Swansea E-News 

Welcome back to my fortnightly newsletter.

In local news, the annual Merchant Mariners Lost in Time of War Memorial Service at Norah Head was held on 4 December. Transport for NSW is also conducting works on Scenic Drive, Buff Point.

In state news, the Minns Labor Govenment has announced a taskforce to tackle emergency department wait times and have outlined our plan to address the housing crisis.

The Community Notice Board contains information on the Swansea Men's Shed, Surf Club Facility Program, the Belmont Hospital Volunteer Auxiliary, Belmont & District Residents' Action Group, savings for pensioners, Belmont Hospital Volunteers, Swansea Mobile Shower and Orange Sky Laundry. 


Merchant Mariners Memorial Service

It is always an honour to attend the annual memorial for merchant mariners lost in a time of war at Norah Head. 

Despite the rain, it was a fantastic turnout with strong representation from local schools and scouts organisations. 

Our community has a proud maritime history and the event is always an important event in the calendar.

Lest We Forgot.

Ongoing Road Works

Night work will be undertaken by Transport for NSW along Scenic Drive, Buff Point from Station Road to the intersection of Narambi Road and Walu Avenue. The work will occur from Monday 4 December to Wednesday 6 December, and Tuesday 12 to Thursday 14 December.

These works will determine the condition of the road to help plan for future resurfacing works.

As a result, there will be some temporary traffic changes to ensure the work zone is safe. Both east and westbound traffic will be affected. Lane closures will reduce traffic to one lane, with traffic controllers used to manage the traffic flow, and a 40km/h speed limit in place.

Additional Support for Women Reporting Domestic Violence

The NSW Government is continuing to increase support offered to women reporting domestic violence with the expansion of the Women’s Domestic Violence Court Advocacy Service (WDVCAS) and NSW Police Force Co-location Pilot, to additional locations in Sydney and regional NSW. 

This crucial initiative provides the co-location of a specialist domestic and family violence worker at police stations to improve the response to women who attend a station to report, or seek help in relation to domestic and family violence. 

With an additional funding injection of $1.4 million, the program will be expanded to Blacktown, Toronto/ Belmont, Taree, Walgett and Albury Police Stations.

Investment Boost for Central Coast Roads

Central Coast roads will benefit from $5.7 million in funding from the new Regional Emergency Road Repair Fund (RERRF). This is funding that has been championed by the local Central Coast Labor team.

The Fund supports councils across regional NSW to fix damaged roads, providing an additional $390 million to regional councils to start vital repair and maintenance work.


This new cash injection of $5.7 million will enable Central Coast Council to proceed with urgent road and pothole repairs across the 2,000-kilometre local road network.

Funding will be provided to Central Coast Council before the end of the year to use straight away on local roads. The method to determine funding for the Central Coast and each Council in NSW is based on kilometres of road network (including sealed and unsealed) managed in the Local Government Areas.

Additionally, the NSW Government will create a new $334 million Regional Roads Fund to build new roads and roundabouts, replace or repair old bridges and improve safety at crash blackspots in rural and regional areas.


Labor Establishes Taskforce to Tackle Emergency Department Wait Times

The Minns Labor Government will establish a new taskforce to tackle emergency department (ED) wait times.


The ED Taskforce comes off the back of the success of the Surgical Care Taskforce – established on the Health Minister’s first day in office – which has seen overdue surgeries more than halved.


The ED Taskforce will comprise of health workers and NSW Health officials, from across the state’s various local health districts and specialty networks, including from regional communities.


It will be tasked with identifying and implementing efficiencies, including initiatives to reduce unnecessary presentations; address bed block and improve patient flow; safely discharge patients more quickly; improve the experience of patients and staff in the ED; and move patients to parts of the system with more capacity where clinically appropriate.


The Minister for Health Ryan Park has instructed NSW Health to draft terms of reference; appoint membership of the taskforce; and set a first meeting date. 

A significant factor in the record demand on hospitals is the proportion of cases that could be treated in primary or aged care settings.


Almost half of all presentations to EDs were either category 4 (e.g. sprained ankle, earache) or category 5 (e.g. small cuts or abrasions).


A further BHI report on patient experiences in small rural hospitals shows that 45 per cent of patients felt they could have been treated by a GP or other health professional.


This will remain a focus of the ED Taskforce.


The NSW Government is also embracing a suite of innovative initiatives to divert unnecessary presentations to hospitals and relieve pressure on GPs.


This includes rolling out 25 urgent care services across the state; empowering pharmacists to prescribe certain medications; increasing the use of virtual care; and making it easier for doctors in regional health districts to work in both GP and hospital settings.

Addressing the Housing Crisis

Housing is the biggest single cost of living pressure people are dealing with right now, with mortgage payments or rent the largest expense for most households.

But housing supply isn’t keeping up with demand.


Last year NSW recorded fewer overall completions than Victoria – despite NSW’s higher population, producing about six homes for every 1000 people each year, compared to eight in Victoria and nine in Queensland.


Despite NSW having the largest population, the largest expected increase in population, the highest rents and the highest medium house prices, NSW is last on the east coast when it comes to housing completions.

NSW completed 48,000 new buildings in 2022. This was behind Victoria with 59,000 completions – despite our state’s higher population.

The NSW Labor Government also inherited development application processing times that had slowed to an average of 116 days in March 2023.

The housing supply shortfall is behind Sydney unit rents increasing by 24 per cent over the year to the end of September 2023, along with house rents lifting by 11 per cent.


Back in the early 1980s, the average house in Sydney cost $78,900, or about five times a full-time average wage. Now, the price of a typical Sydney house is 17 times more expensive and is 14 times the average income.


The NSW Government believes if we are going to tackle this crisis, to create more housing supply that will drive down the cost of renting or make buying a home more affordable, we need more homes, our city will have to change. 

The Government plan included a Transport Orientated Development Program, Low and Mid Rise Reforms, and Building Well-Connected Communities.

More details are available here.


Swansea Men's Shed

Swansea Men's Shed is seeking new members. The Men's Shed encourages and supports local men to become involved in projects or just meet at our community facility on a social basis.

Swansea Men’s Shed caters for members who wish to do woodwork, metalwork, gardening, model trains or leatherwork whether on a Shed project or a project of their own.

It is located at 74 Pacific Highway Blacksmiths. If you would like to join, please contact John on 02 4006 8828.

Surf Club Facility Program

The NSW Government's $5.25 million Surf Club Facility Program is now open.

The Government has provided an additional $5 million in funding over the next four years.

Clubs can receive grants up to $1 million for the upgrade, restoration, or construction of these critical surf life saving facilities.

The Program features three categories with Category 1 closing on 11 December 2023 and Categories 2 and 3 closing on 31 January 2024.

For further information and to apply please visit the website.

Belmont & District Residents' Action Group

The Belmont & District Residents' Action Group is a local community group that advocates on behalf of Belmont and surrounding suburbs on a range of local issues. The group engages with local, state and federal levels of government. The group is seeking new members and if you would like to join, please contact Robin Gordon on robingordon1942@gmail.com.

Belmont Hospital Volunteer Auxiliary

The Belmont Hospital Volunteer Auxiliary truly are a great help to hospital staff. Beginning 50 years ago with a trolley service to patients and staff, the Auxiliary now has a team of more than 30 volunteers who provide 3 services:

  • Patient Care which does administration work for all the departments within the hospital. It also sells craft and personal items to assist our patients and visitors
  • Meet & Greet work from the foyer and assist visitors navigate around our hospital
  • Kiosk provides food and beverages to staff, visitors and patients

All services run 5 days per week. The Auxiliary are always looking for more volunteers to join their team. They work on a weekly or fortnightly roster (with the option to work full or half days). If you are keen to join this wonderful team call Fay Smith (President) on 0427 488 499.

Savings for Pensioners 

The rise in the cost of living has been hitting many people hard, especially pensioners. Here are 10 ways for NSW pensioners to save:

  1. Council rate rebates: Pensioners are entitled to up to $250 a year off their council rates. For more information visit the Lake Macquarie City Council and Central Coast Council websites. 
  2. Electricity rebate: The Low Income Household Rebate will shave up to $285 a year off your electricity bill for households with a retail provider.
  3. Gas rebate: This rebate will give you a discount of up to $110 a year.
  4. Water rates: Eligible pensioners can access a quarterly rebate, shaving hundreds of dollars a year off a typical household bill. 
  5. Revenue NSW Unclaimed Money: Find “lost” money waiting to be claimed from inactive bank accounts, shares and investments, insurance policies, unpaid wages, unclaimed super and deceased estates.
  6. Travel vouchers: Pensioners are entitled to four Pensioner Travel Vouchers each calendar year. They can be used for two return or four single trips, giving access to free or discounted travel in economy class on NSW TrainLink Regional services within regional NSW.
  7. Free car rego: Pensioners in NSW don’t pay registration fees or motor vehicle tax on one of their cars. They also receive free driver’s licences, free driving tests and concessions on the cost of Mobility Parking Scheme permits.
  8. Free glasses: You can get yourself one pair of single vision glasses or one pair of bifocal glasses in a two-year period under the NSW Spectacles Program.
  9. Seniors Card: The NSW Seniors Card is packed with discounts for thousands of retailers and services across the state from groceries to tradespeople and insurance.

I encourage all seniors to apply for these savings if they haven't already. 

Belmont Hospital Volunteers

Swansea Mobile Shower Van  

Orange Sky Laundry

Get in Touch

Click here to email Yasmin Catley MP

Click here to visit Yasmin's website 

Shop 1

204 Pacific Highway

Swansea NSW 2281

PO Box 306

Swansea NSW 2281

Phone: (02) 4972 1133

Fax: (02) 4972 1494

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Authorised by Yasmin Catley MP, Shop 1, 204 Pacific Highway, Swansea NSW 2281.
Produced using parliamentary entitlements