Our champions of change
We opened our 31st regional Service NSW One Stop Shop last week, allowing regional people the same convenience available to those in the city. They can renew their drivers licence, get their seniors card, or register their vehicle under one roof. Regional communities can now access more than 800 services in their local areas, many which have not been available in their towns before, such as Births, Deaths and Marriages which only has centres in Sydney.
Under Service NSW, paperwork from agencies such as Fair Trading, Births, Deaths and Marriages, or the Office of State Revenue, which has been difficult to navigate from Sydney, can now be handled much closer to home with the Service NSW One Stop Shop. And it’s local staff who can help, saving everyone time, money and effort. Another seven Service NSW One Stop Shops will come on line in regional and rural areas this year. (Check the list, to see if your town is next).
That’s not the only service increasing. Nearly 800 mobile phone black spots will get reception with 144 new mobile towers across NSW. We are kicking in more than $24 million to help fund tower construction, and along with funds from the Commonwealth and mobile carriers, this is a combined investment of $92 million to build one of the greatest increases in mobile network coverage to regional and remote communities.
As we talk about service delivery to our regions, we must also acknowledge those who give us so much, but have never asked for anything in return – our regional women. Many deserving regional women made the honour roll for the NSW Woman of the Year Awards last week with the REX Airlines Regional Woman of the Year Award going to successful Lismore small business owner Jodie McRae.
Jodie, a single mother, was diagnosed with a rare, aggressive form of breast cancer and has used her entrepreneurial skills to set up Jodie’s Inspiration, a not-for-profit organisation that at its first fundraiser collected more than $100,000 to purchase essential equipment for the local oncology unit. In spite of what she was going through, Jodie has fundraised and worked to assist other local woman in the early detection of breast cancer.
The generosity of our rural women was also put on display, with the RIRDC NSW-ACT Rural Woman of the Year awarded to Central West farmer and food writer Sophie Hansen. Sophie has created a dynamic online community, showcasing the best produce of the Central West and the people behind it. Her project, My Open Kitchen, will empower others to embrace social media to gain new opportunities and reap long-term benefits to their farming businesses and rural communities.
Service NSW Centres Open:
Kiama, Tweed Heads, Dubbo, Orange, Tamworth, Gosford, Newcastle, Port Macquarie, Wagga Wagga, Wollongong, Queanbeyan, Lismore, Maitland, Lithgow, Grafton, Broken Hill, Albury , Bathurst, Coffs Harbour, Goulburn, Warners Bay, Armidale, Cowra, Deniliquin, Batemans Bay, Toukley, Parkes, Wallsend, Corrimal, Tuggerah, Mudgee.
To open: Narrabri, Erina, Cooma, Singleton, Young, Bega, Mittagong.