FIRST LOOK UNDERGROUND AT NEW MARTIN PLACE METRO STATION

Sydney’s new underground CBD metro railway stations are taking shape about 25 metres under the centre of the city where new platform caverns and pedestrian tunnels are being excavated.

The gamechanging Sydney Metro City & Southwest project is the first new rail line through Sydney since the 1970s and will massively cut travel times for commuters across the whole system.

The Sydney Metro projects in the Northwest, City & Southwest have also created more than 20,000 jobs, while the NSW Government’s record infrastructure program has created more than 100,000 jobs.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian and Minister for Transport and Infrastructure Andrew Constance today met some of the Sydney Metro workers and had the first look at major construction work at the Martin Place Metro Station.

“It’s incredible to see the progress that’s been made by machines and workers underground with thousands of pedestrians moving aboveground,” Ms Berejiklian said.

“Two roadheader tunnelling machines are working 24-7 to excavate the new Martin Place station, which stretches underground between Hunter Street and Martin Place.

“This project is really taking shape and when it opens, customers in the heart of Sydney’s CBD will be more connected than ever before.”

Mr Constance said the Martin Place metro platform caverns will be about 220 metres long, 16 metres high and 14 metres wide when fully lined with concrete.

“Roadheaders and about 95 workers have already excavated more than 166,620 tonnes of crushed rock at Martin Place – enough to fill about 26 Olympic swimming pools,” Mr Constance said.

“They are also digging underground pedestrian connections to the existing Eastern Suburbs Line, making it easier to get around our great city.

“This once again shows that only the NSW Liberals & Nationals Government will deliver Metro rail across Sydney.

“When Labor was last in office they announced 12 rail projects. They did not deliver a single one in full and they are already promising to cancel the Sydenham to Bankstown Metro upgrade.”

Sydney Metro will deliver a turn-up-and-go train service up to every two minutes to the four train stations being built in the Sydney CBD – Martin Place, Pitt Street, Barangaroo and Central.

Sydney Metro Northwest is on track to open in the coming months and is at least half a billion dollars under budget. It includes 13 Metro stations and 4000 commuter car parking spaces.

Metro rail is being extended from the north west, into the CBD and beyond to Bankstown in 2024, delivering Sydney 31 metro stations and a 66km standalone metro railway line.

Newcastle to host historic women’s Rugby Test

The City of Newcastle has secured another coup for women’s sport following today’s announcement that the Wallaroos Rugby team will play Japan at No.2 Sportsground in July.

The international fixture on Saturday 13 July will be the first of a two-test series against Japan and the first time the tourists have ever played in Australia. The second will be at North Sydney Oval on Friday 19 July.

Wallaroosinside.jpgThe Wallaroos will play a Test against Japan in July at No.2 Sportsground. Photo credit: Stu Walmsley

Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said today’s announcement continues the City’s success in securing elite-level women’s sporting events.

“Today’s news continues Newcastle’s evolution as a City synonymous with hosting major women’s sporting events,” The Lord Mayor said.

“We already have the runs on the board as a successful host City having staged two International women’s soccer matches in successive years which drew around 16,000.

“This latest announcement shows our continued campaign to stage more sporting events in this City is gaining significant traction, and I applaud Rugby Australia for selecting Newcastle for this match.

“This match, and others to come, will hopefully pave the way for a successful Women’s Rugby World Cup bid in future years to come.”

Wallaroosinside1.jpg

Media are invited to photo opp at No.2 Sportsground at 10am, Friday. Photo credit: Stu Walmsley

Rugby Australia Chief Executive Raelene Castle said: “We look forward to welcoming Japan for an historic Test series against our Buildcorp Wallaroos in July, an occasion made possible thanks to the support of the NSW Government through its tourism and major events agency, Destination NSW.

“When we made our bid to host the 2021 Women’s Rugby World Cup last year, we announced that bidding for the tournament was just part of our commitment to grow the women’s fifteens game.

“We are committed to providing more high-quality fixtures for our Buildcorp Wallaroos and giving Rugby fans, particularly aspiring young girls, more exposure to the stars of our women’s game to inspire the next generation. This series is another step on that journey.”

Australia and Japan have only met once in a Test match in 2017 when the Buildcorp Wallaroos prevailed 29-14.

Fans can snap up early tickets to the historic Japan Series through the Ticketek website.

Meanwhile, Rugby fans buoyed by the news will also get the opportunity to see the NSW Waratahs in action when they play the Japan Sunwolves at McDonald Jones Stadium on 29 March.

McDonald Jones Stadium has been touted as one of many possible home ground venues for the ‘Tahs in the coming years while their regular ground – Allianz Stadium – is knocked down and rebuilt.

Revelations a road pricing inquiry will be shelved until after the election shows Morrison government has no plan or ambition in developing sound transport policy, say Greens

The revelations that the Morrison government will again delay an inquiry into road pricing shows they are willing to jeopardise sound transport policy and planning in favour of clinging to power, say the Australian Greens.

“The road pricing inquiry was announced three years ago and we’ve had zero movement since then,” said Senator Janet Rice, Australian Greens transport spokesperson.

“As Australians make the switch to electric vehicles, we will need new streams of revenue to fund our transport systems. We need to ensure the proper work is done in preparation now, so that any road pricing regime or other revenue raising is not only in the public interest, but also equitable and just.”

“We also need to consider the intersection of road pricing with the increasing use of private toll roads where the revenue is going straight into the pockets of the private toll roads operators, particularly Transurban, which has just announced record earnings.”

“Road pricing and fuel excise is an area the government has acknowledged could take 10-15 years to reform. This inquiry has been on the cards since 2016. We need to get on with it now, we can’t wait any longer for a time when it’s politically convenient for the government of the day.”

“Road pricing isn’t something we can leave to the last minute.”

NEW FERRIES AND EXTRA SERVICES FOR CUSTOMERS

Ferry customers are set to receive new vessels, more frequent services and a trial of On Demand journeys after the NSW Liberal and Nationals Government today announced Transdev has been awarded the contract to continue the operation of Sydney Ferry services for the next nine years.

Minister for Transport and Infrastructure Andrew Constance said the significant improvements across the ferry network will also save the state’s taxpayers $40 million over the life of the contract.

“We know Sydneysiders and tourists love the ferries, they are a wonderful way to get around this city. This new contract is all about delivering better services to make travelling on the harbour and Parramatta River even more attractive,” Mr Constance said.

“Customers are really going to be the big winners. We are already delivering around 3,400 weekly services and there are now plans to create more than 400 additional weekly services across the network over the next two years.

“This includes almost 280 extra weekly trips on the growing F3 Parramatta River route. That’ll mean wharves like Sydney Olympic Park, Meadowbank and Cabarita receive a service every 10 minutes during the busiest peak hour and every 20 minutes during the day and on weekends.”

To service this route at least ten new Parramatta River Class ferries will be ordered to provide additional capacity.

“We’ll also order three more of the popular Emerald Class ferries to support the growing demand across the harbour,” Mr Constance said.

Other improvements will include:

  • Improved frequency by merging the F2 Taronga and F6 Mosman routes for services every 20 minutes, compared to the current 30 minutes.
  • Rose Bay and Watsons Bay will see more services in the evenings on weekends, as well as expanded service hours on weeknights and;
  • Improved frequency in the off peak and on weekend nights for customers at McMahons Point and Milsons Point.

In great news for customers in the inner west, a trial of a new On Demand ferry in the Bays Precinct will start later this year using a new MiniCat vessel.

“The On Demand ferry trial will connect wharves like Rozelle Bay and Blackwattle Bay to larger transport interchanges like Pyrmont and Barangaroo where they can join either a main ferry route, or jump on to a bus,” Mr Constance.

The learnings from the On Demand ferry trial will then be used to refine the service and potentially introduce additional On Demand zones.

Transdev Sydney Ferries, formerly operating as Harbour City Ferries, was awarded the contract to continue operating Sydney ferry services following a competitive tender process.

“Since Transdev took over running Sydney Ferries in 2012, On Time Running and customer satisfaction are the highest they have ever been and I’m certain the popularity of ferries will only grow.”

Since 2011, the NSW Government has created almost 400 additional weekly services across the Sydney ferry network. The new contract commences on 28 July 2019.

ICC SYDNEY CREATES 5000 JOBS FOR NSW ECONOMY

The NSW Liberals investment in ICC Sydney has delivered a significant boost to the NSW economy and cemented the State’s reputation as a world class events destination, with new figures released today showing the venue has created more than 5000 jobs (directly and indirectly) since its opening in December 2016.

According to a Deloitte Access Economics study, visitors who attended events at the venue in 2018, generated $820 million in direct expenditure for the State, up from the $785 million generated in 2017. The venue also welcomed more than 1.3 million visitors across 700 events in 2018.

Minister for Finance, Services and Property Victor Dominello said the results demonstrated the remarkable success of the ICC Sydney since its opening a little over two years ago.

“The venue has enriched Darling Harbour, transforming it into an economic powerhouse, and put Sydney on the map as Australia’s number one destination for events and exhibitions,” Mr Dominello said.

“The figures speak for themselves – ICC Sydney is a big win for Sydney, providing visitors with world class events, and boosting the economy and creating jobs.”

Minister for Tourism and Major Events Adam Marshall said the 2018 results build on an impressive first year for the venue, with plenty more exciting events planned for 2019 and beyond.

“72 per cent of the generated expenditure in 2018 was derived from international and interstate visitors, resulting in over 1.57 million overnight stays in Sydney,” Mr Marshall said.

“The venue has already secured a further 1,300 leading major national and international events across sectors to 2030. This is great news and will create a huge economic stimulus for NSW into the future, with hotels, restaurants, cafes, shops, bars, tour and transport operators all set to benefit.”

The $1.5 billion development, which comprises an industry leading convention centre, exhibition centre and major entertainment theatre, is a key component of the NSW Government’s recent suite of infrastructure projects.

The ICC Sydney has been key to boosting international visitors to NSW. Since 2011 this boost in international visitors has helped NSW to add 611,300 jobs, more jobs than any other state. The NSW unemployment rate is now 3.9 per cent, the lowest rate since records began in 1978, and the lowest of any state. By comparison, the unemployment rate in the rest of Australia is 5.5 per cent.

100,000 FREE TRAINING COURSES AND NEW $80 MILLION TAFE CAMPUS FOR WESTERN SYDNEY

The NSW Liberals & Nationals will deliver an additional 100,000 free TAFE and VET courses over the next four years and build a new $80 million state of the art TAFE campus for Western Sydney to train the next generation of tradies in carpentry, construction, electrical and plumbing.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said the 100,000 additional places and new TAFE campus would help young job seekers launch careers and also benefit those looking to retrain, upskill or return to the workforce.

“There is an unprecedented demand for more skilled workers in NSW thanks to our booming economy, record low unemployment rate of 3.9 percent, and unprecedented $90 billion investment in new infrastructure,” Ms Berejiklian said.

“This brings the total number of free TAFE and VET courses we are offering over the next four years to nearly 700,000 places.

“We know the costs associated with further education and training can be prohibitive, so these additional free courses will ensure people who wish to access training to start their career or secure another job have the best opportunity.”

The 100,000 additional courses will be made up of 70,000 new fee-free courses for young job-seekers taking on traineeships and 30,000 free TAFE places for matureaged workers seeking to retrain or re-enter the workforce.

The new Western Sydney TAFE will produce 700 new tradies each year and deliver specialised training in construction trades with key skills shortages, such as carpentry, construction, electrical and plumbing.

Deputy Premier and Minister for Skills John Barilaro said the new places were on top of the almost 150,000 free apprenticeship, TAFE and VET courses already offered each year.

“As a former tradie I know first-hand just how rewarding a career in a trade can be, and how important it is to give people a chance to get a start in life,” Mr Barilaro said.

“These courses will help the next generation of job seekers to join the workforce. “We are going to deliver around 700,000 free TAFE and VET courses over the next four years to people right across NSW with a focus on those who need it most.”

Minister responsible for TAFE NSW Adam Marshall said the new TAFE campus in Western Sydney would boost TAFE’s ability to train the State’s future tradies. “Already we’re seeing soaring demand for construction trade enrolments at TAFE thanks to our infrastructure boom and with these additional free courses you can be assured we’ll see even more demand,” Mr Marshall said.

“This commitment to TAFE and VET will ensure there is a pipeline of skilled workers to keep driving the NSW economy forward and get the job done.” Treasurer Dominic Perrottet said being able to invest in more fee-free training and better TAFE facilities was a direct result of a strong NSW economy with near record low unemployment.

“The NSW economy is booming, we have added more than 420,000 jobs in the past four years, and set an ambitious target of 250,000 new jobs,” Mr Perrottet said. “Many of those jobs will be working on projects which result directly from our infrastructure projects right across NSW.

“It’s only through our strong financial management that we are able to not only deliver free courses for hundreds of thousands of people, but ensure there are jobs for people when they complete their training.” The location of the new Western Sydney TAFE is yet to be determined.

Tasmania delivering cleaner, cheaper, more reliable electricity

Tasmania’s Battery of the Nation vision is a step closer to reality with backing from the Morrison and Hodgman Governments to deliver new, reliable energy.

The Hodgman Government, through Hydro Tasmania, has committed up to $30 million to take the first phase of Battery of the Nation to investment stage by 2021, and in addition to the Morrison Government’s commitment to the second interconnector between Tasmania and the mainland, the Commonwealth commits to develop an underwriting mechanism for the project through its Underwriting New Generation Investments program.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said that combined with his government’s $56 million investment in the second interconnector between Tasmania and the mainland, Battery of the Nation would help cut power prices and put an end to the sorts of recent blackouts that families and businesses have had to suffer through.

“Battery of the Nation is a vision of that uses technology to harness Tasmania’s natural advantages to tackle the problems in our electricity market,” the Prime Minister said.

“We want to work with the Hodgman Government to deliver Battery of the Nation because it’s technology that generates clean and affordable power that will make Australia’s electricity supply more reliable.

“This project is about helping those families and businesses who have had to cope with devastating blackouts in recent months and years and helping make their power bills cheaper.”

The Tasmanian Government’s investment will support the feasibility assessment of three shortlisted pumped hydro energy storage sites in north-western Tasmania, and advance the first of these sites to final investment decision. The three sites have a combined storage capacity of up to 40GWh – equivalent to more than 300 SA Tesla batteries – and Battery of the Nation could supply up to 2,500MW of new, dispatchable power.

The Battery of the Nation and Marinus Link projects are expected to create up to 3,800 direct and indirect jobs during construction and deliver an economic stimulus of up to $7 billion, predominantly to north-western Tasmania and regional Victoria.

Premier Hodgman said that these nation-building projects represent a massive economic opportunity for Tasmanians.

“Battery of the Nation will create thousands of jobs and deliver billions in investment to Tasmania over the coming decade,” said Premier Hodgman.

“These initiatives will cement our status as the nation’s renewable energy powerhouse.”

Approximately 400MW of available dispatchable generation cannot currently be delivered to the mainland, due to constraints on Basslink, the first Tasmania-Victoria interconnector.

“The Government is committed to securing new, reliable generation,” said Federal Energy Minister Angus Taylor.

“Battery of the Nation is a fine example of a project that could deliver more reliable generation, increase competition, and would drive down prices as a result.”

Tasmanian Energy Minister Guy Barnett said investment in affordable, reliable and clean generation will help Tasmania reach and exceed the Tasmanian Government’s target of 100 per cent self-sufficiency in on-island energy generation.

“This means downward pressure on prices and greater energy security for Tasmanians. Mainland Australia will also be able to share in these benefits, being low cost, reliable and clean energy,” said Minister Barnett.

The Morrison Government will also invest $3.2m to establish a Priority Transmission Taskforce to support new models of funding interconnected transmission, that is increasingly needed to keep the lights on and bring prices down for Australian families and businesses.

More information about Battery of the Nation is available at hydro.com.au/clean-energy/battery-of-the-nation and the second interconnector Marinus Link at projectmarinus.tasnetworks.com.au/

FOUR MORE EMPLOYMENT PRECINCTS TO DRIVE JOBS, BOOST EDUCATION AND CREATE INNOVATION

Home-grown IT giant Atlassian is set to become an anchor tenant at Sydney’s Sydney Innovation and Technology Precinct located at Central-Eveleigh with NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian today announcing initiatives across four employment precincts.

Ms Berejiklian and Treasurer Dominic Perrottet joined Atlassian Co-CEO Scott Farquhar to announce Atlassian and the NSW Government have reached an agreement in principle for the tech leader to create a new home for their Sydney headquarters near Central Station.

“The Sydney Innovation and Technology Precinct will become the digital destination for all of Australia with thousands of people working and learning, and I am delighted Atlassian will be part of this future,” Ms Berejiklian said.

“We have a record low unemployment rate of 3.9 percent in NSW but we will not rest on our laurels. We will create 250,000 new jobs across the next four years, and these employment precincts will play an important role contributing to that total.”

Ms Berejiklian revealed key initiatives in three other precincts:

  • A statement of intent has been signed with three universities to create the Liverpool Health and Innovation Precinct based around the $740 million redeveloped Liverpool Hospital. This precinct will be a partnership between the South Western Sydney Local Health District, University of New South Wales, University of Wollongong and Western Sydney University and the Ingham Institute for Applied Medical Science.
  • $12.5 million in funding to develop a Nuclear Medicine and Technology Hub in partnership with the Australian Nuclear Science Technology Organisation in Lucas Heights in Sydney’s south which will create up to 5000 jobs.
  • The creation of an integrated Central Coast Education and Employment Precinct around a revitalised Gosford CBD with increased education and job opportunities.

“These precincts will bring together universities, major hospitals, industry leaders and startups to deliver more job opportunities across Sydney and the Central Coast,” Ms Berejiklian said.

“We want Western and South Western Sydney and the Central Coast to have the best jobs and the best education opportunities, and these new precincts will deliver that.”

Treasurer Dominic Perrottet said creating the environment for innovation and entrepreneurship would provide opportunity for the next generation.

“It’s vital we take advantage of the strong economic position NSW is in to create opportunity for the future and keep growing NSW,” Mr Perrottet said.

“We have Australia’s most diverse economy, and one of the great strengths of NSW is our ability to innovate and develop new businesses both for today but also for the next generation.”

These four precincts are in addition to six other major precincts that the Government is delivering across NSW:

  • Western Sydney Airport Aerospace and Defence Industries Precinct.
  • Westmead Health and Education Precinct.
  • Randwick Health and Education Precinct.
  • Williamtown Defence Aerospace and Aviation Precinct.
  • Parkes Special Activation Precinct.
  • Wagga Wagga Special Activation Precinct.

Council update: Tuesday 26 February 2019

Following is a summary of the Ordinary Council meeting for Tuesday 26 February 2019. NB: It is not a full record of resolutions.

Lord Mayoral Minutes

A Lord Mayoral Minute to raise awareness of ovarian cancer through Jill Emberson, a journalist and research advocate and Newcastle’s current Citizen of the Year, and recognise Wednesday 27 February as Teal Ribbon Day, was supported.

A Lord Mayoral Minute to host a Newcastle Earthquake 30th Anniversary Commemoration Service at City Hall on Saturday 28 December was supported.

A Lord Mayoral Minute congratulating the Merewether Boardriders Club on their recent victory in the Australian Boardriders Battle at Newcastle Beach was unanimously supported.

Another Lord Mayoral Minute was supported to develop a Street Art Festival to produce street art pieces across the City of Newcastle, culminating in a celebration of art in public places.

Ordinary business

Quarterly budget review – December 2018   

The report was received and noted.

Executive monthly performance report     

The report was received and noted.

Audit and Risk Committee and Internal Audit Annual Report

Council received the Audit and Risk Committee’s Annual Report for the 2017/2018 financial year and noted the 2018/2019 Forward Internal Audit Plan.

Administration of 2020 council elections 

Council resolved to enter into a contract with the Electoral Commission for it to administer the 2020 Council elections.

Tabling of pecuniary interest returns

Council noted the tabling of the pecuniary interest returns (for the period 1 November 2018 to 31 January 2019).

Endorsement of planning agreement – 464-470 King Street 

Councillors endorsed a planning agreement to enable construction of a $1.47 million pedestrian and cycle link between King Street and Hunter Street as part of a residential development. The link will run along Cottage Creek to Honeysuckle, consistent with the Honeysuckle Foreshore Public Domain Plan.

Endorsement of planning agreement – 5 Hall Street, Maryville  

Councillors endorsed another planning agreement that will see the developer of town houses at 5 Hall Street Maryville demolish the existing pathway tracing Throsby Creek and replace it with a wider path along the length of the site.

Public exhibition of West End Stage Two streetscape plan

The West End Streetscape – Stage 2, which includes a variety of projects to improve the city’s newly emerging CBD, was endorsed for public exhibition.

Union Street Cooks Hill – upgrade of the pedestrian facilities between Laman and Bull Streets     

Proposed upgrades to pedestrian safety at Union, Laman and Bull streets in Cooks Hill, through the installation of wombat (raised) pedestrian crossings, have been approved.

Acceptance of offer – gas relocation – Council Street, Cooks Hill                       

Council endorsed Jemena Gas Networks to undertake the required works to relocate gas mains in Council Street, Cooks Hill, as part of the street’s upgrades.

Vista Parade, Kotara – Installation of raised pedestrian crossing and traffic calming devices     

Council approved the installation of a children’s crossing and a road hump to slow traffic, improve pedestrian safety and reduce the risk to cyclists at Vista Parade, Kotara.

Public Exhibition of the Draft Library Strategy     

Council voted to place the Draft Library Strategy on Public Exhibition for 28 days.

Stevenson Park Masterplan     

The Draft Stevenson Park Masterplan, which outlines strategies to improve the parks amenities and facilities, was endorsed by Councillors to be placed on public exhibition for a period of 30 days.

Notices of Motion   

Commitment to high quality pools

An NOM to advocate for a year-round aquatic facility as part of the Broadmeadow Sports and Entertainment Precinct was supported.

LGNSW Save our Recycling     

Another NOM to support Local Government NSW in its advocacy to have 100 per cent of the waste levy re-invested in waste management, recycling and resource recovery in NSW, was supported.

On-street bike and car share parking    

An NOM to encourage more active transport, facilitate options for car sharing companies to increase their presence in Newcastle and to develop a policy for this purpose, was supported.

ICan cities appeal – supporting the United Nations treaty on the prohibition of nuclear weapons     

An NOM to re-inforce the City’s commitment to supporting a 2017 UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons was supported.

Adamstown Concept Plan   

An amended NOM to prioritise the development of public domains across the local government area, and continue discussions with Adamstown businesses about establishing a business improvement association, was supported.

Right to the Night project 

An amended NOM to crowd source data on local experiences of safety by women and girls through the Newcastle After Dark Night-time Economy Strategy 2018-2022 was supported.

City of Newcastle VIP event

An NOM calling for the cancellation of the City’s Supercars VIP charity lunches at Fort Scratchley was defeated.

Clean Seas Initiative

An NOM to endorse the UN Environmental Clean Seas campaign and commit to phasing out all single use plastic from City-managed enterprises was supported unanimously.

Climate-related financial and risk disclosure   

An NOM to better consider the financial risk of climate change was supported.

$80,000 grant for library digitisation lab

City of Newcastle today welcomed an $80,000 Metropolitan Public Library Grant to help build Newcastle Region Library’s first DX Digitisation Lab.

To be known as the DXDigilab, a dedicated heritage collections digitisation space within Newcastle Library will house robotic and 3D scanning instruments capable of quickly converting hard-copy items into digital information.

Libraryinside.jpgCity Manager of Community Programs and Partnerships Alex Mills with Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes and Library
staff at Newcastle Library.

Thanks to the grant, which will bolster the City’s own $120,000 contribution, robotic page turners capable of digitising 2,890 pages an hour will eliminate the need for countless hours of manual labour to preserve the collection.

Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said having a dedicated lab – and the tools available – to digitise the City’s archives and heritage collections would ensure troves of information were preserved for lifelong learning and future generations.

“Through the creation of the DXDigilab, we’ll be able to preserve the hundreds of thousands of archival records, photographs, maps, pictures, newspapers and rare books which document the story of Newcastle and the Hunter Region,” the Lord Mayor said.

“The Library History and Heritage Collection Development Plan encompasses a collection of more than 440,000 items, with almost 75 per cent at risk of deterioration due to age.

“Some of these collections date back to the early 1800’s and feature rare, unique and notable items. Many items have come through the generous donations of local business, organisations and members of the community.”

“With the aid of this grant, the library’s goal will now be to have 100 per cent of its collection digitised within the next four years.”

Librarydigitisation2inside.jpgAlex Mills and Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes inspect the library catalogues which will be restored in digital form.

Following community consultation from The Library Strategy 2019-2023, which revealed that Newcastle Stories were a key priority for the people of our City, the Library remains committed to collecting, preserving and sharing local history and cultural identity.

Five permanent full-time staff members will help resource the ongoing digitsation process.

The DXDigilab will also boast a Memory Lab component with new and retro equipment to capture and convert library members’ own artefacts and records into digital formats.

Future plans include interactive digital exhibition capabilities, featuring digitised map projection and virtual exhibitions in both augmented reality and virtual reality, that will also help engage new audiences across all library sites.

The City will stage the roll-out of the DXDigilab in phases, with a view to having the project complete by June 2020.