Swansea E-News 

Welcome to my last e-newsletter for 2022. It has been a pleasure to represent and assist the people of Swansea once again this year. I hope you enjoy Christmas with your families and have a great New Year. I look forward to seeing you all in 2023.

This year has been busy, especially the past couple of weeks.

Locally, the Liberal Government has broken a key dredging commitment. We saw the Liberals finally show some interest in the housing crisis on the Central Coast, announcing five planning proposals. I attended the annual Merchant Mariners Lost in a Time of War Memorial Service at Norah Head. I have also been visiting local schools and groups who have received funding from the Community Building Partnership Program.

NSW Labor revealed its plan to make renting fairer across the state. The latest Bureau of Health Information (BHI) data was released. Labor also addressed the Liberal Government's failed $13.5 million Recruitment Beyond NSW program.

The Community Notice Board contains information on the NSW Regional Outdoor Survey, Belmont Hospital Volunteer Auxiliary, savings for pensioners, Swansea Mobile Shower and Orange Sky Laundry. 


Liberals Break Swansea Channel Dredging Commitment

In May, the Minister for Transport advised me that sand dredged from upcoming dredging campaigns would be transferred to Blacksmiths Beach for renourishment. The Government has now stated the sand dredged early next year will not be immediately transported to the beach. Instead, it will be stockpiled on the sand islands or at the old Belmont Sands stockpile site. This announcement is the latest example of the Liberals failing to deliver a suitable dreading program for Swansea Channel. This is disappointing news for locals, especially the Bring Blacksmiths Back group, who are strong advocates for renourishing Blacksmiths Beach. The community is tired of Swansea Channel not being dredged. It is the gateway to Lake Macquarie, yet it is virtually unnavigable. It is time the NSW Liberal Government followed through with its dredging commitments. 

Central Coast Housing Planning Proposal

My Central Coast Labor colleagues and I have been urging the NSW Liberal Government to address the region's dire housing crisis for years. It was pleasing to see the Government finally acknowledge the problem earlier this week when it announced that five planning proposals have been finalised, which would build 1,300 new homes. Whilst this is good news for our community, more action needs to be taken to appropriately address the housing crisis, including establishing more security for renters by ending no-fault evictions, along with increasing the supply of social housing. I will be closely monitoring the development proposals and ensure the community is properly consulted.

Merchant Mariners Memorial

It was a beautiful day at the Merchant Mariners Lost in a Time of War Memorial Service at Norah Head. Merchant mariners and the merchant navy have played a vital role in war efforts and ensuring our safety. Coming from a family of seafarers, and representing an electorate with a strong merchant mariner history, the annual service is very important to me. It was lovely to lay a wreath on behalf of the community. Lest We Forget.

Community Building Partnership

Since 2019, the Swansea electorate has received $1.4 million from the Community Building Partnership program. The program awards grants for community infrastructure projects that provide positive social, environmental, and recreational outcomes. I have supported many community groups and schools over the years with their applications, and over the past couple of weeks I have been busy visiting some of the most recent successful applicants to present them with their cheques. The successful applicants from the 2022 Program are:

  • Valentine Eleebana Soccer Club
  • Swansea Men's Shed
  • Northlakes High School P&C
  • Valentine Hydrotherapy Pools
  • Mannering Park Scouts
  • Mannering Park CWA
  • Belmont Swansea United Football Club
  • Pelican Croquet Club
  • Jewells Primary School P&C
  • Caves Beach SLSC
  • Eastlakes Athletics Centre
  • Eastlakes U3A
  • Marine Rescue Lake Macquarie
  • Novacare
  • Northlakes Public School P&C
  • Gwandalan Public School P&C

Applications will soon open for the 2023 Program. To receive alerts and more information on the upcoming round, visit the NSW Government website.


Fairer Renting Under Labor

Housing affordability has skyrocketed under this Liberal Government. One in three NSW households are now renters, and they are struggling to make ends meet with rising costs. It is clear that action must be taken to ease the cost of living pressure on renters. That is why NSW Labor has announced it will make renting fairer and more affordable by:

  • Establishing a NSW Rental Commissioner to be an advocate and voice for renters, working closely with both renters and owners, along with government and stakeholders;
  • Introducing a portable bonds scheme to help relieve some of the cost pressures of moving homes by allowing renters to transfer their bond from one property to another;
  • Introducing reasons for eviction;
  • Banning secret rent bidding to ensure more transparency for renters;
  • Increasing housing supply by looking at transport land holdings close to public transport;
  • Targeting 30 per cent social, affordable, and universal housing on surplus public land, including an audit of all available public land close to Metro stations and infrastructure 

BHI Data Highlights Health Crisis

Newly released BHI data confirms that the Liberal Government has plunged our health system into crisis. In our emergency departments patients are waiting longer to start treatment. At the John Hunter Hospital only 60.8% of patients started treatment on time. The story is similar at Belmont Hospital with just 68.6% of emergency department patients starting treatment on time. Furthermore, at Wyong Hospital, just 51.6% of patients left hospital within 4 hours, and waiting times for urgent surgery have skyrocketed to 19 days at Belmont Hospital, the highest on record! These figures are extremely distressing. Our health workers have taken to the streets to raise the alarm over the lack of resourcing in our hospitals after a decade of Liberal Government. We are now left with a health system that will require structural reform to get back on track.

Liberals Flunk Overseas Teacher Recruitment Strategy

The Liberal Government's $13.5 million Recruitment Beyond NSW program has been a complete and utter failure. The scheme promised 460 overseas teachers, however, it has only provided three! NSW is in a midst of a chronic teacher shortage, which has meant merged and cancelled classes, and students falling behind in national and international rankings when it comes to literacy, numeracy and science. Labor will clean up the Liberals disastrous recruitment program mess by redirecting unallocated funding from the strategy towards:

  • Matching NSW teaching graduates directly with vacant teaching positions, ensuring new graduates aren’t lost to the school system
  • Providing permanent teaching job offers earlier to ensure high-achieving teacher education students have guaranteed teaching roles upon graduation
  • Expanding the Hub Schools Program to provide more partnerships between schools and teacher education providers
  • Creating a state-wide teacher placements system to match specialist teachers with schools’ subject needs
  • Creating a $20 million Innovative Teacher Training Fund, to support innovative pathways into teaching
  • Expanding evening and weekend Master of Teaching courses for career-changers, by partnering with teacher education providers so career-changers can earn an income whilst retraining as a teacher

Labor is committed to valuing the teaching profession, putting a stop to increasing attrition from the profession and bringing teachers back into NSW schools. 


NSW Regional Outdoor Survey

The Department of Planning and Environment has recently launched the NSW Regional Outdoor Survey. The survey is an opportunity for locals to share what is important to them about public open space. The information gathered will be used to shape future government public open space programs. The findings will also be shared with Councils to help inform future planning, design and construction of public open spaces. For more information and to participate in the survey, visit the NSW Government website.

Fee-Free TAFE

Fee-free TAFE has been established to provide tuition-free training places for people wanting to train, retrain or upskill. TAFE NSW will provide more than 300 qualifications from certificates to diplomas that align to the state’s priority industry growth sectors, free of tuition fees for eligible students. Enrolments are now open for 2023 courses, including Certificate Three in Community Services at Belmont TAFE. For more information and to apply, visit the TAFE NSW website.

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 or Doris Lack (Vice President) on 0405 059 747.

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. Regional seniors travel card: The regional seniors travel card provides eligible seniors living in regional, rural and remote areas of NSW with a $250 prepaid card to help ease the cost of travel. 
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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. 

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