners will be announced at an Awards ceremony at the International Convention Centre Sydney on the morning of International Women’s Day - Thursday, 8 March 2018. Nominations for 2018 close December 18, 2017. Visit www.women.nsw.gov.au.

Sport Defibrillator Program 

Spectators and players from community sporting clubs will benefit from a state wide rollout of the Local Sport Defibrillator Program. The breakthrough grant scheme was launched by the State Government this week. This $4 million program will enable more than 2,500 Automatic External Defibrillators (AEDs) to be installed at grass roots sporting facilities over the next four years.

More than 33,000 Australians experience cardiac arrest every year, and the first eight minutes are critical to improving the likelihood of survival. Early access to CPR and defibrillation can influence survival rates by up to 75 percent. I encourage local sporting clubs to take this opportunity to apply for a grant to help fund an AED - which can be the difference between life and death. 

The scheme is targeting community sports clubs, but applications from licensed sporting clubs and sports organisations associated with schools, churches, universities, and councils will also be considered. Applications close 20 December 2017. Visit: sport.nsw.gov.au/clubs/grants

Become a Volunteer 

A one-stop volunteering recruitment website has been launched by the State Government. The Volunteering NSW website will make volunteering more accessible by linking volunteers with the right organisation and opportunity for them. Time and time again people want to volunteer, but often don’t know where to go or how to start the journey. This will help solve that dilemma. To find out more about a local volunteering opportunity or to post a vacancy visit: www.volunteering.nsw.gov.au

The Great Australian Dream

Thousands of first home buyers have rallied to take advantage of stamp duty exemptions available since the introduction of the NSW Government’s new relief package. New figures from Revenue NSW show 10,496 individuals and families have secured the keys to their first home with the help of the First Home Buyers Assistance Scheme since July, representing a 239 per cent increase compared to the 3094 over the same period last year.

These figures are the highest they have been in five years of people using government relief to achieve the great Australian dream. I note the exemptions granted are now averaging 2624 a month, compared to 825 in the month of June 2017, immediately before the relief package was introduced. Under the First Home Buyers Assistance Scheme, stamp duty is eliminated altogether for properties up to $650,000 while concessions are also available for between $650,000 and $800,000. The changes enable first home buyers to access stamp duty relief for both new and existing homes.