Leading the Way in Suicide Prevention

An inspiring young woman who has made it her mission to raise awareness and educate the community on suicide prevention, has been recognised as the 2022 Cootamundra Electorate Woman of the Year.

Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke congratulated Young resident Seryn Adams on the honour, acknowledging her invaluable work in the community.

“I’ve had the pleasure of working closely with Seryn for many years now, most recently at the mental health nights that I hosted around the electorate, and know first-hand how much of an impact she makes,” Ms Cooke said.

“Seryn continues to make incredible contributions to the community through her tireless passion for mental health and providing much-appreciated support to those in need in her role at the Murrumbidgee Primary Health Network where she has also been a pioneer in the development of various mental health resources.”

“Seryn does an amazing job speaking to the community on the incredibly sensitive topic, breaking through the stigma and making that sure everyone feels safe and comfortable while having these tough conversations.”

The NSW Women of the Year Awards were held at the International Convention Centre, Sydney on March 9, 2022 with Seryn in attendance joined by other award recipients from right across the state.

The Local Woman of the Year Awards is an annual program which recognises and celebrates the support women give to their local communities across NSW.

Minister for Women Bronnie Taylor congratulated the State’s Local Women of the Year Award recipients.

“These women are the backbone of their communities, volunteering their time and energy to make a positive difference,” Mrs Taylor said.

“I would like to acknowledge their significant efforts to support their local communities and thank them for all the amazing work they do.”

The Local Woman of the Year Awards are one way the NSW Government celebrates the achievements of women as part of International Women’s Day on March 8 2022.

Hilltops Community Projects Receive Funding Boost

Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke has announced $2,259,410 for projects in Harden, Murrumburrah and Young in the Hilltops region under the NSW Government’s latest round of the Stronger Country Communities Fund.

Ms Cooke announced the successful projects on Monday afternoon joined by members of the community at the Murrumburrah Silos and the Harden Bowling Club.

“The diverse range of projects will ensure the area is fit for the future for both residents and visitors,” Ms Cooke said.

“It is great to see so many worthy organisations putting their plans forward for the benefit of the wider community.”

President of the Harden Bowling Club Shane McKellar said the funding will go towards well overdue upgrades.

“It’s unbelievable that our plans that have been in the making for years, can finally become a reality,” Mr McKellar said.

Secretary Treasurer of the Harden Murrumburrah Arts Council Lorraine Brown said the group is very excited to be able to complete the other side of the silos.

“When you drive into town from the Western side, the silos are bare so we are excited that we can now fill that space with wonderful artwork,” Ms Brown added.

“We’re going to continue the theme of Colonial Australia with paintings of the Gold Rush to reflect the history of Murrumburrah.”

The funding from round four of the fund has been spread across eight projects, each of which is set to benefit the community including:

  • $469,360 to upgrade the riding arena including covering at the Young Pony Club
  • $50,000 to construct new seating and shading at the Harden District Bowling Club
  • $164,471 to improve jockey amenities at the Harden Racecourse
  • $92,763 to complete silo art at the former Murrumburrah Flour Mill
  • $295,245 for refurbishments to the Southern Cross Hall including sound and lighting
  • $792,416 for Lambing Flat Enterprises to upgrade the Community Connections building including improving site accessibility
  • $102,645 for court refurbishments at the Young PCYC sport courts
  • $292,510 for improvements to facilities at Toompang Racecourse

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.

Tresillian Park Playground now open in Young

There is now an outdoor playspace that is fit for all with the opening of the new playground at Tresillian Park in Young.

Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke praised the project which promotes inclusivity in the community.

“It is great to see a playspace that will provide a fun experience for all,” Ms Cooke said.

“Social interaction is a basic need for everyone and this new playground will play a key part in making sure this need is met.”

“I have enjoyed watching this project come to life throughout the design and construction phase and it is wonderful to now see it completed.”

The play area was fully funded by the NSW Government with over $865,000 invested in the project. 

The playground features a flying-fox, slides, sand play area and an in-ground trampoline plus much more for the wider community to come and enjoy.

The development is part of the Variety Livvi’s Place project, a joint initiative between Variety – the Children’s Charity and the Touched By Olivia Foundation, whose aim is to create inclusive playspaces across Australia which let children of all ages and abilities enjoy playing in a community setting.

$4.5 Million Safety Upgrade of Bendick Murrell Road Intersection with Olympic Highway

Work will start next week to improve safety for motorists at the intersection of Bendick Murrell Road and the Olympic Highway.

Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke said the NSW Government has committed $4.5 million through the Safer Roads Program.

“Improving safety for motorists turning off towards the town of Bendick Murrell is a top priority. In the five years to 2017, there were 13 accidents, including nine crashes resulting in injuries and one fatality. Even one life lost on NSW roads is one too many,” Ms Cooke said.

“The upgrade includes a dedicated right-turn lane from the highway onto Bendick Murrell Road for southbound traffic, as well as a left-hand deceleration lane for northbound highway traffic, road widening and removing trees to improve visibility.

“We’ll also be installing roadside safety barriers, improving line marking and providing new signage to increase awareness for Olympic Highway motorists on approach to the intersection.”

The work starting next week will be carried out between 7am and 5pm on weekdays and 8am to 1pm on Saturdays. The project is expected to take six months to complete, weather permitting.

Changed traffic conditions including single lane closures closest to where work is taking place will be in place for the safety of workers and motorists.

For the latest traffic updates, download the Live Traffic NSW App, visit livetraffic.com or call 132 701

Witness Room Upgrades at Young Courthouse

Domestic violence complainants and other vulnerable witnesses will be empowered to give their best evidence in court thanks to upgrades at Young Courthouse.

Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke said the project, part of $9 million in COVID-19 Commonwealth stimulus funding will fully enclose the remote witness room and add acoustic treatments to the walls. The refurbished safe room will include new furniture and flooring, a kitchenette and secure access doors.

“It is heartening to see our region benefit from this investment, which will help vulnerable people feel safer to come to court,” Ms Cooke said.

“These upgrades will give witnesses better private and secure areas to prepare for court and to give their best evidence.”

Attorney General and Minister for Prevention of Domestic and Sexual Violence Mark Speakman said witnesses have commonly been through serious trauma and coming to court can be very stressful.

“This is particularly true for victim-survivors of domestic, family, and sexual violence,” Mr Speakman said.

“This is part of our ongoing commitment to support victim-survivors if they choose to report to police, and to help them feel confident in coming to court.” 

Later this year, self-represented defendants will be banned from personally cross examining complainants in domestic violence criminal proceedings and related apprehended domestic violence order proceedings, under new laws passed last November.

As part of the same reforms, complainants in these proceedings also now have a prima facie entitlement to give evidence remotely via audio-visual link and in a closed court. The contract has been awarded to Intrec Management Pty Ltd. Start dates are currently being finalised and the stimulus project will be completed by the end of the year.

Bears Boosted with Two Sports Grants

Steph Cooke MP with members of the Burrangong Bears RLFC and the new portable score board.
Steph Cooke MP with members of the Burrangong Bears RLFC

The Burrangong Bears Rugby League Football Club have successfully secured two NSW Government Sports Grants.

Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke announced a $1,350 grant to purchase a portable scoreboard and a $2,564 grant to install a PA sound system at Cranfield Oval.

Ms Cooke said the two sports grants were a boost for all users of Cranfield Oval.

“Cranfield Oval is used by a range of clubs, community groups and schools who will all benefit from these upgrades,” Ms Cooke said.

“Sport and recreation is so important for our communities; it brings people together, helps us all be healthier and enables us to get out in to our fantastic local spaces. I am so pleased the NSW Government has provided this support to the Bears and the entire community.”

“These grants have taken some of the financial pressure off the club and I know they are warmly welcomed by the community.”

James Sheehan from the Burrangong Bears RLFC said the new equipment was warmly welcomed by the community.

“These improvements are great because the entire the community has the opportunity to use these assets, including local schools and small community groups,” Mr Sheehan said.

“It’s so great not only for the club but for the whole region to have the support of the local member Steph Cooke.”

“This is fantastic, it definitely feels like it’s helping us do our bit for the community and for sport in Young.”