Weekly Update - New Sylvanvale Accommodation Facility, Quota Student of the Year, Miracle Babies Ball

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Weekly Update - New Sylvanvale Accommodation Facility, Quota Student of the Year, Miracle Babies Ball

Friday, 17 May 2013

Thanks again to all those who have returned your Have Your Say forms. We have been busy sorting through them all and responding to your concerns. It is always interesting to see what matters to each of you. Remember, you can submit your own form at anytime through the website

Yesterday, I joined my fellow Shire MPs and the Minister for Ageing & Disability Services for the Official Opening of the new Sylvanvale Disability Services facility at Caringbah. The 20 bed facility, comprised of single bed and villa style accommodation will provide supported accommodation for people with disabilities. Not only are the buildings state-of-the-art, but the surrounding gardens and landscaping are impressive too. It was a great celebration after many years of lobbying to see this development become a reality and promises to be a fantastic facility for many years to come. You can read the release here.

On Wednesday night I attended the 2013 Quota International Student of the Year Quest. It was a great line up of local students, presenting speeches on a range of topics. The Quest has actually been running every year since 1967. The competition itself, invites students in Year 9, 10 and 11 from local High Schools to show off their public speaking and general knowledge of current affairs. As public speaking is a large part of my role as a Member of Parliament, I could empathise with the students standing on stage. It is not an easy task to stand and speak in front of an audience, but each student should be proud of their efforts on the night.

Tomorrow night I will be attending the Annual Miracle Babies Ball and helping them celebrate their inspiring organisation and hopefully help them raise some money towards their services to help sick and premature babies.
Don't forget to head down between 10am and 2pm to Menai or Sutherland Fire Stations tomorrow for their annual Open Day. 
Among the attractions for this year's Open Day include safety demonstrations, fire station tours and the chance to inspect firefighting equipment and trucks used by firefighters when responding to fires and other emergencies. And of course, meet some of our local firefighters.

Hope you all have a productive, but restful weekend and come back refreshed for another week.

Here's the weekly update: 



  • New Transport Officers targeting fare evasion across trains, buses and ferries started this week for the first time.
  • There were 38 transport officers who began work this week, with 150 due on the network this year. 
  • The Transport Officers – whose role includes checking tickets and assisting customers who have questions about public transport services – will complement the 401 olice Transport Command officers, who took over the security of public transport from transit officers in May last year.
  • By the end of 2014, the NSW Government will have 610 police officers patrolling the public transport network.


  • The NSW Government has announced a $112 million investment over four years to fund community-driven natural resource and productive landscape projects.
  • Catchment Action funding is provided to Catchment Management Authorities for farmer-driven projects that underpin sustainable, productive agriculture and community-driven projects to look after beaches, estuaries, regional and suburban bushland.
  • Catchment Management Authorities and their community partners such as Landcare, Bushcare and Coastcare are working on hundreds of projects across NSW and this funding announcement provides certainty for these groups to continue their good work.


  • National Parks and Wildlife Service crews have reached a new record for hazard reduction burning in national parks, which will help reduce the bushfire threat next summer. 
  • Burns in the Blue Mountains last weekend took the total amount of hazard reduction in national parks to 135,000 hectares since July 2012 - 40 per cent more than the previous annual best of 96,000 hectares in 2009/10.
  • We are on track to meet our target of doubling hazard reduction in national parks to at least 135,000 hectares each year - providing very real protection to communities.
  • The NSW Government had provided $62.5 million over five years to boost fire resources and double hazard reduction in national parks.


  • A program to retro-fit fire suppression units on gas buses has been completed more than eight months ahead of schedule.
  • Following an incident on a Mercedes Benz bus in 2011 in Sydney’s south west, the NSW Government took immediate action identifying the cause, checked all similar bus models and replaced the part that had been impacted.
  • To put in an extra layer of safety for customers, the decision was made to retro-fit the buses with a fire suppression unit and an on-board fire alarm system.
  • The fitting of the fire suppression units had originally been scheduled for completion by January 2014 - however, the installation program was accelerated and completed before the end of April.


  • Householders are being urged not to be complacent, after it was revealed that while the vast majority of NSW residents considered their homes and family fire safe, most had not practiced how to escape should a blaze start. 
  • The annual Winter Fire Safety Campaign was launched this week – with new figures showing between May and September 2012 there were 2,028 house fires in NSW, with 313 fire injuries and 11 preventable fire deaths. 
  • Householders are encouraged to complete an online Home Fire Safety Audit: www.homefiresafetyaudit.com.au 


  • Sydney continues to boost its enviable reputation as the first place in Australia to do business, topping the country’s results in the International Congress and Convention Association’s Country and City Rankings Report.
  • The harbour city ranked number one in Australia for conferences and congresses and number 24 worldwide, a rise of 10 places from last year - with the number of meetings held in the city rising from 57 in 2011 to 86 in 2012. 
  • The NSW Government is getting on with the job of building Australia’s largest fully integrated convention, exhibition and entertainment facilities at Darling Harbour, a development that will cement Sydney’s status as Australia’s number one business events destination.
  • This redevelopment represents a major investment in the state economy and is set to generate about $5 billion in economic benefit for NSW over 25 years, create 3,700 jobs during construction and provide ongoing employment for 4,000 people across the precinct.


  • Public libraries in rural and regional NSW are the big winner from the latest round funding with 80 per cent of the $2.5m allocation going to the bush.
  • 34 local councils will receive grants for projects, providing significant public benefit and improving public library services for NSW citizens.
  • The NSW Government understands public libraries play a critical role in our communities by providing access to collections, information and technology that help people at all stages of their lives. 
  • The NSW Government is committed to working with councils to enhance library services and facilities across the State.


  • Our nurses who go above and beyond in their care for patients will be recognised in the inaugural NSW Health Awards for Excellence in Nursing and Midwifery.
  • Health Minister Jillian Skinner announced the establishment of the awards on International Nurses Day as a way of recognising the state’s 47,500 nurses and midwives for their dedication, skill and compassion.
  • The nurse or midwife judged to have had an outstanding career of service will be awarded the Judith Meppem Lifetime Achievement Award, named in honour of NSW’s first Chief Nurse.
  • Nominations will open online (www.health.nsw.gov.au) on Monday 3 June for a range of categories - the winners will be announced in September.


  • This year’s Premier’s Sporting Challenge is underway with a record number of schools and students participating. 
  • Over the next 10 weeks more than 245,000 public school students will log the moderate to physical activity they undertake – whether it’s walking, bike riding or participating in team sports. 
  • The challenge helps students understand the benefits of having a healthy and active lifestyle and to develop good habits to carry through to adulthood.
  • Sporting Challenge Ambassadors such as NRL legend Nathan Hindmarsh and Olympian Jessica Fox will visit schools to inspire students with their own experiences of active living.