Throsby News: NBN, Funding for Students with Disability, Earth Hour.

Welcome to the weekly Throsby eReport. I look forward to keeping in you touch with what's happening in the electorate

NBN-map2.jpgIt's been another exciting week, with the release yesterday of the new 3-year National Broadband Network rollout plan. It was fantastic to see so many suburbs in this electorate have been included.

The Throsby locations to be connected by 30 June 2015 are:

DAPTO - 12,800 homes and businesses including Brownsville, Dapto, Haywards Bay, Horsley, Kanahooka, Koonawarra and Penrose.

PORT KEMBLA – 14,300 homes and businesses including Berkeley, Coniston, Cordeaux Heights, Cringila, Farmborough Heights, Lake Heights, Port Kembla, Primbee, Unanderra, Warrawong and Windang.

SHELLHARBOUR – 7,500 homes and businesses including Barrack Heights, Barrack Point, Blackbutt, Flinders, Lake Illawarra, Mount Warrigal, Shell Cove, Shellharbour, Shellharbour City Centre and Warilla.

In the 21st century, the internet is basic infrastructure – Australian families rely on it, and Australian businesses need it. It’s become an essential utility - like electricity or water and we know that unless we upgrade to the NBN, our outdated copper network will choke Australia’s economy in the future, slowing our growth and putting Australia behind the rest of the world.

We need the NBN to secure our economic future, which is why the Gillard Government is kicking the rollout into high gear, delivering high-speed, reliable broadband to every home and business in Australia.

Most importantly, the NBN will be affordable for families. I know that because earlier this week I spoke to a couple in Kiama who told me that their NBN package is three times as fast and half the cost of their previous broadband service.

To check out when you’re getting access to the NBN, go to and enter your address or call 1800 881 816.


Extra funding for students with disability

More than 100,000 NSW school students with disability will have greater access to classroom support and specialised equipment thanks to $63million from the Gillard Government’s More Support for Students with Disabilities initiative.

This feeds into the NSW Government’s Every Student, Every School initiative that gives children with disability the best possible education, by ensuring teachers and schools are more able to meet their learning and support needs. The $63million boost from the Federal Government will help students with disability finish their schooling and secure a job by:

  • Providing appropriate assistive technologies to support students to work more independently in inclusive environments
  • Training and mentoring teachers and school leaders to build their skills and knowledge in special education
  • Supporting the establishment of specialist teacher support in every NSW Government school
  • Developing materials and providing professional development and other support to help teachers adjust curriculums to meet students individual needs
  • Expanding specialist support services and resource options for students with complex disabilities and high support needs
  • Providing health, allied health or other professionals to strengthen schools support for students with disability

This is a practical example of the Gillard Government’s commitment to ensuring all students, regardless of their circumstances, can get the best education possible and the best chance to succeed in life.


Earth Hour 2012

This Saturday 31 March is the sixth official ‘Earth Hour’, when more than 4000 cities in more than 130 countries take part in the symbolism of switching to darkness for an hour at 8:30pm.

The threat of climate change worries a great many people and Earth Hour gives them an opportunity to mark that concern. It is a global grassroots movement encouraging individuals, businesses and governments to take positive actions for the environment and celebrate their commitment to the planet by switching off their lights for one designated hour from 8:30pm AEDST.

Parliament House is joining in the movement by switching off all non-essential building lights, computers, televisions and other electrical equipment.

This is part of their challenge to achieve 10% energy efficiency and draw attention to the Do Something! energy efficiency campaign, which encourages households and businesses to work towards reducing their overall energy use or emissions by 10%.

Further information about Earth Hour 2012 can be found at and the Do Something! energy efficiency campaign at


Shellharbour Citizenship Ceremony

This week I attended the Public Citizenship Ceremony at the Shellharbour where I was given the honour of welcoming a group of new Australians to our region on behalf of Chris Bowen, Mister for Immigration and Citizenship. The ceremony added a special significance to those attaining their Australian citizenship and provided a great occasion for the recipients, their families and close friends to celebrate the life defining moment. 


What’s coming up –

I’ll be in the electorate again next week taking part in two important events:

I’m hosting a Gonski Education forum at Oxley College in the Southern Highlands on Tuesday evening. This is a great opportunity to meet with teachers, principals and parents to discuss key issues surrounding the new funding model for Australian public schools and hear feedback on what needs to be done.

If you would like to attend the forum, it will be held on:

Tuesday April 3, 5:30-7:30pm, Oxley College, Railway Rd, Burradoo.

Tuesday is also Southern Highlands Constituent Day. I’ll be taking meetings all afternoon with locals in Moss Vale to hear about a range of issues important to the residents of Throsby.

If you would like to book in for a short meeting, please phone my office on (02) 4262 6122.