SEND BACK THE SUPER TRAWLER

The Greens have condemned the federal government for greenlighting the return of a foreign-owned industrial super trawler to operate off the coast of lutruwita/Tasmania.

The New Zealand super trawler has returned to target threatened orange roughy – an endangered deep-sea species which, under Australia’s broken environmental laws, can still be fished.

Greens spokesperson for healthy oceans, Senator Peter Whish-Wilson:

“When will we learn the lessons of history?

“The infamous historic crash of the orange roughy fishery off the coast of lutruwita/Tasmania, caused by overfishing, is a tale of greed and stupidity that should never be repeated. 

“The Albanese government talks a big game about Australia being a global leader in ocean protection. But how is greenlighting the operation of a foreign-owned industrial super trawler to target an endangered deep-sea species taking global leadership in ocean protection? 

“Big industrial trawlers can do decades of devastating and lasting damage not only to vulnerable marine life like orange roughy but to our precious deep-sea ecosystems. 

“The Australian Fisheries Management Authority’s (AFMA) apparent decision to ignore scientific advice to halve the catch limit in the eastern orange roughy zone risks the environment and puts into question the economic benefits of accessing this fishery.

“What returns are the Tasmanian and Australian people getting from foreign-owned fishing fleets and big commercial quota owners operating off our coastlines?

“The fish are being processed on the industrial vessel meaning there will likely be zero flow-on benefits such as employment to local communities.”

STATEMENT ON THE ATTEMPTED ASSASSINATION OF DONALD TRUMP

The Australian Greens unequivocally condemn the attack on former president Donald Trump that occurred in Pennsylvania over the weekend.

While election campaigns can get passionate, there is never a justification for violence.

In a democratic society people can speak with their vote, which I hope people in the United States do in November and reject a second Trump presidency.

City of Newcastle kicks off campaign for inclusion with Count Us In Sport events

Former Newcastle Knight Alex McKinnon and Paralympian Rae Anderson will join forces with City of Newcastle next month to champion the importance of making sport accessible for all.

The high-profile pair will headline the inaugural Inclusive Sports Forum, which is one of five free activities being delivered as part of City of Newcastle’s Count Us In Sport program from 8-15 August.

Paralympian Dylan Alcott, Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes and NSW Parliamentary Secretary for Disability Inclusion Liesl Tesch at City of Newcastle's Count Us In festival last year.Paralympian Dylan Alcott, Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes and NSW Parliamentary Secretary for Disability Inclusion Liesl Tesch at City of Newcastle’s Count Us In festival last year.

The events were designed in consultation with City of Newcastle’s Access Inclusion Advisory Committee and community members with lived experience of disability.

Newcastle Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said Count Us In recognises and celebrates the contributions made by people living with disabilities.

“City of Newcastle prides itself on being a liveable and welcoming community for all people, increasing social inclusion and community connections with events like Count Us In festival in line with our Disability Inclusion Action Plan,” Cr Nelmes said.

NSW Parliamentary Secretary for Disability Inclusion and Paralympian Liesl Tesch said with the world’s attention focussed on the upcoming Olympic and Paralympic Games, now was the perfect time to increase awareness of this important issue.

“Participation in sport provides a wonderful experience of community, enabling a sense of belonging and building friendships while also delivering positive benefits for overall health and wellbeing,” Ms Tesch said.

“It’s fantastic to see City of Newcastle championing the role sport can play to encourage inclusion in our community.”

Access Inclusion Advisory Committee Co-Chair Councillor Margaret Wood Count Us In Sport was a call to action for all sports clubs in Newcastle to take their first, or next steps to becoming a place where all people have a role, belong and everyone can play.

“While almost 20 per cent of people in Australia live with a disability, only one in four of them participate in sport, and three quarters of those who want to take part believe there are limited opportunities to do so,” Cr Wood said.

“With more than 30,000 people living with a disability in Newcastle, this means that many people in our community are missing out on what sport has to offer.

“We want to turn the tide of these statistics in Newcastle. Count Us In Sport provides opportunities for people with disabilities to seek, find and follow their sports journey, whether that is as a competitor, supporter or taking up a role within a sports club or association.”

City of Newcastle will fly the flag for inclusion from 8 August with the installation of a series of banners championing inclusive sports and Paralympic activities.

The Count Us In Sport program will kick on the following day with a Come and Try Inclusive Sports event at No.2 Sportsground and the National Park netball courts, where school students and community members will be invited to participate in a series of sporting activities.

Increasing opportunities for people with disabilities to become involved in grassroots sport will be the focus of the Inclusive Sports Forum at McDonald Jones Stadium on 13 August, where McKinnon and Anderson will share their stories and experiences alongside local clubs already working in this space. Anderson will also speak about her work with Disability Sports Australia including the Accessibility Champions Course available to clubs and associations to support sports inclusion.

Sports clubs, associations and recreational providers with ideas to enhance disability inclusion in Newcastle will have the chance to promote their plans at an Inclusive Sports Pitch night on 15 August, with four grants of up to $2,500 each on offer from City of Newcastle.

The Count Us In Sport program will wrap up with a fun Paralympics Watch Party hosted by Community Disability Alliance Hunter on a date still to be confirmed.

Check out the City of Newcastle website for more information and to book your place at the free events during Count Us In Sport 2024.

John Hunter Hospital shuttle bus returns

Patients, visitors, and staff at John Hunter Hospital will benefit from a free park-and-ride shuttle bus service, providing regular and convenient transport to and from the hospital campus.

The shuttle bus service was established in 2007, but ceased in 2015 when new car parking spaces were constructed at the campus. The Minns Labor Government promised to reinstate the popular service as part of its 2023 election commitment.

As the major trauma centre for northern NSW and one of the busiest outpatient services in the state, more than 4000 people work at John Hunter Hospital, with thousands of patients and visitors attending the Hospital campus every day.

On Monday to Friday between 6.00am and 6.00pm, a 22-seater bus will provide a regular service between the hospital and McDonald Jones Stadium where parking is available.  A second 14-seater bus will run during morning and afternoon peak times.

QR codes will allow passengers to track the bus in real-time and be alerted to any disruptions. This will ease commuting stress for staff and improve travel journeys for patients and visitors. It will also help to reduce traffic congestion and demand for parking spaces at the hospital.

The shuttle service is one of several strategies the Hunter New England Local Health District has implemented in recent years to improve access to the hospital, including expanding carparking, upgrading the road network and entry points to the campus, and collaborating with local bus companies to increase public transport options.

For more information about the shuttle service visit the website:

www.hnehealth.nsw.gov.au/facilities/john-hunter-hospital/getting_here

Minister for Health Ryan Park

“I’m thrilled to bring this important service back to the local community to make it easier for people to travel to John Hunter Hospital.

“This will reduce demand for parking spaces by offering a reliable and consistent transport alternative for patients and their families, as well as providing a convenient way for our hard-working staff to get to work.”

“In addition to the shuttle service, a new multi-storey carpark is being built as part of the $835 million John Hunter Health and Innovation Precinct project, due for completion in 2026.”

Member for Wallsend, Sonia Hornery

“I’m proud to be part of a government that is fulfilling its promises and responding to the needs of regional communities by improving access to healthcare services.

“Thank you to the thousands of residents who filled out my petition to restate this service.

“This service is something our community has long advocated for, so I am thrilled that it is being reinstated to make car parking and commuting easier for patients, visitors and staff.”.”

Member for Newcastle, Tim Crakanthorp

“This is a huge win for patients, visitors and staff across the Hunter.

“This service offers a much-needed solution to manage the limited carparks available and ease traffic in and around the hospital.”

Tracey McCosker PSM, Chief Executive, Hunter New England Local Health District

“The shuttle bus service will serve the growing Hunter community, now and into the future.

“It also supports our District’s environmental sustainability initiatives by helping to remove hundreds of cars per day from the hospital road network, car parks, and surrounding streets.”

More homes, jobs and amenities planned for Bankstown, Crows Nest and Homebush

The second group of the Minns Government’s rezoning plans for Transport Oriented Development (TOD) Accelerated Precincts to deliver more homes, jobs and amenities for people, have been released for public exhibition from today.

Set to deliver up to 31,855 new homes, including up to 3,348 affordable homes, and supported by more than 20,000 jobs, the Bankstown, Crows Nest and Homebush rezoning proposals are in addition to the TOD Accelerated Precincts at Kellyville, Bella Vista, Hornsby and Macquarie Park announced last week.

Community consultation for the Bays West TOD rezoning proposal will occur with the exhibition of the masterplan in mid-2025.

The TOD program is part of the Minns Government’s commitment to rebalance housing growth around transport infrastructure as part of the Government’s efforts to confront the housing crisis and provide opportunities for the next generation of people instead of having them leave our city.

According to a report by the NSW Productivity and Equality Commissioner, between 2016 and 2021, Sydney lost twice as many people aged 30 to 40 as it gained, with a net loss of 35,000 young people from the city.

To encourage vibrant communities in the TOD Accelerated Precincts, Special Entertainment Precincts (SEP) will be enabled to support live entertainment through extended trading hours for live music venues and favourable noise controls that provide operational certainty for venues, neighbouring residents and businesses.

The TOD Accelerated Precincts will share in $520 million which has been reserved for investment community infrastructure such as critical road upgrades, active transport links and good quality open spaces. Each area will also have their own local infrastructure contributions plans to collect contributions which will enable council to provide new or expanded local infrastructure.

This rezoning builds on a series of planning reforms by the Minns Government to confront the housing crisis, including the 37 TOD SEPP locations, the pattern book to deliver more homes faster, the first stage of the low and mid-rise reforms, additional planning powers for NSW Government agencies delivering more homes and Council league tables.

Each of the TOD Accelerated Precincts will also have access to changed planning rules unique to those precincts to accelerate the delivery of homes and jobs. These changes to planning rules were placed on public exhibition last week and include time-limited approvals to encourage construction to get underway more quickly; a new State Significant Development threshold; exemptions from low-risk concurrence and referral requirements and an alternate design excellence pathway.

The public exhibition of the state-led rezonings proposals for these three TOD Accelerated Precincts will occur from 16 July to 16 August 2024. Have your say here.

The proposals for the second group of TOD Accelerated Precincts are:

Crows Nest– 3,255 new homes with between 325-488 as affordable housing and 2,600 new jobs

The Crows Nest TOD Accelerated Precinct rezoning proposal will allow for a variety of residential and non-residential land uses within walking distance of train and metro stations. The Crows Nest TOD Accelerated Precinct is in an area earmarked for growth and renewal through the St Leonards and Crows Nest 2036 Plan.

It will also increase the amount of affordable housing near to Royal North Shore Hospital, one of the largest general hospitals in Australia; and implement the recommendations of the St Leonards and Crows Nest 2036 Plan.

It is proposed that housing across the precinct will be focused within St Leonards Centre and along the spine of the Pacific Highway to the Crows Nest Metro Station, which is planned to open from 4 August. This will help activate the highway for new investment and new business opportunities.

The rezoning proposal includes a mandatory affordable housing requirement of 10-15 per cent in all new residential development, to be held in perpetuity and managed by a registered Community Housing Provider (CHP).

In addition, six sites have been identified in the proposed plans as having capacity to deliver 15 per cent affordable housing, through incentives such as height and floor space ratios.

Public spaces, vibrancy and amenity will be provided through improved walking and active transport links, and direct access to existing open space at Gore Hill Oval, Newlands Park and Hume Street Park.

Bankstown – 12,500 new homes with between 375-1,250 as affordable housing and 15,000 new jobs

Bankstown is known for its diverse multicultural community, easy access to public transport and a variety of retail and restaurants to choose from.

The Bankstown TOD proposal aims to increase housing supply in Bankstown City Centre by enabling greater residential, commercial and recreational uses within walking distance of Bankstown Station and the new Metro station.

The TOD proposal will feature residential and commercial buildings ranging from 1 to 25 storeys clustered around the new Metro station. The rezoning proposal also has requirements for non-residential floor space ratios within the CBD, to retain Bankstown’s vibrant local economy.

The rezoning proposal includes a mandatory affordable housing contribution of between 3-10 per cent in all new residential development, to be held in perpetuity and managed by a registered Community Housing Provider (CHP).

It also aims to increase community amenity and open spaces. Potential upgrades are proposed for Memorial Park and Griffith Park to better protect the character and amenity of Saigon Place, while creating new potential links between residential areas and Bankstown’s CBD.

Homebush – 16,100 new homes with between 805-1,610 as affordable housing and 2,670 new jobs

The Homebush TOD Accelerated Precinct comprises about 200ha of land between the Sydney and Parramatta CBDs. The rezoning enables a variety of land uses including residential, commercial and recreational within walking distance of four train stations (Homebush, North Strathfield, Strathfield and Concord West) and a future metro station (North Strathfield).

The rezoning proposal includes a mandatory affordable housing contribution of between 5-10 per cent in all new residential development, to be held in perpetuity and managed by a registered Community Housing Provider (CHP).

Homebush’s rezoning aims to implement the vision outlined in the Parramatta Road Corridor Urban Transformation Strategy (PRCUTS).  Increased density will initially be focused on the western side of North Strathfield Station and along Parramatta Road.

Improved green spaces will be part of the precinct’s future planning with potential new public domain areas, cycleways and tree canopy improvements. Potential upgrades are proposed for Wentworth Reserve, Powells Creek Corridor, Underwood Road and Crane Street Park.


Minister for Planning and Public Spaces Paul Scully said:

“Housing is the largest single cost of living issue facing the people of NSW, which is why we’ve been relentless in pursuing planning reform from day one.

“Our reforms have been progressive and extensive. The TOD Accelerated Precincts are part of a suite of interrelated planning reforms from the NSW Government to build better homes and better communities.

“These additional three precincts will help to deliver more well-located homes, close to transport and amenities, that are also close to new job opportunities as each of the rezonings enable a mix of residential and non-residential land uses, placing good homes and jobs at their core.

“These precincts provide more homes for all stages of life, whether people are renting, downsizing, or jumping on the property ladder for the first time.”

Full final report of the Independent Toll Review

The NSW Government welcomes the final report of the Independent Toll Review handed down today by Professor Allan Fels and Dr David Cousins.

The report exposes the full impact of toll road privatisation by the former government.

The report highlights Sydney’s toll road network is a poorly-functioning patchwork of numerous different price structures that will cost motorists $195 billion in nominal terms in tolls over the next three and a half decades on top of the billions they have already paid.

The report notes the lack of a unified tolling system has created complexity, inefficiency, inequities and unfairnes, with those in Western Sydney financially impacted the most.

There are a range of recommendations presented to Government by Professor Fels and Dr Cousins for consideration including:

  • Tolls should be based on a declining distance basis charged on a per kilometre basis but with the per kilometre rate declining the greater the distance travelled. This would deliver greater fairness to motorists in Western Sydney
  • An infrastructure charge should be introduced for parts of toll roads that have been costly to build e.g. ventilated tunnels, Sydney Harbour Bridge
  • Two-way tolling on the two current Harbour crossings and the Eastern Distributor, with this additional revenue gained being put into the lowering of tolls on the remainder of the network. This will also ensure a consistent tolling and traffic integration approach when the Western Harbour tunnel opens around 2028
  • Decisions on toll setting should be overseen by the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART)

The Government notes the final report also provides two distinct “bookend” scenarios that model the impact on motorists’ spend when additional toll relief is provided or removed from the system.

The NSW Government will now consider the report and respond in due course.

The Government promised at the election to introduce long-term reform for the world’s most tolled city and an end to the Liberals’ “toll mania” in Sydney.

The NSW Government is committed to reforming Sydney’s toll network to restore fairness, simplicity and transparency to the system and put the interests of motorists above those of private investors.

The Toll Review confirms this will be a complex task but one that the state must embark on as the Government provides essential cost-of-living relief through Labor’s $60 toll cap.

Roads Minister John Graham said:

“Toll reform is critical for Sydney and this is a once in a generation chance to address this issue.

“Former governments have had an attitude of set and forget on tolls but the result is now a combined burden of $195 billion to be paid out to 2060 and a city that is more congested, more divided.

“Under these long-term contracts, Sydney is a place in which people make choices about where they work based on the need to avoid paying tolls. The problem grows each year. Over decades, it will become unsustainable.

“We are determined to put motorists first as we push ahead with these challenging reforms.

“I welcome the offer by motorway concessionaires to work with the Government on a new, network approach to tolling. We will also consider legislation consistent with the recommendations in the final report to achieve this important reform.”

NSW Treasurer Daniel Mookhey said:  

“The NSW Government is committed to relief and reform.

“Relief began with our $60 toll cap.  And today’s report is the next important step in reforming an unnecessarily complex and costly system.

“Every year motorists are paying $2.5 billion in tolls.  Without reform, that burden will continue to land heaviest on those who can least afford it in Western Sydney and other car-reliant areas.

Full final report of the Independent Toll Review: https://www.treasury.nsw.gov.au/toll-review 

Tess Herbert appointed Local Land Services Board chair

Agribusiness owner and manager Tess Herbert has been appointed as the new Local Land Services Board Chair.

Mrs Herbert, of Eugowra, brings to the position more than 30 years’ combined experience in the Australian red meat industry, in agriculture policy, research and development, and in marketing and government.

A former Central Tablelands LLS Board member, Mrs Herbert holds a Masters in Agribusiness from the University of Melbourne (2020) and has extensive committee experience, including her current work as the Grains Industry Sustainability Framework Governance Council independent chair.

Tess, with her husband Andrew, run a medium-sized feedlot for about 6,000 head of cattle outside Eugowra, around 330 kilometres from Sydney.

The family also run 2,000 sheep, breed Angus cows and some cropping.

The sixth-generation farming family recently won the 2023 Australian Farmer of the Year award.

Recently Tess has supported the strategic planning of national and local strategies, such as the Meat Industry Strategic Plan, the Australian Lot Feeders Association Strategic Plan, the Animal Health Australian Strategic Plan and the Central Tablelands Local Land Services Strategic Plan.

She also is a member of the Australian Lot Feeders Association, Cattle Australia, NSW Farmers Association, Grain Growers, as well as a graduate and member of Australian Institute of Company Directors and a graduate and fellow of the Australian Rural Leadership Foundation.

Mrs Herbert will begin her role as the Local Land Services Board Chair on 1 July 2024.

The appointment follows a competitive application process.

In line with the Local Land Services Act 2013, the term of the Board Chair is set for up to four years.

Local Land Services employs 1041 staff members who are focused on delivering quality customer services to farmers, landholders and the wider community.

LLS staff help people make better decisions about the land they manage and assist rural and regional communities to be profitable and sustainable into the future.

Key programs delivered by LLS:

Local Land Services delivered the 2023-2024 $13 million Feral Pig Program on behalf of the NSW Government in response to widespread growth in the number of feral pigs across NSW.

An additional $13.1 million was recently announced to build on the success of the Feral Pig Program, which has controlled more than 122,888 pigs since it began.

Local Land Services is currently delivering the $48.4 million Riverbank Rehabilitation Project on behalf of the NSW and Australian Governments in response to the NSW storm and high rainfall events of February and March 2021 and 2022.

Agriculture Minister Tara Moriarty said:

“Mrs Herbert brings a wealth of experience working with state and federal governments, agriculture industry groups, red meat producers, retailers, customers and non-government organisations.

“From 1 July, she will be responsible for driving the strategic direction and general policies of LLS, while working closely with the chairs of the 11 local boards.

“I congratulate Mrs Herbert on the new role and look forward to working alongside her as she ensures the continued success of Local Land Services and its role in supporting our landholders to protect, support and develop our regions.

“I also want to thank our interim Chair Bob Smith for his work and leadership during the recruitment process.”

Incoming Local Land Services Board Chair Tess Herbert said:

“As a former member of the Central Tablelands Local Land Services Board, it’s exciting to be appointed the state Board Chair because I recognise the importance of the organisation, and how the Board supports the success of Local Land Services.

“I look forward to leading the strategic direction and supporting the governance of the organisation so it can continue to make valuable, on-the-ground connections with landholders, especially as we move towards a greater focus on how we manage land.

“Local Land Services plays an important role in regional and rural NSW, and through my position in governance, I want to highlight the real value we can offer to rate payers and land managers right across the state.”

Outback roads bonanza with almost $10 million in upgrades (and an outback shrimp)

Residents, tourists and businesses in far western NSW are benefiting from an almost $10 million NSW Labor Government investment in upgrades to local roads in the Cobar and Unincorporated areas.

The upgrades are making outback roads safer, improving travel times for motorists and more people can stay on the road and get to where they need to go when there is wet weather.

On an outback trip last week, Minister for Regional Transport and Roads Jenny Aitchison inspected projects funded through the Fixing Local Roads Program.

One of the projects completed by Cobar Shire Council is the upgrade of Wilga Downs Road which received almost $2.8 million from the NSW Government and almost $250,000 from council.

The sealing of nearly 14 kilometres of the road, construction of a causeway and stabilising of causeways means local industries, families and medical services now have all-weather access on an important route between the Cobar and Bourke Shires.

Another key far west road upgrade is also complete, with $2.75 million invested in improving the Cameron Corner Road, which straddles the border of NSW, Queensland and South Australia.

Transport for NSW delivered the works realigning two curves, rehabilitating the road, improving drainage, installing gravel overlay and sealing 2km of road.

Crews who delivered Cameron Corner Road upgrade are now working on two other local road improvements worth around $4.2 million and which will reduce the threat of erosion during storm events and improve wet weather resilience.

Southwest of Broken Hill, off the Silver City Highway, work on Netley Road is scheduled to begin in September 2024 to upgrade causeways by stabilising pavements and extending sealed sections.

At Bootra Road, northeast of Broken Hill near Packsaddle, work starts in July to deliver three kilometres of formation improvements and gravel resheeting to help reduce the need for road closures.

Each project is expected to take around three months to complete, weather permitting.

While rain and storms have significant impact on the road network in the far west, and these projects are designed to address that, recent wet weather has had an ecological silver lining.

After high rain fall in January and February, a Transport crew noticed an abundance of plants and animals including the Shield Shrimp (Triops Australianises), in pools of water that formed next to the Cameron Corner Road site.

Known as the ‘Shrimp of the outback’ it lives in arid parts of Australia and can lay dormant for over seven years until there is enough rainfall for them to hatch and feed.

Minister for Regional Transport and Roads Jenny Aitchison said:

“These four local road projects, totalling around $10 million of NSW Government investment, are critical resilience boosting measures for the road network in the far west.

“Better road surfaces and enhanced safety will be welcomed not only by local residents, emergency services and the mining and farming industries, but also by tourists who enjoy visiting the outback and have not often driven on gravel roads.

“Safer, more resilient roads are vital to the mining, pastoral and cropping industries. To give an example of just how vital these roads are, in some cases they are the only access point for pastoral stations and are therefore critical for the families who live and work there to get to school, medical appointments and to get their goods to and from market.”

Cobar Shire Council Mayor Jarrod Marsden said:

“We are delighted to have completed the important upgrade to Wilga Downs Road. Prior to the sealing work this route was closed 15 days per year on average due to rain, with washed out shoulders, forcing speed restrictions to be put in place.

“Every time the road was impassable, it would add around an hour of extra travel time which impacted community members in many ways including missed medical appointments and children not being able to get to school.

“The Shire’s prosperity is built around the mining industry of copper, lead, silver, zinc and gold, as well as pastoral and cropping enterprises. Having access on this road during all-weather events will help provide these industries with safe, reliable transport routes.

“The project to upgrade Wilga Downs Road has also provided a local economic boost with more than 1100 hours of work involved.”

Design team appointed for Milton Ulladulla Hospital upgrade

The upgrade of Milton Ulladulla Hospital is moving ahead with a specialist team appointed to commence planning and design works.

The appointment is part of the NSW Government’s $7.5 million investment to deliver improved health services and infrastructure at Milton Ulladulla Hospital to meet the current and future healthcare needs of the local community.

The project scope and construction timeframes will be determined as part of the planning and design process and will include consultation will staff, stakeholders and the community. 

In addition to the planning and design of infrastructure upgrades at Milton Ulladulla Hospital, Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District recently commenced the development of a draft Health Service Plan for the Milton Ulladulla facility. 

The draft Health Service Plan will guide future health and hospital service delivery over the next 10 – 15 years at Milton Ulladulla Hospital, including responding to the changing needs of the community such as:

  • Increasing demand on the Milton Ulladulla Hospital Emergency Department, particularly through the peak summer period.
  • The need for appropriate service models in response to the growing ageing population.
  • Increasing need for non-hospital models of care, supporting the community to stay healthy at home.
  • Exploring enhanced maternity services, including birthing services, so that local women can receive care as close to home as possible.

The community will be invited to have their say on the draft Health Service Plan at community sessions planned for September this year.

The NSW Government is also delivering the more than $780 million new Shellharbour Hospital and Integrated Servies project, and the $438 million Shoalhaven Hospital Redevelopment, making it the health hub for the entire Illawarra, reducing the need to transfer patients to Wollongong and Sydney.

Minister for Regional Health Ryan Park:

“The appointment of the project manager, architect and cost manager is an important milestone in the delivery of the upgrade of the Milton Ulladulla Hospital.

“This experienced project team will work with staff, patients and the community to ensure the improvements best meet the needs of the community.”

Member for South Coast Liza Butler:

“The Milton Ulladulla Hospital is a key regional hospital in the southern Shoalhaven, providing important healthcare services close to home.

“Consultation with the local community, including staff and stakeholders, will help guide the planning and design process for the hospital to ensure it meets our health needs now and into the future.”

One Nation’s Sarah Game says ‘no’ to drag queen’s school holiday storytime

One Nation MLC Sarah Game has again displayed her determination to stand up for parents and taxpayers – this time earning support for helping to publicise a South Australian council’s plans to stage a kids’ storytime conducted by a local drag queen. 

Since being elected in 2022 Sarah has introduced various bills to defend family integrity and children’s rights, including the Education and Children’s Services (Parental Primacy) Amendment Bill 2024 that aims to give parents more control over the education their children receive on issues of morality, ethics, politics, social values, and identity – including gender and sexuality.  

This latter platform saw Sarah respond to constituents who raised concerns about a planned show titled “Rainbow Storytime”, scheduled to take place today (Monday 15 July) at the Salisbury Community Hub Library. 

Part of a school holiday program, the event is featuring Adelaide drag performer Fifi, who will read stories such as “Chicken Divas” and “Just the Way We Are” to children of all ages. 

Initially, Sarah wrote to the SA Minister for Local Government, plus the Minister for Education, outlining her concerns and the concerns of locals, who were outraged at the Salisbury City Council’s plans. 

Sarah told the ministers that numerous people had voiced their view that shows with adult themes – such as drag acts – are inappropriate for young audiences and said that public funds should never be used for such events. 

She asked about the criteria used to determine the appropriateness of such content, plus the frequency of council-organised events involving adult-themed content. 

“Public institutions must run with integrity and transparency, ensuring that taxpayer funds are spent in a way that is consistent with the expectations and values of the community,” she told the ministers. 

Following that letter, Sarah last week featured in a front-page article in the Adelaide Advertiser about the planned show, telling the paper she believes it is “totally inappropriate for young children” to be encouraged to question their “gender identity and gender fluidity”. 

“There’s a growing concern in the community about teaching children about gender fluidity because we don’t really understand the impact that has on young minds,” Sarah said. 

“They’re adult concepts and it’s confusing for children; I think we just need to allow children to be children, and let them grow up and be who they are without these other influences.”