I'm please to confirm that NSW drivers can now use a Digital Driver's Licence (DDL) on their smartphone for proof of identity, proof of age and at roadside police checks.
We've always put the customer at the heart of everything we do. Opal card and Service NSW have revolutionised the customer experience. The Digital Driver's Licence is the latest way we are making life easier for the people of this state. More than 550,000 people have already downloaded the digital licence, with 97 per cent giving it the thumbs up.
The Digital Driver's Licence has inbuilt security controls to protect customer's personal information. The DDL is hosted securely on the new Service NSW app, locks with a PIN and can be accessed offline.
It will provide additional levels of security and protection against identity fraud, compared to the plastic driver licence. We are working closely with business and industry to have them come on board and accept the DDL.
This includes nightclubs, restaurants, hotels, petrol stations, supermarkets, convenience stores and tobacco retailers. Watch this space. Drivers who opt-in are encouraged to carry their plastic licence in the initial stages.
For more information about how to recognise and accept the DDL visit www.service.nsw.gov.au/campaign/digital-driver-licence to get a DDL, licence holders will need to create a MyServiceNSW Account at www.service.nsw.gov.au and download the Service NSW mobile app on their smartphone. The DDL will always be opt-in only.
Tackling mental health
I'm urging sporting clubs in the Bathurst region wanting to improve mental health and wellbeing in drought-stricken areas to contact their state body and apply for a share of a new $1.2 million Mental Health Sports Fund. Sport is a great way to unwind, to get out of the house and catch up with your mates.
Our local sporting clubs and organisations have strong ties with Bathurst, and act as a point of focus for families, friends and neighbours. That's why the NSW Government have launched this fund, to create an opportunity for sports organisations to support the drought effort and help build resilience in rural communities.
The Fund was launched off the back of the highly successful 2018 "Baggy Blues" regional Cricket tour- which harnessed a love of cricket in rural communities to have conversations of the importance of mental health.
The Baggy Blues will tour new locations next year, starting in Inverell in January and Tamworth in February. We are hoping a diverse range of sporting codes will apply to promote mental health, and start important conversations in regional areas battling this tough drought.
For further information and how to apply please visit the Office of Sport NSW website: https://sport.nsw.gov.au/clubs/grants/Mental-Health-Sports-Fund Anyone requiring drought assistance is encouraged to visit the NSW DroughtHub website: www.droughthub.nsw.gov.au.
Encouraging schools to improve their environment
It's great to see a new four-year grants scheme aimed at supporting students develop innovative sustainability projects at their schools. The Sustainable Schools Grants program is open to all NSW public schools and provides up to $15,000 for student-lead initiatives that improve their environment.
This program will provide $10 million over four years to support hands-on sustainability projects for our young people.
I am really looking forward to seeing the projects that come from the grants at schools in our local area and expect we'll see a wide variety of sustainability projects, or strategies for more sustainable transport, or plans to establish kitchen gardens.
Grant applications, which open Friday, November 1, must be for projects that include hands-on activities for students to learn about sustainability, be linked to the curriculum, and improve the sustainability of the school environment.
The first round of grants applications can be submitted between November 1-29, and successful applicants will be notified in February 2020. Schools will implement their projects by November, when the following year's applications open again.