State of Barwon |

Swan like: Get with the program and put it away. Last year, 38,894 infringements were issued for illegal mobile phone use. Visit youtu.be/VoVORI0P6U8.
Swan like: Get with the program and put it away. Last year, 38,894 infringements were issued for illegal mobile phone use. Visit youtu.be/VoVORI0P6U8.

BE LIKE THE SWANS 

Young drivers are urged to ignore the distractions and get their hands off their mobile phones before getting behind the wheel. As part of an education campaign with the Sydney Swans, we have released a new video to highlight the risks associated with young drivers and their ‘always on’ approach to social media. Mobile phone distraction is an increasing problem on our roads, particularly among younger drivers who are less experienced at anticipating or identifying the level of attention required for safe driving. It’s important to point out that at 60km/h, if you look at your phone while driving for just two seconds, you travel 33 metres blind. The consequences of using a mobile phone while driving are devastating and sadly it’s not just killing and injuring those who are illegally using their phones but putting innocent people at risk of lifelong injuries and death.

Better freight networks.

Interest in the latest round of the Fixing Country Roads program is high as Transport for NSW staff made their way around the region, assisting councils in the electorate with their applications. The NSW Government is making $100 million in funding available in round three of Fixing Country Roads to boost the efficiency of freight transport from paddock to port. Transport for NSW has provided vital expertise and guidance to help Councils manage their submission process. Applications for Fixing Country Roads Round 3 close on 1 September 2017. Further information is available at https://www.transport.nsw.gov.au/projects/programs/fixing-country-roads.

NEW TRAINS SERVICING 

I am pleased to announce that the next generation of regional trains will be coming to our electorate, replacing the ageing XPTs/EXPLORERs. Passenger trains have long provided links between our communities and the cities. Whether it is to do business, get specialist medical treatment, or to visit far-away loved ones, train travel has always played a critical role in our country communities. Those of us, who are old enough, remember the excitement that came with the introduction of the XPTs, which really transformed regional train travel. Now, 40 years later, we have the opportunity to deliver train sets that will surpass all of those. The Government will soon issue an Expression of Interest for the design, construction and maintenance of the new fleet. Under the Expression of Interest and subsequent tender process, the NSW Government will seek to deliver innovation, increased customer comfort, and greater energy efficiency for regional customers. A thorough tender evaluation process will be conducted next year, ahead of the contract being awarded in early 2019. 

LITTER PREVENTION GRANTS

I encourage regional waste groups in Barwon to apply for a share of $1.25 million to help fund litter prevention projects on behalf of their member councils. These grants are designed so councils can work together through their waste groups to reduce litter across their respective regions. The waste groups are expected to design projects that target local litter hotspots such as roadside litter and takeaway containers on major arterial roads and recreational spots. More information about the Litter Regional Implementation Program grants visit www.epa.nsw.gov.au/wastegrants/council-litter.htm Applications open until August 28.

OUT AND ABOUT

This week I will be out and about in the Narrabri Shire, working from the Electorate Office as well as getting out to AgQuip later in the week.

THUMBS UP

Congratulations to all the schools and libraries who participated in Children's Book Week 2017. What a great way to highlight the importance and enjoyment reading can provide our youth.