Letters to the editor

Every morning, many families right across Dubbo have the task of juggling getting kids to school and getting to work.

As a mum I know hard this can be, and as the Minister it is my job to make sure the NSW Government does its bit to support working families in Dubbo.

We know before and after school care services can go a long way and that’s why the NSW Government is investing $20 million for schools to establish new or upgrade existing services right across the state.

We also know the needs of the school community in Mudgee are completely different to Wellington.

That’s why not-for-profit providers of out of school hours care can now receive up to $30,000 to expand or establish new services to provide flexible options for busy Dubbo families.

Families need flexibility, so we are providing a versatile approach that supports not-for-profits, local councils and schools to provide more care options in Dubbo.

Opening the fund to not for profit service providers means extra support to encourage community organisations to offer before and after school care and ease the burden in areas of high demand.

We are determined to help make life easier for working families and we will continue to look at new ways to better support them. Our parents expect it, and our kids deserve it.

Sincerely,

Sarah Mitchell MLC 

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The cooler months are an ideal time to prune and plant but Essential Energy is reminding homeowners to think carefully about the distance of vegetation from electrical assets before pulling on the gardening gloves.

Regional Manager Northern, Mark Summers, said the mature height of trees and bushes should be considered when planting on your property.

“All trees should be planted at least 15 metres, or a distance equal to their fully-grown height, away from powerlines and poles,” Mark said.

“Avoid planting trees, shrubs or bushes around substation transformers as this can hinder access or affect underground equipment through root entanglement or damage.”

“If there is a risk debris could fall across powerlines or if vegetation is less than three metres away from poles or wires, don’t attempt pruning and lopping – contact Essential Energy on 13 20 80 to arrange an inspection.”

Essential Energy advises green thumbs that electricity can jump or arc across an open space and trees will conduct electricity through them.

“When using ladders and pruning equipment around the yard, keep well clear of overhead powerlines,” Mark said.

“It takes less than a second for electricity to pass from a powerline through an object to a person, so never attempt to remove a tree or branch in contact with them.”

If you come across a fallen powerline, stay at least eight metres away from it or fences or trees that it may be in contact with, and immediately contact Essential Energy on 13 20 80.

For more information about safe planting and pruning around the electricity network, visit www.essentialenergy.com.au/safety.