NEW FISH MARKETS A STEP CLOSER

Visitor numbers to the new Sydney Fish Market are set to more than double to over five million a year, cementing the markets as one of Australia’s leading tourist attractions, and also as a driver of job creation and reinvigoration of the Pyrmont area.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian, and Planning and Public Spaces Minister Rob Stokes, today announced Government approval of a $750 million investment in the project.

“One in five international tourists to Sydney visit the existing Fish Markets and it’s the second-most visited attraction in Sydney behind the Opera House,” Ms Berejiklian said.

“In addition to the clear benefits for Pyrmont, the new market will be a boon for regional communities as a showcase for the very best seafood from along the NSW coast.”

The building was designed by Danish architects 3XN, in association with Sydney based BVN and Aspect Studios to meet the unique needs of market operations, and represents a substantial step beyond an indicative concept launched in 2016.

The building will have a 6-star green star rating, including advanced water efficiency to cut use of the precious resource by half, and solar electricity generation.

Mr Stokes said the project will include public promenades, a ferry wharf and more than 30,000 square metres of new public open space across the precinct for the community.

“Relocating the fish market to the head of Blackwattle Bay will improve pedestrian and cycling links and connect more of Glebe and Pyrmont to the water as part of the long-awaited revitalisation of the area,” Mr Stokes said.

Two State Significant Development Applications, one for the demolition of the existing wharves and site preparation, the other for main works including the construction of the new fish market facility, will soon be placed on public exhibition.

A two-stage procurement process for demolition and construction will also commence shortly. Subject to planning approval and award of a contract, early works will begin in late-2020 and the new Sydney Fish Market will open for operations in 2024.

Master-planning for the current fish market site will be subject to community consultation which will commence once the Greater Sydney Commission’s Pyrmont Planning Review is complete.

NSW CONTINUES TO LEAD THE WAY WITH THE LOWEST UNEMPLOYMENT RATE AMONG THE STATES

NSW has maintained the lowest unemployment rate among the states and added just under 17,000 jobs in the past month, according to the latest ABS data.

The State’s unemployment rate has dropped to 4.3 per cent, well below the national average of 5.3 per cent.

The State added 16,717 jobs in August while the participation rate remained unchanged from last month at 65.9 per cent, just below the record high of 66.2 per cent achieved in May this year.

Minister for Jobs, Investment, Tourism and Western Sydney Stuart Ayres, said it is encouraging to see strong jobs growth across the State.

“The unemployment rate in NSW has been below or equal to the national average for 54 consecutive months,” he said.

“Our commitment to creating 250,000 jobs in four years is continuing to open up opportunities for workers across a wide range of industries and it’s great to see so many people able to find their place in a growing NSW workforce.

“The fact NSW has the lowest unemployment rate amongst the states shows NSW continues to lead the way as the jobs capital of the nation.”

CASH POLITICAL DONATIONS CAPPED IN NSW

Cash donations above $100 will be banned in NSW as the Government acts to restore the public’s confidence in the integrity of political donations.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian made the announcement on Wednesday, making NSW the first jurisdiction to cap cash donations made to political parties.

“I have been shocked by what has been uncovered at the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) over the last two weeks,” Ms Berejiklian said.

“This Government has already introduced the strongest donations regime in the nation but it is clear that some will continue to defy the law.

“That is why I am taking strong action to further protect our political processes.

“This simple reform will mean an end to the poor accounting practices, untraceable donations and the anonymous cash that has the potential to mar our political system.

“Given the wide and easy availability of electronic funds transfer systems, there is no good reason for donations to hide behind the anonymity of cash.”

Currently, no single donor may exceed a cap of $6400 a year to a party or group, nor may a donor exceed a cap of $2900 a year to a member, candidate or third-party campaigner.

All political donations of $1000 or more must also be disclosed to the NSW Electoral Commission. These restrictions will remain in parallel with the new cash ban.

“This sends the strongest possible message that donation laws must not be flouted because the only legal donations will be traceable donations,” Ms Berejiklian said.

Legislation to enact the new restrictions will be introduced to Parliament by the end of the year.
Cash donations above $100 will be banned in NSW as the Government acts to restore the public’s confidence in the integrity of political donations.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian made the announcement on Wednesday, making NSW the first jurisdiction to cap cash donations made to political parties.

“I have been shocked by what has been uncovered at the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) over the last two weeks,” Ms Berejiklian said.

“This Government has already introduced the strongest donations regime in the nation but it is clear that some will continue to defy the law.

“That is why I am taking strong action to further protect our political processes.

“This simple reform will mean an end to the poor accounting practices, untraceable donations and the anonymous cash that has the potential to mar our political system.

“Given the wide and easy availability of electronic funds transfer systems, there is no good reason for donations to hide behind the anonymity of cash.”

Currently, no single donor may exceed a cap of $6400 a year to a party or group, nor may a donor exceed a cap of $2900 a year to a member, candidate or third-party campaigner.

All political donations of $1000 or more must also be disclosed to the NSW Electoral Commission. These restrictions will remain in parallel with the new cash ban.

“This sends the strongest possible message that donation laws must not be flouted because the only legal donations will be traceable donations,” Ms Berejiklian said.

Legislation to enact the new restrictions will be introduced to Parliament by the end of the year.

Two charged in connection to murder of Danielle Easey

Homicide Squad detectives have charged two people over their alleged roles in the murder of Danielle Easey, after her body was discovered in a creek near Newcastle.

About 10.30am on Saturday 31 August 2019, police were called to Cockle Creek, near Wakefield Road, Killingworth, after members of the public saw an item wrapped in plastic floating in the water.

The plastic, containing a woman’s body, was removed from the water by officers.

The woman was formally identified as 29-year-old, Danielle Easey, who lived in Booragul with family, but had more recently been staying at multiple locations around the area.

A post mortem examination revealed Danielle had been seriously assaulted and stabbed.

Detectives from the State Crime Command’s Homicide Squad and Lake Macquarie Police District established Strike Force Furzer to investigate the circumstances surrounding her death.

Inquiries have revealed Danielle was murdered at a home at Narara on or around Saturday 17 August 2019, before being transported and dumped at Cockle Creek.

Following extensive investigations, strike force detectives arrested a 33-year-old man at an industrial premise at Cardiff just before 10am today (Thursday 19 September 2019).

About an hour later, a 32-year-old woman was arrested with assistance from Strike Force Raptor North at a home at Holmesville.

Detectives subsequently executed two crime scene warrants at the Cardiff industrial premise and a home at Narara, and a search warrant at the Holmesville home.

Specialist forensic police are continuing to examine the Cardiff and Narara properties.

Investigators seized a Mitsubishi Delica at Cardiff which has been forensically examined.

The man was taken to Belmont Police Station and charged with murder. He was refused bail to appear at Belmont Local Court today (Friday 20 September 2019).

The woman was taken to Toronto Police Station and charged with accessory after the fact to murder and dishonestly obtain financial advantage etc by deception. She was refused bail to appear at Toronto Local Court today (Friday 20 September 2019).

Police will allege in court that the woman has assisted the man by impersonating Danielle on one of her social media accounts after her death to gain access to money.

 

Rule Out Escalation of Involvement in US Operations Against Iran: Greens

The Greens call on the Morrison Government to categorically rule out any escalation of Australia’s involvement in US-led military operations in the Persian Gulf, said Leader of the Greens Senator Richard Di Natale.

“Morrison has already embroiled Australia in the increasing tensions between the United States and Iran by joining the US-led military operations in the Persian Gulf.  As the Greens said at the time, it is folly to follow Donald Trump into yet another American misadventure in the Middle East”, said Senator Di Natale.

“It’s time for Australia to reconsider its security relationship with the United States and chart an independent, non-aligned foreign policy based on the best interests of Australia, the region and the world.”

Australian Greens spokesperson for Peace and Disarmament, Senator Jordon Steele-John said the escalating military and diplomatic crisis in the region was a crisis of Trump’s own making.

“Donald Trump now says the US is ‘locked and loaded’ and there are reports that the US is considering a physical strike or cyberattack on Iranian oil facilities or Revolutionary Guard assets.  Australia should immediately withdraw any support for Washington’s dangerous strategy in the Middle East and urge a return to the Iranian nuclear deal”, he said.

“Morrison is not only endangering global peace and stability – he is putting our citizens at direct risk of retaliation. Three Australian citizens travelling in Iran have now been locked up as a direct result of Australia’s slavish devotion to the US,” Senator Steele-John said.

TRIPLE-A RATING REAFFIRMED FOR NSW

Ratings agency Moody’s has given the NSW Government’s strong financial and economic management the seal of approval by re-affirming the State’s Triple-A credit rating.

Moody’s latest credit opinion report states the Triple-A rating reflects “our expectation that the State’s large and diverse economy will continue to perform well, and that the State’s debt burden and interest expense coverage will remain manageable over the medium term.”

Treasurer Dominic Perrottet said the Triple-A credit rating reflected the underlying health of the NSW economy and sound financial management.

“Maintaining the highest possible credit rating allows the Government to deliver our record breaking $93 billion infrastructure program and spend more on health, education and transport at the lowest possible cost,” Mr Perrottet said.

“We are building new hospitals, schools, train lines and roads for the people of NSW as we get on with the job of delivering the biggest infrastructure pipeline in the State’s history.

“The biggest threat to our economy is the Labor party, which hasn’t learnt the lessons of both state and federal elections and continues to put forward policies that will destroy jobs, businesses and local communities.”

The Moody’s report also noted the establishment of the NSW Generations Fund and its important role in managing debt, the State’s strong liquidity, and the NSW Government’s ongoing contribution towards reducing the State’s unfunded superannuation liability in line with the Fiscal Responsibility Act 2012 target.

Standard & Poor’s rating agency also assigned the NSW Government a Triple-A rating in September last year.

NSW is one of only two states in Australia assigned a Triple-A rating – the highest possible measure of safety for lenders to Government entities such as TCorp and state-owned corporations.

Investigation underway after shots fired near Cessnock

Police are investigating after shots were fired in the Hunter Valley today.

Just before 3pm (Tuesday 17 September 2019), emergency services were called to Cessnock Road at Weston, following reports shots had been fired.

On arrival, officers from Hunter Valley Police District located a 27-year-old man with a wound to his head.

He was treated on scene and his injuries are not believed to be life-threatening.

A short time later, a Toyota Land Cruiser 4WD with bullet holes was located on Boundary Street, Kurri Kurri. It will be seized to undergo forensic examination.

Police have established a crime scene and are investigating the circumstances surrounding the incident.

Any witnesses or anyone with dashcam footage is urged to come forward.

Any boss who sacks anyone for not turning up to work on Friday is a bum: Bandt

Greens climate change spokesperson, Adam Bandt MP, has this morning introduced a private members bill which will amend the Fair Work Act to protect workers who strike for climate action, declaring that any boss who sacks anyone for striking this Friday 20 September as part of the Global Climate Strike is ‘a bum’.

The Fair Work Amendment (Stop Work to Stop Warming) Bill 2019 will put beyond doubt that employees covered by the Fair Work Act have a right to take industrial action to demand that governments do more to address the climate crisis. The Bill will also allow employees to include matters pertaining to climate change within their enterprise agreements.

“Any boss who sacks anyone for not turning up to work on Friday is a bum,” said Mr Bandt.

“Students have been striking to demand governments take action to stop the climate crisis and now they have asked workers and everyone else to join them this Friday September 20.

“Millions of people across the world will walk out of their classrooms, workplaces and homes as part of the Global Climate Strike, because pollution is rising under the Coalition and we’re headed towards climate collapse.

“As this government refuses to act with the urgency required to meet the climate emergency, Australians of all walks of life will take to the streets and demand we do more.

“The climate crisis is the greatest existential threat facing us. The constitution protects workers’ rights to political free speech, including, I’d argue, by attending events like the climate strike, but workers deserve to know that when they strike for urgent climate action they’ll be protected by this Parliament and by the Fair Work Act.”

A HELPING HAND ON THE PATHWAY TO INDEPENDENCE

Students nearing the end of high school, or who are undertaking tertiary education, can now apply for $1,000 cash grants to help pursue their learning goals.

Minister for Families, Communities and Disability Services Gareth Ward said the scholarships help cover education-related expenses for young people living in social housing or out-of-home care.

“We want to make sure that young people living in social housing or who are in out-of-home care have every opportunity to break the cycle of intergenerational disadvantage,” Mr Ward said.

“These scholarships provide a helping hand for young people while they complete their studies and can be used to purchase things like a laptop, internet connection, textbooks or tools for tradies.

“This is about giving vulnerable young people a pathway to independence while improving school and tertiary education rates as well as better preparing them for the workplace develop work readiness.”

To be eligible students must either be a social housing tenant, a social housing applicant, be living in crisis or supported accommodation, or living in out-of-home care.

Scholarships are available to students in Year 10, 11 or 12 at a NSW high school or TAFE equivalent. They are also open to young people completing a school-based apprenticeship or traineeship, or studying a VET subject at school in 2020.

Young people who received the scholarship last year and are moving on to tertiary education, a traineeship or apprenticeship, can also apply.

The program will give priority access to young people living in supported accommodation, identifying as at risk of homelessness, having experienced domestic and family violence, or have been in contact with the youth justice system.

An initiative under Future Directions for Social Housing in NSW, the scholarship program has assisted more than 1,000 students since 2017.

For more information on how to apply, visit www.facs.nsw.gov.au/scholarships.

CCTV TO CAPTURE CROOKS ON CANDID CAMERA

Criminals will soon be under the scrutiny of up to a thousand electronic eyes as the NSW Government rolls out high-definition CCTV to help protect local businesses in western Sydney.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian, Attorney General Mark Speakman and Police Minister David Elliott today announced the first round of successful applicants from the Government’s $5 million CCTV fund.

“Community safety is our top priority and these grants will help keep small businesses and communities safe from crime and anti-social behavior,” Ms Berejiklian said.

“CCTV cameras boost community confidence and send a strong message to would-be criminals that if you do the wrong thing, you will be caught and punished.”

There are 31 successful applicants in first round, and include a music school in North Parramatta, a kindergarten in Auburn, a café in Cabramatta, a registered charity in Penrith and a health facility in Liverpool.

Mr Speakman said that the fund will provide at least 1000 small businesses and community organisations with support to enhance security.

“CCTV footage can really make or break a case. The more visuals we have, the greater the chance of successful investigations and prosecutions,” Mr Speakman said.

“I encourage eligible businesses to apply as we know increased CCTV can deter anti-social behaviour and will ultimately make our suburbs safer.”

Mr Elliott said the new cameras would be entered into the NSW Police Force CCTV Register, providing another crime-fighting tool to identify and catch criminals.

“CCTV puts the spotlight directly on offenders, to help reduce crimes like malicious damage, break and enter, shoplifting and assault,” Mr Elliott said.

“Stepping up monitoring of small businesses, community organisations and key locations around western and south-western Sydney will be a big help to frontline police.”

The funding provides up to $5,000 towards cameras and installation. It is open to not-for-profit community organisations and small businesses with a turnover of less than $2 million.

The program is being rolled out across the Blacktown, Camden, Campbelltown, Canterbury-Bankstown, Cumberland, Fairfield, Liverpool, Parramatta, Penrith and Wollondilly local government areas.

Applications under the Community and Small Business CCTV Fund can be submitted via www.crimeprevention.nsw.gov.au