STRONG AND STABLE: NSW BUDGET ON TRACK TO DELIVER SOLID SURPLUS
- The NSW Half-Yearly Review (HYR) has confirmed the continued strength of the State’s Budget despite challenges such as the worst drought on record, recent volatility in the housing market and lower household consumption.
- The HYR forecasts a surplus of $702 million in 2019-20, down $314 million since the 2019-20 Budget, with average surpluses increasing to $1.9 billion over the four years to 2022-23 (up from $1.7 billion), bolstered by early signs of an improvement in the housing market.
LEVEL TWO WATER RESTRICTIONS IN GREATER SYDNEY AND THE ILLAWARRA
- Level 2 water restrictions came into effect in Sydney, Blue Mountains and the Illawarra on 10 December.
- Under the new Level 2 water restrictions people are required to use a bucket or watering can to water their gardens between approved times, cars can only be washed with a bucket or taken to a commercial car wash and topping up of pools and spas is limited to 15 minutes a day with a trigger nozzle.
- Fines will still apply for breaches of water restrictions – $220 for residential breaches and $550 for businesses. For up-to-date information on Level 2 restrictions visit lovewater.sydney/restrictions.
DRUG AMNESTY BINS FOR MUSIC FESTIVALS
- Music festivalgoers will have a chance to discard illegal drugs into amnesty bins without fear of prosecution or penalty as part of the NSW Government’s ongoing efforts to reduce drug-related deaths and injuries.
- The measure formed a key part of the NSW Government’s response to the Deputy Coroner’s recommendations following her inquest into the deaths of six patrons at NSW music festivals.
- The NSW Government will also extend targeted education campaigns, improve information sharing between State agencies about the toxicology of drugs found at music festivals and will work with festival organisers to ensure they continue to improve the health services being provided at their events.
GOVERNMENT INVESTS IN THE FUTURE OF AGRICULTURAL EDUCATION
- A new model of agricultural education will benefit students across the State for years to come, with the NSW Government announcing a new Centre of Excellence in Agricultural Education in the Hawkesbury, new selective streams of agricultural education at Richmond High School, and upgrades to the existing Hurlstone Agricultural High School at Glenfield.
- This initiative means children from as far as Walgett to Woollahra will have an opportunity to study and consider a career in agriculture.
- The Department of Education will continue to work with Landcom on the future of the Glenfield Precinct Plan.
HISTORY MADE AS METRO COMPLETES HARBOUR TUNNEL
- The first metro railway tunnel to be built deep under Sydney Harbour has been completed in an historic milestone for public transport in Sydney.
- Tunnel boring machine (TBM) Kathleen is digging twin railway tunnels under Sydney Harbour as part of Sydney Metro – Australia’s biggest public transport project.
- Metro trains will start running through the tunnels in 2024 extending the North West Metro into the city and beyond to Bankstown.
LIGHT RAIL REMINDER FOR SAFETY’S SAKE
- Sydneysiders are being encouraged to play it safe around the new CBD and South East Light Rail ahead of passenger services commencing this weekend.
- Light rail safety promotions have ramped up in recent weeks aimed at pedestrians and cyclists, while new ground markings have been installed across intersections to deter motorists from queuing across the tracks and delaying trams.
- TfNSW has partnered with Rural Aid to help raise funds for NSW farmers and regional communities doing it tough. Rural Aid volunteers will collect donations at light rail stops all weekend in lieu of passengers paying a fare for riding the services.
NEW NESA LEADERSHIP TO GUIDE EDUCATION REFORMS
- Chancellor of Western Sydney University and former head of the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, Professor Peter Shergold AC, will take the helm of the authority responsible for curriculum, assessment, school regulation and teacher quality across NSW public and non-government schools (NESA).
- Professor Shergold will deliver a review of the NSW curriculum in 2020 which will provide NSW with a once in a generation opportunity to revitalise the school curriculum for students, the community and the economy continue to thrive well into the 21st century.