Throsby’s Biggest Morning Tea to highlight breast cancer awareness

Federal Member for Throsby Stephen Jones will be holding his annual ‘Throsby’s Biggest Morning Tea’ tomorrow to raise funds and awareness for Cancer Council Australia. This year’s morning tea will focus on promoting awareness for breast cancer screening for older women in the electorate. “The Federal Budget set aside an extra $55.7 million to invite women aged 70 and 74 to undergo a free mammogram”, said Jones. “Currently the free service is only available to women who are aged between 50 and 69.” “This expansion is predicted to target an extra 70,000 women across the country and detect an extra 600 cancers every year, which is vitally important because cancers that are detected with a mammogram are much smaller and more able to be treated with breast preserving surgery”, said Jones. “I know there are a lot of older women in the electorate that this initiative will directly help, so I’m inviting everyone to come along to my morning tea tomorrow to help spread the awareness.”

$1.131 Million to Fix Dangerous Local Roads

Federal Member for Throsby Stephen Jones today announced that the Federal Labor Government will provide $1,131,700 to fix four dangerous black spots across the Illawarra and Southern Highlands. The approved projects are: The Princes Highway, from Haywards Bay Drive overpass to 700m north of the overpass, at Yallah: $850,000 to install a concrete median barrier for 430m and wire rope barrier for 270m; The Illawarra Highway, from Tourist Road to 1.5km south of Tourist Road, at Robertson: $100,000 to install a w-beam guardrail; The Illawarra Highway, near Wilsons Road (two bends), at Burrawang: $100,000 to install high level non-skid road surfacing; and Lake Avenue, between Flagstaff Road and Fitzgerald Street, at Cringila: $81,700 to install edgelines and kerb blisters, curve warning speed signs and raised reflective pavement markers on the centreline. Continue reading

Illawarra is contributing to a Clean Energy Future

Illawarra businesses and community groups are contributing to Australia’s low carbon future through investments in clean and renewable energy. The Labor Government has launched a new interactive map that is able to track local businesses investments in a clean energy future, showing that Illawarra business are doing their bit. The clean energy map details the actions local businesses, councils and community groups in the Illawarra, and across Australia, are taking to reduce carbon pollution, save energy costs and help the environment. Local businesses have shown that they are using the carbon price revenue to invest in new technologies and processes to reduce their pollution. Continue reading

Work on Shone Avenue realignment commences

The contractor for Wollongong City Council has begun work on the $5.6 million stage one Shone Avenue project at West Dapto.   The work site is currently being established and construction will begin next week on the realignment of Shone Ave and the replacement of the three-span, single lane bridge to improve safety and traffic capacity. The Federal Government chipped in $14 million last year to help deliver the first two stages of construction in West Dapto, including a new bridge and road upgrades. Wollongong City Lord Mayor Councillor Gordon Bradbery OAM said: “This project is an essential piece of the works around West Dapto to ensure we have greater connection between Horsley/West Dapto and the wider community through flood reliable roadways. “The Shone Avenue upgrades will improve sight lines, road widths and flood reliability. The existing low, narrow bridge and poor horizontal road alignment require vehicles to slow down and is also prone to frequent flooding. “The works will provide a significant improvement in terms of access along Shone Avenue with the proposed bridge and road being designed to be accessible in a one-in-100 year flood.” Improving road access to West Dapto is a priority for Council to support planned residential development in West Dapto and to improve access to the current residents of Horsley.

Call for nominations: Australian Training Awards

Businesses, training organisations, schools and individuals have until the end of the month to nominate for the 2013 Australian Training Awards. The awards showcase excellence in skills training and workforce development. Local MPs Sharon Bird and Stephen Jones are encouraging local people to enter. “This is a fantastic opportunity for local businesses and organisations in the Illawarra to achieve recognition for their hard work,” Member for Cunningham, Sharon Bird said. “Categories include employer and small employer of the year. With so many small businesses in my electorate, I urge them to apply.” Ms Bird said.                                        “I am encouraging trainers and employers who have a hardworking apprentice or student to put them forward for the student and apprentice categories,” Member for Throsby, Stephen Jones said. “Entries close at the end of May so there is not much time left to put in nominations for the 2013 awards.” Mr Jones said. Of the 18 award categories, seven accept applications directly with the remainder nominated from state and territory training awards programs. To apply for the Australian Training Awards visit or phone 13 38 73. Entries close at the end of May Continue reading

Thousands more homes to be connected to Labor's NBN

Our campaign to get even more local homes and businesses included on the next stage of the NBN rollout has been successful. My vision for our region is one with a strong economy that can provide jobs for us and our children and having the NBN connected to my whole electorate is a critical part of that vision. With the release of NBN Co’s next rollout plan - almost all of my electorate of Throsby is scheduled to be connected up to fibre. So this is great news for us all, but particularly for people living in the Southern Highlands, Albion Park and Oak Flats – and those that have been campaigning hard for this like the Albion Park Chamber of Commerce. Continue reading

New round for Industry Innovation Precincts now open

Illawarra industry has an opportunity to benefit from the Gillard Labor Government’s $1 billion Plan for Australian Jobs. Illawarra MP’s Sharon Bird and Stephen Jones have today announced that the next round of applications to host one of the up to eight Industry Innovation Precincts proposed by the Gillard Labor Government is now open. “Today the Government has invited the next round of industry-led applications to establish an Industry Innovation Precinct,” said Member for Cunningham, Sharon Bird. “Industry Innovation Precincts will be industry led and will bring industry, firms, research institutions, technology experts and government agencies together – they will work to achieve the innovations, connections and scale that our businesses need to succeed in the future” she said.  “The Plan for Australian Jobs Plan builds on Labor’s strong support for industry since coming to office including the $1 billion package to help manufactures cut energy costs and improve competitiveness” Ms Bird said. Continue reading

Local MPs welcome Maldon Dombarton tender

Illawarra MPs Sharon Bird and Stephen Jones have welcomed the announcement by Transport for NSW to tender for specialist teams to undertake surveying for the Maldon to Dombarton Rail Link. Transport for NSW has advertised for specialist services to survey land boundaries and topography and identify any underground utility services along the partially completed rail line. “The Maldon-Dombarton rail link will have a great effect on growth in our region and I welcome this next step towards making this project a reality” Member for Cunningham, Sharon Bird said. “The Federal Government has allocated $25.5 million to Transport for NSW under the Nation Building Program to undertake these planning and pre construction design studies, and it is fantastic to see this progressing” Ms Bird said. “This rail line will link Port Kembla directly to the Main South Line at Picton, which will greatly improve freight access for the Illawarra region” Member for Throsby, Stephen Jones said. “These teams of specialists will follow on from the current engineering and environmental investigations already taking place and will locate existing track, fauna crossings and adjoining roads to provide an accurate map of the corridor” Mr Jones said.

New Job Opportunities for Shellharbour

Federal Member for Throsby Stephen Jones today welcomed the announcement that seven local community organisations will receive more than $1.2 million from the Australian Labor Government to improve education, training and employment opportunities for people in Shellharbour. Lighthouse Community Care, Southern Youth and Family Services, The Salvation Army, Access Community Group, Illawarra Aboriginal Corporation, House of Hope Recovery Centre and Shellharbour Aboriginal Community Youth Association were all successful in the second round of the Local Solutions Fund. Minister for Human Services, Senator Jan McLucas today announced the successful projects and said she was looking forward to seeing the projects put into action. “The projects that have been allocated funding have been designed by the local community, for the local community,” Senator McLucas said. Continue reading

Abbott's new super tax to hit retail and hospitality workers hardest

New figures released by local MP’s Sharon Bird and Stephen Jones today have revealed that 45,000 workers in the Illawarra will be slugged by Tony Abbott’s plan to reimpose a 15 per cent superannuation tax on low income and part-time workers. The figures released today also reveal that shop assistants, waiters, bartenders and cleaners will be hardest hit. Member for Cunningham, Sharon Bird MP stated that an average of 57 percent of all food preparation assistants and 53 percent of all checkout operators would also be worse off under Abbott’s plan. “Tony Abbotts Super tax is an attack on the retirement savings of 45,000 people in the Illawarra who earn under $37,000 a year – the majority of which are women” Sharon Bird said. “The retirement savings of some of the poorest people in the Illawarra are at risk under an Abbott Government. These figures show about a third of hospitality and childcare workers, and about a quarter of electricians in our community will be worse off” Ms Bird said. The suburb of Wollongong will be the hardest hit under Abbott’s plan, with 5,295 local residents set to be slugged under this new tax. Also among the worst off in the region will be Dapto, Albion Park, Corrimal and Bellambi. “Ever since Labor introduced it over 20 years ago, we have been the champions of superannuation for the benefit of all Australians” Throsby MP Stephen Jones said. Continue reading