By NSW Premier Mike Baird @MikeBairdMP
This week I visited Casula High School in Sydney’s southwest to announce a major increase in school counselling services that will support our students during their school years.
We know students who have more support at school perform better academically, and are better prepared for life after school, so we’re delivering the first significant increase to counselling and wellbeing services in two decades.
The first of 236 additional counselling and psychologist positions have been filled across NSW schools as part of the $167 million Supported Students, Successful Students initiative.
That delivers on an election commitment and means 50 primary schools will have a full-time student counsellor or psychologist for the first time. The number of high schools with a full-time position will also more than quadruple to almost 200.
Schools will also receive additional funding for a broad range of wellbeing services, including youth workers and mental health programs, to better address some of the challenges they face at school.
In other news, we’ve announced a couple of new measures to crackdown on Compulsory Third Party (CTP) fraud across the state.
The average price of a green slip has risen up to 70 per cent since 2008 to more than $600, with fraud being one of the major factors for the increase. Fraudulent CTP claims cheat motorists, who are being forced to pay more for their green slips. It is estimated fraudulent and exaggerated claims are adding an additional $75 to the price of a NSW green slip.
We’re taking action to address the issue and have announced a dedicated fraud taskforce will be established to identify ways to prevent dodgy claims and crackdown on this issue.
The taskforce will make recommendations to the NSW Government on strategies to deter, detect and respond to fraudulent CTP claims. It will also develop a public education awareness campaign to address the problem as a community issue.
Additionally, anybody who suspects fraud is being encouraged to report it to the newly established CTP Fraud Hotline on 1800 600 444. Information about the taskforce and hotline is available at www.sira.nsw.gov.au
Finally, Multicultural March has rolled around again and the NSW Government’s commitment to maintaining a harmonious society will once again be celebrated over the coming month.
We have a state-wide program of activities including concerts, street markets and sports competitions the public is encouraged to participate in. The highlight of the celebrations is the Harmony Dinner, which will once again be held at Rosehill Gardens in 2016.
The event will celebrate cultural diversity and feature a range of traditional performances. The Premier’s Multicultural Medals will also be presented to those in the community who have made an outstanding effort to encourage understanding in the community.
For the full calendar of local activities taking place during Multicultural March, and to purchase tickets to the Premier’s Harmony Dinner go to www.multicultural.nsw.gov.au