TRADITION MEETS TECH AS BARRACKS REOPEN

Visitors to the historic Hyde Park Barracks will be able to experience NSW’s convict past in vivid new detail as it reopens to the public this week.

A year-long renewal has transformed the Barracks with immersive activities across three floors and innovative audio technology allowing visitors to stand where convicts stood and hear their stories.

Minister for the Arts Don Harwin says the UNESCO World Heritage listed site tells a major part of Australia’s convict story and the upgrades offer a new way to view Sydney’s complex and fascinating past.

“This is an historic day with the reopening of such an important heritage landmark – a building that has been central to many chapters of Sydney’s emergence as a rich, multicultural city,” said Mr Harwin.

“It’s brilliant to see how technology is enhancing the visitor experience for our cultural institutions. This is going to be a dynamic learning experience for school children and adults alike.

“Importantly, the impact of the site on Aboriginal land, culture and communities is also documented in this fascinating immersive experience.

Commissioned in 1817 by Governor Lachlan Macquarie, Hyde Park Barracks saw almost 100,000 people passed through its gates.

Sydney Living Museums has delivered the upgrades predominantly self-funded through revenue raised by a heritage conservation scheme managed by the City of Sydney.

A 20% discount will be offered to NSW residents in the opening months of the new experience to assist locals in being reacquainted with the history of their State.

AGRIBUSINESS PRECINCT TO BE A GLOBAL LEADER

The production of fresh food in climate controlled greenhouses in the Western Sydney Aerotropolis Agribusiness Precinct has the potential to transform food production in Australia and take produce from Western Sydney to the world.

Minister for Jobs, Investment, Tourism and Western Sydney Stuart Ayres said a new report has found the Agribusiness Precinct, announced by the NSW Government in March last year, could enable producers to deliver locally grown fresh produce at prices competitive on a global scale.

“The Agribusiness Precinct provides Western Sydney growers with the unique opportunity to export produce from their farms and have it on a plate on the other side of the globe in just 36 hours,” Mr Ayres said.

“With more than 50 per cent of the world’s population within a 12 hour flight from the Western Parkland City, the Agribusiness Precinct will create endless opportunities for families and businesses in Western Sydney.”

The report, commissioned by the Western City & Aerotropolis Authority, compared the cost of producing tomatoes in a greenhouse in Australia to the global market leader, the Netherlands.

The analysis shows it currently costs 52 per cent more to produce a kilogram of greenhouse tomatoes in Australia, but the creation of a large scale precinct for intensive integrated fresh food production in the Western Parkland City would reduce the difference to just eight per cent.

Australia’s proximity to Asia provides an additional benefit due to lower transport costs when compared to European producers.

“We have had a look at how the best greenhouse producers in the world operate and with the creation of the Agribusiness Precinct on the doorstep of a new international airport we have the chance to compete on an international stage,” Mr Ayres said.

“Western Sydney can be the next global leader in high-tech farming and smart climate controlled glasshouses, providing jobs for Western Sydney and fresh and value-added food for both domestic and international markets.”

Large scale greenhouse production, or an Integrated Intensive Production Hub, over 500 hectares has the potential to create 2,500 direct jobs, 12,000 indirect jobs and the capacity to produce 96,000 tonnes of fresh food. This could generate $2.8 billion in additional revenue over a 10 year period.

Planning of the Agribusiness Precinct is underway, with the first businesses expected to be operating ahead of the opening of the Western Sydney Airport.

AGRIBUSINESS PRECINCT TO BE A GLOBAL LEADER

The production of fresh food in climate controlled greenhouses in the Western Sydney Aerotropolis Agribusiness Precinct has the potential to transform food production in Australia and take produce from Western Sydney to the world.

Minister for Jobs, Investment, Tourism and Western Sydney Stuart Ayres said a new report has found the Agribusiness Precinct, announced by the NSW Government in March last year, could enable producers to deliver locally grown fresh produce at prices competitive on a global scale.

“The Agribusiness Precinct provides Western Sydney growers with the unique opportunity to export produce from their farms and have it on a plate on the other side of the globe in just 36 hours,” Mr Ayres said.

“With more than 50 per cent of the world’s population within a 12 hour flight from the Western Parkland City, the Agribusiness Precinct will create endless opportunities for families and businesses in Western Sydney.”

The report, commissioned by the Western City & Aerotropolis Authority, compared the cost of producing tomatoes in a greenhouse in Australia to the global market leader, the Netherlands.

The analysis shows it currently costs 52 per cent more to produce a kilogram of greenhouse tomatoes in Australia, but the creation of a large scale precinct for intensive integrated fresh food production in the Western Parkland City would reduce the difference to just eight per cent.

Australia’s proximity to Asia provides an additional benefit due to lower transport costs when compared to European producers.

“We have had a look at how the best greenhouse producers in the world operate and with the creation of the Agribusiness Precinct on the doorstep of a new international airport we have the chance to compete on an international stage,” Mr Ayres said.

“Western Sydney can be the next global leader in high-tech farming and smart climate controlled glasshouses, providing jobs for Western Sydney and fresh and value-added food for both domestic and international markets.”

Large scale greenhouse production, or an Integrated Intensive Production Hub, over 500 hectares has the potential to create 2,500 direct jobs, 12,000 indirect jobs and the capacity to produce 96,000 tonnes of fresh food. This could generate $2.8 billion in additional revenue over a 10 year period.

Planning of the Agribusiness Precinct is underway, with the first businesses expected to be operating ahead of the opening of the Western Sydney Airport.

STATE OF THE ART PUBLIC HIGH SCHOOL OPENS ITS DOORS TO STUDENTS

More than 1,100 students at Arthur Phillip High School are settling into their new innovative and state of the art school in Parramatta following its official opening.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian, Minister for Education Sarah Mitchell and Member for Parramatta Geoff Lee visited students today at the modern and progressive school.

Ms Berejiklian said that this school is unique and a benchmark globally for schools in dense urban areas.

“Arthur Phillip High School is an example of NSW’s world class education system, and I’m pleased it will serve the community for many generations,” Ms Berejiklian said.

“This is not a traditional high school, it is at the forefront of education delivering outstanding learning spaces, and specialist Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics levels to ensure all students receive the best education.”

The school has a capacity for 2,000 students and is connected with nearby educational facilities such as Western Sydney University.

Ms Mitchell said she was thrilled to be with the students to see the new Arthur Phillip High School.

“This is a truly unique school building the NSW Government has delivered in the heart of the Parramatta CBD,” Ms Mitchell said.

“The school has been cleverly designed to deliver extraordinary indoor and outdoor landscaped spaces.”

Dr Lee said Parramatta is steeped in history and during construction over 13,000 Aboriginal and European artefacts were discovered and will be incorporated into the school curriculum in history and science.

“I’m proud that the NSW Government has delivered this landmark project for the Parramatta community,” Dr Lee said.

The NSW Government is investing $6.7 billion over four years to deliver more than 190 new and upgraded schools to support communities across NSW. In addition, a record $1.3 billion is being spent on school maintenance over five years, along with a record $500 million for the sustainable Cooler Classrooms program to provide air conditioning to schools. This is the largest investment in public education infrastructure in the history of NSW.

SPACE STRATEGY PROVIDES LIFT OFF FOR NSW BUSINESSES

NSW will be at the forefront of the rapidly growing billion-dollar space industry under a new Space Strategy announced today.

The NSW Space Industry Development Strategy will maximise opportunities for NSW businesses to take advantage of the growing demand for space technologies estimated to be worth $420 billion globally.

Minister for Jobs, Investment, Tourism and Western Sydney Stuart Ayres said industries from the cities and regions would have the support of the NSW Government to ensure the state leads the innovative sector.

“Nearly every industry is looking to increase its output and improve its efficiency through space-enabled technologies,” Mr Ayres said.

“Space is not just about what’s up there, it’s also about what’s down here. These technologies are used in robotics, agriculture, energy, communications, transportation, aviation, advanced manufacturing, information technology and construction. They are in the technology we all use in our daily lives.”

The $5 million Space Strategy will include the delivery of a National Space Industry Hub, located in the Sydney Innovation and Technology Precinct, with expressions of interest (EOI) to run the Hub now open.

The EOI process will also include searching for a delivery partner to facilitate access to space for start-ups and researchers looking to commercialise their technologies through a space qualification mission.

The strategy will also support the NSW Government’s commitment to develop a space manufacturing and testing facility at the Aerotropolis. The Western Sydney Aerotropolis will include world-class space, aviation, defence and advanced manufacturing industries and training and research institutions.

NSW currently accounts for 41 per cent of all Australian space businesses and 35 per cent of Australia’s university space research and development.

To download the full NSW space industry development strategy, click here. To submit an EOI for the National Space Hub or space qualification mission, go to the NSW Government eTendering website. Submissions close 22 March 2020.

PRISON OFFICERS TO WEAR BODY-WORN CAMERAS

Frontline officers working in Corrective Services NSW are being rolled out with new cutting-edge body-worn camera technology to improve officer safety and operational transparency.

Minister for Counter Terrorism and Corrections Anthony Roberts said Immediate Action Teams across the State have begun to use the cameras.

“Our Corrections Officers do a great job under challenging circumstances so it’s vital we provide them with the latest technology to enable them to do that job safely and effectively,” Mr Roberts said.

“Our Immediate Action Teams are the first responders to critical incidents in the correctional environment. This technology will allow them to respond to situations quickly and confidently.”

Officers will primarily use the technology to gather audio and visual evidence in the event of an officer assault, use of force or contraband raid.

The camera is attached to the front of an officer’s uniform in stand-by mode until the officer activates the camera’s record function. Once activated, the camera retains the 30 seconds of video prior to activation and continues recording.

Corrective Services NSW Commissioner Peter Severin said the use of body-worn cameras can help de-escalate incidents and resolve investigations more swiftly.

“These body-worn cameras enable our officers to record high-quality digital video evidence of a contraband raid or use of force with the press of a button,” Mr Severin said.

“Offenders will be on notice. If they try to assault, intimidate or threaten harm to an officer with a body-worn camera, it will be recorded. Our aim is to not only ensure the appropriate documentation of uses of force, but to provide greater protection and assurance to staff.”

The roll-out follows a nine-month trial of body-worn camera technology at several maximum-security centres.

GREATER SYDNEY WATER RESTRICTIONS EXPECTED TO BE RELAXED ON 1 MARCH

Water restrictions in Greater Sydney are expected to be relaxed to Level 1 on the 1st of March as Sydney Dam levels reach 80 per cent following recent rainfall.

Minister for Water, Property and Housing Melinda Pavey said Level 2 water restrictions will remain in place for two more weeks to reduce the demand on the water supply network and ensure water quality remains high.

“We recently experienced the biggest rain event in 20 years, which has impacted the quality of raw water in Greater Sydney’s bushfire affected catchment,” Mrs Pavey said.

“A number of initiatives are in place to ensure the water is safe for use, including extensive testing, filtration and nets to catch debris, but we are allowing an extra two weeks purely as a precautionary measure.”

“It will also give the system time to recover and on the 1st of March we expect Greater Sydney will revert back to Level 1 water restrictions, subject to water quality assessment by Water NSW and Sydney Water.”

Under Level 1 water restrictions, residents and businesses are not able to leave hoses running unattended, wash vehicles and buildings with a hose that isn’t fitted with a trigger nozzle, or use standard sprinklers and watering systems at any time.

Mrs Pavey acknowledged people have been patient and applauded their efforts to reduce the amount of water being used annually – from 200L per person per day in 2017, to 180L today.

“Despite a 26 per cent increase in population, the total demand for drinking water remains lower than it did before mandatory restrictions were introduced in late 2003,” Mrs Pavey said.

Fines will still apply for breaches of water restrictions – $220 for residential breaches and $550 for businesses. Exemptions will be available for non-residential customers with outdoor water use as their core business.

For a full list of requirements for Level 1 and 2 water restrictions visit: lovewater.sydney

E-PLANNING MAKING LIFE EASIER FOR HOMEOWNERS

Homeowners across the State are the biggest winners from the NSW Government’s ePlanning initiative, with new figures released today showing increased transparency and reduced DA assessment times.

Minister for Customer Service Victor Dominello and Minister for Planning and Public Spaces Rob Stokes said the results of the initiative reinforce the Government’s plan to mandate ePlanning this year across 42 councils in metropolitan Sydney, Illawarra, Newcastle and Central Coast.

“The initiative with 26 councils has been an overwhelming success – there’s been a 20-day reduction in assessment times where advice is needed from State agencies, 23 per cent of online DAs have been submitted outside office hours, and 1779 hours’ have been saved for councils and local residents,” Mr Dominello said.

“Councils in metropolitan Sydney, Illawarra, Newcastle and Central Coast determine more than two-thirds of all DAs lodged in NSW, accounting for approximately $39 billion in investment value for the State’s economy.”

Mr Stokes said mandating ePlanning in these councils is a key part of the Government’s program to reform the NSW planning system to improve its transparency, certainty and timeliness.

“We’re transforming the planning system by replacing an old paper-based system with a digital platform. Providing customers and councils with real-time information boosts transparency, avoids delays and provides greater visibility of development proposals,” Mr Stokes said.

The mandate will require councils to complete the following via the NSW Planning Portal:

  • Commence use of all relevant digital services, including the lodgement of DAs,  Complying Development Certificates (CDCs), and post-consent certificates;
  • Process 100 per cent of all planning applications (DAs, CDCs and post-consent certificates);
  • Appointment of principle certifying authorities and issue certificates; and
  • All new digital services with go-live dates to be determined in consultation with industry and councils.

An industry reference group will be established to allow stakeholders to provide feedback on implementing the roll-out of mandatory ePlanning.

ePlanning will be mandated in the following councils:

Blacktown Blue Mountains Burwood Camden Campbelltown Canada Bay
Canterbury-Bankstown Central Coast Cessnock City of Sydney Cumberland Fairfield
Georges River Hawkesbury Hornsby Hunters Hill Inner West Kiama
Ku-ring-gai Lake Macquarie Lane Cove Liverpool Mosman Newcastle
North Sydney Northern Beaches Parramatta Penrith Randwick Ryde
Shellharbour Shoalhaven Strathfield Sutherland The Hills Waverley
Willoughby
Wingecarribee
Wollondilly Wollongong Woollahra Bayside

ROUGH SLEEPER STREET COUNT UNDERWAY

For the first time, the NSW Government and non-government organisations are joining forces to conduct street counts of people sleeping rough in almost 300 locations across the state.

Minister for Families, Communities and Disability Services Gareth Ward said staff from the Department of Communities and Justice were working with homelessness services, community housing providers and local councils to undertake the counts.

“Our Government has committed to halving street sleeping by 2025 and this street count is an important step as we work towards this ambitious target,” Mr Ward said.

“We are putting together the most complete and up-to-date picture possible of the number of people sleeping rough and where we can have the greatest impact.

“These street counts will help foster local collaboration to end street sleeping and inform local approaches to prevention, housing options and post-crisis support.”

The first phase of street counts in February 2020 will provide data for most of the state, with a second phase in April 2020 in the Illawarra, Shoalhaven and Southern NSW.

CEO of Mission Australia James Toomey said the street count would provide Government and non-government organisations with important data that will help them tackle rough sleeping.

“We need to focus on the things we know work that have an evidence base behind them and by doing that in collaboration we can end street homelessness,” Mr Toomey said.

The Liberals & Nationals Government is committed to halving street sleeping across NSW by 2025 as part of its Premier’s Priorities.

NSW is part of a global movement to end street sleeping, with the Premier signing the Act to End Street Sleeping Agreement in February 2019 with the Institute of Global Homelessness, the City of Sydney and several non-government organisations.

2020 NSW 17/U Team for Nationals named

Netball NSW is delighted to announce the 12 athletes selected to represent the state at the 2020 17/U National Netball Championships in April.

This year the Nationals will take place in Hobart, Tasmania from the 18-23 April, at the city’s Netball and Sports Centre.

Teams from each state and territory will contest championships in the 17/U and 19/U age groups. Gold medal matches will be played on Thursday 23 April to decide the 2020 National Netball Champions in both divisions.

Last year NSW took home silver medals in both age groups and will be looking to go one better in 2020.

Netball NSW Head of Netball Nikki Horton said it was a very important milestone for every athlete selected.

“Nationals are one of the big benchmarks on along the Netball NSW pathway and to be selected for a state team is a huge achievement,” she said.

“Last year NSW was very competitive in reaching both the 19/U and 17/U Grand Finals and in 2020 we’ll be hoping to take the next step and bring silverware back to the state.

“I would like to commend every athlete who took part in what was a very long, and rigorous selection process, especially the athletes who have made it to the end.

“We now look forward to working with them and the coaching team as we get ready for Tasmania.”

2020 NSW 17/U Team

Amelia Kirgan (Bankstown City)
Audrey Little (Manly Warringah)
Charli Fidler (Manly Warringah)
Charlotte Smith (Sutherland Shire)
Ella Johnson (Ku-ring-gai)
Erin O’Brien (Northern Suburbs)
Jamie Podmore Taylor (Northern Suburbs)
Kyah Vaeila (Penrith District)
Millie Roach (Ku-ring-gai)
Papi Alaalatoa (Liverpool City)
Skye Gosby (Sutherland Shire)
Sophie Fawns (Wagga Wagga)

Coaches

Head Coach: Amber Cross (Wyong District)
Assistant Coach: Kath Tetley (Baulkham-Hills Shire)
Apprentice Coach: Kirstie Fuller (Gunnedah)
Manager: Jenny Gage-Traill (Northern Suburbs)