TUNNEL BORING MACHINE NANCY BREAKS THROUGH AT WATERLOO

The first mega tunnel boring machine launched on the NSW Government’s Metro City and South West project has broken through at Waterloo after tunnelling 3.1 kilometres from Marrickville.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian and Minister for Transport Andrew Constance joined workers to welcome the arrival of the Tunnel Boring Machine (TBM), Nancy, at the site of the new Waterloo Metro Station.

“This is history in the making as we get on with the job of delivering turn-up-and-go Metro services up to every two minutes from Chatswood, under the Harbour and CBD and onto Bankstown,” Ms Berejiklian said.

“TBM Nancy only started digging in October and has now arrived at Waterloo after completing 3.1 kilometres of tunnelling in less than six months.

“In a couple of weeks Nancy will continue tunnelling towards Barangaroo via new metro stations at Central, Pitt Street and Martin Place.”

Mr Constance said TBM Nancy’s tunnel breakthrough at Waterloo was an exciting milestone for the country’s biggest public transport project, which will connect Sydney’s North West with the City and South West like never before.

“When Metro City and South West is complete in 2024 Sydney will have 31 metro stations along a new 66 kilometre metro rail line with the capacity to move about 40,000 customers an hour,” Mr Constance said.

TBM Mum Shirl is tunnelling alongside TBM Nancy from Marrickville and is only a few hundred metres from breaking through at Waterloo.

The mega tunnel boring machines are two of the five TBMs building the 15.5 kilometre twin railway tunnels between Chatswood and Marrickville.

M4 work will be paid off by September 2019, why will Western Sydney pay for 43 years?

Analysis of NSW Road Toll Data has revealed that if toll revenue continues at its current rate, the M4 widening will be paid off by September 2019.

Despite this, Liberal Premier Gladys Berejiklian has locked Western Sydney into paying tolls for 43 years.

Regular Western Sydney commuters are slugged more $2,000 a year travelling on the M4, making the toll one of the biggest cost of living issues of the election.

NSW Labor Leader, Michael Daley said: “The Liberals are keeping their M4 toll, while Labor is re-introducing the M4 Cashback.

“The voters of Western Sydney have a clear choice.”

This follows Premier Berejiklian announcing that there will be a second new M4 toll under a Liberal Government in the Sky News leader’s debate. Then in a late night tweet she said she wouldn’t introduce a new M4 toll.

In the debate the Premier was asked if there would be a second toll west of Parramatta. She said there would be under the Liberals. This part of the M4 is currently toll-free.

“Every person I speak to is already feeling the pinch from rising costs. Western Sydney motorists shouldn’t have to pay this unfair toll for 43 years.” Labor’s candidate for Penrith, Karen McKeown said.

The Liberals’ secret plan to toll the M4 from Penrith to Parramatta revealed

In a massive hit to Western Sydney families just days out from the election, Premier Berejiklian said there will be a second new M4 toll under a Liberal Government in the Sky News leader’s debate.

The current M4 toll is the single largest cost of living issue affecting many M4 commuters in Western Sydney.

In a late night tweet Premier Berejiklian then said she wouldn’t introduce a new M4 toll.

In the debate the Premier was asked if there would be a second toll west of Parramatta. She said there would be under the Liberals. This part of the M4 is currently toll-free.

“Either the Premier is so out of touch she doesn’t know where the tolls are or she slipped up and revealed her real plans for after the election,” Shadow Minister for Western Sydney, Prue Car, said.

The current M4 toll costs more than $2,000 a year for a regular commuter – dwarfing soaring electricity prices.

The Liberals are keeping their M4 toll, while Labor is introducing a M4 toll Cashback.

“Every person I speak to is already feeling the pinch from rising costs. A secret new toll would be cruel and unaffordable. It will blow the family budget for tens of thousands of Western Sydney commuters.” Labor Leader, Michael Daley, said.

“This will not happen under Labor. I cannot be more certain, under a Government I lead there will no new tolls on old roads. In fact we will introduce massive cut to tolls paid with our M4 Cashback.”

“This will send a shockwave through Western Sydney,” Shadow Minister for Western Sydney, Prue Car, said.

“It is a disaster for family budgets and the Liberals know this, it’s why they have never whispered a word of a new toll before tonight.”

Labor is committed to a M4 Cashback, which was costed in the independent Parliamentary Budget Office’s official statement.

Labor to deliver justice for light rail victims

Michael Daley and Labor will set aside $100 million to make sure the affected residents and businesses devastated by Premier Berejiklian’s botched Sydney Light Rail project will be properly compensated so they can repair the damage done to their lives and livelihoods by Premier Berejiklian’s pet project.

Labor’s plan will provide additional resources for residents and businesses who are affected so they can get back on their feet and restore some order to their lives wrecked by this project which has dragged on for years.

A Daley Labor Government will also ask the independent NSW Ombudsman to examine complaints made in the past to determine whether Transport for NSW dealt with complainants fairly and in good faith.

Residents and businesses affected by these disastrous project have suffered;

  • Property damage
  • Excessive dust & debris
  • Construction at all hours
  • Excessive noise at all hours
  • Excessive light
  • Loss of access to homes and businesses
  • Loss of foot traffic and trade
  • Destruction of heritage and loss of public space
  • Reduced accessibility to homes and businesses.

NSW Labor Leader Michael Daley said, “Residents and businesses affected by this botched project have been waiting for years for a Government that treats them with the respect they deserve.

“Premier Berejiklian and Minister Constance haven’t listened to the people affected by this project, residents and businesses feel completely ignored by the Government.

“This is long overdue for the residents and businesses across Sydney who have been hurt by these projects. A Labor Government will see justice done.”

NSW name captains for 2019 National Netball Champs

Netball NSW is delighted to announce that the leadership teams for the 2019 NSW 17/U and 19/U Teams have been selected.

The team will travel to Brisbane next month to contest the National Netball Championships, where Australia’s best young players get the chance to represent their respective state or territory.

The Championships also provide a fantastic pathway opportunity for athlete exposure and talent identification.

Building on a stellar year in 2018, NSW Swifts training partner Matisse Letherbarrow (Baulkham Hills Shire) has been named captain of the NSW 17/U side. The 17-year-old played in last year’s Nationals in Adelaide and also represented the Netball NSW Waratahs in the Australian Netball League (ANL).

Letherbarrow will be assisted in her leadership duties by co-vice captains, and sisters, Amy and Natalie Sligar (Camden & District).

Meanwhile the NSW 19/U side will be led by GIANTS Netball training partner Latika Tombs (Manly Warringah), who will be assisted by 2019 GIANTS defender Matilda McDonell (St George District) and Canberra GIANT Madeline Eaton (Sutherland Shire), who have been named vice captains.

Tombs, who was called into the GIANTS’ Suncorp Super Netball squad in 2018 as injury cover, is also stepping up after an impressive showing with the Canberra GIANTS in last year’s ANL.

Netball NSW’s Head of Netball Nikki Horton congratulated the athletes on their appointments and wished them well ahead of the trip to Queensland.

“It is a great honour to play for NSW, but to captain is another level again and I know our state team coaches are very happy with who’ve they’ve chosen,” she said.

“Our 17/U head coach Amber Cross, her 19/U counterpart Nerida Stewart and their respective teams have gone through a very thorough process and the calibre of athletes they had to choose from was excellent.

“On behalf of everyone at Netball NSW I would like to sincerely congratulate all of the captains and vice captains named today. It truly is a fantastic achievement and one that they themselves, their families, clubs and associations should be exceptionally proud of.

“We are looking forward to making the trip to Brisbane next month and hoping they can bring some national titles back to NSW.”

The 2019 National Netball Championships take place at the Queensland State Netball Centre in Brisbane from April 11-16.

NEXT STAGE OF METRO WELL AND TRULY UNDERWAY

Premier Gladys Berejiklian and Minister for Transport and Infrastructure Andrew Constance today inspected the site where Sydney Metro’s fifth mega tunnel boring machine is preparing to begin the historic first rail crossing deep under Sydney Harbour.

Tunnel boring machine Kathleen is being assembled at the site of the new Barangaroo metro station, to start tunnelling under the Harbour in June.

“Kathleen will quite literally shape Sydney’s future in the coming months as she builds the first railway tunnels under Sydney Harbour – linking metro rail from the city’s northwest, through the CBD and on to the south west,” Ms Berejiklian said.

“This game-changing project is the first new rail line through Sydney since the 1970s and will massively cut travel times for commuters across the whole system.”

The specialised harbour tunnel boring machine is named after Kathleen Butler, who played a vital role in the construction of the Sydney Harbour Bridge as the technical advisor to legendary engineer John JJC Bradfield.

This project is providing a boost to the NSW economy, with more than 6200 people to work on the project at the peak of construction.

“I am so excited by the progress of the Sydney Metro City & Southwest project,” Mr Constance said.

“Four mega borers have been busy digging more than five kilometres of tunnels under the city in the past five months – that’s 16 per cent of the Sydney Metro Tunnelling task completed.”

Four new Sydney Metro stations are being built in the Sydney CBD – at Martin Place, Pitt Street, Barangaroo and Central.

“This once again shows that only the NSW Liberals & Nationals Government will deliver Metro rail across Sydney,” Mr Constance said.

“When Labor was last in office they announced 12 rail projects. They did not deliver one in full and they are already promising to cancel the Sydenham to Bankstown Metro upgrade.”

Kathleen will join the four borers currently digging from Marrickville and Chatswood towards the harbour’s edge.

Together all five tunnel boring machines will deliver twin 15.5 kilometre rail tunnels for Australia’s biggest public transport project.

Sydney Metro Northwest is on track to open in May and is at least a billion dollars under budget. It includes 13 Metro stations and 4000 commuter car parking spaces.

Metro rail is being extended from the north west, into the CBD and beyond to Bankstown in 2024, delivering Sydney 31 metro stations and a 66km standalone metro railway line.

The Liberals’ secret plan to toll the M4 from Penrith to Parramatta revealed

In a massive hit to Western Sydney families just days out from the election, Premier Berejiklian said there will be a second new M4 toll under a Liberal Government in the Sky News leader’s debate.

The current M4 toll is the single largest cost of living issue affecting many M4 commuters in Western Sydney.

In a late night tweet Premier Berejiklian then said she wouldn’t introduce a new M4 toll.

In the debate the Premier was asked if there would be a second toll west of Parramatta. She said there would be under the Liberals. This part of the M4 is currently toll-free.

“Either the Premier is so out of touch she doesn’t know where the tolls are or she slipped up and revealed her real plans for after the election,” Shadow Minister for Western Sydney, Prue Car, said.

The current M4 toll costs more than $2,000 a year for a regular commuter – dwarfing soaring electricity prices.

The Liberals are keeping their M4 toll, while Labor is introducing a M4 toll Cashback.

“Every person I speak to is already feeling the pinch from rising costs. A secret new toll would be cruel and unaffordable. It will blow the family budget for tens of thousands of Western Sydney commuters.” Labor Leader, Michael Daley, said.

“This will not happen under Labor. I cannot be more certain, under a Government I lead there will no new tolls on old roads. In fact we will introduce massive cut to tolls paid with our M4 Cashback.”

“This will send a shockwave through Western Sydney,” Shadow Minister for Western Sydney, Prue Car, said.

“It is a disaster for family budgets and the Liberals know this, it’s why they have never whispered a word of a new toll before tonight.”

Labor is committed to a M4 Cashback, which was costed in the independent Parliamentary Budget Office’s official statement.

FREE DENTAL CHECKS FOR PRIMARY SCHOOL KIDS

Primary school children in Western Sydney, the Mid North Coast and the Central Coast will be among the first to benefit from free mobile dental checks and basic dental care, under a NSW Liberals & Nationals Government.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian, Treasurer Dominic Perrottet and Health Minister Brad Hazzard announced the NSW Government will invest $70 million over the next four years to provide 35 new mobile dental clinics for the service – which will allow checking of up to 136,000 primary school children each year.

“Dental health is so important to give kids a great start in life, and we want to make it easier for families to get access to vital dental services,” Ms Berejiklian said.

“The NSW Liberals & Nationals have worked together to deliver a strong budget, which means we can do even more to improve our world-class health system.”

Mr Hazzard said the mobile dental checks would roll out from 1 July 2019.

“When it comes to getting it done, NSW leads the way in free dental care for our children,” Mr Hazzard said.

“These mobile dental clinics will make access easier and parents can have the peace of mind that their children are getting timely preventative dental checks.

“This great initiative will ensure children in areas where there is a high demand for public dental care don’t miss out at a critical time in their lives.

“These mobile dental clinics will also raise awareness among students and families about the importance of developing lifelong good dental health habits,” Mr Hazzard said.

Currently NSW public dental services provide care to children at fixed clinics at hospitals or in the community.

Oral health assessments are performed as part of all child health checks at regular intervals from the age of six months until a child turns four.

Mr Perrottet said strong financial management meant the NSW Liberals & Nationals could invest in improving dental health for children.

“As a parent of five children I know it’s a challenge getting your kids to look after their teeth,” Mr Perrottet said.

“This program will improve dental hygiene, identify problems early and help correct them. It will help put a brighter smile on the faces of parents and their kids.”

ENERGY SWITCH WILL HELP SLASH GAS BILLS

More than 1.3 million households using gas could save hundreds of dollars off their energy bills with the NSW Government expanding its popular Energy Switch service.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian and Treasurer Dominic Perrottet today announced the Energy Switch program will be expanded to include household gas from May – just in time to slash winter energy bills.

“This is an opportunity for more than a million households across NSW to see if there is a better deal to be found on their gas bill and help ease the cost of living,” Ms Berejiklian said.

“Energy Switch is already saving NSW households hundreds of dollars on their electricity bills and today’s announcement will help people save even more by finding the best deal for gas.”

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s (ACCC) inquiry into Retail Electricity Pricing found NSW has the lowest residential electricity charges of any mainland state, and Ms Berejiklian said driving energy prices lower still was a priority.

“The NSW Liberals and Nationals are committed to reducing the cost of living and delivering lower gas and power prices,” Ms Berejiklian said.

“This will help create competition and I encourage people to make use of the Energy Switch program to get the best deal for their electricity and gas.”

Energy Switch is a free service launched in November 2018 which allows households to switch electricity providers in minutes online, via phone or in-person at Service NSW centres.

The program works by using a customer’s latest energy e-bill to scan every retailer in NSW and gives customers the cheapest three energy plans available. If a switch is requested, Service NSW will inform the energy provider.

“It’s a fast and easy process and Service NSW will do the heavy lifting for the customer by checking their gas usage, searching the market for available plans and if savings can be found, then we will make the switch for them,” Mr Perrottet said.

“The average Energy Switch saving so far has been more than $400 on annual electricity bills. I encourage people to see what they can save off their bills.

“While we are helping people cut the cost of living, Labor has promised more than $1 billion worth of new taxes and charges which will hit the hip pockets of people right across NSW.”

The expanded service for gas will be rolled out from May 2019 in all Service NSW centres and online through https://energyswitch.service.nsw.gov.au.

This new initiative, along with the NSW Liberals & Nationals’ plan to install solar energy and battery storage for 300,000 homes and provide a new $200 energy rebate for self-funded retirees, will help to further reduce the cost of living.

The NSW Liberals & Nationals Government has saved households more than $200 million over the last year through a raft of cost of living measures, including cheaper Green Slips, $100 Active Kids and Creative Kids vouchers, Free Rego and the FuelCheck app.

The top 10 suburbs where the most electricity switches have been made through Service NSW’s free Energy Switch service are:

Suburb Average Saving per household
Dubbo $540
Kellyville $491
Liverpool $486
Gosford $484
Westmead $448
Baulkham Hills $441
Naremburn $351
Port Macquarie $325
Lane Cove $323
Hornsby $279

FIRST TEST RIDE ON THE ON TIME AND UNDER BUDGET NORTHWEST METRO

For the first time, passengers have boarded Australia’s first turn-up-and-go train service, which is due to officially open in May more than $1 billion under budget.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian and Minister for Transport and Infrastructure Andrew Constance today experienced a test trip on the world-class driverless train which will run services every four minutes.

“It will be an historic day in Australia when the first full passenger service of the Sydney Metro departs from Tallawong station in Rouse Hill,” Ms Berejiklian said.

“We are thrilled this $8.3 billion project will be finished on time and $1 billion dollars under budget.

“The Northwest Metro rail line shows that when the NSW Liberals & Nationals make a promise, we deliver on it.”

Mr Constance said Sydney Metro’s launch will deliver a better experience for train customers.

“Customers between Rouse Hill and Chatswood will quickly fall in love with Sydney Metro and it is not hard to see why,” Mr Constance said.

“We delivered this service for the people of Sydney’s Northwest, but we are not done, with the Metro currently being extended from Chatswood, under the Harbour and onto Bankstown.

“You can trust the NSW Liberals & Nationals to deliver for the people of NSW, but you can’t trust Labor.

“When they were last in office Labor promised 12 rail lines and didn’t deliver a single one and now they want to cancel the Sydenham to Bankstown Metro upgrade, depriving Sydney’s South West of world class Metro services.”

The entire 22 train fleet has been delivered and more than 35,000km of train testing has taken place on the Metro system through all 13 stations along the railway.

Stage 2 of Sydney Metro, the City and Southwest line from Chatswood to Bankstown, is on track to have services running in 2024.