Federal Member for Throsby Stephen Jones is calling on Infrastructure Minister Warren Truss and the NSW Government to work together to complete the Maldon-Dombarton Rail Link.
“Federal Labor has been determined to progress this infrastructure project to cement the Illawarra’s status as one of our nation’s most important industrial powerhouses”, said Jones.
“With the release of the new NSW Freight and Ports Strategy, there are no more excuses left. All obstacles are gone.”
“The report reveals the need for an alternate rail route to separate freight and passenger lines in the region.”
Federal Member for Throsby Stephen Jones says he is outraged the Abbott Government is refusing to honour funding for projects under the Regional Development Australian Fund (RDAF) Round 5.
“The Wingecarribee Shire Council was supposed to receive $263,297 in RDAF funding to upgrade Exeter Hall and add a new amenities building”, said Jones.
“This important regional project has now been axed.”
“By refusing to release this money into the community, Infrastructure Minister Warren Truss is denying the Southern Highlands regional economy the support they need to maintain local employment and create new jobs”, said Jones.
“Construction and fit-out of the hall would have provided 8 months employment to local builders and countless apprenticeship opportunities.”
“The increase in potential hiring of the venue for community events and celebrations would have created a slew of hospitality and tourism jobs too.”
“The Minister knows the Labor Government fully funded this project in the Budget.”
“The money is sitting there, waiting to provide these opportunities for local businesses and jobseekers. There is absolutely no reason why the project should not continue.”
“I’m calling on Minister Truss to come clean with Wingecarribee Shire Council and the people of the Southern Highlands and explain why he is cutting their funding.”
Shadow Minister for Communications Jason Clare, Member for Cunningham Sharon Bird and Member for Throsby Stephen Jones today met with residents in Horsley, who are just some of 29,000 locals wiped off the NBN rollout map by the Coalition Government.
“Countless residents have been contacting Sharon and myself over the past month concerned about the future of the NBN here in the region”, said Mr Jones.
“And they have every right to be concerned. One day they’re seeing NBN trucks in their streets. The next day they’re gone.”
“There was no warning. No apology and no real explanation from the Government and what’s going to happen next.”
“Invisibility is not transparency. Malcolm Turnbull has a responsibility to explain to local residents, who had been promised the NBN, when they will be connected and what they will get”, said Ms Bird.
Federal Member for Throsby Stephen Jones says four local multicultural organisations are at risk of losing more than $24,000 in Commonwealth funding due to cuts to the Building Multicultural Communities Program by the Abbott Government.
“There is no reason to cut these grants. Every single one of these grants were awarded under proper procedures and fully funded in the 2013-14 Labor Government Budget”, said Jones.
“The community organisations were notified of their successful application for funding and have been expecting that funding to be released since August.”
Sharon Bird MP, Member for Cunningham, and Stephen Jones MP, Member for Throsby, are pleased to announce that the ballot for Australians who would like the opportunity to attend Anzac Day commemorations at Gallipoli in 2015 will open at midnight tonight.
To ensure that Australians and New Zealanders can attend as safely, securely and comfortably as possible, a fair, open and transparent ballot is being held to allocate places for official Anzac Day commemorations at Gallipoli in 2015.
Places will be available for 8,000 Australians, 2,000 New Zealanders and 500 official representatives of all countries involved in the Gallipoli campaign.
Of the 8,000 Australian places, 2,000 will be available for special representatives such as direct descendants, the veteran community and secondary school students and their chaperones. The remaining 6,000 places (3,000 double passes) will be accessible to all Australians to apply.
Widows of Australian First World War veterans do not need to apply for the ballot and will be contacted separately by the Department of Veterans’ Affairs regarding their interest in attending.
All ballot applicants must meet specific eligibility criteria including Australian citizenship or permanent residency and be a minimum of 18 years of age on, or before, 25 April 2015.
The ballots close at midnight on 31 January 2013 and applicants will be notified of the outcome in March 2014 to allow enough time for those successful to make their travel arrangements and pay for the trip.
For more information on Anzac Day commemorations at Gallipoli, eligibility for the ballot and to apply, visit www.gallipoli2015.dva.gov.au. To request a paper application form, call Ticketek on 1300 364 002.
Local MP’s Sharon Bird and Stephen Jones say that the Abbott Government’s plan to reimpose a 15 per cent superannuation tax on low income and part-time workers will leave more 45,000 workers in the region up to $500 worse off every year - with the retail and hospitality sectors being the hardest hit.
“Tony Abbott’s Super tax is an attack on the retirement savings of thousands of people in the Illawarra who earn under $37,000 a year – the majority of which are women” Sharon Bird said.
“A significant percentage of local low income earners are mothers working part-time while looking after young children.”
“This is exactly the part of a woman’s career where an additional $500 a year going into superannuation will be of most benefit for building savings for their retirement,” said Ms Bird.
“Government decisions demonstrate priorities”, said Jones.
Federal Members, Sharon Bird and Stephen Jones, have today demanded explanation from Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull about the disappearance of whole suburbs from the NBN Co website.
It appears that the company’s website, which used to show suburbs where construction would commence within twelve months or three years, has been updated to only show suburbs that have an existing construction contract.
“Whole suburbs that have been anticipating the rollout commencing to bring the fibre to their home will be shocked to discover today that they have been taken completely off the map. We have spent the last two years working with our local community to develop new models of businesses and service delivery to help with the transformation of our region and now we are in complete limbo thanks to the Abbott Government – it is even worse than we feared in the election campaign.” Ms Bird said.
Stephen Jones says he is outraged that thousands of homes and businesses that he had pushed hard to be added to the rollout timetable are now being left in limbo.
Federal Member for Throsby Stephen Jones is calling on the Federal Government and Australian Tax Office to do everything necessary to ensure Gujarat NRE workers are remunerated their unpaid wages and entitlements to allow them to get back to work.
“I’m calling on the Government and ATO to work with NRE for a swift resolution to this dispute so the company can recommence full operations”, said Jones.
“These workers are doing it tough. They’ve been without pay for five weeks now and it is having a knock-on effect to local businesses and the local economy.”
“I’m told miners at Russell Vale and Wongawilli will cease work today.”
“They have been incredibly patient but have been working for over a month without pay, and with no end in sight.”
“It’s in everyone’s interest to get this resolved immediately.”
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