Bangladesh-Australia Ministerial Dialogue, Dhaka

  1. Bangladesh’s Hon’ble Foreign Minister Dr. Hasan Mahmud, MP and Australia’s Minister for Foreign Affairs Senator the Hon Penny Wong held their first ministerial dialogue on Tuesday, 21 May 2024 in Dhaka.
  2. The Ministers noted the warm bilateral relationship founded on more than fifty years of diplomatic relations and deepening friendship between our peoples. They recognised that high-level visits at the political level can help take the relationship to further new heights.
  3. The Ministers recalled the constructive, positive bilateral discussions held at the Indian Ocean Conference in Perth in February 2024, following those during the Indian Ocean Conference in Dhaka in 2023. They noted ongoing collaboration and cooperation in regional and multilateral fora, including the Indian Ocean Rim Association and at the United Nations.
  4. The Ministers appreciated the growing strategic depth and dimensions of the bilateral relations. They noted the commonalities between Bangladesh’s Indo-Pacific Outlook, the Indian Ocean Rim Association’s Indo-Pacific Outlook and the ASEAN Outlook on the Indo- Pacific. They reaffirmed their shared vision and desire to work towards a region that is peaceful, stable, prosperous, inclusive and free from intimidation, interference and coercion.
  5. The Ministers acknowledged the importance of building regional health security, promoting demographic resilience, enhancing multi-modal connectivity, and strengthening clean energy supply chains. The Ministers agreed on the importance of promoting open channels of communication and confidence-building measures to reduce the risk of conflict in the region.
  6. The Ministers reaffirmed their support for sovereignty and territorial integrity in the Indo- Pacific, democratic values, human rights, freedom of navigation and overflight, and the peaceful resolution of disputes. Australia and Bangladesh are committed to working together to find practical solutions to shared contemporary challenges, including maritime security threats, climate change, cybercrimes and countering trafficking in persons.
  7. The Ministers discussed developments in the Indo-Pacific and Middle East. The Ministers reiterated their shared concern about the dire humanitarian situation in Gaza, which has been exacerbated following the 7 October attacks, calling for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire and reaffirming support for a two-state solution.
  8. The Ministers also expressed serious concern over the ongoing war in Ukraine and its repercussions around the world. They reiterated the call for a peace process through dialogue and diplomacy with respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine within its internationally recognised borders and in accordance with the principles of the UN Charter.
  9. The Ministers expressed their deep concern at the deteriorating conflict situation in Myanmar and its effect on regional security and stability, calling for scaling up of efforts by ASEAN and other key regional actors.
  10. The Ministers affirmed their intention to enhance cooperation on deepening two-way trade and economic ties as Bangladesh progresses towards graduation from UN LDC status, with Australia committing to maintain tariff-free, quota-free access to its market to support Bangladesh’s smooth transition. The Bangladesh Minister provided assurances that necessary support would be given to Australian investors, including in thrust sectors like agro-processing, ICT and logistics.
  11. The Ministers noted Australia’s ongoing funding for multilateral development banks to support Bangladesh’s efforts to address its priority structural reforms that would bolster development and economic growth. The Ministers stressed the need for strengthening the international financial architecture.
  12. Noting the importance of enhanced connectivity to increase regional economic integration and growth, the Ministers discussed Australian technical support in partnership with the World Bank and International Finance Corporation to connectivity measures via the South Asia Regional Infrastructure Connectivity programme. The Ministers agreed to work further on bilateral air connectivity and cable connectivity resilience.
  13. The Ministers acknowledged the importance of skills development and training to foster inclusive economic growth, with Australia announcing AUD 3 million in support for delivery of technical and vocational training for Bangladesh’s youth. The Bangladesh Minister expressed interest in enhancing cooperation with Australia in the fields of research and innovation. The Ministers affirmed Australia’s long-standing commitment to building capacity in Bangladesh, with over 3,000 Bangladeshis having completed studies under the Australia Awards Scholarships and Fellowship Programme since 1982. Working with the UNDP, Australia has provided technical assistance and policy support towards developing a strategy for inclusive social security system.
  14. Australia and Bangladesh reaffirmed the vital importance of gender equality and women’s empowerment in all fields, notably across education, government and parliamentary representation. Australia reaffirmed its support for investments to promote women’s economic empowerment. Recognising gender equality as a shared priority with opportunities for regional leadership, the Ministers agreed to work bilaterally and multilaterally to combat all forms of discrimination and violence against women and girls.
  15. The Ministers agreed on the importance of enhanced cooperation on climate change, including funding of vital climate adaptation and mitigation measures. Australia emphasised its partnership with Bangladesh to support agricultural production and adaptation research, including through the work of the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research. They discussed enhancing cooperation on capacity building for accessing international climate financing. Bangladesh welcomed the forthcoming visit by Australia’s Ambassador for Climate Change, and offered to share some of its locally-led adaptation solutions with the Pacific Island countries, including through trilateral engagement with Australia.
  16. Australia acknowledged the generosity of the Bangladesh government and people in hosting the forcibly displaced Rohingyas from Myanmar, and Bangladesh acknowledged the sustained humanitarian contribution of the Australian Government to support the Rohingyas and host communities in Bangladesh, with both Ministers underlining the importance of working towards the Rohingyas’ safe and dignified repatriation to Myanmar.
  17. The Ministers confirmed their commitment to enhancing maritime and oceans capabilities as a critical means to protecting our marine environment and promoting sovereignty and the rule of law. The Ministers agreed to strengthen cooperation to combat people’s smuggling and transnational crimes across the region, including through prioritising cooperation between their coast guards. Ministers agreed to support regional and international efforts towards combatting transnational organised crimes in the Indo-Pacific through both normative and practical actions.
  18. As founding members of the Bali Process on People Smuggling, Trafficking in Persons and Related Transnational Crime, Australia and Bangladesh expressed concern about the loss of life and exploitation of vulnerable people such as the Rohingyas, including women and children, at the hands of transnational criminal networks. The Australian Minister noted that the Commander of Australia’s Maritime Border Command will visit Bangladesh to further discuss these issues. The Ministers agreed on the importance of safe migration pathways in our region to curb irregular and unsafe migration patterns.
  19. Noting the growth in the Bangladesh diaspora in Australia and the contributions made by our two peoples to deepening the bilateral relationship, the Ministers affirmed the importance of preservation and promotion of arts and culture, and committed to signing a Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation in Arts and Culture.

Disability Community Rejects Labor’s NDIS Bill

We’re set for round two of disabled people vs. Labor’s changes to the NDIS. 

Today, Wednesday 22nd May 2024, the Australian Senate will hold its second public hearing into the proposed National Disability Insurance Scheme Amendment Bill 2024. 

Day one of hearings saw witnesses condemn the Bill and implore Senators to recommend it not pass in its current form. 

The legislation, which proposes the most significant changes to the NDIS since it commenced over a decade ago, was developed behind closed doors with representatives from disability organisations required to sign non-disclosure agreements. 

On day one of the inquiry, the committee heard directly from disabled people. Their concerns with the bill, include: 

  • “This [bill] will do nothing in achieving good outcomes, this will do nothing in protecting human rights. This will kill thousands upon thousands upon thousands of people.”
     
  • “This bill is the most dangerous piece of legislation since the changes to the DSP and Robodebt”
     
  • “This bill enables the NDIA to force me out of my home if I need eight hours of support or more. I will be forced to choose between living with my wife and my vital support needs.”
     
  • “[Disability] varies so greatly that you cannot possibly put a black-and-white mechanism, [a] computer algorithm, in place – much less one that is beyond being able to be challenged by a participant.”
     
  • “Fundamentally, this bill ceases to be fit for purpose, because it does not understand what it seeks to achieve unless all it seeks to achieve is to save a bunch of money at the cost of very many lives.”

Senator Steele-John, Australian Greens Spokesperson for Disability Rights and Services.  

“Day one of the hearings demonstrated that the disability community are seeing right through Labor’s spin. We can see the true intent of this Bill: to cut funding to disabled people and give politicians the power to kick tens of thousands off the scheme with the stroke of a pen.

“To pass this bill as it is now would be the end of the NDIS, and risks thousands upon thousands of disabled people experiencing harm and living a more difficult life. 

“This NDIS bill lacks any compassion for what will happen to disabled people who get kicked off the NDIS. It’s going to put extra pressure on families and put the thousands of people employed within the disability sector in uncertainty.

“This bill robs disabled people of the power to choose the supports they need to live a good life, and puts that power into the hands of politicians who have no idea what it’s like to be disabled. 

“This bill and Labor’s budget cuts threaten to undo all of the progress that disabled people and our families have made because of the NDIS.“

GREENS CALL FOR AUSTRALIA TO SUPPORT A PEACEFUL AND JUST RESOLUTION IN NEW CALEDONIA

Senator Jordon Steele-John, Australian Greens Spokesperson for Foreign Affairs and Peace: 

“The ongoing violence, and the French authorities’ response, in New Caledonia is deeply concerning.

“The Australian Government must respond to the calls of local organisations to support neutral mediation between all parties, supported by the UN and Pacific Leaders. It is paramount that a peaceful resolution is reached. 

“With New Caledonia listed as a colonised territory with the United Nations, the path to peace must prioritise the self-determination of the Indigenous Kanak people and must ensure that all people in New Caledonia can live in peace.

“Additionally, the Greens are calling on the Federal Government to continue their efforts to ensure all citizens, permanent residents and immediate family members, including those outside of Noumea, are supported to return to Australia.”

TERRITORY LABOR LOWERS MINING ROYALTIES

Suki Dorras-Walker:

“While the Territory Government struggles to find the money to fund much needed domestic violence and homelessness services, it’s implementing a new scheme which lowers the royalty rate for new mines and therefore the revenue of the Territory Government.”

“This new mining royalties scheme reveals that we don’t have a budget deficit problem, we have a problem with a Territory Government that is unwilling to make its corporate mates pay their fair share when extracting our public resources. 

“These resources belong to Territorians and we should be getting bang for our buck.”

“While the current reduction in royalties does not apply to existing mines, it leaves the door open for them to adopt the same model. That’s a major threat to the Territory’s revenue.  Given a large proportion of royalties come from mining on Aboriginal Land, there is reason to believe this could disproportionately affect First Nations Territorians.”

“Territorians are feeling the cost of living squeeze. But, once again, the mining industry gets exactly what they want – more profit at the expense of Territorians.”

“We’ve just had a budget where the NT Government is emphasising revenue created in the Territory and cutting essential services. It makes no sense to change the rules so that mines pay less royalties for our public resources instead of more – it’s a rip off.”

“Unlike the CLP and Territory Labor, the NT Greens do not take donations from mining corporations looking to buy influence. So we will always be advocating for the best deal for Territorians, not big corporations.”

Two years of Anthony Albanese’s economic vandalism is killing Australian small business

After two years of the Albanese Government, it is clear that Labor’s economic vandalism is killing Australian businesses with builders, manufactures and small businesses bearing the brunt. Australian businesses are going to the wall because Anthony Albanese lied about his plan to deliver cheaper power prices and that he would ‘rebuild Australian manufacturing’.

Labor has delivered an insolvency crisis across the Australian economy. According to the official Australian insolvency statistics for April, released by ASIC, insolvencies across construction have already exceeded the annual figure for 2022-23 and manufacturing insolvencies are set to exceed the 2022-23 figures by the end of May. This underscores an increasing rate of insolvencies across the Australian economy, which was already three times higher than the same period, just two years ago under the Coalition.

Businesses are going bust under Labor and it will only get worse. According to CreditorWatch’s Business Risk Index released yesterday, one in 13 Australian hospitality businesses are facing failure in the next 12 months. This is attributed to the sector’s exposure to discretionary spending of consumers “which has dried up as cost-of-living pressures mount.” As CreditorWatch notes, hospitality businesses such as restaurants have been hit hard by cost pressures, with higher than ever power prices and cost of ingredients combining with weaker consumer spending. This report indicates that Western Sydney and South-East Queensland are the regions with the highest risk of business failures.

CreditorWatch has also found that business to business (B2B) payment defaults have hit a record high and are up 69.4 per cent year-on-year, as businesses struggle to pay their invoices. Their analysis shows a strong correlation between B2B payment defaults and business failure indicating there will be a continued and increasing trend in businesses going bust over the coming year.

Anthony Albanese’s energy crisis is killing Australian small businesses. According to Research commissioned by Energy Consumers Australia and the Council of Small Business Organisations Australia (COSBOA), released today, energy hardship and financial strain is hitting small business harder than COVID-19. One in five small businesses are struggling to pay their energy bills on time and nearly half of small businesses are concerned about their ability to pay future energy bills. More than one in three small to medium-sized enterprises have experienced energy hardship during the past 12 months and rising energy costs are the number one factor which has ­impacted businesses’ financial situation in the last 12 months.

In the face of a deteriorating economy, COSBOA was absolutely right to label the Federal Budget a, “missed opportunity to back small business”.

As small businesses struggle to pay their power bills which have risen by thousands and thousands of dollars, Labor’s response has been to give them $325, spread quarterly. The sector has rightly indicated this “won’t even touch the sides”.

As Australian manufactures fail in great numbers, Labor have committed an additional $22.7 billion for their Future Made in Australia proposal including $13.7 billion of corporate welfare, while their existing $15 billion National Reconstruction Fund is yet to spend a single cent.

Deputy Leader of the Opposition and Shadow Minister for Industry, Skills and Training and Small and Family Business, Sussan Ley, said Labor’s failure to deliver real economic leadership had taken Australia in the wrong direction and it is only the Coalition, under the leadership of Peter Dutton, that has a proper plan to get Australian back on track.

“Because of Anthony Albanese’s bad calls, Australian businesses are in their worst position since the Global Financial Crisis, with payment defaults the worst on record and Australian households hurting.

“After two years in government, Anthony Albanese’s record is clear: weak leadership on the economy, weak leadership on national security, and a refusal to take responsibility for the dire situation facing Australians and their small businesses.

“Anthony Albanese and Jim Chalmers love to talk up the jobs they claim to have ‘created’ – well, if they want to take credit for employment outcomes, then they also have to take responsibility for these skyrocketing insolvencies.”

Community input needed to make Newcastle a more walkable city

City of Newcastle is inviting Novocastrians to share their thoughts on the safety and accessibility of pedestrian crossings to help guide future installations and upgrades across the city.

Residents will provide feedback on the different types of crossings, as well as recently completed raised pedestrian crossings in suburbs including New Lambton, Waratah, Birmingham Gardens, Broadmeadow, and Merewether.

Cr Adamczyk and Deputy Lord Mayor Declan Clausen use the pedestrian crossing at New LambtonCr Adamczyk and Deputy Lord Mayor Declan Clausen use the pedestrian crossing at New LambtonDeputy Lord Mayor Declan Clausen said encouraging more people to walk is important for the wellbeing of our community and the liveability of our city.

“We’re preparing a more strategic approach to how we plan and deliver pedestrian crossings across Newcastle by addressing barriers to walking,” Cr Clausen said.

“With a better understanding of how different crossing types improve the experience of pedestrians, we’ll be able to implement appropriate crossings that prioritise safety and accessibility.

“We want to ensure our pedestrian crossings reflect the diversity of our community and cater to the needs of all Novocastrians including older residents, people with mobility or vision impairments, parents with prams, school children and tourists.”

Councillor Elizabeth Adamczyk, Chair of the Walking and Mobility Working Party said the survey would help shed light on community experiences and perceptions of the safety benefits of different pedestrian crossing types.

“Community feedback will help to improve safety and accessibility of walking in our city,” Cr Adamczyk said.

“By reducing the barriers related to crossing the road, we aim to improve safe continuous pathways of travel and enhance the experience for pedestrians of all mobilities and abilities.”

To take part in the survey visit newcastle.nsw.gov.au/yoursay

Feedback closes at 5pm on 10 June 2024.

Add a hint of orange and thank a NSW SES volunteer this WOW Day

Minister for Emergency Services Jihad Dib has urged communities across NSW to add a splash of orange to their outfits this Wear Orange Wednesday, or WOW Day, in celebration of the more than 10,000 hardworking State Emergency Service (SES) volunteers across the state.

Minister for Emergency Services Jihad Dib has urged communities across NSW to add a splash of orange to their outfits this Wear Orange Wednesday, or WOW Day, in celebration of the more than 10,000 hardworking State Emergency Service (SES) volunteers across the state.

The past few years have been busy for the NSW SES, with ongoing wet weather conditions and an increase in the number of severe weather events.

WOW Day is an opportunity for communities to say ‘thank you’ to their local SES volunteers, who do everything from flood response to helping in road accidents and bush searches, as well as providing first aid to the community.

NSW SES volunteers are among more than 100,000 emergency services volunteers across NSW who are being celebrated this National Volunteer Week. The NSW Rural Fire Service, Surf Life Saving NSW, Marine Rescue NSW, VRA Rescue NSW, and Fire and Rescue NSW Community Fire Units are also acknowledging the dedicated individuals who make up their ranks and give their time to helping others.

Over the past 12 months, NSW SES volunteers have responded to 28,000 incidents across the state. Volunteers have attended more than 20,000 storm related jobs, performed 366 flood rescues, helped at more than 600 road crashes, responded to more than 500 community first responder incidents (a specialist first aid role in rural areas) and assisted other emergency services on more than 1500 occasions.

In March this year, the NSW SES commenced a recruitment campaign, encouraging communities – particularly in regional areas – to join the volunteer emergency service. 

Get more information about how to Volunteer in the NSW SES. 

Minister for Emergency Services Jihad Dib said:

“It’s incredibly important to acknowledge and thank volunteers for everything they do, and in turn encourage others to consider joining up to a local emergency volunteer service.”

“SES volunteers don’t expect praise or thanks, but today I’m joining many others across the state by saying thank you and adding a touch of orange to my outfit to honour their efforts.”

“This is a great opportunity to acknowledge SES volunteers, who have had a busy and, at times, challenging run, with wet weather and severe weather events impacting communities across the state.”

NSW SES Acting Commissioner Damien Johnston said:

“Today is a special day for the NSW SES, as we take a moment to reflect on the remarkable work of our volunteers across the state.”

“As we celebrate National Volunteer Week and WOW Day, now is a great time to consider donning orange overalls and joining the ranks of the NSW SES.

“Volunteering gives you the opportunity to make lifelong friends, learn new skills and improve your physical and mental health.

“We offer incredible training opportunities for all ages and abilities. Our volunteers do everything from using chainsaws to cut fallen trees, to performing logistics or intelligence roles in an incident management team.

“There is a role for everyone at the NSW SES, which is one of the greatest benefits of joining as a volunteer.”

Speeding up connection of batteries to NSW electricity grid

The NSW Government is accelerating the roll out of major battery projects across the state, boosting electricity reliability to keep the lights on in NSW.

$8.4 million in new funds has been awarded to Transgrid and the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) to hire more engineers, enabling them to fast-track grid connections for four battery projects of more than 100 megawatts (MW) each.

The total capacity of these projects is equivalent to 15 per cent of the 2023-24 NSW summer peak demand or supplying approximately 800,000 households with energy during a peak demand event.

The most recent AEMO report forecasts increased reliability risks in NSW from 2024 to 2028, driven largely by retiring coal plants and not enough renewables coming online to fill the gap.

These large batteries will play a critical role in delivering affordable, reliable energy in NSW by storing renewable energy during sunny and windy periods and supplying that electricity to the energy grid during peak demand.

The projects which could benefit from the grants include:

  • Waratah Super Battery (850 MW, 2-hour storage duration)
  • Liddell Battery Energy Storage System (500 MW, 2-hour storage duration)
  • Orana Battery Energy Storage System (415 MW, 4-hour storage duration)
  • Richmond Valley Battery Energy Storage System (275 MW, 8-hour storage duration)

This investment will bring forward completion dates of these priority battery projects by as much as 12 months, helping to decrease current reliability risks to NSW consumers.

Connecting projects to the grid is highly technical and a lack of qualified staff can cause delays.

Transgrid will use a $3.2 million grant to fund extra technical staff on grid connections to reduce the risk of delays. Transgrid will also establish two dedicated ‘squads’ of engineers, technicians and customer support staff, to provide additional grid connection application review and support.

AEMO will receive up to $5.2 million for additional staff to project manage the grid connection process and coordinate with Transgrid and other project proponents to get the supported battery projects up and running by 2025-2026.

The funding for these battery projects is one of many measures the NSW Government is putting in place to deliver affordable, reliable energy for the people of NSW including $1.8 billion to establish the Energy Security Corporation.

Minister for Climate Change and Energy Penny Sharpe said:

“The NSW Government is committed to accelerating replacement electricity infrastructure and is funding additional staff to ensure priority battery projects are connected to the grid as soon as possible.

“The funding to AEMO and Transgrid will reduce the risk of connection to the grid being delayed and help to address the reliability risks identified in AEMO’s recent report.

“These batteries will ensure consumers in NSW have access to affordable and reliable electricity sooner.”

Youth volunteering a focus for National Volunteer Week

A newly released NSW Youth Volunteering Guidelines will help support and boost youth volunteering in the state.

Launched today during National Volunteer Week (20 to 26 May), the guidelines are underpinned by 3 overarching pillars– Recruit, Retain and Recognise.

Extensive research and consultation were undertaken by the NSW Government, including gathering information from young people and volunteer organisations to ensure the guidelines are a valuable and useful resource.

The Youth Volunteering Guidelines are an initiative under the NSW Volunteering Strategy 2020-2030, which is focused on engaging young volunteers to strengthen the sector’s future sustainability.

The NSW State of Volunteering Report 2023 showed that young people are volunteering at higher rates than ever, with 35% of volunteers under the age of 30, and 70% of all people under the age of 25 engaging in some form of volunteering activity.

The guidelines were developed in response to recommendations made by the NSW Volunteering Taskforce set up to build the capacity of volunteer organisations to recruit, train, manage and recognise young people as active volunteers.

The new guidelines will provide advice and guidance to organisations on how to best strengthen youth participation in the volunteering sector, in particular tapping into the different skills they bring to encourage them to volunteer. 

View the Youth Volunteering Guidelines and youth volunteering opportunities.

Minister for Youth Rose Jackson said:

“We need to foster the next generation of compassionate, socially conscious individuals to lead the charge in the volunteering sector.

“We want to encourage more young people to reap the benefits of volunteering and effectively engage with them to recognise their valuable contribution. These guidelines provide guidance, strategies, and ideas around how to do this.

“It’s especially important to increase participation of young people from diverse backgrounds, including from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island communities, which will effectively result in volunteering having a greater impact on the people and communities it supports.”

Minister with responsibility for Volunteering Jodie Harrison said:

“The NSW Government is committed to increasing opportunities for youth-led volunteering initiatives that forge supportive, community-based partnerships between young people and volunteer organisations.

“Young people across NSW are talented, highly capable, and full of fresh ideas, all of which are valuable assets to our volunteering sector.

“We want to achieve growth in participation by young people, support continued active participation and acknowledge and showcase the contribution young people make to the volunteering sector.

“We need to develop and invest in young people now, so they become the leaders of today and tomorrow. By harnessing the skills and qualities of our young volunteers, we can create a dynamic volunteering sector that is forward-thinking, innovative and embraces everyone’s unique skills.”

Youth Leader with St John’s Ambulance’s Bankstown Cadets Division Trist Wang said:

“When I started volunteering with St John Ambulance, I had 2 things in mind. I wanted to engage in community work and meet people outside of school. But it quickly became so much more.

“My role right now involves leading and mentoring young people who are the same age I was when I first started volunteering. I tell them that volunteering is about enacting a scalable impact on your community. It’s fulfilling and fun, and but also builds character, friendship and growth.”

Birds, bugs and bees the big winners from new biodiversity resource

A new framework to welcome more nature into our backyards, balconies, rooftops and footpaths has been released, to celebrate Biodiversity Day 2024.

Australian research has shown that increasing the volume of native understorey by 10-30 per cent can result in a 30-120 per cent increase in species such as native birds, beetles and bugs.

That means greener, healthier, happier communities for all species.

The Biodiversity in Place Framework, developed by the NSW Government Architect (GANSW), provides a practical guide to bring nature back into our cities, towns and suburbs.

The framework has been developed for industry and community groups to use on new developments and when existing developments are being updated.

How we plan and what we plant on our verges, backyards, balconies, public spaces, rooftops as well as in the land around critical infrastructure, such as our roads, railways and creek corridors, can make a big difference in the health of local environment.

We have seen councils and community groups doing some great work designing and supporting a more resilient and sustainable future. This framework will further inform this work.

For more information on the framework please visit here.

Minister for Planning and Public Spaces Paul Scully said:

“As cities evolve, so too does their urban fabric. We have seen cities across the world carefully and successfully balance more housing and employment activities with urban greening.

“As we collectively respond to the need for more housing and jobs, this framework will support councils and community groups to make the most of our public spaces.

“As we work to tackle other challenges in our cities and urban environments it is important to consider how we can add greenery to our suburbs.”

Government Architect NSW Abbie Galvin said:

“We acknowledge that our cities need to be greener.

“Our next step is to radically rethink the way we design and provide that green space. Our urban spaces need to work harder than ever before.

“To improve the quality of our public and private landscapes and make our cities more resilient, we need to shift our thinking from providing the relative monocultures of lawn with exotic trees to planting highly diverse ecology in rich understories.

“Biodiversity loss is one of the greatest challenges worldwide. Bringing nature back into our cities provides an opportunity to halt the decline of biodiversity and pave the way for cultivating a vibrant urban environment where people and nature thrive together.”