$125,000 funding for Blue Mile CCTV

The Commonwealth Government will provide $125,000 in funding to establish comprehensive CCTV coverage along Wollongong’s Blue Mile, Federal Member for Cunningham, Sharon Bird, announced this morning. The funding is made available under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002, as part of the Commonwealth Government’s commitment to reducing crime. “The $125,000 in funding will provide for comprehensive CCTV coverage and monitoring to be established along the entire Blue Mile, linking it to the existing Wollongong City Centre Street CCTV system. “As the Commonwealth Government and Wollongong City Council have worked together in a fantastic partnership to upgrade community infrastructure along the Blue Mile, we are working together again to ensure that local residents and tourists are able to enjoy this new, modern infrastructure in a safe and secure environment. “The Blue Mile precinct is growing into the central celebration point for Wollongong for major events like Australia Day and New Year’s Eve”, she said. Continue reading

Minister for School Education to visit Wollongong Schools

MEDIA ALERT FRIDAY, 13 MAY 2011 The Minister for School Education, Early Childhood and Youth, Peter Garrett MP, is visiting Mt Ousley Public School and St Brigid’s Primary School at Gwynneville this morning. The Minister will visit Mt Ousley Public School’s Year 6 classes and discuss the 1 to 1 Laptop program, tour the new school hall, COLA and covered walkway funded by the Commonwealth Government’s Building the Education Revolution program. The Minister is also visiting St Brigid’s Primary School to meet with local school staff and participate in a school assembly and answer student’s questions on leadership. St Brigid’s runs a school leadership program called ilead. Media Opportunity 9.30am Mt Ousley Public School McGrath Street MT Ousley (Doorstop scheduled for 10.15 am)

Making every school a great school

The Minister for School Education, Peter Garrett and the Member for Cunningham Sharon Bird visited Mount Ousley Primary School and St Brigid’s Primary School today, to talk with teachers and students about the Gillard Government’s investment in our schools. “We want to make every school a great school so that they can continue to offer kids a quality education that helps them achieve their full potential,” Mr Garrett said. The Budget includes a number of initiatives to support our schools: More Support for Students with Disabilities initiative; increased funding for the National School Chaplaincy Program and the National Rewards for Great Teachers initiative. “These initiatives are aimed at ensuring all children, regardless of where they live, have access to the support they need to get a quality education.” “I am really pleased that the Minister has been able to visit both Mt Ousley Public School and St Brigid’s Primary School to see first hand the quality education programs offered by these two local schools and the dedication of all the local school professionals”, Ms Bird said. Continue reading

NBN inquiry goes West

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 in Perth on Thursday 5 May and Friday 6 May. Committee Chair Sharon Bird said today that “the Committee is looking forward to hearing from West Australians about how the NBN can contribute to, among many other things, enhanced research outcomes and overcoming the tyranny of distance.” “On Friday we will be conducting a roundtable discussion with four local government and regional organisations, which, in combination, represent 19 West Australian council areas” she added. “As has been evident in the inquiry to date, the NBN will transform the economy and society and will foster innovation in ways that cannot yet be envisaged.” Continue reading

Government invest $6.1 million in search for weeds solution

Parliamentary Secretary for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Dr Mike Kelly, has today approved funding for a weeds research project being lead by Professor Kris French of the University of Wollongong. The Gillard Government has approved $262 938 in funding for the project which aims to fill knowledge gaps by undertaking a survey across the distribution of Madeira vine and cat’s claw creeper to identify levels of infestation and damage. The project is part of a $6.1 million investment that will fund 33 new research projects bringing innovative approaches to tackling some of Australia’s most invasive pest plants. Member for Cunningham, Sharon Bird MP, welcomed the announcement of funding for the University’s project. “Exotic woody vines are common along edges of fragmented habitats and some species are particularly destructive and becoming increasingly common,” Ms Bird said. “This project will help to overcome the lack of knowledge of the degree and type of damage these vines cause and lead to the development of appropriate management strategies.” Continue reading

Volunteer Grants Program open for applications

The Commonwealth Government’s Volunteer Grants 2011 program is now open for applications, Federal Member for Cunningham, Sharon Bird, announced today. “Volunteer organisations in our local community do so much tremendous work. “The Commonwealth wants to acknowledge the role that local volunteers and their organisations do with the community by providing funding grants of between $1000 and $5000 to help with the purchase of essential equipment, help with fuel costs, cover training courses and necessary background checks. “Last year, 44 local community groups stretching from Heathcote to Unanderra shared in $163,000 under the Volunteer Grants 2010 program. “There are many people who give of their time to help tackle poverty, disadvantage and hardship. “Others participate in ensuring local sports, surf clubs and local schools operate effectively. “All volunteers play a crucial part in ensuring community participation. “I encourage all local volunteer organisations to consider applying for these funding grants”, Ms Bird said. Applications close at 5pm on 8 June 2011. To apply visit www.fahcsia.gov.au or call 1800 183 374.

Toursim funding for rare Sumatran tigers' exhibit

The Minister for Tourism, Martin Ferguson AM MP, and Member for Cunningham, Sharon Bird MP, have announced tourism funding for Symbio Wildlife Park on the New South Wales south coast to exhibit two rare Sumatran tiger cubs. For more than 35 years, Symbio has been a strong tourism drawcard, giving generations of visitors hands-on experience with wildlife. With $100,000 from the Australian Government’s TQUAL Grants program, the two Sumatran tiger cubs will be housed in a re-vamped authentic enclosure with landscaping and viewing areas. “By upgrading and refreshing their exhibit, the Symbio Wildlife Park is demonstrating the innovation and diversification tourism businesses need to remain competitive. This is what the Australian Government’s long-term strategy for tourism is about,” said Minister Ferguson at today’s launch. “The domestic and international tourism market, as well as surrounding tourism businesses, depends on high-quality tourism attractions such as Symbio which offer a unique experience and consistency in product delivery.” Member for Cunningham, Sharon Bird MP, said the rare Indonesian tigers would draw even more visitors to the Illawarra and South Coast’s $1.8 billion tourism industry. Continue reading

NBN inquiry to visit Wollongong and Sydney

The House of Representatives Infrastructure and Communications Committee will conduct public hearings in Wollongong tomorrow (Thursday 28 April) and in Sydney on Friday (29 April) as part of its inquiry into the role and potential of the National Broadband Network (NBN). “Wollongong is a vibrant, innovative city and nearby Kiama Downs/Minnamurra is a first release site for NBN fibre. The Committee is looking forward to hearing from the organisations of the Illawarra about how the NBN will shape the region’s social and economic future”, said Sharon Bird, Committee Chair and MP for the Wollongong‐based electorate of Cunningham. “The Sydney hearing will be very important for the inquiry” she added. “We will be talking to the CEO of NBN Co, Mike Quigley, as well the Australian Telecommunications Users Group and a number of important industry participants, including NICTA”. Continue reading

NBN inquiry to visit Brisbane and Townsville

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 in Brisbane on Monday 18 April and Townsville on Tuesday 19 April. “To date the Committee has received more than 40 submissions from Queensland, so we are particularly looking forward to engaging with some of these groups in person”, said the Chair Sharon Bird (Member for Cunningham) today. “Brisbane is Australia’s third largest city, and with Townsville being a major regional centre and one of the first sites on the mainland to receive NBN fibre, we expect to hear some important evidence from organisations in both cities”, she said. Continue reading

$4.4 million in funding to support local families

The Commonwealth Government will invest $4.43 million in Cunningham over the next three years under new Family Support Program, Federal Member for Cunningham, Sharon Bird, said today. “Four local service providers will share in the $4.43 million funding to support local families, improve children’s wellbeing and to build more resilient local communities. “Service providers will focus on parenting skills training, relationship counselling, playgroups and more intensive support for children and families at risk. “I am delighted that Catholic Family Welfare Services, Healthy Cities Illawarra, Illawarra Children’s Services and Southern Youth and Family Services Association will be able to deliver these services to local families and children over the next three years as a result of the Commonwealth Government’s funding. “Each community organisation has an outstanding record of community service and are held in high regard within the local community”, Ms Bird said. The new Family Support Program follows extensive consultations with service providers across Australia.