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.

$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

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.

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

NSW HAS LOWEST UNEMPLOYMENT RATE OF ANY STATE

New South Wales remains the jobs capital of Australia with ABS figures released today showing we have the lowest unemployment rate of any state at just 4.4 per cent.

NSW added 12,963 jobs in July with the participation rate in NSW at 65.9 per cent, while the NSW unemployment rate fell 0.2 percentage points.

NSW remains well below the national unemployment rate of 5.2 per cent and is lower than our neighbour states of Victoria 4.8 per cent, Queensland 6.4 per cent, and South Australia 6.9 per cent.

Treasurer Dominic Perrottet said the figures reflected the Government’s commitment to boosting employment and opportunity.

“The Government’s record $93 billion infrastructure program is doing the heavy lifting, with total public investment expected to contribute around ½ a percentage point to the State’s growth and support around 100,000 jobs in 2019-20 and 2020-21,” Mr Perrottet said.

“NSW has a strong economy and the latest jobs figures continue to reflect the benefits to our willingness to recycle assets and build the schools, hospitals, roads and new rail lines the state needs.”

Mr Perrottet said Reserve Bank Governor Philip Lowe had recently commented on the benefits to the economy of increased spending on infrastructure.

“NSW is the clear leader in Australia on building infrastructure, we are billions of dollars ahead of other states, and the benefits are clear when you look at how we are performing even in a time when there are economic challenges right across the world,” Mr Perrottet said.

“NSW has a reputation for being a world leader in asset recycling – we are ensuring the State’s balance sheet is working for the people of NSW in the most productive and beneficial ways possible.

“In contrast as we saw during both the NSW and Federal election campaigns earlier this year Labor’s only plan was to cancel projects and raise taxes.”

WESTERN SYDNEY TO BE 3D PRINTING CAPITAL

Western Sydney will be the centre of 3D printing in Australia thanks to a new joint initiative between the NSW Government and industry leader GE Additive.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian was in Munich today to sign a Memorandum of Understanding with GE Additive to develop industrial-scale 3D printing at the Western Sydney Aerotropolis.

“3D printing is on the cutting edge of manufacturing globally and this deal will help make Western Sydney the nation’s leader,” Ms Berejiklian said.

“Our partnership with GE Additive will create many hi-tech jobs across the aerospace, medical and automotive sectors.”

GE Additive is at the forefront of metal additive manufacturing, which is disrupting manufacturing industries and accelerating the way products are designed and made.

Ms Berejiklian visited the GE Additive Customer Experience Centre in Munich, which provides access to 3D printing experts and specialised training for companies of all sizes.

“We are extremely honoured to welcome Premier Berejiklian and the NSW delegation to Munich and equally so to be part of this wider vision for Western Sydney and especially the Aerotropolis precinct,” Jason Oliver, President and CEO of GE Additive, said.

“Adopting an ecosystem approach to additive manufacturing will drive the adoption of this new technology and the development of new businesses and skilled jobs,” Mr Oliver said.

“Given NSW’s rich seam of talent and ambition for the future, we are particularly excited at the impact our work together could have, not just in NSW, but nation-wide and more broadly across the APAC region.”

Ms Berejiklian said enhanced 3D printing capabilities will be a key component of a new space industry hub at the Aerotropolis.

“We are aiming to triple the size of Australia’s space sector to $12 billion by 2030, creating up to 20,000 new jobs in this industry alone,” Ms Berejiklian said.

“This agreement demonstrates our commitment to look globally to bring the best opportunities to NSW.”

Today’s announcement follows an agreement signed in December between the NSW Government and 18 NSW space companies, research and education institutions, as well as the CSIRO, to establish a new Space Industry Hub at the Aerotropolis.

Ms Berejiklian and Minister for Jobs, Investment, Tourism and Western Sydney Stuart Ayres are on a trade mission to the UK and Germany from August 11 to 16.

HIGH TECH APP TO HELP HOUSING TENANTS

A new social housing app will save time, drastically reduce paperwork and improve customer service for thousands of tenants in NSW.

Minister for Families, Communities and Disability Services Gareth Ward said the new mobile phone app would revolutionise customer service in the housing space.

“Having to queue up in an office or wait on the phone is frustrating and time consuming,” Mr Ward said.

“Thanks to this new technology, our customers will be able to easily access services at the touch of a button.

“This means time savings for them and more time for our staff to focus on helping people with the greatest needs.”

The MyHousing app provides tenants with a simple way to manage and view accounts including rent and water, as well as to make payments, lodge maintenance requests and connect to a range of support services.

The Department of Communities and Justice manages 100,000 tenancies and 60,000 applications for social housing assistance. A survey of 14,000 clients, conducted last year, revealed 98 per cent of them owned a smart phone.

Minister for Customer Service Victor Dominello said the app is an example of how the NSW Government is putting the customer at the centre of its service delivery.

“Customer service is about putting more time in your day and this one-stop shop app will make life easier for customers by giving them access to necessary services at their fingertips,” Mr Dominello said.

“It is important that face-to-face services still exist, but having a smart phone app will allow tenants to engage with services anywhere, anytime.”

The app has been trialed extensively with a customer satisfaction rating of 94 per cent. You can download the free app from the App Store (iOS) and Google Play (Android).

FINAL STAGE OF THE NORTHERN ROAD UPGRADE RAMPS UP

Shovels are in the ground for the sixth and final stage of The Northern Road Upgrade at Luddenham, Eaton Road and Littlefields Road.

Federal Minister for Population, Cities and Urban Infrastructure Alan Tudge said the new and improved road would support integrated transport in the region and improve access, safety and travel times for road freight in Sydney’s west and southwest.

“The Australian Government has committed $1.2 billion towards The Northern Road Upgrade and we are getting on with the job of delivering new and improved transport for the residents and motorists of Western Sydney,” Mr Tudge said.

New South Wales Minister for Transport and Roads Andrew Constance said the works at Luddenham were Stage 6 of the broader upgrade of The Northern Road.

“Once complete, the entire 35-kilometre upgrade of The Northern Road between Narellan and South Penrith will provide a high-quality connection with the M7 and M12 motorways and support Western Sydney’s growing population,” Mr Constance said.

Federal Member for Hume Angus Taylor said all the upgrades were part of the Australian and NSW governments’ $3.6 billion Western Sydney Infrastructure Plan to improve safety, reduce travel times and bust congestion.

“This is just another piece of the massive Western Sydney Infrastructure Plan, which will support future growth and benefit local communities in southwest Sydney for years to come,” Mr Taylor said.

Federal Member for Lindsay Melissa McIntosh said once Stage 6 was complete, motorists would be able to travel on a four-lane divided road, improving their journeys to and from the new Western Sydney International (Nancy-Bird Walton) Airport at Badgerys Creek.

“More than 15,000 vehicles use these sections of The Northern Road each day and this number is expected to significantly increase once the new airport opens in 2026, so it is important to get on with the job now,” Mrs McIntosh said.

Work will also be carried out to install new traffic lights and build a shared path for pedestrians and cyclists.

The 35-kilometre upgrade of The Northern Road between The Old Northern Road and Jamison Road is expected to be completed in 2022, weather permitting.

The Australian Government has committed $1.2 billion towards the $1.6 billion The Northern Road Upgrade project, with the NSW Government committing the remainder.

SECURING SYDNEY’S FUTURE WATER NEEDS

The NSW Government has commenced further work to secure water for Greater Sydney with preliminary planning for the expansion of the Sydney Desalination Plant (SDP) commencing as Greater Sydney dam levels continue to drop at record pace.

Minister for Water, Property and Housing Melinda Pavey said all of NSW is experiencing the worst drought on record and Sydney’s Desalination Plant is playing a significant role in maintaining Sydney’s water supply.

“We are experiencing one of the worst droughts in living memory. Our State is under pressure, city and country,” Mrs Pavey said.

“Sydney storages have dropped from around 90 per cent to 50 per cent capacity in approximately two years, with Sydney’s dam levels currently at 50.3 per cent.

“The SDP reached full production at the end of July – two months ahead of schedule.

“The Plant is now producing an average of 250 million litres a day – approximately 15 per cent of Sydney’s supply.”

Mrs Pavey said since the Plant was turned on, the current dam depletion rates have improved by around 0.2 per cent per week.

“By undertaking this Planning work, should the drought worsen and water levels continue to drop, we will be ready to act immediately to increasing water supply,” Mrs Pavey said.

“This is on top of the work already underway to preserve Sydney’s water supply, including the Sydney Water ‘Love Water’ campaign, leakage reduction and increasing the beneficial uses of treated wastewater.

“This government has worked hard to ensure that Sydney residents pay the lowest rates in the country, however as Sydney grows, it is critical that we continue to ensure that our water security continues to grow as well.”