Swansea E-News 

Welcome to my fortnightly newsletter.

I would like to congratulate all the winners of the Central Coast Council Australia Day Awards:

  • Citizen of the Year - Matthew Blakemore
  • Community Group (Joint Winners) - 3 Villages Community Group and Elderslee Foundation
  • Community Life - Roberta Dixon-Valk
  • Volunteer - Regina Doyle
  • Young Person - Anannya Bandaru
  • Senior Citizen - Robert Mulvey

The Lake Mac awards will take place later this year.

In state news, Parliament resumed this week for the first time in 2024. The NSW Government has hit the ground running delivering more doctors and nurses for our hospitals.

The Community Notice Board contains information on the Swansea Men's Shed, Share the Dignity Drive, 2024 NSW Seniors Local Achievement Awards, the Belmont Hospital Volunteer Auxiliary, Belmont & District Residents' Action Group, savings for pensioners, Belmont Hospital Volunteers, Swansea Mobile Shower and Orange Sky Laundry. 


Wyong Hospital Parking to Remain Free

The NSW Government has announced that patients and visitors will continue to enjoy free parking at Wyong Hospital.

Parking at Wyong Hospital was expanded as part of the major $200 million redevelopment with a recommendation to include paid parking. 

Following a review initiated by the Government and community feedback, parking will remain free.

Delivering More Local Health Professionals

The NSW Government is delivering on our election commitment to rebuild our essential services including the recent deployment of more than 1,000 junior doctors across the state.

That includes 109 that have commenced in the Hunter New England Local Health District and 70 in the Central Coast Local Health District.

Alongside these junior doctors, more than 100 new nurses have also commenced work in the Hunter New England Local Health District after being recruited from the United Kingdom and Ireland.

Pharmacy Trial Taking Pressure Off Local GPs

The NSW Government has commenced a trial to allow pharmacists to provide medications for uncomplicated UTIs and low-risk oral contraceptive pills.

Allowing pharmacists to dispense these everyday medications takes the pressure off local GPs.

It’s part of the NSW Government’s response to improve access to GPs for those who need them the most.

The initiative is also helping to address the cost of living pressures by reducing the medical expenses patients face when seeking everyday medications.

Between 1 July 2023 and 18 January on the Central Coast, there have been 545 consultations, the second most of any region in the state. The program has also been strongly supported in the Hunter with Newcastle, Lake Macquarie and Maitland also featuring in the top five regions for take-up rate.


Tackling the Skills Shortage

The NSW Government is continuing to reskill the State with applications now open for the NSW Public Sector Apprentices and Trainees Program, delivering on the Government’s commitment to employ 1000 extra apprentices.

The $93.5 million investment, committed during the state election, will provide an opportunity for up to 1,000 apprentices and trainees to join more than 30 government agencies and state-owned corporations. 

Under the former government, the NSW skills sector was undervalued and neglected, which led to a 33 percent decline in apprenticeship and traineeship commencements since 2011.


However, the NSW Labor Government understands how important a strong vocational education system is for skills and training in NSW.

Over three years of training, until June 2026, successful applicants will be able to:


1.     Earn and learn on the job;

2.     Have access to excellent career opportunities and industry experience;

3.     Gain support from highly experienced and skilled industry professionals;

4.     Build hands-on, practical experience; and

5.     Earn nationally recognised qualifications.


There are more than 50 qualifications available in the program with more than half of the roles based regionally.


To learn more about the initiative and register interest, visit The 1,000 NSW Public Sector Apprentices and Trainees Program | NSW Government

virtualKIDS Urgent Care Service

The NSW Government’s free virtualKIDS Urgent Care Service is now available to all children and families across the state, and has already helped almost 1,000 families since expanding late last month.


Families from across NSW are now able to access virtualKIDS via referral from healthdirect on 1800 022 222.


Within a month of being elected last year, the NSW Labor Government committed to a statewide rollout – to help more families access the right care, at the right time, and in the right place.


virtualKIDS uses video conferencing technology to connect families with a clinical nurse to determine the best care pathway based on each child’s needs.


This may be visiting an emergency department, a consultation with a virtualKIDS expert pediatrician, a trip to the GP, or recovering at home with guidance for the family.


Around two in three kids referred to the Urgent Care Service avoid needing to step foot in an emergency department.


The NSW Government’s statewide rollout helps parents and kids avoid unnecessary trips to hospital and potentially long waits to be seen, especially if after-hours.

There is no cost to parents or carers if their child has a Medicare card – it is just like a visit to a hospital emergency department.


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.

Share the Dignity Drive

My office will be a collection point for the Share the Dignity drive between the 1st and 31st of March.

Share the Dignity provides menstrual products to women in need such as those experiencing homelessness or fleeing domestic violence.

2024 NSW Seniors Local Achievement Awards

Nominations are now open for the 2024 NSW Seniors Local Achievement Awards.

If you know of a senior deserving of recognition please drop into my office to complete a nomination form.

Categories include:

• Business

• Environment, Science, Agriculture

• Health and Wellbeing

• Lifelong Learning

• Community Service

Nominations close on Friday, 16 February 2024.

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