All posts by Suzy Howell


The Morrison Government is supporting community groups to lower their power bills and play their part in helping to reduce Australia’s emissions


Across Australia, not-for-profit community groups have been awarded grants of up to $12,500 for energy-saving projects under the Government’s Energy Efficient Communities Program.


Member for Barker Tony Pasin says through the program, the Tatiara Retirement Village Community Centre has received $7,532 to install a 5.4 kw Solar system.


The project involves the installation of 21 solar panels, to provide 5.4 kw of power.


“Energy bills are often one of the biggest overheads for organisations, and we want to help ease some of the financial pressures facing our local groups,” Mr Pasin said.


The Energy Efficient Communities Program was announced as part of the Government’s Climate Solutions Package in the 2019 Budget.


“The program is delivering grants to help businesses and community organisations to improve energy efficiency practices and technologies, and better manage energy consumption to reduce their power bills,” Mr Pasin said.


In addition to grants for community organisations, the program will provide $10 million for dairy farming businesses, $9 million for small businesses and $15 million for high energy-using businesses.


Further information on the Energy Efficient Communities Program is available at



Contact: Anna Hawkins | 0439 651 016 |



Owners of Driver Reviver locations across Barker can now apply for a share of $7.3 million in Australian Government funding to upgrade their life-saving rest sites.

  • It will also support the establishment of new sites to expand the current network and reach even more road users, with priority given to restoring Driver Reviver sites affected by the horrific bushfires of 2019 and 2020.
  • Federal Member for Barker Tony Pasin said Driver Reviver volunteers do a phenomenal job providing a much-needed break and cuppa for our drivers, their families and friends to help keep road users safe by tackling driver fatigue.
  • “Anyone who’s taken a long trip across South Australia or even interstate knows just how quickly fatigue can creep up on you and how life-saving it can be to take a well deserve break, perhaps even switch drivers,” Mr Pasin said.
  • “That’s the sort of road safety behaviour Driver Reviver sites promote, here in Barker and across the nation by providing much-loved amenities such as shelters and barbeques or just a cuppa with a sneaky biscuit or two over a chat to tackle fatigue.
  • “For a regional area such as Barker, these rest sites become even more critical as our communities, hard-working truckies and our families from other parts of the country depend on often long-slog trips to stay connected, travel to work or get our Aussie goods to markets.
  • “If there is one New Year’s resolution I encourage every Australian to make, it’s to take road safety seriously and do what they can to help keep themselves and others safe on our roads – including taking breaks when they need it, even if it adds another half-hour to their trip.
  • “Because that half-hour can be the difference between life and death, by ensuring they remain an alert driver who can respond rapidly to a situation on the road.
  • “Our Government is proud to invest in the essential work of the Driver Reviver program and I strongly encourage all site owners in Barker to submit their applications for funding as soon as possible.”

Assistant Minister for Road Safety and Freight Transport Scott Buchholz said driver fatigue had been identified as one of the ‘Fatal Five’ road safety factors that contribute to road trauma, being a factor in up to 30 per cent of all deaths and severe injuries on our roads.

  • “Driver Reviver sites are critical in tackling driver fatigue to make our roads safer, which is why I am proud to be part of a Government that continues to invest in the program – with a total of $8 million committed under the Driver Reviver Upgrade Program and $1.2 million already out the door through the Road Safety Awareness and Enablers Fund,” Assistant Minister Buchholz said.
  • “Driver Reviver owners will be able to use this round’s funding for a range of much-needed amenities to entice road users to make good use of their sites, such as shelters, picnic tables, power and water facilities, barbeques, parking, lighting and of course equipment such as fridges or hot water urns that allow them to offer that much-needed cuppa with their friendly chats.

“Road safety is everyone’s responsibility and while our Government is doing what it can to ensure Australia moves towards ‘Vision Zero’ of zero deaths on our nation’s roads, initiatives such as the Driver Reviver program showcase what governments and communities can achieve when working together, and of course the role road users can play to ensure we all get home safely at the end of each trip.”

Round 2 of the Driver Reviver Site Upgrade Program is a targeted competitive grant round with applications closing 25 February 2021.

Further information, including application guidelines and submissions, is available at

For more information on the Australian Government’s road safety initiatives, visit


Media Contact:


Assistant Minister Buchholz:

Josh Christian | 0439 897 926


Tony Pasin MP:

Anna Hawkins | 08 8724 7730 |



Every year on January 26 Australians around the nation and those living around the world reflect on what it means to be Australian.


For me Australia Day is a reminder of the tremendous freedoms we enjoy and of how lucky we are to live in the greatest Country in the world.


After a year that has challenged us more than any year since the Second World War, I have never been more proud of being Australian.


We are making our own Australian way through this crisis. A way guided by our enduring principles and values. Together, we have done so better than almost any other country in the world and we have many reasons to be optimistic about our future.


On Australia Day we celebrate all the things we love about Australia: our sense of fair go, our diversity and lifestyle, our cohesive society, our democracy and the freedoms we enjoy, our resilience and generosity in the face of adversity and our unwavering community spirit that has always been a part of our national character.


To all Australians on January 26 be proud, be thankful and enjoy a great Australia Day.


Tony Pasin

Federal Member for Barker


Headspace Berri receives Regional Arts Recovery funding

The Morrison Government has today announced 73 recipients across regional and remote Australia that will share in almost $1.9 million through the Regional Arts Fund Recovery grants.


The funding will be delivered under the $10 million targeted measure announced by the Australian Government in 2020 as part of the Relief and Recovery Fund.


Minister for Communications, Urban Infrastructure, Cities and the Arts, the Hon Paul Fletcher MP and Tony Pasin MP, Federal Member for Barker today congratulated Headspace Berri as one of the successful recipients.


“I am pleased to announce Headspace Berri has received $37,635.00, for its project The Future of Here (and Now), through the Government’s Regional Arts Fund Recovery grants, enabling them to assist our community to heal and rebuild through the arts,” Tony Pasin said.


“Headspace Berri’s youth reference group members will be mentored in creative engagement processes by local and guest artists, in a project designed to build a cohort of current and future leaders with skills in artistic collaboration, creativity and community building. The project will bring Riverland young people into conversation with local and guest artists to embed creative practice, processes and perspectives into community recovery and mental health strategies, particularly in relation to the isolation and impacts of COVID-19.”


Minister Fletcher said it was great to see the Government’s Regional Arts Fund continuing to support recovery for artists and communities following the impacts of COVID-19 restrictions and last summer’s bushfires.


“This grant round was extremely competitive with strong demand across Australia. I am pleased to see a diverse range of Arts projects receiving much needed funding that will support their local communities.


“We know our regional and remote communities have been hit hard this past year, and these new projects will support their economic, social and cultural recovery,” Minister Fletcher said.


Funded projects will provide opportunities for artists and arts workers to cultivate creative community engagement in Indigenous communities, provide opportunities for digital upskilling, and develop new workshops and capacity-building programs.


For more information about the Regional Arts Fund and to view the full list of Recovery grant recipients visit:



Media contacts:

Minister Fletcher:

Imre Salusinszky | 0432 535 737 |


Tony Pasin MP:

Anna Hawkins | 0439 651 016


$11 million to reduce rates of heartbreaking stillbirths

The Morrison Government will provide $11 million to fast track a new national plan to reduce the number of stillbirths, ensuring families affected get the respectful bereavement care they need.


The Morrison Government’s National Stillbirth Action and Implementation Plan’s primary goal is to reduce stillbirths by 20 per cent or more over the next five years. The plan has a 10-year timeframe and includes further short, medium and long-term actions.


Member for Barker Tony Pasin said the Plan would help guide improved outcomes for families dealing with the most tragic of circumstances.


“Tragically, there are six stillbirths each day in Australia. That means suffering and loss for more than 2,000 families every year,” Tony Pasin said.


“Our plan brings together families, community groups and the hardworking organisations that are helping to reduce stillbirths and provide high quality support for Australian families impacted by stillbirth.”


Minister for Health, Greg Hunt MP echoed Tony Pasin’s comments, stating: “Such loss is particularly hard as mothers and fathers prepare to welcome a new life into their families. A time of joy is replaced with heartbreak.”


“We will continue to work with these families, state and territory governments, as well as groups like the Stillbirth Centre for Research Excellence, Red Nose, Still Aware and Stillbirth Foundation Australia to improve outcomes for these individuals going through such immeasurable loss.”


“I am also pleased to announce that the Commonwealth Chief Nurse and Midwifery Officer will play a key role in overseeing the implementation of actions that have been agreed under this Plan.”


To change these sobering statistics, over the next four years the Australian Government will provide:

  • $4 million to support stillbirth education and awareness initiatives, particularly for groups at higher risk of stillbirth
  • $2.1 million to adapt the Safer Baby Bundle program for those priority populations, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women and women from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds
  • $0.5 million to develop new Clinical Care Standards and update existing clinical care guidelines relating to stillbirth
  • $0.5 million for data improvement and activities to enable long-term research on stillbirth
  • $1.7 million to develop a monitoring and evaluation framework for the Plan
  • $1 million for state and territory governments to take immediate steps to increase the uptake of stillbirth autopsies and investigations
  • $1 million through a National Health & Medical Research Council grant to Monash University to conduct a trial of a wearable, low-cost device to monitor fetal movements to prevent stillbirths.


The plan was informed by consultation with bereaved parents, new parents, and groups at increased risk of stillbirth, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women, migrant, refugee and rural and remote communities.


This work builds on the Morrison Government’s commitment to supporting maternal and perinatal health, which includes an investment of $88.4 million over seven years from 2018‑19 in perinatal services and support.


The Commonwealth will continue to lead work to implement the Plan and looks forward to ongoing collaboration on activities that will ultimately save lives and prevent other families from experiencing this heartbreak.


The Safer Baby Bundle is available at


The National Stillbirth Action and Implementation Plan is available on the Department of Health website at





Contact: 8531 2466

Have your say on the design of community grants programs

Communities across the Murray-Darling Basin can now have their say on the design of two important community-led grants programs.

The programs are the new Murray-Darling Healthy Rivers Program, and Round 3 of the Murray–Darling Basin Economic Development Program.

Minister for Resources, Water and Northern Australia, Keith Pitt, said these grants were announced as part of the Murray–Darling Communities Investment Package which is all about putting communities at the heart of the Basin Plan.

“Consulting with Basin communities on the design of these programs is another demonstration of my commitment to making sure they get a say in the schemes’ development to ensure they provide the most benefit,” Minister Pitt said.

“The Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment is consulting on the guidelines for both programs to increase accessibility to, and participation in, the available grant opportunities.

“I want to be sure they’re providing the right assistance to eligible organisations to provide the most effective project proposals that benefit their communities.”

The Murray–Darling Healthy Rivers Program will provide $20 million in grants for community-led, on-ground works that sustain healthier rivers and wetlands.

The extension of the Murray–Darling Basin Economic Development Program makes an extra $34 million available to communities to diversify and strengthen local economies both now and into the future.

Federal Member for Barker said the consultation is open until Friday 22 January 2021.

“I encourage anyone with an interest in strengthening our local economy, and improving river health in the Murray–Darling Basin to take a look and let us know what you think,” Mr Pasin said.

“Feedback from the consultation phase will be considered before the guidelines are finalised and the programs open early in the new year.

“This government is getting on with practical actions that help Basin communities and the environment so these communities can thrive and we can deliver a healthy and sustainable river system for future generations.”

The draft Murray–Darling Healthy Rivers Program grant guidelines are available for comment at: until Friday 22 January 2021.

The draft guidelines for Round 3 of the Murray–Darling Basin Economic Development Program are available for comment at: and are also available for comment until Friday 22 January 2021.



Media contact: 

Minister Pitt – Matt Dunstan 0411 535 072

Tony Pasin – 8531 2466


Significance of Naracoorte Gallery to be assessed

The Naracoorte Regional Art Gallery has received funding of $5,754.55 to assess the significance of its collection through the Australian Government’s Community Heritage Grants program.


The program provides grants of up to $15,000 to community organisations such as libraries, archives, museums, galleries, genealogical and historical societies, multicultural and Indigenous groups, to assist with the preservation of locally owned, but nationally significant collections of materials that are publicly accessible.


Federal Member for Barker Tony Pasin said the funding was a boost for the Naracoorte Regional Art Gallery who work tirelessly to preserve Australia’s cultural heritage.


“I am pleased to announce this funding will support the Naracoorte Regional Art Gallery to conserve and display unique local objects for today’s audiences and future generations,” Mr Pasin said.


“The project will see the cultural value of the collection assessed by a professional historian through the historical society of South Australia.


“You can’t put a value on our cultural heritage, but this funding will mean that the Naracoorte Regional Art Gallery can continue their vital preservation works, which means the world to them and their entire community.”


Minister for Communications, Cyber Safety and the Arts, the Hon Paul Fletcher MP said the grants were an important part of the Government’s commitment to safeguarding Australian’s national story.


“Cultural heritage can provide a sense of unity and belonging for Australians, and allows us to better understand previous generations and the history of where we come from,” Minister Fletcher said.


A series of online workshops and tutorials to assist grant recipients were launched last year, which has replaced the annual on-site event at the National Library of Australia. The online resources will assist recipients to prepare significance assessments of their collections and provide useful tips and insights.


“These new online resources will give grant participants the information needed to care for the incredible collections that tell so many parts of our Australian story,” Minister Fletcher said.


“These grants are about building community and regional capability so that nationally significant cultural heritage materials and collections, spread across Australia, can be enjoyed for generations to come.”


The program is funded by the Australian Government and managed by the National Library of Australia, with support provided by the National Archives of Australia; the National Film and Sound Archive; and the National Museum of Australia.


The Australian Government has provided almost $7.7 million in grants to community organisations throughout Australia over the past 27 years to support nationally significant collections, managed by community organisations, for the benefit of all Australians.


For more information, including the full recipient list, visit:



Media contacts:

Minister Fletcher   Imre Salusinszky | 0432 535 737 | imre.salusinszky

Tony Pasin  8531 2466


Australians are being encouraged to take up seasonal work opportunities in horticulture as part of a collaboration trial funded by the Morrison Government.

The Harvest Trail Service, which has been expanded into 16 regions, will ensure major horticulture areas have access to the workers they need.

AUSVEG Limited is one of five organisations nationwide being funded as part of the $1 million Harvest Trail Services Industry Collaboration Trial to find new ways to encourage people to take up opportunities in the horticulture sector, while meeting employer demand.

The project will produce and promote a series of videos to showcase occupations in the agriculture sector and highlight career pathways and growing employment opportunities in sixteen areas across Australia. Two of these areas extend across Barker– “Adelaide Barossa” and “SA South East.”

This will help to articulate the opportunities within the sector, highlight the day-to-day experience in the occupation as well as present a training pathway how to get there.

The videos will be and promoted online and via social media as well as to AUSVEG’s network through the Horticulture Council and to relevant commercial and government stakeholders, including employment service providers and educational institutions, focusing on secondary education and careers councillors.

Minister for Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business, Senator the Hon Michaelia Cash, said the trial will test-run different ways to promote harvest work to Australian job seekers.

“We know growers are struggling to find the labour they need, which is why Harvest Trail Services is as important as ever,” Minister Cash said.

“As part of Harvest Trail Services, we have provided additional funds to a number of growers groups for them to develop innovative approaches to promote new opportunities in the horticulture sector.”

Federal Member for Barker Tony Pasin said these funding opportunities range from pre-employment projects, mentoring, training, development of videos, engagement with school leavers, and social media campaigns.

“The Morrison Government is committed to ensuring job seekers in regional Australia can find work and to help growers meet their workforce needs,” said Mr Pasin.

“On top of this, we are also providing relocation assistance to people who relocate to harvest and regional areas to take up agricultural work.”

From 1 November 2020, relocation assistance is available to people who relocate to harvest and regional areas to take up short-term agricultural work, including Australians who are not receiving income support and those with the right to work in Australia.

Those relocating to take up short-term agricultural work may be eligible to receive up to $6,000 if they are an Australian worker; or $2,000 if they are a visa holder with general work rights, not restricted to an employer or a type of work, to work in Australia.

More details on the Harvest Trail can be found at

For more information about Relocation Assistance to Take Up a Job visit:


Guy Creighton – – 0438 815 302
Mr Pasin – 8531 2466


Another Second World War veteran has been presented with a special commemorative medallion to honour and thank them for their service as part of commemorating the 75th Anniversary of the end of the Second World War.

Federal Member for Barker Tony Pasin presented Mrs Gwen Ryan (née Thompson), 95, of Bordertown with her medallion at a special presentation at the Bordertown RSL last month alongside Bordertown RSL’s Mr Ken McInerney, President and Mr Tony Rout, Vice President.

Mrs Ryan served as a Private in the Australian Army from 1944 to 1946 and was posted in the 2 Base Ordnance Depot at the time of discharge.

Mr Pasin said it had been a privilege to have the opportunity to meet so many wonderful veterans and present them with a medallion to commemorate the 75th Anniversary of the Second World War.

“Barker has a rich Second World War history and is proud to be the home to veterans from Australia’s greatest generation like Mrs Ryan who served our nation with distinction,” Mr Pasin said.

“We owe a great debt to these remarkable Australians for the free and prosperous nation we live in today.

“While more than one million Australian men and women fought during the Second World War campaigns, 12,000 veterans who served during the Second World War are still with us today.

“Australia can never fully repay the debt we owe these amazing men and women but, to mark their service, the Federal Government is producing this Commemorative Medallion and Certificate of Commemoration for the remaining living Second World War veterans.

“I encourage all surviving veterans, or the families of living veterans if they haven’t already done so to apply to receive a medallion and certificate as a special thank you from a grateful nation for all they have done.”

For more information on how to apply contact Tony Pasin at or 08 8724 7730.

Contact: 8531 2466