Charles wishes anyone caring for a young person with a disability in the Strathfield electorate to know that non-government grants are now available.
The Youngcare At Home Care Grant (AHCG) program exists to assist young people with high care needs currently living at home and at risk of entering aged care. The latet round of AHCG has been made possible by GIO. Under the scheme one-off grants of up to $10,000 are available for equipment, home modifications or services to assist young people aged between 18 and 65 who are living with a disability to remain in thier own home for as long as possible.
The information booklet and application forms can be found at http://www.youngcare.com.au/nswgrants.
Submissions msut be made by COB Friday 31 May 2013.
A high level consultation process on the WestConnex has begun. Charles encourages everyone to visit the WestConnex "Have Your Say" website; it provides information on the project and an opportunity for all to share their views. Visit www.westconnex.com.au to have your say.
Energy assistance now just a click away: 1500 local families eligible for NSW Government rebate
Charles is calling on eligible families to take advantage of the NSW Government's Family Energy Rebate to help manage household electricity bills.
The $75 Rebate rises to $125 from 1 July and to $150 by 2014, and is available to over 540,000 households who currently receive the Commonwealth Government's Family Tax Benefit A or B.
"Approximately 1,500 local households are eligible to receive the Family Energy Rebate as a credit on their electricity bill," Charles said. "And the process to apply for the Rebate has never been easier with a new online application form to help busy households receive the assistance measure.
"If also eligible to receive the Low Income Household Rebate, households could be saving up to $250 off their electricity bill.
"This will provide welcome relief to those who are struggling to manage electricity bills.
"The money is there, the funding for assistance is available and so I urge eligible families to submit their application for the 2012/13 financial year before the 14 June deadline."
Last year the NSW Government announced a $210 million package of assistance measures to help households with rising electricity costs, including the new Family Energy Rebate, the Low Income Household Rebate, the Medical Energy Rebate, the Life Support Rebate and the Energy Accounts Payment Assistance scheme.
NSW Energy Minister Chris Hartcher has also announced that electricity network price rises will be capped at CPI or below from 1 July over the next six years, following double-digit price rises under the former Labor Government.
"At every level the NSW Government remains committed to placing downward pressure on electricity prices and assisting households manage their electricity bills," Charles said.
"We recognise the burden power bills are placing on households and we will continue working hard to protect those most in need."
Applications for the Family Energy Rebate are available online at
http://www.trade.nsw.gov.au/energy/customers/rebates/family-energy-rebate or by contacting the NSW Government Energy Information Line on 1300 136 888.
Applications for 2012/13 close on 14 June 2013 at 5pm. Applications for 2013/14 open on 1 July 2013.
Local residents have had a major win this week following news that the Australian Catholic University (ACU) will not be able to go ahead with their expansion plans until more research is done.
The Planning Assesment Committee (PAC) has decided that the university's plans to increase student numbers, extend operating hours and develop buildings on site could only be contemplated once the university can demonstrate effective and ongoing implementation of the Green Travel Plan.
Charles, who has been fighting alongside residents since day one on this issue was pleased with the announcement but reminded residents that the fight is not over yet.
"This is definitely great news for our local community," Charles said. "Clearly the PAC was unconvinced about the traffic safety and amenity mitigation measures proposed in the Green Travel Plan.
"These are issue that I and many others raised in the PAC meeting at the end of February and I am glad that they have been taken into the account.
"If the ACU cared about the community then it would first build the carpark and put in place those measures that would improve the local area, demonstrate their effectiveness and then come back to the community to consider proposals to increase numbers and extend operating hours.
"I am thankful that we have received a good outcome and I thank all residents who worked together to ensure that our local voice is heard loud and clear.
"I believe this is a balanced decision in light of the information presented to the PAC and I am comfortable that due process afforded residents with the appropriate opportunities to make their views known.
"I congratulate the PAC for listening to the residents' concerns.
"I am hopeful that there is now an opportunity for the ACU to address its poor relationship with the local community. I would encourage them to engage with community leaders to resolve the current difficulties and provide the foundation to more amicable relationships between them that can only be of mutual benefit," Charles concluded
The rollout of school zone flashing lights has been accelerated so drivers slow down around schools to help keep our children safe with a set to be installed at many schools around our
Charles welcomed the announcement by NSW Premier Barry O'Farrell and Minister for Roads Duncan Gay that the NSW Government will install an extra 101 sets of school zone flashing lights by July this year, offering protection at 1,340 schools across NSW.
With 280 flashing lights installed this financial year – it will be the largest number ever rolled out in a single financial year.
"The news of flashing school zone lights are coming to local schools is terrific for the students, parents and teachers." Charles said
"School zone flashing lights are proven to be effective in slowing drivers down and saving lives.
"Studies have found flashing lights cut motorists' speed by around 7km/h when they enter a school zone.
"The $2.5 million cost of installing the flashing lights would be met from within the road safety budget.
"The NSW Government is determined to increase safety for our children when they are entering and leaving the school yard. Flashing lights are the best way to warn motorists to slow down when entering a school zone.
"The sites are chosen based on assessments using the School Pedestrian Risk Model, which considers a range of factors including traffic, approaching speed, pedestrian volumes and the road environment and visibility," Charles said.
The schools in our electorate that will be receiving new flashing lights are:
- Burwood Girls High School
- Holy Innocents Primary School
- MLC Burwood
- St Joseph's Primary Enfield
- Croydon Public School
- Presbyterian Ladies College
- St Martha's College
- Santa Sabina College
The recommendation from the Department of Planning to approve the Australian Catholic University's Plans to develop their site on Barker Rd, Strathfield has caused a lot of upset and anger amongst local residents.
Local Residents in Burwood and Strathfield will be seeing some upgraded facilities thanks to $50,000 being provided to the local area by the NSW Government through the Sport and Recreation Facility and Participation Grants Program.
Charles was pleased with the news saying the money from the State Government would help to ensure more opportunities for local residents to remain fit and active.
"There are few things more important than keeping fit and active," said Charles who himself is a keen runner and squash player. "Regardless of your age and fitness level I would encourage all residents to try and be a little more active, be it by going for a walk in the local park or a swim in the local pool.
"As the government, it is important that we provide adequate facilities to give people more opportunities to exercise. These grants help us deliver on this.
The $50,000 has been allocated to two separate projects in the local area. $25,000 will go to assisting Burwood Council with the construction of a new water play facility at Enfield Pool and the other $25,000 will help Strathfield Council install a field irrigation system at Begnell Field in Belfied.