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  • NSW State Budget 2020-21 Announced

    The NSW State Budget for 2020-21 has been handed down, focussing on rebuilding after the COVID-19 pandemic, drought and bushfires.

    State Member for Holsworthy, Melanie Gibbons MP, has said that after a year turned upside down, the NSW Government has put forward a budget focussed on jobs, compassion and support.

    “We are providing record levels of funding in areas such emergency services; mental health; public transport infrastructure; and health, to name a few.” Ms Gibbons said.

    Premier Gladys Berejiklian said the Budget takes decisive action to meet the needs of people across NSW, as we emerge from an unprecedented health and economic crisis.

    “With so many people out of work this year and more predicted to become unemployed, we’re in a race against time to help create as many new jobs as we can,” Ms Berejiklian said.

    "This Budget has workers at its heart, with temporary, targeted stimulus to generate jobs and get businesses booming again.” Ms Berejiklian said.

    To help stimulate the State’s economy and support local jobs, NSW residents will be given $100 worth of digital vouchers that can be used at eateries and on arts and tourism attractions across NSW as part of a flagship $500 million program to help business.

    Treasurer Dominic Perrottet said the $500 million Out & About program was designed to boost businesses hit hard by the pandemic, by encouraging people to get out and enjoy the best of NSW.

    “No industry has felt the economic impacts of COVID-19 more than the hospitality, arts and tourism industries,” Mr Perrottet said.

    “NSW acted swiftly to save lives and stop the spread of COVID-19 and we want to help businesses by encouraging spending within local communities, especially within the hospitality, arts and tourism sectors.”

    Every NSW resident aged 18 and over will be eligible for four $25 vouchers worth $100 in total - with the program designed to encourage people to spend multiple times to support their local businesses.

    Two vouchers can be used for eating in at venues such as restaurants, cafes, clubs and other food service venues, and two vouchers can be used for entertainment and recreation, such as cultural institutions, performing arts, cinemas, and amusement parks.

    For more information on this program, please visist www.nsw.gov.au

    Locally, Ms Gibbons advised that the NSW Government are continuing on with the delivery of commitments and announcements already made, with funding allocated toward:

    • The duplication of Heathcote Road between Holsworthy and Voyager Point
    • Investigations and planning for the upgrade of Heathcote Road between Voyager Point and Heathcote
    • Commuter car park upgrades at Casula, Edmondson Park, Leppington and Warwick Farm
    • New schools and school upgrades – like those at Edmondson Park and in Liverpool
    • Continuing on with the upgrade of Liverpool Hospital and carpark
    • Assisting Liverpool City Council provide more shared pathways in Chipping Norton, Liverpool and Moorebank
    • The planning of the Metro South West extension from Bankstown to Liverpool

    “I look forward to continuing to help progress the delivery of these projects – and can’t wait to see the positive benefits I know they will bring for our local community.” Ms Gibbons said.

  • New Primary School In Edmondson Park

    The community of Edmondson Park is one step closer to a brand new primary school with the Premier, the Hon. Gladys Berejiklian MP, Minister for Education, the Hon. Sarah Mitchell MLC, and State Member for Holsworthy, Melanie Gibbons MP, today confirming a site for the new school.

    The announcement comes as the NSW Government confirms the acceleration of funding for the project as part of its COVID-19 Recovery Plan.

    Over $300 million has been committed across three new and three upgraded school projects. It is estimated the projects will support over 1,500 jobs.

    “We’re committed to delivering high-quality school infrastructure across the state, which is why we are building a new primary school in Edmondson Park,” Minister Mitchell said.

    State Member for Holsworthy, Melanie Gibbons MP, welcomed the NSW Liberal and  National Government’s commitment to delivering this project in the community.

    “A new primary school at Edmondson Park will be a valuable asset for local families and will benefit the community for generations,” Ms Gibbons said.

    The new primary school is currently in design with the procurement of a construction contractor to commence by the end of the year.

    The NSW Government is investing $6.7 billion over four years to deliver more than 190 new and upgraded schools to support communities across NSW. This is the largest investment in public education infrastructure in the history of our State.

  • New Gateway To Sydney On Its Way

    Thousands of jobs will be created as part of the toll-free Sydney Gateway motorway, with the NSW Government today announcing major milestones in the delivery of this vital connection to Sydney Airport, Port Botany and beyond.

    Transport for NSW has awarded the design and construction contract to John Holland Seymour Whyte Joint Venture, while the project has also received planning approval from all levels of government.

    Premier Gladys Berejiklian said Sydney Gateway connects the WestConnex St Peters Interchange, where the M4 and M8 will meet, to the Airport and Port Botany Precinct with the capacity to carry 100,000 vehicles a day and will be a game changer.

    “The NSW Government is investing up to $2.6 billion into this project, which is one of the missing pieces in Sydney’s motorway network,” Ms Berejiklian said.

    “As well as providing safer and more reliable journeys, Sydney Gateway will also deliver a significant employment and economic boost, supporting 1,000 direct jobs and 3,000 indirect jobs.

    “These have been very challenging times for the aviation industry but Sydney Gateway continues to be a priority infrastructure project.

    “This project is an essential part of the plan to support the long-term economic growth of Sydney’s airport and port, reducing travel times and improving access to employment areas.”

    NSW Minister for Roads Andrew Constance said early work is expected to start within months.

    “The project, with the wider network, will allow motorists to bypass 26 sets of traffic lights between Parramatta and Sydney Airport’s Domestic terminal,” Mr Constance said.

    “The direct, efficient and safe route means we are also expecting Sydney Gateway to be used by half of all trucks travelling to Port Botany by 2026, handing Mascot streets back to the local community.”

    Sydney Gateway will deliver travel time savings and transform the airport precinct for future growth.

    Supported by WestConnex, drivers using Sydney Gateway will save up to:

    • 30 minutes from the Inner West to the International Airport
    • 22 minutes from Bankstown to the Domestic Airport
    • 30 minutes from Silverwater to Port Botany
    • 40 minutes on a trip from Parramatta to the Domestic Airport

    Sydney Airport Chief Executive Officer Geoff Culbert said in what has been the worst year ever for aviation, the progress on Sydney Gateway is a real positive. 

    "This visionary project will be a game-changer for access to the airport, will generate much-needed jobs and, importantly, will benefit our community by giving local roads back to local residents.”

    Transport for NSW Deputy Secretary Greater Sydney Elizabeth Mildwater said one major change to the project after community engagement is a new shared cycling and pedestrian path linking Alexandra Canal and the domestic terminals.

    “Around half of all feedback we’ve received from the community has been about better links for cyclists in particular, so it’s great to see a new walking and cycling path will be built to improve access to the domestic terminals,” Ms Mildwater said.

  • Liverpool Seniors Skill-Up In Get Online Week

    Seniors in the Liverpool local government area are being encouraged to enhance their digital skills by enrolling in technology training programs during Get Online Week.

    State Member for Holsworthy, Melanie Gibbons MP, said it is vital no one is left behind as our community continues to embrace technology.

    “Get Online Week revealed around four million Australians have low digital skills. It is important that we provide assistance in helping our seniors access services, do personal business online or use email and social media to communicate,” Ms Gibbons said.

    “Even if seniors have little or no digital experience they can join fun and practical classes to develop the skills and confidence needed to benefit from technology.”

    Participating libraries and community colleges across NSW are now taking enrolments for low-cost or free training through the NSW Government’s Tech Savvy Seniors program.

    Tech Savvy Seniors offers a range of courses including a basic introduction to using tablets, computers, smartphones, email or social media.

    Ms Gibbons said that accessibility is at the centre of all training, with courses also able to be delivered in Auslan and languages other than English.

    “Some of the topics available to our local residents include Introduction to Email, Introduction to the Internet and, Social Media.

    “These courses are held at Libraries across the Liverpool region – including at Casula and Liverpool - with some of the courses in Hindi and Arabic.” Ms Gibbons said.

    Acting Minister for Seniors Geoff Lee said NSW Seniors Card statistics show more than half of the state’s older residents use smartphones, tablets or laptops but we can improve the amount of seniors utilising social media to connect with family and friends.

    “Being skilled in an increasingly digital world is vital for our seniors to stay connected with their family and friends especially during the COVID-19 pandemic,” Mr Lee said.

    “While our seniors are better connected than ever, with more than 70 percent accessing the internet daily, we can improve on this to ensure all older people have the opportunity to use and benefit from this technology.”

    The NSW Government’s partnership with Telstra has ensured thousands of people over 60 have completed training at more than 180 locations across the state.

    Social inclusion is a key priority of the NSW Ageing Strategy, part of the NSW Government’s commitment to meeting the needs of our ageing population.     

    For more information on local courses, visit: https://www.telstra.com.au/tech-savvy-seniors

  • Funding Certainty Continues For Schools In The Holsworthy Electorate

    Students in Holsworthy Electorate public schools will benefit from the funding certainty delivered in their school budget allocations for next year.

    State Member for Holsworthy, Melanie Gibbons MP, said the allocations are part of $10.1 billion in annual Gonski funding being delivered to public schools for 2021.

    “The distribution of funding through the Resource Allocation Model (RAM) ensures that the best possible learning opportunities are provided to directly benefit the 2021 student cohort.”

    Ms Gibbons said the $17,060,256 in funding for Holsworthy Electorate schools delivers support where it is needed the most, to students and schools with the greatest need.

    “This is an increase of over $600,000 from the 2020 funding amount.

    “2021 will be the eighth year that the Resource Allocation Model has delivered funding certainty to schools to enable them to plan so that improvement will touch every classroom and impact every student.”

    In addition to a number of needs-based funding items, the funding will be predominately allocated through the seven RAM loadings – the equity loadings (socio-economic, Aboriginal, low level adjustment for disability, English language proficiency) and the base loadings (location, per capita and professional learning).

    “Needs-based funding underpins the great strength of public education - equity of opportunity, and will ensure schools in the Holsworthy Electorate continue to flourish and deliver those opportunities,” said Ms Gibbons.

  • Training The Next Generation Of Construction Professionals

    The NSW Government is transforming the way the next generation of construction practitioners will be trained to meet the challenges of the rapidly changing sector.

    Minister for Better Regulation and Innovation, Kevin Anderson and Minister for Skills and Tertiary Education, Geoff Lee, today announced a new partnership between the Office of the Bulding Commissioner and TAFE NSW to create a state-of-the-art digital training platform.

    Mr Anderson said the partnership will lift skills and capabilities in NSW’s construction workforce through targeted training that fills gaps in the traditional education market.

    “The NSW Government is delivering a once in a generation transformation of the NSW building industry and the current crop of construction practitioners will critical as we lift standards in the industry,” Mr Anderson said.

    “They need new skills and capabilities to take be part of the digitisation that is underway or they will be left behind.

    “This new partnership will help to future-proof our workforce, drive continued growth and productivity and help NSW rebuild its way out of the COVID-19 induced recession.”

    Mr Lee said through the collaboration, TAFE NSW has built an online learning platform to deliver up to 18 courses by next year that will bolster core construction capabilities.

    “The construction sector, like many others, is evolving quickly. Having a learning platform that can be accessed anytime and anywhere by construction professionals is key to providing an agile response,” Mr Lee said.

    “These new micro-credential courses will ensure industry is provided with an opportunity to receive revisonary training to boost standards as well as maintain strong safety and compliance.

    Member for Holsworthy Melanie Gibbons said the initiative will upskill and empower construction students across South West Sydney. 

    “This is a move in the right direction for employers and construction professionals as the State delivers a vital pipeline of infrastructure and residential projects,” Ms Gibbons said.

  • Major Crime Categories Reduced Across The State

    Major crime categories across the State have continued to remain stable or have fallen in the two years to June 2020, according to the latest Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research (BOCSAR) data published today.

    State Member for Holsworthy, Melanie Gibbons MP, welcomed the report, which showed that only one of the 17 major crime categories had increased during the 24-month period.  

    The five categories which recorded major trends are:

    • Steal from person – decreased by 25.4 per cent;
    • Robbery without a weapon – decreased by 12.6 per cent;
    • Steal from motor vehicle – decreased by 12.1 per cent;
    • Malicious damage to property – decreased by 5.4 per cent; and
    • Sexual assault has increased by 9.4 per cent.

    Minister for Police and Emergency Services David Elliott increases in reported sexual assault may be due to more victims reporting to police, rather than higher prevalence of the offence.

    BOCSAR has also attributed part of the increase to more mandatory reporting of child sexual assault cases, which may not have otherwise come to light.

    “During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, our world-class police officers have dedicated their time to enforcing public health orders to keep the community safe,” Mr Elliott said.

    “The men and women in blue work incredibly hard to protect communities right across NSW, and it’s pleasing to see their efforts reflected in these results.” 

    Ms Gibbons said this is an opportunity to look at the hard work done by the officers of Sutherland Shire and Liverpool City Police Area Commands.

    “Increased community awareness, and reporting, as well as more police proactively targeting criminals and putting people before the courts are also reflected in BOCSAR’s results,” Ms Gibbons said.

    Ms Gibbons said the NSW Government is delivering 1,500 new police – the biggest increase to the Force in more than 30 years – as part of a record $583 million investment over four years.

    “Community safety is our number one priority and this major boost in police means we’ll continue to have more police doing the right jobs in the right places to help keep people safe,” Ms Gibbons said.

    To read BOCSAR’s full report published today, visit www.bocsar.nsw.gov.au

  • Work To Begin On Edmondson Park Commuter Car Park

    Construction is set to begin on Edmondson Park Station’s new multi-storey car park next month.

    The new facility will provide around 1,000 additional parking spaces for public transport customers, thanks to the NSW Government’s Commuter Car Park Program.

    “The existing car park - where the new multi-storey will be built - will have its entry closed from 3pm on Friday 28 August, however the existing northern car park will remain open and temporary parking will also be available from Saturday 29 August,” Ms Gibbons said.

    “The new temporary cark park will be located next to the existing car park on the northern side of the station with free and untimed spaces for customers. Four accessible parking spaces will be relocated from the southern car park to the northern car park to ensure they are still available.

    “During September, site establishment activities including piling, demolition and excavation will begin. Signage, traffic management and fencing will be in place to support customers with the parking changes,” Ms Gibbons said.

    The car park is expected to be completed and open to the community in mid-2021.

    Key features of the project include up to 1000 additional parking spaces, free parking for up to 18 hours for customers using public transport, accessible parking spaces close to the station entry and lift access.

    We are committed to providing up to 2,000 additional commuter parking spaces at Edmondson Park Station. Plans for the remaining spaces are being finalised and more information will be available to be shared with the community soon.

    For more information on the project, please visit: https://www.transport.nsw.gov.au/projects/current-projects/edmondson-park-commuter-car-park

  • New Plan To Deliver Conservation Legacy For Western Sydney

    A new plan to protect koalas and conserve critical biodiversity assets in growing parts of Western Sydney has been unveiled by the NSW Government today.

    Minister for Planning and Public Spaces Rob Stokes said the draft plan is one of the largest strategic conservation planning exercises ever in Australia.

    “The Cumberland Plain Conservation Plan is a once-in-a-generation commitment to protect south-west Sydney’s rich environmental assets and important koala population, while providing certainty for investment in a growing part of Sydney,” Mr Stokes said.

    “Rather than assessing the biodiversity impact of individual development applications on an ad-hoc basis, we’ve identified upfront the key areas that need to be protected.

    “With Western Sydney’s population expected to reach 1.5 million people by 2056, this plan delivers certainty for local communities and investors alike.  Too often the environment has been an afterthought in urban planning.  This plan prioritises and protects urban bushland before urban development.  This approach secures environmental conservation but with the certainty needed to support the strategic delivery of infrastructure, housing and jobs for Western Sydney.”

    Minister for Environment Matt Kean said the draft Plan includes a new koala reserve to ensure Sydney’s largest and healthiest koala population is protected.

    “The Georges River Koala Reserve will protect up to 1,885 hectares of existing koala habitat and enhance the connectivity of fragmented patches of important habitat, including protecting the important north-south koala corridor so this iconic species can move about safely,” Mr Kean said.

    “We will invest $84 million in the first five years to plant 100,000 trees in the Georges River Koala Reserve to restore koala habitat and install 120 kilometres of koala fencing.”

    The Cumberland Plain Conservation Plan spans eight local government areas including Blacktown, Fairfield, Liverpool, Campbelltown, Camden, Wollondilly, Hawkesbury and Penrith.

    The draft plan incorporates findings from the NSW Chief Scientist’s Campbelltown Koala Report which  provided advice on effective methods to mitigate the impact of urban development on koala habitat.

    The draft Cumberland Plain Conservation Plan will be on public exhibition until 25 September 2020. To view the draft plan or have your say, please visit: planning.nsw.gov.au/cumberlandplainconservationplan

  • 13 New Police Recruits For Our Region

    Our region will be a safer place with the addition of 13 new police officers, after they recently attested at a private ceremony at the Goulburn Police Academy.

    Minister for Police and Emergency Services David Elliott congratulated the recruits on their dedication and hard work as they embarked on their chosen career in policing.

    “Our recruits of Class 342 come at an important time for the state of NSW. I wish them well as they embark on their chosen career,” Mr Elliott said.

    “These officers can be assured that they have the full support of this government as they step into their career in law enforcement and service to the community.”

    Police Commissioner Mick Fuller AMP said the latest intake of probationary constables will provide a valuable and timely boost to police resources during the COVID-19 pandemic.

    "Our newest probationary constables from Class 342 leave the Academy during unprecedented times, they will face challenges in their first few months that I won’t have experienced when I joined, " he said.

    State Member for Holsworthy, Melanie Gibbons MP, welcomed the 7 recruits to the Sutherland shire Police Area Command and 6 recruits to the Liverpool City Police Area Command, after more than eight months of world-class training at the academy.

    “Our new police officers are a much needed boost to our local community and they will be a great help us as we continue to face the COVID-19 crisis,” Ms Gibbons said.

    “On behalf of the community, I am pleased to welcome these officers to their new command. Police put their own safety on the line to protect our community every day, and I commend these new officers for their dedication and wish them every success in their policing careers.

    “The NSW Liberals & Nationals are investing $583 million in 1500 extra officers over the next four years, the biggest increase in three decades.” Ms Gibbons said.