$77mil health promise

By NEELIMA CHOAHAN

NATIIONAL Party candidate Geoff Provest has guaranteed the Tweed will not miss out on a share of the $77 million health package announced by the state opposition yesterday.

Unveiled by NSW opposition leader Peter Debnam yesterday, the package aims to provide healthy food initiatives for schools including breakfast for disadvantaged school children and fitness promotion initiatives.

It also proposes more support for sporting clubs through grants to promote increased participation and better playing fields.

"I guarantee that the benefits of this package will flow onto the Tweed," Mr Provest said.

"I have got commitments from Peter Debnam that the region will not be ignored."

Mr Provest said in the past, previous governments had often bypassed funding the region in favour of cities.

"The power of the metro centres here chew it all up and very little, if any, we see on the ground," he said.

"And this is where it is really needed."

As the longest-serving director of Bowls Australia, Mr Provest said he had insight into the needs of sporting clubs.

"It's crucial we look after, maintain and increase the number of sporting facilities for all sports, from rugby league to tennis to hockey," he said.

"Unfortunately NSW lags behind Queensland and Victoria in terms of grants and funding for sporting groups."

Mr Provest said he aimed to partner both schools and sporting clubs in their quest for funding.

"I not only intend to make them aware of potential funding but also sit down, work and become an ally," he said.

"I will help them navigate, at times a lot of the Sydney-based bureaucracy, to ensure a successful outcome."

Mr Provest said he had been approached by a lot of schools and sporting groups for help re- cently.

"I have been approached by rugby league, soccer and swimming groups," he said.

The Tweed, Mr Provest said, had unique issues due to the influx of Queenslanders.

"We have 2 million of them coming across the border on a regular basis and use our facilities," he said.

"But we get little help from them."

Mr Provest said the Tweed residents were feeling fed up with the present government.



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