Supporting Local Jobs with Record Apprentice Intake

The NSW Government has announced it will hire a record number of new apprentices and trainees to work on vital road and transport infrastructure in regional New South Wales.   

Member for Cootamundra, Steph Cooke said applications are now open for new apprentices and trainees in Gundagai and Narrandera. 

“This is a very welcome opportunity to train up locals and develop the next generation of skilled workers in the region,” Ms Cooke said. 

“I encourage anyone in Gundagai or Narrandera who may be interested in developing their skills or seeking a new career path working on road and transport infrastructure to take up this opportunity.” 

“It is great the NSW Government is continuing to provide these employment opportunities in regional NSW to support the significant amount of construction, upgrades and maintenance required across the regional transport network.” 

Minister for Regional Transport and Roads Sam Farraway said the program will provide more career opportunities and encourage more people to work in the regions.  

“By investing in our people now, we will attract and develop the next generation of skilled workers to keep NSW moving well into our future,” Mr Farraway said.  

“Applications are now open for 135 placements – an 80 per cent increase on last year – with last year’s intake made up of 46 per cent women and 24 per cent of Aboriginal people, and we’re eager to attract more. 

“We are very proud of this program – while we continue to build and maintain vital infrastructure for customers, it’s critical that we build a skills legacy to meet future needs.” 

Opportunities will be available across 10 disciplines including civil construction, bridge construction, painting and blasting, electrical, heavy diesel mechanic, business administration, project management and three news programs in marketing and communications, finance and safety, environment and quality. 

Currently 76 per cent of apprentices and trainees go on to secure permanent employment at Transport for NSW. 

Applications are open today and close midnight 7 August.  

For more information: https://www.transport.nsw.gov.au/apprentice-trainees 

Three New Probationary Constables Welcomed

Three new probationary constables are commencing duties in the Cootamundra electorate after they attested at a formal ceremony at the Goulburn Police Academy on June 24, 2022.

Member for Cootamundra, Steph Cooke has welcomed the new police officers to the region, with two to commence at Narrandera Police Station and one to commence at West Wyalong Police Station.

“The communities of Narrandera and West Wyalong are ready to welcome the new probationary constables and look forward to seeing them put their training into action in their new roles,” said Ms Cooke.

“I wish them every success in their policing careers. Being sworn in as a police officer is a great honour and I commend these new recruits for making the brave decision to put the community’s safety ahead of their own.”

Deputy Premier and Minister for Police Paul Toole congratulated the newest recruits in Goulburn.

“The 200 students of Class 353 have committed themselves to eight months of training at the Police Academy and should be acknowledged for their achievements,” Mr Toole said.

“Our current police officers across the state will welcome the new probationary constables over the coming weeks as they join the beat in regional, rural and metro communities.

“The NSW Government is proud to offer its continued support to the NSW Police Force as we strive to keep the people of NSW safe.”

In 2019 the NSW Government announced a record investment in police, with an additional 1500 officers over four years and committed $60 million to upgrade the Goulburn Police Academy.

Class 353 includes 134 men and 66 women from all ages, backgrounds and regions across the state and country.

Narrandera Sportsground Clubhouse and Changerooms Officially Opened

The new clubhouse and changerooms located at the Narrandera Sportsground were officially opened on Saturday with the Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke joining the Member for Farrer Sussan Ley, Narrandera Shire Council Mayor Neville Kschenka and the local community at the event.

Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke said project funding has been a collective effort with the NSW Government, Federal Government, Narrandera Shire Council, AFL Riverina and the Narrandera Imperial Football-Netball Club all providing support to the development.

“I would like to acknowledge all the hardworking individuals involved in making this dream project a reality, including Project Manager, the late Noel Crichton, Narrandera Shire Council Deputy General Manager Shane Wilson, and the Narrandera Imperial Football-Netball Club Clubrooms Committee, Joyleen Hutchins, Mark Savage, Graham Flynn and Gavin Sullivan,” Ms Cooke said.

“Enhancing these multi-sport facilities will greatly help local clubs like the Narrandera Imperial Football-Netball Club on training and game days.”

“These upgrades will also hopefully help put the Narrandera Sportsground on the map as a perfect space to attract national sporting fixtures such as the AFL which would be a huge boost to the community and local business owners.”

Through the NSW Government’s Stronger Countries Community Fund, the Narrandera Imperial Football-Netball Club was awarded $100,000 for the project under Round 3 and a further $160,000 was given to the Narrandera Shire Council for the development under Round 4.

Junee, Narrandera and Temora Awarded NSW Government Library Funding

Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke has announced $456,720 in funding for Junee, Narrandera and Temora Shire Councils under the 2021/22 Public Library Infrastructure Grant program.

Ms Cooke said the grants are part of $6 million worth of funding for 26 public library projects across NSW.

“These are significant grants that will help our local libraries undertake a variety of measures such as increasing the programs offered at their libraries and the purchasing of new furniture,” Ms Cooke said.

“Our close-knit communities take great pride in our libraries that provide a wide range of valuable assets to the community, and cater for all ages. It is important that they have quality facilities, great collections and access to the internet, so it is wonderful to be able to assist in upgrading these critical sources to ensure they can continue to be a source of delight, entertainment, education and information.”

Projects awarded funding under the program:

  • Junee Shire Council, $319,110 to refurbish Junee Library increasing the usable public space in the library by removing a large service desk and office. Funds will also provide flexible furniture throughout the library, and upgrade lighting, electrical and flooring.
  • Narrandera Shire Council, $35,523 to enhance access to collections and increase space for programs in Narrandera Library’s children’s area. The project will include new mobile shelving, furniture, signage and technology.
  • Temora Shire Council, $102,087 for improvements to Temora library as the final stage of an ongoing renovation project. This phase includes painting and new signage, upgraded lighting, automatic doors and accessible entrance.

NSW Minister for the Arts, the Hon Ben Franklin said public libraries continue to grow and provide access to services that help people at all stages of their lives.

“This funding is part of the additional $60M over four years the NSW Government is providing to enhance library services and facilities across the state,” Mr Franklin said.

“The NSW Government is committed to working with councils to enhance library services and facilities across the state.

“This funding allocation brings the total of State Government support for NSW libraries in 2021/22 to a record $38.6 million.”

NSW State Librarian Dr John Vallance said the funds will enable councils to develop or improve library buildings and mobile library services.

“Two years of fires, floods and plague have left the people of New South Wales more in need of strong, safe, well-provisioned libraries than ever before. Public library funding is one of the State Government’s most significant contributions to the health of our communities.”

The Library Council of NSW, assisted by the State Library, assessed the applications for grants under the 2021/22 program.

Funding For Flood Management In The Cootamundra Electorate

Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke has welcomed a total of $291,540 in funding for the local government areas of Bland, Narrandera and Coolamon for local floodplain management through the NSW Government’s Floodplain Management Program grants.

Ms Cooke said the grants, awarded under the 2021-22 Floodplain Management Program, will help Councils better understand and manage local flood risk and exposure in the region.

“I congratulate the Councils of Bland, Narrandera and Coolamon for securing this money to support their community through these projects,” Ms Cooke added.

“The funding of these studies comes at a crucial time following the prolonged wet season that many of our rural areas have experienced.”

Projects include:

  • $43,000 to the Bland Shire Council for a Voluntary House Raising and Voluntary House Purchase feasibility study in Ungarie.
  • $137,600 to the Narrandera Shire Council for the Barellan levee design.
  • $110,940 to the Coolamon Shire Council for a flood and floodplain risk management study.

Each year Councils can apply for grants through the NSW Government’s Floodplain Management Program to fund important projects for local councils to assess and understand flood risk and help reduce flood impacts on their local communities.

“This is a continuation of the NSW Government’s investment to support councils, which have the primary role of managing flood risk in their communities,” Ms Cooke said.

The grants help with flood risk management studies, as well as the implementation of works to reduce risks such as flood levees, flood gates, warning systems, house raising or purchase in high risk areas.

The 49 projects funded under the 2021-22 Floodplain Management grants program, which total $9.54 million, are in addition to the 208 ongoing projects valued at $49.64 million being implemented from previous years’ funding rounds.

The new grant projects will enable local councils, county councils and other government bodies with floodplain risk management responsibilities to undertake priority projects.

Each application was assessed by a DPIE technical specialist and then by the independent State Floodplain Mitigation Assessment Committee (SFMAC) for feasibility and overall worthiness using assessment criteria.

See further information online: https://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/topics/water/floodplains/floodplain-management-grants

$75,000 For Narrandera So Everyone Can Play

The Narrandera Shire Council has been awarded $75,000 as part of the final round of the NSW Government’s Everyone Can Play program.

Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke said the program supports councils to build new or upgrade existing playspaces to improve inclusivity across NSW.

“The funds will be put towards upgrading the Narrandera Adventure Playground to make the space more inclusive for everyone to enjoy, regardless of age, ability or cultural background,” Ms Cooke said.

“This grant is a great win for the community of Narrandera and I warmly welcome these improvements to what is already a great spot for locals and visitors.

Narrandera Shire Council Manager for Open Space and Recreation Roger Evans said the funding will go towards additional equipment at the existing playspace in Marie Bashir Park. 

“We are currently in the process of sourcing some designs and equipment options that we can showcase to the community for their feedback.”

“This work is part of a broader masterplan for playgrounds in the Narrandera Council area to make sure they are suitable for all residents and visitors well into the future”

The Everyone Can Play program was established in 2018 as part of the $290 million Open Spaces and Greener Sydney package. It supports the Government’s priority of increasing access to quality, walkable, green and open public space.

A full list of recipients is available at: www.planning.nsw.gov.au/EveryoneCanPlay

For more information, go to www.everyonecanplay.nsw.gov.au

$75,000 for Narrandera so Everyone can Play

The Narrandera Shire Council has been awarded $75,000 as part of the final round of the NSW Government’s Everyone Can Play program.

Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke said the program supports councils to build new or upgrade existing playspaces to improve inclusivity across NSW.

“This grant is a win for the community. It means that Narrandera will have better public facilities for everyone to enjoy, regardless of age, ability or cultural background,” Ms Cooke said.

The funds will be put towards upgrading the Narrandera Adventure Playground to make the space more inclusive.

The Everyone Can Play program was established in 2018 as part of the $290 million Open Spaces and Greener Sydney package. It supports the Government’s priority of increasing access to quality, walkable, green and open public space.

A full list of recipients is available at: www.planning.nsw.gov.au/EveryoneCanPlay

For more information, go to www.everyonecanplay.nsw.gov.au

Funding Announced for Local Projects for Narrandera Shire

Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke MP has announced the Narrandera Shire is set to receive $770,922under the NSW Government’s latest round of the Stronger Country Communities Fund.

Funding has been spread across seven projects, each of which is set to benefit communities across the Shire.

  • $55,922 to construct a Learn-To-Ride Bike Track at Narrandera East Infants School
  • $160,000 for change room facility upgrades at Narrandera Sportsground
  • $170,000 to redevelop the Barellan Netball Courts
  • $65,000 for insulation improvement works at Narrandera Sports Stadium
  • $60,000 to upgrade the entrance at Lake Talbot Water Park
  • $50,000 to install 5 new water refill stations through the Narrandera Active Hydration Project
  • $210,000 for the Narrandera Bowling & Recreation Club 2022 Centenary Business Case

Ms Cooke announced the funding of these projects in Narrandera on Tuesday.

“Projects like these are built upon the NSW Government’s vision to help make regional NSW be the best place to live, work and visit,” Ms Cooke said.

“There is such a range of projects in Narrandera under the latest round of funding, which is really exciting. These projects will encourage the wider community to get out, get active together and spend more quality time in Narrandera.

 “The latest round of funding takes the total amount of funding through the Stronger Country Communities Fund for projects across the Narrandera Shire to $3,885,337.

Cassie Jeff, President of the Narrandera East Infants P&C Association said the whole committee and school community are excited for this announcement.

“The Committee has been trying to fundraise all year but due to COVID-19, it has proven to be quite difficult. This funding will see the bike track be properly surfaced, allowing for the students to ride their bikes in a safe and friendly environment,” Ms Jeff said.

“Everyone is delighted to be receiving this support from the NSW Government to continue to provide essential community facilities,” Mr Cowan, the General Manager of Narrandera Shire Council said.

Cameron Lander said the funding will make a significant impact to the Narrandera Bowling & Recreation Club, especially in the lead up to their centenary in May 2022.

“This is extremely important funding which will help us in the first stages of our business plan. It will secure our club, stop water damage and allow for further changes and upgrades.”

Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional NSW Paul Toole announced that 435 projects across every single one of the state’s 93 regional Local Government Areas (LGAs) would receive funding under Stronger Country Communities Fund Round Four.

“The Stronger Country Communities fund delivers guaranteed investment in every single regional LGA in NSW, and has seen $500 million invested across more than 1900 local projects since 2017,” Mr Toole said.

“About half of this latest $100 million round will deliver 189 female sporting projects, including the construction or upgrade of female change rooms, additional amenity blocks and bathrooms, and playing surfaces like netball and tennis courts.

“It will also deliver hundreds of projects that make everyday life in the regions easier, for things like new playgrounds, clubhouse, art gallery renovations, streetscape, accessibility, lighting upgrades and community programs.”

The Stronger Country Communities Fund is part of the $2 billion Regional Growth Fund, which alongside the $4.2 billion Snowy Hydro Legacy Fund is delivering infrastructure and programs that generate opportunities, investment and jobs.

For more information, go to: www.nsw.gov.au/SCCF.

Community Safety Boosted in Narrandera

A group of people, many in green VRA uniforms, stand in front of a rescue squad truck and smile.
Steph Cooke MP, Minister Elliott and members of the Narrandera VRA.

The Narrandera region will be better prepared for floods and other emergencies after the delivery of a new rescue vehicle for the Volunteer Rescue Association (VRA). 

Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke joined Minister for Police and Emergency Services, David Elliott for the vehicle handover.

Ms Cooke said the new Medium Rigid Rescue vehicle was an investment in the community’s safety.

“The VRA do an amazing job servicing our community in times of crisis and it’s vital they have the tools they need,” Ms Cooke said.

“While emergencies are unfortunately always going to occur, we can invest in the rapid response and the equipment groups like the VRA deserve.”

“I know this vehicle will be well-used and well-loved by the Narrandera VRA Unit.”

“I also want to celebrate Wal Lingen who marks 50 years of service with the VRA. This is a remarkable achievement and is an incredible milestone, Mr Lingen has given so much time and energy to the community over the past five decades with the VRA.”

Minister Elliott also undertook an official handover of a new Light Rigid Rescue Vehicle to the Wagga Wagga VRA Squad, as well as the new Medium Rigid Rescue vehicle for the Narrandera VRA Squad.

“These vehicles, worth more than $500,000, are part of the NSW Government’s $18.3 million investment into the VRA over four years,” Mr Elliott said.

“The purpose built rescue vehicles will be an asset to their communities and the volunteers that use them.”

VRA Commissioner Mark Gibson welcomed the NSW Government’s investment.

“The Narrandera and Wagga Wagga squads will use these vehicles to respond to road incidents, rescues and assist other agencies during times of disaster,” Mr Gibson said.

The Volunteer Rescue Association is made up of more than 1600 members, providing a mixture of primary rescue and support services to regional communities across NSW.