Supporting Households to Bust their Energy Bills

Applications for the NSW Government’s Energy Bill Buster program to help households slash their power bills by up to $600 a year opened this week.

The 2022-23 NSW Budget included $128 million to help up to an initial 30,000 eligible households install solar or replace appliances with more energy efficient ones.

Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke has welcomed the NSW Government’s announcement of the program and encouraged eligible households to apply.

“The NSW Government is committed to supporting families with the cost of living and help them reduce their energy bills across the region,” Ms Cooke said.

“This program is designed to help take the pressure off families and put more money back into household budgets.”

The Energy Bill Buster program provides eligible households with more choice on how they manage their energy bills. 

The program enables households to make decisions that will deliver long term savings on their energy bills while making clean energy improvements to their homes.

Those renting or living in apartments who are unable to have solar installed may be eligible to swap their current annual rebate for a suite of energy efficient upgrades, helping to reduce demand on the grid and lower power prices for everyone.

Appliances available in the package include energy efficient fridges, dryers, air-conditioners, and hot water systems as well as upgrades such as window shading and draught sealing valued at up to $4000.

The benefits are not just for private homeowners and tenants. The solar swap will also be offered to eligible land and housing corporation tenants later this year.

Eligible households include pensioners and Department of Veterans Affairs Gold Card holders receiving the Low-Income Household Rebate who can receive ten years’ worth of rebates upfront to put towards solar or appliance upgrades.

Households can check their Bill Buster eligibility and apply from Monday, 1 August, 2022 at www.energysaver.nsw.gov.au/rebate-swap

Grenfell Sewerage Treatment Plant Officially Opened

A new $12.3 million sewerage treatment facility has been officially opened in Grenfell, thanks to the NSW Government’s Restart NSW Fund.

Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke said it is fantastic to celebrate the completion of this crucial project for the Grenfell community.

“A reliable sewerage treatment facility is absolutely vital to support the township of Grenfell, so I am very pleased to see this project delivered in full,” Ms Cooke said.

“This modern facility will ensure the town’s requirements will be met for generations to come, with the works undertaken at the site a credit to all involved.”

Weddin Shire General Manager Ms Noreen Vu said the new facility will employ modern technology capable of processing 1500 kilolitres of effluent per day.

“Council acknowledges the professionalism of contractor Haslin Constructions throughout this project and we thank them for their ongoing support following completion,” Ms Vu said.

“The facility is the largest financial investment in Weddin Shire that Council has been involved in, delivering a project within budget and project milestones.”

Project Manager Mr Darren Taylor of Haslin Constructions said they are proud to have constructed a world class sewage treatment plant for Grenfell.

“We definitely went the extra mile to deliver a quality product, well beyond what the technical specifications required,” Mr Taylor said.

“In doing so, we utilised local labour across all disciplines which is fantastic.”

“The support from Steph Cooke Member for Cootamundra, Weddin Shire and the local community has been exceptional,” Mr Taylor added.

The completion of the Grenfell sewerage treatment facility is one of several water and sewerage infrastructure projects being delivered in the Cootamundra electorate, with the NSW Government building a safer, stronger regional NSW.

For more information about the NSW Government’s water and sewerage infrastructure programs, please go to: Water and sewerage infrastructure programs – Water in New South Wales (nsw.gov.au)

New Water Treatment Plant for Wyangala

Work has begun on a new $5.1 million Wyangala Water Treatment Plant which will deliver up to 800,000 litres of clean drinking water every day to village residents and the popular holiday park.

Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke said the new water treatment plant is a great step forward for the community and local economy.

“Turning on the tap to fill your glass with clean, treated water is something millions of Australians do every minute of every day, which is why I am pleased Wyangala village will finally have infrastructure in place that will enable them to do the same,” Ms Cooke said.

“It is fantastic this project has already injected $820,000 into the local economy which means more money in the till for regional business owners.”

“The principal contractor Enviropacific Services aims to employ one-third of its workforce locally and has engaged 17 local businesses, including companies providing fabrication, electrical installation, civil engineering, earth works and surveying services.”

Cowra Mayor Bill West welcomed the start of construction.

“The current water treatment plant at Wyangala is no longer fit for purpose, which is why we have been pushing to replace the ageing infrastructure to ensure locals have access to a reliable stream of clean, drinkable water,” Mayor West said.

“It is great to see workers on site because this means we are one step closer to improving the quality of the water for the town and Reflections Holiday Park, which is a major win for Wyangala.”

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Barnaby Joyce said residents will have safe, drinkable running water by early next year.

“Everyone deserves access to good quality drinking water,” the Deputy Prime Minister said.

“That’s why I have been working with the NSW Government to get shovels in the ground so we can get on with the job of building a more modern, efficient and reliable Water Treatment Plant that will provide clean potable water to residents.

“For the first time, treated drinking water will also be piped to the Reflections Holiday Park unlocking the economic potential of Wyangala as a tourism destination.”

NSW Minister for Lands and Water Kevin Anderson said the project will be a game changer for the town’s residents.

“The new water treatment plant will be almost double the size of the current plant which will enable residents and visitors to have better access to clean drinking water,” Mr Anderson said.

“The new infrastructure will make Wyangala an even better place to live, work and visit which is great news for local businesses.”

Federal Member for Riverina Michael McCormack said the Wyangala Water Treatment Plant would help unlock the region’s potential.

“This is what happens when you have good Coalition Governments working together at a Federal and State level to achieve great outcomes for regional communities,” Mr McCormack said.

“The wonderful Wyangala community deserves the best possible water infrastructure and we are delivering just that.”

Once the plant is finished in early 2023, it will be owned and operated by Cowra Shire Council.