Weekly Update - Push for Menai war memorial, Community Building Partnership Program re-opening next week

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Weekly Update - Push for Menai war memorial, Community Building Partnership Program re-opening next week

Tuesday, 11 June 2013
Did you know that Menai does not have its own war memorial or cenotaph? Despite having over 30,000 residents, there is no Anzac memorial erected in the area. Last week I joined Andrew Manson of Manson Property and Vice President of the Menai District Business Chamber to raise the idea with the Minister for Citizenship and Communities and Minister for Aboriginal Affairs the Hon. Victor Dominello MP at Parc Menai.
 
Ideally, a central location like Parc Menai, would be a suitable spot for a Menai war memorial. While the Minister indicated that there is no funding available to help establish new memorials, there is a funding program to help maintain them. Now I plan to garner support from Sutherland Shire Council, local service clubs and the Sutherland Shire Historical Society and the general community to see if we can get this idea up and running. Menai and surrounding suburbs all have individuals and families who have served or are currently serving in our armed forces. It is only fitting that they have a local place to honour and mark that contribution. What do you think?
 
Good news for community organisations in the Menai electorate with another round of the popular Community Building Partnership Program opening next week. This is a great opportunity for those who missed out last time or those groups who weren't ready to apply previously. This program provides funding for local community infrastructure projects that benefit local communities throughout the state. Community organisations and local councils are encouraged to apply for funding to build and improve community facilities in their local area. We are looking for projects that will deliver positive social, recreational or environmental outcomes for your community through the building or improvement of facilities. Applications will open on 19 June 2013, and close on 31 July 2013. You can find out more at www.communitybuildingpartnership.nsw.gov.au I will also be sending out information to community groups with all the information in the coming days.
 
This afternoon I'm looking forward to catching up with three of my Youth Parliament representatives, Jack McNally, Seth Dias and Sachin Kinger. I know they have been working hard on their upcoming bills and hopefully I can give them some helpful tips for their first experience in NSW Parliament. 
 
Have a good week!
 
Here's the update from around the State:
 

OPAL TO DELIVER DISCOUNT OF UP TO 8 PER CENT FOR TRAIN PASSENGERS

  • In exciting news for train customers, cheaper fares and shorter queues are about to become a reality through the delivery of the new Opal electronic ticketing system.
  • The Opal will deliver discounts of up to 8 per cent for peak hour train travel, and 30 per cent during off-peak times.
  • It starts on 14 June on the City Circle and stations to Bondi Junction before being progressively rolled out for customers at more than 300 stations by the end of next year. 
  • For full details of the Opal and the other benefits go to www.opal.com.au or watch a video message from the Minister at http://www.nsw.gov.au/news/opal-rollout-begins-train-customers
 

NORTH WEST RAIL LINK TO BE STATE OF THE ART 

  • Transport Minister Gladys Berejiklian has announced the North West Rail Link will be a fully-automated rapid transit system with high-tech customer safety and security measures. 
  • Automated systems optimise the running time of trains and increase the average speed of the system, allowing more trains to operate closer together and reducing the time it takes a train to slow down at stations, load and unload, and accelerate off. 
  • It was also revealed the stations would be heated and cooled for customer comfort, and the platform would include screen doors making loading and unloading faster and safer.
  • After years of empty promises under the former Labor Government, the people of North West Sydney can finally be assured this government will deliver their long-awaited rail link.
 

NSW POSTS SECOND HIGHEST STATE GROWTH

  • The NSW economy continues to show ongoing resilience with the latest ABS National Accounts showing State Final Demand growing 0.4 per cent for the quarter.
  • Over the past year, demand growth in NSW increased by 2.1 per cent, the second strongest growth of all the states.
  • NSW’s result was driven by continued growth in household spending and public sector investment. 
  • The figures also confirm the turnaround in the critical housing sector is well underway, leading to growing investment in housing construction across the state.
 

LATEST CRIME STATISTICS SHOW CRIME GOING DOWN

  • The latest quarterly figures from the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research show that overall, crime is continuing to fall.
  • In the two years to March 2013, 15 of the 17 major offence categories have remained stable or are going down.
  • These great results are due to the continued hard work of the NSW Police Force.
  • The NSW Government has delivered an additional 300 officers in the past two years taking the NSW Police Force to record levels.
 

STRENGTHENING THE RELATIONSHIP WITH CHINA  

  • NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell has led a week-long trade mission in China to further strengthen vitally important economic, community and cultural ties.
  • China is the state’s largest trading partner. In 2011-12, two-way merchandise trade was valued at $26.8 billion - an increase of 75 per cent from five years earlier.
  • That is why it is critical we work hard to enhance this relationship and examine opportunities for further growth.
  • Mr O’Farrell delivered the message to Chinese government leaders and potential investors that NSW is open for business.
 

BOOST TO NSW TOURISM FIGURES

  • NSW continues to lead the way as the destination of choice for overseas tourists visiting Australia.
  • The International Visitor Survey show for the first quarter of 2013, NSW received almost three million international visitors – compared with 1.85 million visitors for Victoria and 2.05 million visitors for Queensland.
  • Visitor expenditure in NSW totalled $6.5 billion, compared with $4.5 billion for Victoria and $3.9 billion for Queensland.
  • Visitors from China grew by 20 per cent to 383,000 over the same period last year, contributing $1.3 billion to the NSW economy. China and is set to overtake New Zealand as our largest tourism market.
 

INFRASTRUCTURE UPGRADE TO BENEFIT CENTRAL COAST CUSTOMERS

  • Construction kicked off this week of the Gosford Passing Loops project on the Central Coast which will result in more reliable passenger train services and more capacity for rail freight. 
  • Slow moving freight trains currently delay passenger services on the line, so new passing loops are being constructed between Gosford and Narara stations. 
  • It is important we have the infrastructure in place for freight trains to wait as passenger services pass, improving reliability for customers. 
  • Gosford Passing Loops is one of four projects that form the Northern Sydney Freight Corridor Program, a major initiative by the Australian and NSW Governments. 
 

MID NORTH COAST HOSPITAL UPGRADES MAKING PROGRESS

  • Health Minister Jillian Skinner this week visited the Mid North Coast to inspect two key hospital upgrades now underway. 
  • A tender has been awarded for the early works for Kempsey Hospital’s $80 million redevelopment - main construction works are scheduled to commence in early 2014, with the new buildings set to be completed in late 2015.
  • The Minister also inspected progress on the $110 million redevelopment of Port Macquarie Hospital which includes a new and expanded emergency department; the establishment of an emergency medical unit; new and expanded intensive care and high dependency unit; new operating theatres with more surgical beds; new cardiac catheterisation laboratory; new acute hospital beds and a new paediatric inpatient unit.
  • Both projects are being jointly funded by the NSW and Federal Governments.
 

ILLEGAL DUMPING SQUAD FOR THE ILLAWARRA AND SOUTHERN NSW 

  • Illegal dumpers in the Illawarra and Southern NSW have been put on notice – with the establishment of a new Regional Illegal Dumping (RID) squad for the region.
  • Combating illegal dumping is a priority for the NSW Government - and the Regional Illegal Dumping squads are an important part of the solution.
  • The latest RID squad is a partnership between the Environment Protection Authority and Wollongong, Wingecarribee, Shellharbour, Kiama, Shoalhaven, Eurobodalla and Bega councils.
  • It is the second squad operating in NSW and more are planned for other areas.
 

NSW CREATIVE INDUSTRIES – THE UNLIMITED RESOURCE

  • The NSW Government is taking steps to further strengthen the State’s creative industries – which include design, arts, advertising and music.
  • NSW is already Australia’s creative industries capital, home to the nation’s biggest, most diverse, most globally connected and sophisticated creative sector – but the message is we can do better.
  • The NSW Government will work with industry and the education and research sector to respond to recommendations made by the NSW Creative Industries Taskforce.
  • Further information on the NSW Creative Industries Action Plan and the NSW Government Response can be found at http://www.business.nsw.gov.au/iap