GREEN LIGHT FOR MARTIN PLACE METRO TOWERS

Sydney’s CBD will be home to two new office towers, with the NSW Government approving the development above the future Martin Place Metro Station.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian, Planning and Public Spaces Minister Rob Stokes and Minister for Transport Andrew Constance today announced the approval of a 39-storey office tower above the northern entrance of the under-construction Metro Station and a 29-office storey tower above the southern entrance.

Ms Berejiklian said the towers will create more than 2500 jobs during construction, and house nearly 9000 office, retail and hospitality workers once complete.

“Sydney is Australias only truly global city and developments like this continue to elevate our status,” Ms Berejiklian said.

“The Martin Place development is a win for the community and a win for taxpayers, with Macquarie Group helping pay for the metro station build as part of the deal.”

Mr Stokes said the integrated station and towers is a great example of well-designed development being built in the right areas.

“These towers, which underwent a rigorous assessment by the Department and an independent design review panel, will enhance Martin Place’s position as a jobs and transport hub in the heart of the CBD,” Mr Stokes said.

“The new metro precinct will connect the existing T4 line with the Sydney Metro and will include shops, restaurants, offices and connections to Hunter, Elizabeth and Castlereagh Streets for commuters and workers.”

Mr Constance said construction of the towers will happen at the same time as the new Martin Place Station is being built underground, with the buildings to be completed in time for the Metro line’s opening in 2024.

“Once completed, the Metro will connect metro rail services from Chatswood, through a new line under the harbour and city, to Sydenham, where they will run on the existing Bankstown Line.”

STRENGTHENING CHILD PROTECTION LEGISLATION

Children will be better protected by legislation introduced in Parliament today which builds on the NSW Government’s response to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

Minister for Families, Communities and Disability Services Gareth Ward said the Children’s Guardian Bill 2019 will strengthen the independent regulator and help build more accountable, child safe organisations.

“Protecting children and young people is a top priority for our Government and this Bill sends an unequivocal message to all child-related organisations,” Mr Ward said.

“Organisations and agencies that engage contractors who work with children, as well as religious bodies, will be brought into the Reportable Conduct Scheme, with new penalties for anyone who fails to comply.

“The Bill will give the Children’s Guardian greater authority and oversight to help organisations create safer environments for more than 1.5 million children in NSW.”

The reforms will implement a number of recommendations of the Royal Commission to ensure the Children’s Guardian has the legal powers to keep our kids safe.

The NSW Government has had the most comprehensive response of any state or territory to the Royal Commission, with more than $570 million invested to protect children and support survivors of child sexual abuse.

Anglican Archbishop of Sydney Glenn Davies welcomed the changes, which he said would close the loopholes in legislation identified by the Ombudsman.

“The Anglican Church, along with other churches, has been very supportive of this move and I am glad that the highest level of protection for children in our state, will be maintained,” Archbishop Davies said.

The Office of the Children’s Guardian is an independent Statutory Authority that works to protect children and young people by promoting and regulating quality, child safe organisations and services.

Help shape our growing city’s future

What will Newcastle look like in 20-plus years’ time, with more than 35,000 additional residents and 19,500 new dwellings?

City of Newcastle is asking the community to help shape the future of our growing Local Government Area, which is projected to grow by around 25 percent to a population of 202,000 by 2040.

Newcastle Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said the opinions and wishes of Novocastrians were essential to the City’s planning process.

“This is a unique opportunity to shape how our city evolves into the future. Newcastle has so many wonderful and unique features, so we want to make sure we maintain and enhance them as we grow,” the Lord Mayor said.
“It’s important our strategic planning allows us to make the most of the exciting opportunities for our city and to manage growth effectively in line with what our community wants to see.”

In March 2018 the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 (EP&A Act) was amended, which introduced new requirements for councils to develop Local Strategic Planning Statements (LSPS). The Newcastle LSPS will set out the 20-year vision for the land use of our local area, the special characteristics which contribute to our local identity, shared community values, and how growth and change will be managed in the future.

The Lord Mayor said there was a focus on engaging young people, so the future of Newcastle reflected the values of tomorrow’s ratepayers.

“The LSPS community consultation period is open now and aims to speak to a broad cross-section of residents, including the City’s youth, who will be beneficiaries of the strategic planning we do now for our city in 2040,” the Lord Mayor said.

“A ‘Big Picture’ Newcastle activity sheet provides local youth with a chance to offer feedback on what they love about their City, how improvements can be made and what needs to be maintained to ensure the City of Newcastle remains an incredible place to live.”
A series of community sessions will be hosted at the TAFE NSW Tighes Hill campus, Newcastle Pride Fair, the University of Newcastle, Newcastle Library and the Olive Tree Markets.

Community members have until Wednesday, 11 September to have their say. More information about the community consultation period including an online survey can be found here.

$1.5 BILLION DOLLAR SAVINGS BONANZA FOR FAMILIES

Hundreds of thousands of households have reaped the rewards of the NSW Government’s cost of living programs, with $1.5 billion given back to households since July last year.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian joined Minister for Customer Service Victor Dominello today at the Wynyard Service NSW Centre to reveal the figures and encourage families to check their eligibility for savings.

“There are more than 70 rebates and incentives available across Government that could potentially save households hundreds of dollars a year,” Ms Berejiklian said.

“We are committed to easing cost of living pressure for families which is why we transformed Service NSW into a one-stop shop for household savings.

“Whether it’s a $100 Creative Kids voucher, a senior savers card or a better energy deal, hip pocket relief is available.”

Mr Dominello said: “Checking your eligibility and making a saving is simple and easy and can be done online, in store or by making an appointment with a cost of living specialist at Service NSW.”

“People simply love our cost of living support. It only takes a few minutes to claim a saving, but you could leave with extra money in your pocket.”

Milestones to date include:

  • Around 30,000 cost of living appointments, saving customers $14 million, with an average saving of $550;
  • Around 11,000 customers saving around $4.4 million through Energy Switch, with an average electricity saving of $440 and $134 for gas;
  • More than 120,000 drivers saving almost $50 million in free rego and 14,000 drivers saving $3 million in half rego;
  • Around 600,000 FuelCheck app downloads
  • More than 930,000 Active Kids vouchers downloaded;
  • More than 265,000 Creative Kids vouchers downloaded.

The following are the top Service NSW Centres in Sydney for cost of living appointment savings:

Centre Savings Highest Individual Saving
Parramatta $497,000 $18,429
Liverpool $441,000 $9,235
Auburn $375,000 $2,627
Burwood $367,000 $11,645
Mount Druitt $351,000 $15,420
Wetherill Park $346,000 $4,834
Castle Hill $301,000 $8,000
Blacktown $266,000 $2,824
Bankstown $264,000 $2,285

Further information on the savings is available at www.service.nsw.gov.a

Two charged over aggravated break and enter at Belmont

Two men have been charged over an alleged aggravated break and enter in the Lake Macquarie region.

About 1.30pm yesterday (Monday 18 August 2019), an aggravated break and enter occurred at a home in Belmont.

The offenders stole jewellery, passports and personal items, and were seen leaving the scene in a Toyota Corolla.

About 3pm the same day, officers from Lake Macquarie Police District sighted the vehicle at a home on Kambora Close, Windale.

About 6pm, officers executed a search warrant at the address. Inside the home, police arrested two men, aged 26 and 27, who were located hiding in a roof cavity.

Proceeds from the break and enter were allegedly located in the home.

The two men were taken to Belmont Police Station.

The older man was charged with fraud and driving offences, as well as aggravated break enter and steal in company.

The younger man was charged with an outstanding domestic violence and prison warrant, as well as domestic violence offences and aggravated break enter and steal in company.

They were both refused bail to appear at Newcastle Local Court today (Tuesday 20 August 2019).

Man dies following crash at Scone

A man has died following a crash in the Hunter Region.

About 4.30pm (Monday 19 August 2019), a Mazda 3 was travelling on Noblet Street, Scone, when it travelled onto a dirt access road and crashed into a tree.

The driver and sole occupant, a 66-year-old man, was treated at the scene before being taken to Scone Hospital where he died a short time later.

Officers from Hunter Valley Police District commenced inquiries into the incident and will prepare a report for the Coroner.

Dixon Park Surf Club unveils revamp

Surf life savers and surf-club members of all ages and abilities have welcomed a refurbishment of the Dixon Park Surf Life Saving Club with new change rooms, including space for female members, and accessible amenities, creating a more inclusive community facility.

The $640,000 upgrade was jointly funded by NSW Government through a Surf Club Facilities Grant, City of Newcastle, Dixon Park SLSC and Ability Links NSW and officially opened on Sunday 18 August.

Pictured left to right: President Hunter Surf Life Saving Heny Scruton, Lord Mayor of Newcastle Clr Nuatali Nelmes, CEO Hunter Surf Life Saving Rhonda Scruton, Ability Links NSW Jacinta Irwin, Leonie Miller and Belinda McDaid, Paul Murray President DPSLSC with DPSLC juniors.

Dixon Park SLSC President Paul Murray said because the Club has proudly attracted more women and families to surf lifesaving, the refurbishment is essential to its future growth.

“The refurbishment has made a huge difference to the quality of the Club facilities which are used by hundreds of members including our nippers, juniors and senior lifesavers as well as lifeguards and visitors,” Mr Murray said.

“The project has been a genuine partnership between Dixon Park Surf Life Saving Club and City of Newcastle which has produced a great outcome for our community.

The Lord Mayor of Newcastle Nuatali Nelmes said the much-needed refurbishment supports the City’s coastal revitalisation program which is helping Novocastrians and visitors enjoy the coastal lifestyle.

“Our local surf clubs are some of the largest community groups in Newcastle. By having quality facilities, like the refurbished Dixon Park Surf Life Saving Club, we can encourage young people, families and less mobile people to be involved in surf clubs, to be more active and to enjoy all the benefits of the living near the coast.”

The upgraded facility includes refurbished changes rooms, accessible showers and toilets and parents change rooms as well as new kitchenette, meeting room and small function space on the ground floor of the Dixon Park SLSC pavilion.

SIEMENS SMART CITY OFFERS INSIGHTS FOR FUTURE OF VET

Premier Gladys Berejiklian today announced the NSW Government is working with German powerhouse Siemens to finalise a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to bring advanced technologies and innovations in vocational education and training (VET) to the Western Sydney Aerotropolis.

Founded in 1847, Siemens is the largest industrial manufacturing company in Europe.

Ms Berejiklian made the announcement ahead of a tour of a ‘Smart City’ to learn about Germany’s innovative approach to vocational education and training (VET) on the sixth and final day of her international trade mission.

The up to €600 million ‘Siemensstadt 2.0’ or Siemens City 2.0 innovation precinct is set to transform a 70 hectare industrial area in Berlin into a modern, urban district with offices, residences, laboratories and production plants in place by 2030.

“The NSW Government is committed to building a supply of skilled labour to meet the jobs needs of the future,” Ms Berejiklian said.

“I’m excited to learn more about Germany’s dual system of on-the-job and classroom training and see how that works in practice for companies like Siemens.”

Germany’s VET system provides trainees with high-level technical skills and has been especially effective at responding to changes in technology and the employment needs of business, providing a reliable source of high-skilled labour for local companies and supporting the global competitiveness of small to medium enterprises.

Siemens is a major investor in VET, training around 8000 apprentices and students in Germany each year.

Minister for Jobs, Investment, Tourism and Western Sydney Stuart Ayres said a strong VET system will be essential for ensuring the success of the Western Sydney Aerotropolis.

“The key to ensuring that additional jobs created through the Aerotropolis are sustainable is to provide workers with the skills they need for future industries,” Mr Ayres said. “That’s why the NSW Government will establish a permanent VET facility in the Aerotropolis with a focus on advanced manufacturing, technology and engineering.”

The Premier is on a trade mission to the UK and Germany from August 11 to 16 with Mr Ayres, exploring innovative partnership options for NSW.

Police request phone vision of assault – Hamilton

Police investigating the assault of a man in Hamilton overnight have requested phone vision of the incident.

About 1.45am (Sunday 18 August 2019), police attended the intersection of Beaumont and Clearly Streets following reports of an assault.

Police found three injured men, one with a broken nose and a displaced tooth, one with a cut lip and the other with minor abrasions.

A 30-year-old Tighes Hill man was arrested at the scene and taken to Newcastle City Police Station. He was charged with assault occasioning actual bodily harm, common assault and affray.

He was granted conditional bail and is expected to appear before Newcastle Local Court on Thursday 5 September 2019.

As police arrived at the scene a number of people were filming the incident and investigators are now appealing for those witnesses to contact Newcastle City police or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

SPORTS CLUBS SAVING LIVES

Champion golfer Craig Parry has backed the NSW Government’s Local Sport Defibrillator Grant Program, supporting the installation of more devices across the State, to keep saving lives.

Nearly 1,200 grants have been handed out to sporting clubs and councils across NSW since the launch of the program, to assist in the purchase of Automated External Defibrillators (AED) to respond to cardiac emergencies.

“I hope they’ll never have to be used, but if they are, they will be crucial to saving lives on the golf course and other sports arenas.” Mr Parry said.

Minister for Sport John Sidoti is encouraging sports clubs across the state to apply for grants for this potentially life-saving equipment.

“Early access to a defibrillator can mean the difference between life and death in the event of a cardiac arrest,” Mr Sidoti said.

“With more and more people of all ages participating in amateur sport, it is vital clubs and councils are equipped to respond to life-threating emergencies.”

Mr Sidoti launched the 2019/20 round of the program at Concord Golf Club which was awarded a grant to purchase four defibrillators in the last round of the program, bringing the club’s total to five.

General Manager, Glenn Phillips said due to the club’s demographic, it was vital there was access to this potentially life-saving equipment from anywhere on the course.

“The golf course spans 43 acres and due to the distance from the clubhouse to the furthest hole, we felt it was imperative that we install additional defibrillators,” Mr Phillips said.

“We now have defibrillators installed in purpose-built huts next to tee boxes around the course, providing quick access in the event of an emergency.”

The Local Sport Defibrillator Grant Program is a four-year $4 million NSW Government program. For more information on the Local Sports Defibrillator Program, visit: https://sport.nsw.gov.au/clubs/grants/defibrillato