Financial assistance to Trio's Superannuation fund investors in the Illawarra

Over 600 Illawarra victims of fraud from the collapse of Trio Capital Limited (Trio) will be compensated for their loss, following a Government decision announced today. Assistant Treasurer and Minister for Financial Services and Superannuation, Bill Shorten today announced his decision to provide a grant of approximately $55 million in financial assistance to benefit the members of four superannuation funds that were formerly under the trusteeship of Trio. “Investors in APRA regulated funds deserve to be compensated by the Government when they lose their investments through fraud or other malfeasance by super fund trustees. I’m very pleased to be able to offer Trio investors this compensation,” Mr Shorten said. Federal Member for Cunningham, Sharon Bird, said “I’ve seen first-hand how badly people have been affected by the collapse of Trio and have spent a lot of my time helping constituents put their case. I’m very glad to see the Government has helped the people affected in region.” Continue reading

Funding boost for youth now open

Funding to support the artistic and creative development of young people is now open to local organisations, Federal Member for Cunningham, Sharon Bird, said today. “Local community organisations can apply for funding up to $70,000 under the Commonwealth Government’s Youth Development and Support Program. “The Youth Development and Support Program is designed to provide financial support to non-government, not-for-profit organisations that deliver youth-led community-based projects. “The arts and culture are very important to young people, and the Government has decided to place an emphasis on this year’s funding grants being aimed at the arts and creative enterprises”, Ms Bird said. Applications for the Youth Development and Support Program 2011-12 are now open, and will close on 27 May 2011. Organisations working with Indigenous young people are encouraged to apply. Information on the Youth Development and Support Program government grants is available at www.youth.gov.au.

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.

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.

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.