hotel quarantine operations in NSW

The NSW Police Force-led multi-agency operation to facilitate the mandatory quarantining of returned travellers to NSW is ongoing.

The NSW Minister for Health Brad Hazzard issued the Public Health (COVID-19 Air Transportation Quarantine) Order 2020 under section 7 of the Public Health Act 2010, which directs any person arriving by aircraft into NSW from a country other than Australia must go directly to a quarantine facility.

Since the order commenced on Sunday 29 March 2020, 32,036 people have entered into mandatory quarantine in NSW. There have been no breaches of the quarantine order.

In an average 24-hour period, there are about 500 NSW Police officers rostered to maintain overall responsibility of 22 hotel footprints. They are supported by a further 150 ADF personnel.

The operation is also assisted by private security contractors.

All travellers are assessed by NSW Health on arrival at Sydney International Airport and those displaying symptoms of COVID-19 are escorted to a hotel managed by NSW Health, while the remainder are escorted to hotels managed by the NSW Police Force.

As at 8am today (Friday 3 July 2020), there are 4972 people in quarantine across 18 Sydney hotels being managed by the NSW Police Force.

There are a further 493 people in four hotels being managed by NSW Health.

Any person who becomes symptomatic while in a police-managed quarantine hotel is transferred to a NSW Health-managed hotel.

The professional management of this process has dramatically reduced the risk of COVID-19 spread within hotels, including to staff and other guests, and to-date has ensured no transmission has occurred.

Further, the cooperation of the hospitality industry – particularly staff members within the hotels – throughout the operation has been exceptional.

STAY COVID-19 SAFE AS RESTRICTIONS EASED

As NSW today relaxes more COVID-19 restrictions, new rules will be put in place to prevent Melbourne residents living in virus hotspots from travelling across the border.

Health Minister Brad Hazzard said the NSW Government will impose strict penalties on Melbourne residents in outbreak areas who seek to enter NSW in defiance of the NSW public health orders. These orders will incorporate the same restrictions as those being put in place in Victoria.

Individuals who fail to comply with the new rules could face up to six months in prison or a fine of up to $11,000 or both.

“Victorians living in virus hotspots have to take the Victorian and NSW health orders seriously and should be very aware that NSW will impose penalties if they seek to leave hotspot suburbs to enter NSW,” Mr Hazzard said.

The NSW Order will prevent travel from Melbourne hotspots to NSW unless it is a NSW resident returning home or in very special circumstances, such as to obtain urgent medical care or for compassionate reasons.

Anybody who has been in a hotspot in the past 14 days, including NSW residents, will be subject to a stay at home direction for two weeks.

There will also be restrictions on visiting residential aged care facilities or a health service.

Meanwhile, restrictions on entertainment venues, weddings, community sport and other gatherings will be eased in NSW from today but strict physical distancing measures remain in place.

Mr Hazzard said businesses should ensure they have a COVID Safety Plan outlining exactly how they will maintain a safe environment for their staff and customers.

“Until we have a vaccine, everyone has a role to play keeping the community safe, whether that is mum and dad at their kid’s soccer match or your local café operator,” Mr Hazzard said.

“The NSW Government has always said with the easing of restrictions comes risk, so I urge everyone to maintain physical distancing, get tested if you feel unwell and stay home if sick.”

The following COVID-19 restrictions have been eased from today:

  • The number of people allowed inside indoor venues will be determined by the ‘one person per 4 square metre’ rule, with no upper limit. This includes function centres.
  • Kids’ and adult community sport can recommence.
  • Cultural and sporting events at large stadiums, racecourses and motor racing tracks will be allowed up to 25 per cent of their normal seated capacity to a maximum of 10,000. These events must be ticketed and seated and follow strict guidelines.
  • Alcohol can still be served to seated patrons only, including at conference and function venues.
  • Cinemas, theatres and concert halls can reopen subject to the one person per 4 square metre rule.

The rules on gathering remain the same: 20 guests inside the home and 20 for gatherings in a public place.

NSW Health has finalised checklists to allow businesses affected by the easing of restrictions to be prepared for operation. These checklists provide guidance for businesses to develop a COVID safety plan. You can find the checklist here: https://www.nsw.gov.au/covid-19/covid-safe-businesses

All venues must adhere to their business specific COVID Safety Plan consistent with NSW Health guidelines.

Health orders are being prepared today and will become enforceable at midnight tonight to be concurrent with the Victorian health orders.

FIRST DRIVE THROUGH NEW M5 TUNNELS

Drivers in south-west Sydney will soon benefit from major travel time savings with the New M5 tunnels between Beverly Hills and St Peters almost complete.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian and Minister for Transport Andrew Constance today travelled underground in the nine kilometre tunnels for the first time to inspect progress on the $4.3 billion project.

“It’s really exciting to see the hard work is almost finished on this crucial nine kilometres of motorway. Once open, the New M5 tunnels will double the capacity of this corridor, which carries around 100,000 vehicles every day and is one of the most congested parts of Sydney’s traffic network,” Ms Berejikilian said.

“The motorway will cut up to half an hour off journeys between Liverpool and the southern suburbs of Sydney. This will mean tens of thousands of drivers can have a safe, reliable and efficient option to spend less time in their car and more time doing what they love.

“Drivers will be able to travel from Beverly Hills to a new interchange at St Peters in around 10 minutes, with new connections to Alexandria and Mascot.”

Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack said drivers on the existing motorway will also benefit.

“We’re going to see huge travel time savings on the M5 East too, with trips cut in half and travel speeds expected to double during peak time, improving journeys to the airport and Port Botany,” the Deputy Prime Minister said.

“This congestion-busting project forms part of the Federal Liberal and Nationals Government’s record $100 billion pipeline helping Australians reach their destinations sooner and safer.”

Minister for Transport Andrew Constance said the finishing touches are being applied to the tunnels with the mechanical and electrical fit-out nearing completion.

“There are currently 1,000 tradespeople working to complete the project, with more than 18,000 workers involved over the project’s lifespan,” Mr Constance said.

“The fit-out is almost finished with line marking work underway and the installation of 33,000 wall panels more than 90 per cent complete.

“We’re also in the final stages of system testing which marks the home stretch ahead of these tunnels officially opening.”

The New M5 Tunnel will open with two lanes in each direction but has capacity to upgrade to three lanes, and include connections to future projects including the M4-M5 Link Tunnel, M6 Stage 1 and Sydney Gateway to the airport and Port Botany.

WestConnex is being delivered in four major stages, including the New M4 (now open), the New M5 tunnels, and the M4-M5 Link Tunnel and Rozelle Interchange, opening in 2023.

When complete, WestConnex will provide drivers with a 33km road network, bypassing up to 52 sets of traffic lights.

NSW Police Force continues to enforce the COVID-19 Ministerial Directions

The NSW Police Force will continue to assist in the enforcement of all COVID-19-related ministerial directions through high-visibility policing operations.

A number of ministerial directions remain in place, covering returned overseas travellers, diagnosed persons, mass gatherings and movement, spitting and coughing, residential aged care facilities and the recent announcement of restrictions for affected persons from interstate COVID hotspots.

The Public Health Act 2010 (NSW) provides police with the power to enforce these orders. It is an offence for a person to fail to comply with an order, and severe penalties apply, which include a maximum penalty of up to $11,000 and/or six months imprisonment for individuals.

As part of the NSW Police Force’s commitment to assisting NSW Health reduce the risk of community spread, police officers across the state will be conducting proactive, high-visibility activity.

This includes providing a presence at Sydney Airport and regional airports, as required, to assist NSW Health staff, who are screening passengers arriving from Victoria.

Travellers who are departing from or arriving at airports in NSW are urged to adhere to the directions of airline staff, airport security, and NSW Health practitioners/officers.

Officers from Police Transport Command will also provide assistance to NSW Health at Central Railway Station for the arrival of XPT services from Melbourne.

In addition, Police Districts with borders to Victoria will be supported by Traffic and Highway Patrol to conduct high-visibility patrols and random vehicle stops.

Police continue to appeal to the community to report suspected breaches of any ministerial direction.

2020 VISION FOR CYBER SECURITY

The NSW Government has announced the development of a comprehensive, sector-wide cyber security strategy and is calling for industry submissions to help shape its final outcome.

Minister for Customer Service Victor Dominello said it was important to include industry experts and business in the development process to ensure the government continued to encourage growth within the State’s cyber security industry.

“The 2020 NSW Cyber Security Strategy will ensure the NSW Government continues to provide secure, trusted and resilient services in an ever-changing and developing environment,” Mr Dominello said.

“The new strategy will be delivered through an integrated approach to prevent and respond to cyber security threats and safeguard our information, assets, services, businesses and citizens.”

Mr Dominello said in a post COVID-19 environment it is important the NSW Government maximises the State’s existing capabilities and develops the local cyber security industry into a globally competitive, innovative ecosystem that drives economic growth.

“The 2020 NSW Cyber Security Strategy will address the cyber workforce and skills gaps that are vital in attracting business investment and creating innovation jobs,” Mr Dominello said.

“It will support innovation and growth of the NSW cyber industry and cement NSW as the leading state for cyber security in the Asia-Pacific region.

“Cyber security will be a vital part of the technology community at Tech Central which will be a home for tech giants, new and innovative start-ups and leading talent all in one place.”

In June, the NSW Government announced a record $240 million cyber security investment, as well as the establishment of a Cyber Security Vulnerability Management Centre in Bathurst, operated by Cyber Security NSW.

The 2020 NSW Cyber Security Strategy will replace the existing NSW Cyber Security Strategy and the NSW Cyber Industry Development Strategy, combining both into one overarching cyber security strategy and further information in relation to how to be involved will be released shortly.

Industry partners and cyber security experts can express an interest in providing a submission to the 2020 Cyber Security Strategy by emailing cyberstrategynsw@customerservice.nsw.gov.au

AMAZON BACKS SYDNEY FOR HIGH-TECH EXPANSION

Amazon is developing a new advanced storage and distribution centre near the Western Sydney Aerotropolis, creating 1,500 jobs in addition to 700 jobs during its construction, while contributing to economic recovery after COVID-19.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian said Amazon’s commitment reflected the NSW Government’s focus on innovation and technology to create jobs.

“This important commitment by one of the world’s leading multinationals highlights Western Sydney’s growing stature as a strong investment destination,” Ms Berejiklian said.

“The construction and operation of this centre will deliver far-reaching benefits for the people and businesses of NSW, including more than 2,000 jobs at time when we need them most.”

With the ability to operate 24/7, the almost 200,000 square metre facility is expected to be the largest ‘fulfilment centre’ built in Australia. It will also be its most advanced, incorporating the company’s latest robotics systems, the first time these will have been deployed in the Southern Hemisphere.

Located at Kemps Creek, the site gives access to the new, Western Sydney International (Nancy Bird-Walton) Airport which is due to begin operating in 2026, connecting more Australian exporters with global e-commerce opportunities.

The Centre will complement the various advanced manufacturing, aerospace and defence industries developing around the nearby Aerotropolis.

Minister for Jobs, Investment, Tourism and Western Sydney Stuart Ayres said Amazon’s decision was a vote of confidence in the NSW economy.

“It supports our strategy to foster new sources of growth through Innovation Precincts including the Western Sydney Aerotropolis,” Mr Ayres said.

“The project will contribute to local workforce development and provide skilled employment in areas like robotics, logistics and supply chain.

“It will also help build our local e-commerce sector, giving small and medium-sized businesses access to Amazon’s packing, shipping, customer service and returns capabilities, along with easier access to millions of customers across Australia and the world.

“NSW consumers will benefit too from a more efficient delivery and supply chain,” Mr Ayres said.

NSW Treasurer Dominic Perrottet said the construction of the Fulfilment Centre came at a time when it was vital to boost jobs as the NSW economy recovers from the COVID-19 shutdown.

“Creating jobs and boosting business is the most important thing we can do right now, and this project means work for hundreds of people both during construction and when it opens,” Mr Perrottet said.

“It’s been a very tough year so far but that won’t stop NSW from growing stronger, and the Fulfilment Centre is another snapshot of just how important the Western Sydney Aerotropolis will become for our state.”

The Fulfilment Centre located in the Oakdale West Industrial Estate will aim to be delivering packages to NSW residents and beyond by Christmas 2021.

FUTURE TRANSPORT LINKS CONFIRMED IN THE WESTERN PARKLAND CITY

The NSW Government has today confirmed the final corridors which will support the delivery of the proposed Sydney Metro – Western Sydney Airport project, South West Rail Link Extension and Western Sydney Freight Line.

Preserving vital corridors for three new transport links will pave the way for a significant boost to connectivity in the region, helping bring growth and jobs to Western Sydney.

The North South Rail Line Corridor will support the delivery of both Stage 1 and future stages of Sydney Metro – Western Sydney Airport and run from St Marys, with a tunnel to Orchard Hills, through to the new Western Sydney Airport, Aerotropolis and Macarthur, with a tunnel from Oran Park.

The South West Rail Link Extension Corridor will run from the Aerotropolis through Kelvin Park and Rossmore to join the suburban rail network at Leppington.

The Western Sydney Freight Line Corridor will run from the future Outer Sydney Orbital at Luddenham through to the M7 at Horsley Park, where it will join a future section through Wetherill Park, which will link to the Southern Sydney Freight Line at Leightonfield, which connects to Port Botany.

Transport Minister Andrew Constance said the alignments will bring certainty to the Western Sydney community and help drive investment around the new Airport and broader Aerotropolis.

“Preserving these corridors for future passenger and freight transport links supports the development of the Western Parkland City, while planning for the needs of growing communities and industries to accommodate commuters, workers and businesses who all rely on different types of transport modes,” Mr Constance said.

“Transport will play a huge role in shaping the way our communities move around in years to come, and we want to get this vision right, which is why we have spoken to the community at great length before finalising these future transport links.”

Today’s announcement also follows the Government’s recent funding boost for Stage 1 of Sydney Metro – Western Sydney Airport, which will support about 14,000 jobs during construction.

Planning and Public Spaces Minister Rob Stokes said the finalised transport links will form the backbone of strategic development in the Western Parkland City.

“These future transport links will offer better connectivity for residents, and provide certainty to drive investment in new employment hubs near the new Western Sydney Airport and broader Aerotropolis,” Mr Stokes said.

All submissions received during community consultation were considered and adjustments were made to the final corridor alignments to minimise impacts to nearby residents.

Each of the corridors will provide different benefits, including connections to the new airport and Aerotropolis, and support for future employments hubs, enhancing freight distribution across the emerging Western Parkland City, and freeing up capacity on other lines to allow for more passenger services.

Property owners have been notified and further details are being provided to them.

NSW SHOWGROUNDS GET EXTRA $10.77 MILLION FUNDING

Hundreds more shovel-ready projects to repair and renew showgrounds across the State will be supported with an additional $10.77 million in funding from the NSW Government.

Minister for Water, Property and Housing Melinda Pavey said the extra funding is supporting a further 129 projects at 71 showgrounds as part of the government’s COVID-19 Stimulus Package.

“Last month the NSW Government allocated $12.5 million to support 393 shovel-ready projects at 137 showgrounds across the State,” Minister Pavey said.

“Today we announce a further $10.77 million will be added to the showground stimulus program to fund another 129 projects at 71 showgrounds this financial year.

“A further $12.5 million be allocated to more showground upgrade projects next financial year bringing total spending to $35.77 million.

“These stimulus investments will provide a boost for communities and their economies by supporting tradies and building material suppliers with work while strengthening showground infrastructure for the future.”
Planning and Public Spaces Minister Rob Stokes said the funding boost would support upgrades to 129 projects across the State.
“From Bega to Ballina and Barwon to Blacktown, these projects will help to revive these valuable community assets and provide an opportunity to support local businesses right across the State during construction,” Mr Stokes said.

Treasurer Dominic Perrottet said as the Government moved from the response to recovery phase of the COVID pandemic these vital works would help create jobs and support communities get back on their feet.

“As a Government everything we do right now is focused on job creation to keep more people in jobs and businesses in business,” Mr Perrottet said.
“Funding for projects like this will make a real difference in our regional communities by supporting local jobs and rejuvenating showgrounds which are vital community hubs for our regional communities.”

$1 BILLION TO UNLOCK THOUSANDS OF INFRASTRUCTURE JOBS IN NSW

The Federal and State Liberal and Nationals Governments will support nearly 5,500 jobs across New South Wales through a joint $1 billion investment in shovel-ready infrastructure projects and road safety upgrades.

The funding will be allocated to three key priorities:

  • $240 million to fix 11 congestion hotspots around Sydney, supporting 1,000 direct and indirect jobs;
  • $382 million to help local councils upgrade roads across regional NSW, supporting 3,500 direct and indirect jobs; and
  • $398 million for road safety projects in regional areas, supporting 950 direct and indirect jobs.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said further investment in infrastructure would play a critical role in the Commonwealth’s JobMaker plan and help the New South Wales economy as it recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Partnering with state and territory governments to invest in more major infrastructure projects across Australia is a key part of our JobMaker plan to rebuild our economy and create more jobs,” the Prime Minister said.

“This funding injection means we have brought forward or provided additional funding of more than $2.7 billion across New South Wales in the past eight months.

“This package builds on the fast tracking of $570 million for infrastructure in New South Wales which we announced last November, locking in priority upgrades that will bust congestion, increase productivity, improve safety, and boost jobs at a time we need it most.”

The jointly funded package is supported by investments from the Commonwealth ($451 million) and New South Wales Government ($569 million).

Premier of New South Wales Gladys Berejiklian said the stimulus package would drive thousands of jobs and improve the safety and travel times of journeys in both the city and the regions.

“This stimulus package builds on NSW’s record infrastructure investment of $100 billion over 4 years, including an extra $3 billion to accelerate projects and create jobs,” the Premier said.

“Projects equal jobs and fast-tracking these infrastructure projects are more important than ever as the economy recovers from the pandemic.

“Building infrastructure will be key to our economic recovery which is why we have already accelerated a number of infrastructure projects, creating thousands of jobs.”

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said the Government had worked closely with State, Territory and Local governments to identify shovel-ready projects to help reignite the economy and get money flowing into jobs and businesses as soon as possible.

“This funding will help turbocharge the NSW Government’s Fixing Local Roads program, jointly funding $382 million of projects on a 50:50 basis on the local roads that communities use every day,” the Deputy Prime Minister said.

“The Fixing Local Roads package will help to repair, maintain or seal priority council roads and see projects start construction in the next 12 months, creating thousands of jobs in the bush.”

NSW Minister for Regional Transport and Roads Paul Toole said the first round of jointly funded projects would deliver more than 258 projects across 83 Local Government Areas.

“This is money for small projects that make a big difference in people’s everyday lives in regional NSW,” Mr Toole said.

“It means communities right across the State will see work starting on the local roads in their area as soon as next month.”

Federal Minister for Population, Cities and Urban Infrastructure Alan Tudge said the funding injection would also deliver shovel-ready, urban projects.

“We’re investing $240 million to jointly fund on a 50:50 basis a Pinch Point Program that will bust congestion for freight and bus services across Sydney’s metropolitan road network,” Mr Tudge said.

“These small-scale road improvements will make all the difference for mums and dads doing the school drop off, and people on their way home from work.

NSW Minister for Transport and Roads Andrew Constance said the program was saving Sydney drivers from millions of hours spent in traffic each year.

“Since coming into government we have completed 217 projects with huge benefits across the Sydney network. These include improving safety while busting congestion,” Mr Constance said.

“We’ve already spent $579 million on the Pinch Points program, but we have seen $1.37 billion in realised benefits. It’s these smaller scale, local projects that really help to deliver those massive time savings for drivers and make our road network more efficient.

The jointly funded package is supported by investments from the Commonwealth ($451 million) and New South Wales Government ($569 million).

Commonwealth funding for the package has been drawn from the recently announced $1.5 billion allocation for priority, shovel-ready projects and targeted road safety works.

The additional NSW funding is sourced from the $3 billion Project Acceleration Fund.

The Commonwealth Government has now committed more than $35.4 billion to transport infrastructure in New South Wales.

NSW INFRASTRUCTURE PACKAGE

Shovel-ready projects

Pinch Point Program – addressing congestion impacting freight and bus services on the Sydney metropolitan road network.Federal funding: $120 million, Total funding: $240 million

  • Bus Priority Improvements – Macquarie Park – Lane Cove Road and Waterloo Road Intersection
  • Bus Priority Improvements – Macquarie Park – Epping Road and Herring Road
  • Intersection Improvements – Showground Road and Carrington Road Intersection Upgrades
  • Intersection Improvements – Pacific Highway and Finlay Road
  • Intersection Improvements – Devlin Street, Blaxland Road and Parkes Street
  • Intersection Improvements – Parramatta Road and Woodville Road
  • Intersection Improvements – Georges River Road and Milton Street
  • Intersection Improvements – King Georges Road and Canterbury Road
  • Install Traffic Signals – Wentworth Avenue and Baker Street
  • Corridor Upgrades – Oxford Street (Bondi Junction)
  • Corridor Optimisation and Cycleway – Centennial Park to Kingsford via Doncaster Avenue

Fixing Local Roads – repairing, maintaining or sealing priority council roads. Federal funding: $191 million, Total funding: $382 million

Road safety upgrades

Safer Roads Program – including mass action rollout of rumble strips (audio-tactile line marking). Federal funding: $140 million, Total funding: $398 million

Total –     Federal funding: $451 million, Total funding: $1.02 billion

LARGEST EVER PURCHASE FOR NATIONAL PARK ESTATE

The 153,415 hectare Narriearra Station in far north west NSW is the largest purchase of private land for national parks in the State’s history.

Environment Minister Matt Kean says the purchase will help protect threatened species, important habitat and wetlands.

“Narriearra Station stretches across the outback Channel Country and includes part of the Bulloo River floodplain, ephemeral wetlands and landscapes currently not found anywhere in NSW national parks,” Mr Kean said.

“Narriearra is an important refuge for threatened wildlife, with more than 25 threatened animal species, including nearly 90 per cent of NSW’s critical habitat and breeding areas for the nationally endangered Grey Grasswren.”

Mr Kean said the acquisition secures a key section of a nationally important wetland – the Caryapundy Swamp – which can host tens of thousands of waterbirds including pelicans, straw-necked ibis, egrets and whiskered terns during inland flood events.

“Narriearra along with the nearby Sturt National Park, will create a vast near-contiguous conservation area of almost half a million hectares, or twice the size of the ACT.

“Adjoining the Pindera Downs Aboriginal Area, Narriearra contains many significant and valuable stone artefacts, tools and stone arrangements.

“The property is also linked to the ill-fated Burke and Wills expedition, with two expedition campsites on the property.

“In August last year I stated my goal to add 200,000 hectares of land to the national parks estate. I am ecstatic that, on top of 64,860 hectares already reserved, this purchase puts us on track to exceed that.”

The Minister has invited the Tibooburra Local Aboriginal Land Council to suggest a name for the new national park.