State of Barwon: Kevin Humphries

Media Release


I welcomed the announcement today by Premier Mike Baird along with Minister for Education Adrian Piccoli and Minister for Family and Community Services Gabrielle Upton which will see new vocational education and apprenticeship opportunities for disadvantaged young people in NSW.  The pioneering measures target those with limited means in our community, including residents of social housing.  The centrepiece of our plan is to make it free for 200,000 disadvantaged young people to go to TAFE and other vocational education and training providers – with priority for residents in social housing.  The NSW Liberals & Nationals today also signed an agreement with the state’s peak employer and industry groups to work together to train and employ more apprentices.  As part of our plan, we will require contractors to employ a minimum number of apprentices on every NSW Government project worth more than $100 million.

The Reskilling NSW plan will provide:

  • $48 million for fee-free scholarships for 200,000 concession-eligible 15-30 year olds to undertake government-subsidised vocational education and training certificate courses, with priority given to concession eligible social housing residents;
  • $27 million for workplace learning for over 40,000 government school students each year who enrol in a vocational education and training course as part of their HSC; and
  • $8 million to provide viable pathways into education, training and employment for young people in regional areas.



Fire & Rescue NSW’s (FRNSW) 6,800 fire officers will soon be wearing cutting-edge firefighting helmets with in-built radio technology and lighting that will provide greater protection and clearer communications at emergencies.  The new helmets will enable local firefighters to clearly communicate with each other while wearing self-contained breathing apparatus.  The helmets provide firefighters with greater protection from the elements, as well as offering lighting and adjustable eye protection.  This $7 million dollar investment is proof of the great importance that the NSW Government places on supporting our courageous firefighters.  The roll-out of the new helmets will commence in March, with the majority of FRNSW’s 6800 fire officers to receive their new helmets by the end of June.


Local Aboriginal residents interested in pursuing a career in dental health can now step forward and nominate for two new cadetship positions aimed at boosting dental health services in rural and remote communities across NSW.  The NSW Dental Council, the NSW Centre for Oral Health Strategy and the Poche Centre for Indigenous Health have two cadetships (including salary and tuition) for two Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people to undertake a Diploma of Dental Technology.  The Cadetships for Dental Technicians will help build our dental workforce by providing Aboriginal cadets with the necessary training and skills to become technicians qualified to build dentures, mouth guards and bridges.  The NSW Centre for Oral Health Strategy has committed $200,000 to this important initiative over the next two and a half years, which will enable two individuals to undertake studies in a Diploma of Dental Technology commencing in 2015.  These cadetship positions are a fantastic opportunity for local Aboriginal people who are interested in working in dental health to receive support as they undertake their studies.  The two Dental Technology Cadets will work and study together across NSW, undertaking study and practical placement. Practical placement will include blocks of time in Sydney and up to 12 weeks each year in rural or remote NSW.  To be eligible you must be Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander; have an interest in dental technology and/or oral health; and have the ability and enthusiasm to undertake a Diploma.  For information or an application kit telephone Graham White on 9114 1118 or email or visit Applications close at 5pm on 27 February 2015.


As students head back to school, we welcome some new principals and other school leaders to Barwon.  Locals with new positions in Barwon this year include:

–          Tullibigeal Central School: new Principal, Thomas Garvey.

–          Wee Waa High School: new Deputy Principal.

–          Lightning Ridge Central School: Premier’s Teacher Scholarship Winner, Renee Fagan.

Kevin Humphries 2015 portrait

Kevin Humphries

I congratulate these principals, deputy principals and scholarship winners on their new roles.  I am sure they will succeed in these positions and I wish them well for the 2015 school year.  The NSW Liberals & Nationals Government has implemented reforms to improve the quality of teaching across the State.  We have wonderful teachers in Barwon schools, and our reforms will ensure this quality continues into the future.  People leaving school this year will need to achieve three band five HSC results if they want to be employed as a teacher in a NSW school.  The Government’s $155 million in the Great Teaching, Inspired Learning reforms provide additional support for new public school teachers to develop their classroom skills with experienced mentors.  This government has given principals and their communities much greater local decision-making authority, including a much greater say over staffing and how they spend their funding through Local Schools, Local Decisions.  Our goal is clear — to ensure that every NSW student is a successful student, with the opportunity to achieve the best possible results at school.


It was great to see the Minister for Roads and Freight, Duncan Gay in Barwon on Friday.  The Minister inspected the progress that is forging ahead on the Moree Bypass, before travelling down the Newell and on to Wee Waa for the official sod-turning of the Tulladunna Bridge.  He was thrilled to be able to see the results of so much NSW Government funding in the area coming to fruition, and was most interested in the state of the Newell, given our government’s $500 million commitment to upgrading the Newell Highway as part of the Rebuilding NSW package.