Veterans grant funding announced

Federal Member for Cunningham, Sharon Bird, today announced $4000 in grant funding to Coledale RSL Sub Branch to help in the restoration of its First World War Honour Board. “I am delighted to announce this funding grant under the Commonwealth Government’s Saluting Their Service program. “The First World War Honour Board is currently located at the Scarborough Public School. “After its restoration, which this grant funding is intended to support, the Honour Board will be relocated to the Coledale RSL Sub Branch”, Ms Bird said.

Climate Change Minister to meet with Illawarra steel and coal workers

The Minister for Climate Change and Energy Efficiency, Greg Combet, will visit the Illawarra today to discuss the proposed framework for a carbon price directly with workers employed in the steel and mining industries. Mr Combet – together with local Federal Labor MP’s Sharon Bird (Cunningham) and Stephen Jones (Throsby) – will visit Port Kembla to meet with rostered-off BlueScope Steel employees and union members to talk about the Government’s carbon price plan, including it’s commitment to industry assistance and to protecting local manufacturing jobs. The meeting will be followed by a joint media conference. When: 11.00am, Wednesday 6 April 2011 Where: Near Visitors Centre, BlueScope North Gate, Springhill Road, Port Kembla.

NBN inquiry to visit Ballarat and Melbourne

The House of Representatives Infrastructure and Communications Committee is conducting an inquiry into the role and potential of the National Broadband Network (NBN). The Committee will conduct public hearings this week in Ballarat (Thursday 17 March) and Melbourne (Friday 18 March). “The NBN will have an impact on almost every sector of our society, so the committee is looking forward to consulting with a wide range of organisations during our two days in Victoria”, said the Chair Sharon Bird (Member for Cunningham) today. “Ballarat has a particularly strong ICT sector for a city of its size and in Melbourne we will be talking with some of the nation’s leading universities and non‐for‐profit organisations” she added. Continue reading

Sharon Bird MP to officially open new WEA building in Wollongong

Federal Member for Cunningham, Sharon Bird, will tomorrow afternoon officially open a new building for the WEA Illawarra. The new building was built with a $1.4 million investment by the Commonwealth Government. The WEA Illawarra also contributed $900,000 of its own, including land on which the building is located. The Commonwealth Government’s investment came from the Investing in Community Education and Training program. Media opportunity: Tuesday, 15 March 2011 2pm 50-56 Auburn Street, Wollongong

NBN inquiry to visit the Apple Isle

The House of Representatives Infrastructure and Communications Committee is conducting an inquiry into the role and potential of the National Broadband Network (NBN). The Committee will conduct its first interstate public hearings this week in Launceston (Thursday 10 March) and Hobart (Friday 11 March). “It is no coincidence that the Committee has chosen Tasmania as the site for its first public hearings outside Canberra”, said the Chair Sharon Bird (Member for Cunningham) today. “Being the first place in Australia to receive NBN infrastructure, the Committee is really looking forward to talking with Tasmanians about how fast broadband is likely to affect health, education, business, employment and other aspects of daily life across the state.” Continue reading

E-health, Education and the NBN - public hearing tomorrow

The House of Representatives Infrastructure and Communications Committee is conducting an inquiry into the role and potential of the National Broadband Network (NBN). The first public hearing will be held in Canberra tomorrow (Friday 4 March). The hearing will focus on the NBN’s potential impacts in health, education, and research and innovation. “This is the first step in an extensive program of consultation across the country”, Committee Chair Sharon Bird (Member for Cunningham) said today. “On Friday we will hear about current work and future possibilities in areas such as e‐health and distance education, as well as how the NBN may influence innovation and research in Australia.” Continue reading

Federal Labor speaks out on climate change

Sharon Bird MP and Stephen Jones MP have made speeches in Parliament supporting the Federal Government’s plan to cut pollution, tackle climate change and detailing the important role that the industries of the Illawarra and Southern Highlands will play in moving to a clean energy future. “The scientific evidence is clear: carbon pollution is contributing to climate change. Every government around the world is attempting to come to grips with the challenge, and no responsible government can afford to ignore it,” said Stephen Jones, the Member for Throsby. “This is a generational reform debate… the international community is moving towards addressing and dealing with the carbon challenge,” Sharon Bird, the Member for Cunningham said. “We look forward to engaging with employers like BlueScope and the representatives of the workforce… the AWU, the major union at the BlueScope Steel, and the South Coast Labour Council,” Mr Jones said. “I have worked closely with existing traditional industries including the companies—such as BlueScope Steel Australia—and their workforces and representatives. We work closely with our coal industry. We also work closely with our diversified economy,” Ms Bird said. Continue reading

More specialist Doctor training in Wollongong

Wollongong will benefit from five new specialist doctors as part of a Commonwealth Government boost to improve health care in the region, Federal Member for Cunningham, Sharon Bird, said today. "The Commonwealth Government wants to ensure that patients are able to see a specialist doctor closer to home. "The following specialist doctors will help to improve patient access and health care in Wollongong in the following disciplines: - 1 orthopaetic surgery - 1 haematology - 1 otolaryngology - ENT surgery - 1 radiology - 1 pathology "The doctors will be supported to undertake specialist medical training under the Commonwealth Government's Specialist Training Program", Ms Bird said.

$26.1 million for the University of Wollongong

The Commonwealth Government’s funding contribution to the University of Wollongong continues with an additional $26.1 million Research Block Grant Allocations for 2011, announced today by Federal Illawarra Labor MP’s Sharon Bird and Stephen Jones. “I am very proud of the Commonwealth Government’s continued financial support for the University of Wollongong. “We continue to invest at the University of Wollongong because it is a regional education and research asset, and a big employer in its own right, Ms Bird said. Federal Member for Throsby, Stephen Jones, said, “This funding is allocated to assist with the continuation of ground-breaking research at the University of Wollongong, attract and retain the best and brightest researchers, and generate new local employment.” This latest financial contribution brings the Commonwealth Government’s investment at the University of Wollongong over the last 24 months to $205.7 million.

Release of National Land Freight Strategy welcomed

Illawarra Federal Labor MPs Sharon Bird and Stephen Jones have today welcomed the release by Infrastructure Australia of a discussion paper on a National Land Freight Strategy, which recognises the key role of Port Kembla as a nationally significant networked port. “I am delighted that the role of Port Kembla has been recognised for the first time as a solution to Australia’s freight handling task. “The paper by Infrastructure Australia proposes that Port Kembla should also become formally part of the national land freight network. This is a good report for the Illawarra and for Port Kembla”, Ms Bird said. Federal Member for Throsby, Stephen Jones, said he was particularly pleased that the report proposes to separate freight trains from passenger trains. “As the freight handling task in Australia increases, we do need to ensure that we can untangle the uses of rail and have dedicated freight routes and passenger routes. “This report recognises what we are trying accomplish by arguing for the completion of the Maldon-Dombarton rail link. Ms Bird arranged for Infrastructure Australia’s Infrastructure Coordinator, Mr Michael Deegan to visit Wollongong in July 2009 to tour Port Kembla, meet with the Port Kembla Port Corporation and other regional stakeholders.