SYDNEY LIGHT RAIL TO OPEN DECEMBER 14

Trams will carry passengers through Sydney’s streets for the first time in nearly 60 years when the CBD and South East Light Rail opens on Saturday, 14 December.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian and Transport Minister Andrew Constance today announced the start date for the first light rail service to run down George Street since 1961.

“The CBD and South East Light Rail is a big step towards revitalising our city and will transform the way we live, work and go out in Sydney,” Ms Berejiklian said.

“Trams will be fare-free for the opening weekend so the community can ride the new light rail to celebrate this historic event.

“The new network will move up to 13,500 commuters an hour during peak time in both directions, replacing the conga line of buses which used to sit in traffic on George Street. A coupled tram holds up to 450 customers, the equivalent of up to nine standard buses.”

Minister for Transport Andrew Constance revealed the first passenger services will start at 11am on Saturday and run between Circular Quay and Randwick until 1am.

“This is an exciting time and we expect a huge turnout at Circular Quay of people taking a ride on the new trams before regular services start on Monday,” Mr Constance said.

“With passenger services right around the corner it’s more important than ever for the community to pay attention to safety messages around trams.

“We have launched multiple safety campaigns telling people to stay safe around light rail. We need pedestrians to keep their heads up and drivers to stay out of the tram corridor and not queue across intersections.”

Services on the CBD and South East Light Rail will run from 5am to 1am every day of the week.

BUILDING A BETTER FUTURE FOR YOUNG PEOPLE

Work is underway on an innovative 73-unit housing complex in the heart of Sydney that will deliver improved support for young people leaving out-of-home care.

Minister for Families, Communities and Disability Services Gareth Ward said Foyer Central in Chippendale is a state-of-the-art development that will help tackle youth homelessness by providing stable accommodation and wrap around services.

“Foyer Central will provide safe, affordable housing for young people combined with services that focus on work, study and development,” Mr Ward said.

“This new property is more than just a roof over a young person’s head. It gives them a solid foundation for life by providing the support they need to thrive.”

Foyer Central will support young people aged between 18 and 22 and aims to reduce the number of young people experiencing homelessness, increase completion of education qualifications and increase employment in the young adult population.

Treasurer Dominic Perrottet said the project is an example of innovative Social Impact Investments the NSW Government is making to improve life for vulnerable people.
“These investments bring together the expertise of the public, private and not-for-profit sectors to tackle challenging social problems,” Mr Perrottet said.
“An investment in our youth is an investment in our future and it’s encouraging to see projects like Foyer Central get underway that will give young people an opportunity to get their lives back on track.”
The NSW Government has partnered with SGCH, Uniting, Social Ventures Australia and the City of Sydney to deliver the project, which aligns with the Premier’s priority of halving street sleeping across NSW by 2025.

SGCH Group CEO Scott Langford said Foyer is the culmination of strong collaboration between the Government and non-government organisations.

“Drawing on the capacity and expertise of experienced partners, Foyer will have a positive impact on residents and the local community, bringing much-needed social and affordable housing to Sydney’s inner city,” Mr Langford said.

Foyer Central comprises 53 self-contained units for young people aged 18-22 years who have experienced out-of-home care. The property will also provide 20 affordable units, managed by SGCH, for low-income workers.

The model builds on the internationally recognised youth foyer, designed to help young people break the cycle of disadvantage. The project is due for completion in 2021

RMIT ABC FACT CHECK INVESTIGATION FINDS LABOR’S FIREFIGHTING FUNDING CUT CLAIM “DOESN’T STACK UP”

An RMIT ABC Fact Check investigation has found claims made by Labor leader Jodi McKay, at the height of the bushfire crisis in NSW last month, that the NSW firefighting budget was facing a $40 million budget cut, to be wrong.

The independent analysis found Labor’s claim “doesn’t stack up” and that crucial information such as tens of millions of dollars spent on retrospective reimbursements made in 2018-19 for natural disasters had not been taken in to account.

The report also said changes to legislation that made it easier for firefighters to claim workers compensation for cancers, which caused spikes in funding to cover retrospective claims, had been ignored.

NSW Treasurer Dominic Perrottet said Jodi McKay had no option but to apologise to emergency services workers and the people of NSW for making a false claim in the midst of a bushfire crisis.

“Playing politics like this in the middle of a bushfire crisis was simply appalling behaviour and the Opposition Leader needs to admit she was wrong,” Mr Perrottet said.

“Hundreds of homes were destroyed, people lost their lives, and we had the Opposition Leader claiming the Government had cut funding.”

‘‘Given her constant claims of integrity this is a damning report, it shows Labor has no idea how funding works unless it comes delivered in an Aldi bag.”

“At a time of crisis the role of people in public office is to bring people together, not undermine public confidence in the work of the thousands of fire fighters and emergency personnel putting their lives on the line.”

“The reality is we are spending more than ever before on emergency services and keeping people safe.

“Labor tried to cook our books this time … and they got caught … again.”

Read the RMIT ABC Fact Check report here: https://ab.co/364yd7U

GOING GLOBAL: PUTTING NSW ON THE WORLD STAGE

Thousands of new jobs will be created across industries of the future including advanced manufacturing, agribusiness and space, as NSW launches the nation’s most ambitious international investment strategy.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian today launched Global NSW – a strategy to unlock international investment into NSW to keep our State as the nation’s economic powerhouse.

“As Premier, I have worked hard to bring international investment into NSW, helping to secure 17 MOUs into our Western Sydney Aerotropolis,” Ms Berejiklian said.

“This international investment will translate to high quality local jobs.

“Our new strategy takes this work to the next level. This is about expanding our key markets around the world and ensuring we take advantage of the incredible economic opportunities on our doorstep.”

Deputy Premier and Minister for Trade John Barilaro said under the strategy the number of trade and investment offices located overseas will grow from 11 to 21.

“NSW has successfully marketed itself globally as a ‘bucket list’ tourism destination for decades and it’s time to take that up a notch and highlight our State as this region’s centre of excellence for business, industry and innovation,” Mr Barilaro said.

As part of the strategy, revamping the NSW trade and investment network will include the appointments of an Agent General in London and five Senior NSW Commissioners in Mumbai, New York, Shanghai, Singapore and Tokyo.

The new strategy will focus on key growth industries, including:

  • Health
  • Defence and aerospace
  • Agribusiness and food
  • Resources
  • Infrastructure

Treasurer Dominic Perrottet said a key part of ensuring the State’s economic future was making more of expanding markets in China, South-East Asia and India, as well as diversifying our exports in established markets like Japan, the US and Europe.

“NSW has always been a leader, not a follower, and as part of this Strategy we will target growth in sectors such as medtech, cybersecurity, space, advanced manufacturing, quantum computing and blockchain,” Mr Perrottet said.

To view the Global NSW Strategy please visit: global.nsw.gov.au

Proactive policing continues to help drive down crime

NSW Police Commissioner, Michael Fuller APM has welcomed the latest crime figures released by the Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research (BOCSAR).

The figures, released yesterday, show the rate of crime across most of NSW has remained stable or fallen over the last two years.

In the 24 months leading up to September 2019, there has been a reduction in the following major crime categories across the state:

– Break and enter – dwelling (down 6.1%)

– Steal from dwelling (down 2.8%)

– Steal from person (down 5.8%)

– Malicious damage to property (down 3.7%)

Of the remaining 13 major crime categories, 12 remained stable.

The only major exception to this was steal from retail store (up 9%). This can largely be attributed to increased proactive work, including specifically targeted operations.

Commissioner Fuller said police will continue to implement measures to stay ahead of crime.

“These figures demonstrate how proactive policing continues to have a positive impact on reducing crime across the state.

“Police have a range of capabilities available to them that are used to stay ahead of criminals planning to commit these crimes.

“Our focus will always be community safety, and we will continue our efforts to disrupt crime before it happens,” Commissioner Fuller said.

GOING GLOBAL: PUTTING NSW ON THE WORLD STAGE

Thousands of new jobs will be created across industries of the future including advanced manufacturing, agribusiness and space, as NSW launches the nation’s most ambitious international investment strategy.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian today launched Global NSW – a strategy to unlock international investment into NSW to keep our State as the nation’s economic powerhouse.

“As Premier, I have worked hard to bring international investment into NSW, helping to secure 17 MOUs into our Western Sydney Aerotropolis,” Ms Berejiklian said.

“This international investment will translate to high quality local jobs.

“Our new strategy takes this work to the next level. This is about expanding our key markets around the world and ensuring we take advantage of the incredible economic opportunities on our doorstep.”

Deputy Premier and Minister for Trade John Barilaro said under the strategy the number of trade and investment offices located overseas will grow from 11 to 21.

“NSW has successfully marketed itself globally as a ‘bucket list’ tourism destination for decades and it’s time to take that up a notch and highlight our State as this region’s centre of excellence for business, industry and innovation,” Mr Barilaro said.

As part of the strategy, revamping the NSW trade and investment network will include the appointments of an Agent General in London and five Senior NSW Commissioners in Mumbai, New York, Shanghai, Singapore and Tokyo.

The new strategy will focus on key growth industries, including:

  • Health
  • Defence and aerospace
  • Agribusiness and food
  • Resources
  • Infrastructure

Treasurer Dominic Perrottet said a key part of ensuring the State’s economic future was making more of expanding markets in China, South-East Asia and India, as well as diversifying our exports in established markets like Japan, the US and Europe.

“NSW has always been a leader, not a follower, and as part of this Strategy we will target growth in sectors such as medtech, cybersecurity, space, advanced manufacturing, quantum computing and blockchain,” Mr Perrottet said.

To view the Global NSW Strategy please visit: global.nsw.gov.au

PROMOTING DISABILITY INCLUSION IN THE WORKPLACE

Employers are being encouraged to hire more people with disability and reap the benefits of a diverse and inclusive workplace, Minister for Families, Communities and Disability Services Gareth Ward said.

“There are 1.3 million people living with disability in NSW and many of them want to contribute to our society through paid employment,” Mr Ward said.

“Participation and leadership are the themes of this year’s International Day of People with Disability and I’m encouraging employers to lead the charge. People with disability can bring different perspectives, opinions and ideas to a range of sectors and be invaluable employees.

“We see many positive examples of people with disability achieving their career goals but we need the private sector, government and not-for-profits to work together to drive disability inclusion in the workplace.”

Mr Ward will join members of the NSW Disability Advisory Council, the NSW Carers Advisory Council and a host of disability service providers at Parliament House to celebrate International Day of People with Disability today.

The rollout of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) in NSW is opening up more opportunities for people to find meaningful work.

There are more than 108,000 NDIS participants in NSW, with the latest quarterly report from the National Disability Insurance Agency demonstrating positive results for inclusion. Data from the September 2019 quarter shows 17% of participants aged 15 to 24 and 26% of participants aged 25 and over have a paid job.

“The NSW Government is working towards doubling the proportion of people with disability employed in the public sector by 2025 by increasing employment opportunities and promoting Disability Inclusion Action Plans,” Mr Ward said.

“Research shows staff and customers are more loyal to businesses that value diversity and inclusion. In addition, workers with disability often have lower rates of absenteeism and stay in their job for longer.”

The NSW Government is investing $3.3 billion in the NDIS in 2019-20.

STRONGER PROTECTIONS FOR OFF-THE-PLAN BUYERS

Prospective homebuyers will be better protected under sweeping changes to the law governing off-the-plan contracts. Changes to the Conveyancing Act, which take effect on 1 December 2019, will see much tighter requirements imposed on developers regarding disclosures, cooling-off periods, holding of deposits and sunset clauses.

Minister for Customer Service Victor Dominello said the number of off-the-plan purchases in NSW had increased significantly in the last decade from 2,646 in the 2008/09 financial year, to 17,218 in 2018/19, which represents 10.6 per cent of residential property sales.

“We are delivering on our commitment to better protect home buyers by closing down loopholes and increasing disclosure standards across the board,” Mr Dominello said.

The changes include:
·         Buyers being provided with key information about the development, including  copies of the proposed plan, proposed by-laws and a schedule of finishes before contracts are signed;
·         Requiring vendors to notify purchasers of material changes to what was disclosed;
·         Allowing buyers to end the contract or claim compensation in some cases if they are materially impacted by changes made from what was disclosed;
·         Vendors providing a copy of the final plan at least 21 days before the buyer can be compelled to settle;
·         Widening existing legislation to clarify that the Supreme Court can award damages where the vendor terminates under a sunset clause; and
·         Extending the cooling-off period to 10 business days with any deposit to be held in a controlled account until settlement.

“Buying off-the-plan is a popular option, particularly for first home buyers, but there can be risks and uncertainties involved,” Mr Dominello said.

Minister for Better Regulation and Innovation Kevin Anderson said: “These changes are vitally important for the NSW Government’s building reforms which aim to deliver greater protections for consumers, while increasing the transparency, accountability and quality of work in the sector.”

For more information visit www.registrargeneral.nsw.gov.au.

PROMOTING DISABILITY INCLUSION IN THE WORKPLACE

Employers are being encouraged to hire more people with disability and reap the benefits of a diverse and inclusive workplace, Minister for Families, Communities and Disability Services Gareth Ward said.

“There are 1.3 million people living with disability in NSW and many of them want to contribute to our society through paid employment,” Mr Ward said.

“Participation and leadership are the themes of this year’s International Day of People with Disability and I’m encouraging employers to lead the charge. People with disability can bring different perspectives, opinions and ideas to a range of sectors and be invaluable employees.

“We see many positive examples of people with disability achieving their career goals but we need the private sector, government and not-for-profits to work together to drive disability inclusion in the workplace.”

Mr Ward will join members of the NSW Disability Advisory Council, the NSW Carers Advisory Council and a host of disability service providers at Parliament House to celebrate International Day of People with Disability today.

The rollout of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) in NSW is opening up more opportunities for people to find meaningful work.

There are more than 108,000 NDIS participants in NSW, with the latest quarterly report from the National Disability Insurance Agency demonstrating positive results for inclusion. Data from the September 2019 quarter shows 17% of participants aged 15 to 24 and 26% of participants aged 25 and over have a paid job.

“The NSW Government is working towards doubling the proportion of people with disability employed in the public sector by 2025 by increasing employment opportunities and promoting Disability Inclusion Action Plans,” Mr Ward said.

“Research shows staff and customers are more loyal to businesses that value diversity and inclusion. In addition, workers with disability often have lower rates of absenteeism and stay in their job for longer.”

The NSW Government is investing $3.3 billion in the NDIS in 2019-20.

STRONGER PROTECTIONS FOR OFF-THE-PLAN BUYERS

Prospective homebuyers will be better protected under sweeping changes to the law governing off-the-plan contracts. Changes to the Conveyancing Act, which take effect on 1 December 2019, will see much tighter requirements imposed on developers regarding disclosures, cooling-off periods, holding of deposits and sunset clauses.

Minister for Customer Service Victor Dominello said the number of off-the-plan purchases in NSW had increased significantly in the last decade from 2,646 in the 2008/09 financial year, to 17,218 in 2018/19, which represents 10.6 per cent of residential property sales.

“We are delivering on our commitment to better protect home buyers by closing down loopholes and increasing disclosure standards across the board,” Mr Dominello said.

The changes include:
·         Buyers being provided with key information about the development, including  copies of the proposed plan, proposed by-laws and a schedule of finishes before contracts are signed;
·         Requiring vendors to notify purchasers of material changes to what was disclosed;
·         Allowing buyers to end the contract or claim compensation in some cases if they are materially impacted by changes made from what was disclosed;
·         Vendors providing a copy of the final plan at least 21 days before the buyer can be compelled to settle;
·         Widening existing legislation to clarify that the Supreme Court can award damages where the vendor terminates under a sunset clause; and
·         Extending the cooling-off period to 10 business days with any deposit to be held in a controlled account until settlement.

“Buying off-the-plan is a popular option, particularly for first home buyers, but there can be risks and uncertainties involved,” Mr Dominello said.

Minister for Better Regulation and Innovation Kevin Anderson said: “These changes are vitally important for the NSW Government’s building reforms which aim to deliver greater protections for consumers, while increasing the transparency, accountability and quality of work in the sector.”

For more information visit www.registrargeneral.nsw.gov.au.