No doubt about consent campaign

The NSW Government’s highly successful education campaign, empowering young people to check consent before engaging in sexual activity, has been relaunched today in the lead up to the end of year party season.
The expansion of the Make No Doubt campaign follows the success of phase 3 of the social and digital media campaign which ran from May to August this year and has recorded more than 46.75 million impressions to date.
Attorney General Mark Speakman said independent research commissioned to assess the campaign’s impact on 16-24 year olds shows that it is changing attitudes and behaviours in relation to seeking consent.
“The Make No Doubt videos are designed to ensure people are empowered to check consent every time they engage in sexual activity,” Mr Speakman said.
“This is especially important for 16-24 year olds who have a higher risk of sexual assault perpetration and victimisation. It’s about making sure that when people engage in sexual activity, they are taking part voluntarily and are choosing to say ‘yes’.
“The feedback on the campaign has been very positive. I thank the many stakeholders who provided valuable feedback and support during its development, particularly Saxon Mullins, Rachael Burgin and Chanel Contos.”
Minister for Women’s Safety and the Prevention of Domestic and Sexual Violence Natalie Ward said the relaunch of the Make No Doubt campaign builds on the NSW Government’s strong reforms to ensure consent needs to be given freely and voluntarily.
“We have listened extensively to victim-survivors about how we can improve our response to sexual violence, including how to boost education for the community on what constitutes consent,” Mrs Ward said.
“This campaign is empowering people to make the right choices and is making it clear that you need to check consent every time you engage in sexual activity.
“The NSW Government’s consent laws set clear boundaries for consensual sex and this campaign will help ensure even more people understand what they need to do to have healthy, respectful relationships.”
Survivor Advocate and Director of Rape & Sexual Assault Research & Advocacy, Saxon Mullins welcomed the expansion of the Make No Doubt campaign.
“It’s important that we continue to have open conversations about consent that don’t trivialise or obscure it,” Ms Mullins said.
“The extension of the Make No Doubt campaign keeps the conversation going. The more people who see these videos, the better we’ll all be.”
Chanel Contos, CEO & Founder of Teach Us Consent Movement, said the independent research shows that the campaign is clearly having an impact.
“The fact that 81% of people, and 83% of young men, who saw the campaign have already taken some form of positive action in relation to consent, speaks volumes to the success of this campaign,” Ms Contos said.
“Public education campaigns like this are crucial as we strive for cultural change. I hope this is one of many.”
The video ads will run on social media and digital channels, including YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and TikTok plus some new channels including Twitch and online dating platforms.
The NSW Government debuted Make No Doubt in 2018 and followed up with a second phase in 2019. Phase 3 of Make No Doubt ran for 12 weeks from 25 May 2022. 
The new campaign will run from today until January 2023.
The videos are the product of months of consultation with numerous stakeholders, including sexual violence service providers and community groups.
Make No Doubt campaign videos and images available here.

School leavers score new skills over summer

The ‘Class of 2022’ will be given the opportunity to access fee-free training to help them rapidly gain new skills for summer jobs in industries experiencing labour shortages such as hospitality, construction and early childhood education.
Minister for Skills and Training Alister Henskens said the Summer Skills program will deliver 4,000 fee-free courses, with a focus on school leavers, as part of the NSW Government’s record $3.1 billion investment in skills and training.
“If you’re completing your HSC, now is the perfect time to get skilled for free and jump straight into a well-paid and rewarding job over the summer,” Mr Henskens said.
“This program is helping people boost their budget by slashing course costs, so that young people can get the skills they need for the jobs they want – whether that’s to kick start a career or earn money while they study.
“It will also help businesses address labour shortages so that they can employ more people and have a bumper summer.”
Summer Skills courses will be available for people between 16 and 24 who have left school through TAFE NSW and other registered training organisations.
Business NSW Executive Director David Harding said there has never been a better time for young people to get a job and this program will help them get the new skills they need.
“Businesses across NSW are crying out for staff as we head into summer and school leavers looking to get their start in the workforce will be welcomed by employers,” Mr Harding said. 
“Whether that be pulling beers, a role in childcare or caring for older Aussies, getting our kids into a job sets them up for a bright future.”
For more information, visit

Court upgrades to help domestic and sexual violence survivors

Safe spaces and modern facilities to help empower domestic and sexual violence survivors and vulnerable witnesses to give their best evidence in court have been installed or upgraded in 45 courthouses across the State.
Attorney General Mark Speakman said the now completed works utilised $9 million of COVID-19 stimulus funding from the previous federal government to deliver new or upgraded safe rooms and remote witness rooms in metropolitan and regional courthouses.
“Retraumatising a complainant does not advance justice. Courts are best assisted to hear and determine matters where witnesses and complainants are supported to present their best evidence, in the interests of the administration of justice,” Mr Speakman said.
“These new and upgraded facilities give vulnerable witnesses the private, secure areas they need to prepare for court and to provide evidence.
“Under the NSW Government’s domestic violence reforms, complainants in domestic violence criminal proceedings and related apprehended domestic violence order proceedings have a prima facie entitlement to give evidence remotely via audio visual and in a closed court,” Mr Speakman said.
“Cross-examination is an important part of the justice process because it safeguards convictions for crimes of sexual and domestic violence by ensuring a fair trial.
“These protections seek to minimise the stress and trauma of giving evidence in court for those witnesses, and empower them to engage with the justice process to deliver their evidence.”
Minister for Women’s Safety and the Prevention of Domestic and Sexual Violence Natalie Ward said the prospect of having to face an alleged abuser, or their family members, in open court can re-traumatise and exacerbate the stress of having to testify in court.
“This is about further protecting and minimising the trauma of domestic violence victim-survivors,” Mrs Ward said.
“These new safe rooms and remote witness facilities enhance support for the courageous victims who come forward to report abuse. The NSW Government is committed to supporting victim-survivors if they choose to report to police, and it is crucial these facilities are available to support them and help alleviate the trauma of coming to court.”
Safe rooms are rooms within a courthouse which give vulnerable witnesses, such as victim-survivors of domestic and family violence or sexual assault, private and secure areas to prepare for court. 
Remote witness rooms are rooms within the courthouse which are linked to the main court room via Audio Visual Link (AVL). They allow vulnerable witnesses to provide their testimony without having to face perpetrator and/or their supporters in the court room.
In total, there are now 154 remote witness rooms and eight rooms that are directly connected to a courtroom at 100 locations in NSW. In addition, there are 84 safe rooms at 77 court locations in NSW.
Mr Speakman said the NSW Government has delivered a number of significant legislative reforms and resources to maintain the right to a fair trial while promoting a trauma-informed approach to court processes, including:

  • Landmark affirmative consent reforms which were accompanied by five new jury directions to address common sexual assault misconceptions and ‘rape myths’, research into victim-survivors’ experiences with the criminal justice process, and the expansion of the successful “Make No Doubt” consent education campaign
  • $5.6 million in funding to support the implementation of the NSW Government’s coercive control reforms, which passed the Legislative Assembly on October 19, 2022. The funding will enable coercive control training and education, including for police, lawyers and judges, as well as public awareness raising campaigns.
  • Expanding the ban on direct cross-examination by self-represented accused of complainants in sexual offence proceedings to complainants in domestic violence criminal and related proceedings, through the use of an intermediary ‘Court Appointed Questioner’.

Technology trial to simplify parking

Road users can expect a simpler parking experience with a cutting-edge signage technology trial rolling out in Sydney.

Minister for Metropolitan Roads Natalie Ward said the Smart Signage trial will begin in the Sydney CBD as part of the $695 million Smart Technology Corridors Program.

“The aim of this trial is to make deciphering messages on parking signs easy,” Mrs Ward said.

“Smart Signage will replace confusing parking, clearway and bus zone signs with one simple, digital sign that is updated and monitored remotely.

“Not only will this technology potentially reduce parking fines, putting money back in people’s pockets, but it will also help prevent accidental parking in clearways, which adds greatly to congestion.”

The Smart Signage Program harnesses new digital technology to offer a simpler, more modern solution for complex clearway and parking signage. The digital signs provide information to drivers on timeframes for clearways, bus zones, no stopping zones, loading zones and up-to-date timed parking.

Motorists using Chalmers Street, Surry Hills between Cleveland Street and Devonshire Street will see the Smart Signage trial kick off from 21 November 2022 and run for up to 18 months.

A trial is also planned for Elizabeth Street, between Park Street and Liverpool Street, Sydney in the near future.
The community will be kept up to date on any work being carried out in their local area for a Smart Signage trial as well as timeframes.

The Smart Technology Corridors Program was announced in 2019 with three key focus areas; Smart Signage, Intelligent Traffic Light Program and Smart Motorways.

For more information on the Smart Signage trial or to give feedback go to

Wentworth Point celebrates record investment in Western Sydney

More than $2 billion is being invested in school infrastructure in communities across Western Sydney, with the Wentworth Point community joining this list as work starts on the new high school. 

Minister for Education and Early Learning Sarah Mitchell joined Member for Parramatta Geoff Lee today to mark the start of construction with the turning of the first sod. 

Ms Mitchell said the NSW Liberals and Nationals Government are continuing to invest in Sydney’s growing communities such as Wentworth Point.  

“Our government is delivering the biggest investment in public education infrastructure, with communities across Western Sydney benefiting from access to new and upgraded schools,” Ms Mitchell said.  

“We are committed to ensuring our students have every opportunity to achieve their potential with world-class learning facilities and soon families in Wentworth Point will be able to access a new, local high school.” 

The new multi-million dollar high school will include flexible learning spaces, a multipurpose hall for sports and performances, outdoor spaces including landscaped recreation areas, games courts and canteen facilities.  

Minister for Transport, Veterans and Western Sydney David Elliott said the NSW Government has a proven track record when it comes to infrastructure delivery in Western Sydney.  

“Thanks to this governments efforts and partnerships with communities we have been able to replace the 90 schools Labor closed as we continue to deliver for communities across Western Sydney,” Mr Elliott said. 

Mr Lee said the Wentworth Point community is excited to see the project come to fruition.  

“This is such an important project for the community and I am pleased that the NSW Government is delivering for Western Sydney,” Mr Lee said.   

“It is great to be here and turn the official sod that will benefit students for generations to come.  

The NSW Government is delivering more than 50 new and upgraded schools in Western Sydney, part of an investment of $8.6 billion in school infrastructure over the next four years, continuing its program to deliver 160 new and upgraded schools to support communities across NSW. This builds on the more than $9.1 billion invested in projects delivered since 2017, a program of $17.7 billion in public education infrastructure. 


The Australian and Victorian Governments have announced an $877 million Recovery Support package, supporting businesses, farmers, and not-for-profits to rebuild and return to trade as quickly as possible, following the recent devastating floods.

Grants of up to $50,000 are available to eligible businesses and not-for-profit organisations to support recovery efforts including rebuilding damaged infrastructure and replacing damaged assets.

To help businesses navigate through the recovery period, more than $22 million has been made available for support services to facilitate the development of recovery plans, provide mental health support and assist in grant applications. 

In addition, Business Chamber and Trader Groups Programs will be established to enable locally led solutions for business activation.

Recovery grants of up to $200,000 will also be available for medium and large businesses directly impacted by the floods.

To assist primary producers and rural landholders, grants of up to $75,000 will be available as part of a recovery support package – complementing the existing Primary Producer Concessional Loan Program, announced last week. 

The Primary Producer Recovery Support package will accelerate agricultural recovery and ensure rural and regional Victorians have access to expert advice and support.

Sporting and recreational clubs that have been impacted by the floods are eligible for a $5000 grant to assist them with their recovery.

Any grant received through the existing $5,000 Small Business Immediate Flood Relief and $10,000 Primary Producer Flood Relief programs will be included in the maximum amounts available through the recovery grants.

To find out more about accessing these programs visit

For support with payments, clean-up or any other flood issues, Victorians can contact the Flood Recovery Hotline on 1800 560 760. 

Information on disaster assistance is available on the Australian Government’s Disaster Assist website at

The Prime Minister, Hon Anthony Albanese said:

“These additional support packages will ensure Victorian businesses can rebuild with confidence.” 

Minister for Emergency Management, Senator the Hon Murray Watt said:

“Given the importance of regional Victoria to our nation’s food production, it’s great to see the Albanese and Andrews Government’s coming together to support farmers, as well as small businesses get back on their feet.” 

Victorian Minister for Emergency Services Jaclyn Symes said:

“We’re supporting small businesses and not-for-profit organisations across the state to ensure everyone can get back on their feet and return to work with confidence after the devastating floods.”

Victorian Premier, Hon Daniel Andrews said:

“We’re making sure flood affected business owners and communities have the support they need to rebuild and return to trade as quickly and safely as possible.”

Wonnarua Traditional Owners defeat Glendell continuation project

The Wonnarua peoples connection to the Ravensworth homestead and surrounding estate has defeated Glencore’s proposed mine expansion.

The area holds important significance to Traditional Owners as the site of several massacres of First Nations peoples since the 1820s, being described as “hallowed ground”.

The NSW Independent Planning Commission has rejected the Glendell continuation project and subsequent moving of the homestead due to the impact on First Nations cultural heritage.


“Congratulations to the Wonnarua people. This seems to be a new era of recognition for First Nations cultural heritage over mining profits. 

“We need First Nations cultural heritage protection enshrined in our laws and practices. We need to implement all the cultural heritage recommendations of the Way Forward Report to avoid another Jukan Caves disaster.

“Traditional owners are standing up and making their voices heard. We need to fast-track Senator Thrope’s bill to implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People (UNDRIP), so they don’t need to take legal action to protect their way of life.

“We need investment in cleaner, greener renewable energy projects that preserve cultural heritage and First Nations’ way of life.”

Regional plan celebrates the central coast

Encouraging more diverse housing, prioritising infrastructure delivery, and revitalising the night-time economy are features of an updated vision for the Central Coast.
Minister for Planning and Minister for Homes Anthony Roberts released the finalised Central Coast Regional Plan 2041 today, which will guide the region’s future over the next 20 years and responds to community feedback.
“With the region’s population expected to grow by almost 57,000 by 2041, there’s no surprise this booming community is facing housing pressures,” Mr Roberts said.
“Our blueprint identifies actions to boost local housing stock, including encouraging innovative solutions such as tiny homes and 3D-printed housing, and establishing an Urban Development Program Committee to oversee the plan’s implementation.
“The Committee will also monitor the housing supply pipeline and facilitate infrastructure coordination to unlock development-ready land, enabling industry to build more homes in the right areas.
“The Central Coast is one of four areas where Urban Development Programs will be rolled out in response to recommendations made by the Regional Housing Taskforce, with Upper Hunter, Mid-Coast, and the Canberra Region also set to benefit.”
Parliamentary Secretary for the Central Coast Adam Crouch said the plan includes initiatives to promote sustainability, improve the night-time economy, and enhance connections to public space.
“Meeting our net zero emissions by 2050 target will be prioritised in all planning decisions, as well as ensuring the daily needs of residents can be accessed within a 15-minute walk or bike ride from where they live, reducing reliance on cars,” Mr Crouch said.
“It also highlights strategies to help Aboriginal communities better control the destiny of their land, direct development away from important environmental areas, improve the water quality of Tuggerah Lakes, and expand the Coastal Open Space System.
“The finalised plan also includes objectives to revamp the Central Coast’s nightlife, such as offering more after-hours activities, and allowing shops, cafes, galleries and museums to open their doors for longer in popular tourist towns.”
To view the blueprint, visit

The magic mix paving the way for faster pothole repairs

The NSW Government is trialing new, innovative ways to plug potholes faster than ever before during extreme weather events.
Unprecedented heavy rain this year has seen more than 152,000 potholes filled across the state since the start of March, including almost 18,500 on Sydney roads alone – the equivalent of re-sheeting the Sydney Cricket Ground 35 times.
Minister for Metropolitan Roads Natalie Ward said extreme weather created a huge challenge for road maintenance crews who have already fixed four times the number of potholes compared to last year.
“The NSW Government is committed to making sure our roads are safe and reliable, which is why we are exploring new ways to fill our potholes faster and make sure the repairs last longer,” Mrs Ward said.
“One of the biggest challenges facing repair crews using traditional repair methods is the need to wait until the road is dry before being able to fill a pothole. The prolonged wet weather also increases the risk of the same pothole re-forming.
“We’ve been used a new ‘cold mix’ product on some of our worst potholes and it has already produced outstanding results – our road crews have not needed to refill a single pothole since they started using this product.”
Minister for Regional Transport and Roads Sam Farraway said the NSW Government was collaborating with industry on a trial of a range of ‘cold mix’ materials to see which were more effective during severe weather.
“We’ve asked the experts for solutions and new technology we can foster to patch up potholes faster when it’s cold and wet,” Mr Farraway said.
“Our crews have fixed more than 135,000 potholes on the State’s regional roads in NSW since the first wave of severe weather in February.
“We are responding as fast as possible when the weather conditions allow for road crews to undertake repairs.
“We’re also hiring more than 80 new full time workers to help with the delivery of the $19.4 billion regional roads and transport pipeline during the most significant La Nina event the state has faced.”
Local councils are responsible for fixing local roads. If you see a pothole on your local road, please report it to the local council or online at

COVID-19 support extended for vulnerable communities

People most vulnerable to COVID-19 will continue to be supported in protecting themselves against the virus with the NSW Government extending free access to Rapid Antigen Tests (RATs) to 31 January next year.
Minister for Families and Communities and Minister for Disability Services Natasha Maclaren-Jones said the NSW Government shows the Government’s continued commitment to keeping those most vulnerable to the virus safe.
“It’s essential that people who need it most are able to take the test when they feel sick or exposed to the virus, to help with early detection and treatment ,” Mrs Maclaren-Jones said. 
“We want to help ease the cost of living pressures on the community in any way we can, and RATs are an added cost vulnerable communities should not have to worry about.”
The NSW Government has already made millions of tests available to vulnerable and multicultural communities, homelessness services, social housing tenants, children and young people in out-of-home care, and Commonwealth Concession Card holders.
Minister for Multiculturalism and Minister for Seniors Mark Coure said this is again the NSW Government filling a gap that was left by the Federal Government after it ditched its program in July this year.
“The extension of this program is about doing the right thing for those most vulnerable to COVID-19—not leaving them behind,” Mr Coure said.
“We want people to be focusing on spending time with loved ones as we approach the holiday period, not worrying about accessing RATs and extending this program is the key to helping them do that.”
Eligible Commonwealth Concession Card holders in NSW can access a further 10 Rapid Antigen Tests over three months until 31 January 2023.
Tests are available through 210 neighbourhood and community centres, and Service NSW centres across the state. To find one near you, visit