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  • Western Sydney Forum To Kick-Start Recovery

    Plans to kick-start the State’s economic recovery will be enhanced and more targeted following feedback and ideas put forward by Western and South-Western Sydney business and community representatives at a virtual forum yesterday. 

    Treasurer Dominic Perrottet hosted the online forum which was introduced by Premier Gladys Berejiklian with Minister for Jobs, Investment, Tourism and Western Sydney Stuart Ayres and Minister for Finance and Small Business Damien Tudehope.

    Representatives from chambers of commerce, peak bodies and community organisations and local businesses outlined the issues people are facing on the ground and presented potential solutions to reignite our economy during the two-hour event.

    Mr Perrottet said the communities of Western and South-Western Sydney have shown incredible resilience in recent months and he is confident they will play a key role in driving the State’s economic recovery.  

    “We thank all of the participants for taking part in this forum where we heard a range of great ideas on how we can help kick start the region’s recovery,” Mr Perrottet said.

    “The Government will look at every single idea raised as we finalise strategies for our economic recovery, because we know if it works in Western and South-Western Sydney it will work across NSW.

    “These areas are the heart and soul of Australia’s biggest city and it is imperative we get them pumping again as quickly as possible. We are all in this together now and we will come out together, too.” 

    A range of ideas were presented at the forum including; a reopening package tailored to the region, upskilling young people for the post-lockdown economy, small infrastructure projects and housing affordability opportunities.

    Mr Ayres said with almost a quarter of our population living in the West and South-West of Sydney, its recovery would determine how quickly the rest of the city bounced back. 

    “These communities have been through an incredibly tough period and it’s really inspiring to see everyone working together to find the best ways of moving forward,” Mr Ayres said. 

    “Western Sydney is ready to bounce back strongly but we know it won’t just happen on its own, so the ideas raised during this forum will play a vital role in developing the strategies to make it happen.”

    Other ideas put forward to reboot business activity included employment incentives and confidence-building initiatives aimed at getting more people back to work.

    Mr Tudehope said small businesses would be front and centre of our economic recovery and the Government is committed to providing the support they need to get back on their feet.

    “This is not just about recovery – it’s about making sure businesses come out of this stronger,” Mr Tudehope said.

    “Western Sydney is the engine room of NSW, driven by thousands of hardworking small businesses. Turbocharging their recovery with innovative ideas and solutions is my number one priority.”

    Ideas and proposals put forward at the forum will help shape the NSW Government’s economic recovery efforts for Western and Southwest Sydney as well the rest of the State.

  • A Public Spaces Legacy For Liverpool

    Liverpool will share in a total of up to $250 million in NSW Government funding to create a legacy of quality, green and accessible public space to be treasured for generations to come.

    State Member for Holsworthy, Melanie Gibbons MP, announced that $4,750,000 has been allocated to Liverpool City Council, as part of the NSW Public Spaces Legacy Program.

    “This funding is a great win for Liverpool and highlights the NSW Government’s support for improved public space and parkland in South West Sydney.

    “The program will create public spaces for future generations and help to keep people in jobs to ensure the local economy keeps moving with the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic in mind.

    “The funding will go towards upgrades to the public domain of Macquarie Street, creation of the Phillimona Gardens parklet, and the delivery of an outdoor performance stage within the Casula Parklands precinct.” Ms Gibbons said.

    Minister for Planning and Public Spaces Rob Stokes said the funding being delivered to councils was reliant on them meeting agreed targets to speed up local development applications.

    “This program is the first of its kind in NSW and demonstrates state and local government working together to create a legacy of beautiful public spaces that communities, for decades, can be proud of,” Mr Stokes said.

    “In exchange for legacy funding, councils participating in the program need to speed up their assessment times. They have until June 30 to keep hitting their targets but, so far, the program has seen a 20 per cent improvement.

    “It’s been great to see the unclogging of the planning system as part of this program - 42 of 53 planning proposals that had been stuck in the planning system for more than four years have been resolved and 161 of 168 regionally significant development applications have been cleared.”

    Liverpool City Council will be provided with funding for project planning and design and will have until 30 June 2021 to demonstrate they have met DA assessment performance improvements to lock in their full allocation of funding, ahead of construction starting on projects from August this year.

    For more information, visit:

    https://www.planning.nsw.gov.au/Policy-and-Legislation/Planning-reforms/NSW-Public-Spaces-Legacy-Program

  • Seniors In Liverpool Get Social

    The social calendar in Liverpool just got busier with the NSW Seniors Festival Grants Program providing opportunities for local seniors to get active and stay connected.

    State Member for Holsworthy, Melanie Gibbons MP, said Liverpool City Council successfully acquired an $8,300 grant to host a free ‘Seniors Tea Break’ across two days where our local seniors’ community are able to enjoy a High Tea, entertainment and an exhibition of local service providers.

    “This grant is an opportunity for older people in our area to get out into the community and be social, happy and active,” Ms Gibbons said.

    “Seniors in our region lead the way as role models, carers and volunteers. We want to see them continue to be active participants and valued for their contribution.”

    Almost 80 projects were selected across the state, adding to a diverse schedule of activities including social dances, educational workshops and health programs.

    The grants program had three categories covering small, community-run activities with grants up to $1,000, to large-scale programs with grants of up to $10,000.

    This year, accessibility was in focus with many programs incorporating an online option to allow more seniors to participate.

    “There has been a real emphasis on online engagement for seniors during the last year and these options will help older people join the fun,” Ms Gibbons said.

    Successful recipients will hold local programs and activities during the NSW Seniors Festival, which runs 13-24 April 2021.

    Acting Minister for Seniors, Geoff Lee, said the program aims to give all older people the chance to be part of the NSW Seniors Festival.

    “For more than 60 years, our seniors have joined the Festival’s activities and programs, which foster innovation for healthy ageing,” Mr Lee said.

    “Staying connected is pivotal to wellbeing, so we’ve backed local initiatives to help reach seniors no matter their language, location or mobility level.”

    Learn more about the NSW Seniors Festival at: www.seniorsfestival.nsw.gov.au

  • Business Registrations Open For Dine & Discover

    Eligible businesses across the state can now register to take part in the NSW Government’s major economic stimulus program, Dine & Discover NSW.

    The program will create an economic boost for dining, arts and tourism businesses, which have been impacted by COVID-19, and encourage customers to get out and about safely.

    Treasurer Dominic Perrottet encouraged businesses to register and get ready so they can hit the ground running when the program goes live.

    “We’ve heard loud and clear just how tough it has been for businesses across NSW. This program will reinvigorate local economies and provide customers with hip pocket relief,” Mr Perrottet said.

    “Encouraging people to support local businesses in a safe way through this program will provide an important boost for the state.”

    Minister for Customer Service Victor Dominello said Service NSW is launching a specialised app for participating businesses, so they can scan and track voucher usage over the life of the program.

    “After applying online, NSW businesses will be able to track the progress of the application through their MyServiceNSW Business Profile. Business owners will then receive a step-by-step process on how to get ready,” Mr Dominello said.

    “With a high uptake of the vouchers expected across the state, the Business Profile provides one, easy to use location for businesses to stay on top of voucher transactions.

    “Businesses will be automatically paid typically within 5 business days for the value of vouchers redeemed.

      “All eligible businesses will receive an email from Service NSW with details on how to register. I also urge residents to do yourself a favour and download the Service NSW app now in anticipation of the rollout.”

    Minister for Finance and Small Business Damien Tudehope said the program would be a boost for small businesses after a challenging time.

    “We want people to get out there, support their local businesses and get spending,” Mr Tudehope said. 

    “The program will be rolled out in a few steps to ensure a seamless customer experience.

    “Phase one will include a pilot at The Rocks and in Broken Hill in early February. The pilot will then be expanded to the Northern Beaches, Sydney CBD and Bega Valley Shire Council, which is expected to commence in late February.

    “The findings from the pilots will inform the state wide rollout, expected to commence in March, that will run until 30 June 2021.”

    Every NSW resident aged 18 and over will be eligible for four $25 vouchers worth $100 in total, to spend in participating businesses. The vouchers will be divided into two categories:

    • Two $25 vouchers to be used for eating in at restaurants, cafes, bars, pubs and clubs from Monday to Thursday, excluding public holidays.
    • Two $25 vouchers to be used for entertainment and recreation, including cultural institutions, live music, and arts venues, available 7 days a week, excluding public holidays. 

    The vouchers can only be used within businesses that have implemented a COVID Safety Plan and are registered as COVID Safe.

    For more information on Dine & Discover NSW business registration and eligibility, visit www.nsw.gov.au

  • Workshops To Give Businesses A New Year Boost

    Small business owners are encouraged to start the New Year with a series of online workshops to help them survive and thrive in 2021.

    Minister for Finance and Small Business Damien Tudehope said the free workshops covered a range of topics to help businesses start the year with confidence.

    “We know 2020 was challenging and many businesses had to pivot or make changes to their operation,” Mr Tudehope said.

    “The NSW Government has support measures in place through Business Connect, including online workshops where you can learn about what it takes to run, adapt or grow your business.

    “If you’ve got a business idea or want a side hustle, it’s a chance to stop dreaming and make an informed decision about becoming your own boss.

    “January is a great time to attend one or more of these workshops, upskill and get the tips you need to make decisions about the year ahead.”

    Mr Tudehope said the Business Connect program also continued to offer free advice to businesses affected by COVID-19, bushfires and drought.

    There are more than 120 Business Connect advisors across the state and they provide independent, tailored business advice, as well as multicultural and specialist support,” Mr Tudehope said. 

    “Business Connect received a $39.3 million boost in the NSW Budget, representing an investment in the futures of the small and medium businesses of NSW.

    “Small businesses are the backbone of their communities and if we support them to stay in business, they will keep people in jobs.”

    For information on Business Connect visit nsw.gov.au/businessconnect or call 1300 134 359. For information on the workshops and to book go to https://business-connect-register.industry.nsw.gov.au.

    The upcoming Business Connect workshops include:

    Topic

    Date

    Setting up an online business to avoid costly mistakes

    January 18, 10am

    Business foundations

    January 19, 10am

    Brand building for small business

    January 20, 6.30pm

    Start a business workshop

    January 27, 12pm

    Tools to help you reinvent your business – COVID and beyond

    January 29, 10am

    Develop your 2021 business strategy

    February 11, 3pm

     

  • 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.

  • 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

  • Notice of Motion - RSPCA Yagoona Centre

    Melanie Gibbons moves, that this House:

    1. Commends the Government for its $12 million investment towards the RSPCA Centre at Yagoona.

    2. Acknowledges this investment will ensure that the RSPCA adoption facilities are enhanced and expanded.

    3. Recognises this investment supports animal welfare given the centre is responsible for the adoption of 15,000 cats and dogs every year.

    4. Thanks the Minister for Local Government for announcing this funding and for supporting this worthy cause.

  • Funding Green Light For New Boating Infrastructure At Sandy Point

    State Member for Holsworthy, Melanie Gibbons MP, announced $722,000 in NSW Government funding for Sutherland Shire Council’s plans for upgrading the Sandy Point boat ramp on the Georges River.

    Ms Gibbons said the boat ramp upgrade represents one of 69 successful projects allocated grant funding under the NSW Government’s $28 million investment in Round 3 of the Boating Now program which supports infrastructure projects to improve boating access, amenities and safety for NSW boaters.

    The new round will allow local councils, boating and community groups, as well as private sector organisations, deliver new or upgraded boating infrastructure, including boat ramps, jetties, wharves, car and trailer parking, dinghy storage racks and sewage pump-outs.

    “The Sandy Point upgrade will involve re-building the existing boat ramp and the installation of a new pontoon to make it easier and safer for boaters to access the Georges River.

    “The program is funded from boating licence and registration fees which are reinvested back into initiatives that improve boating for local communities.

    “We are offering delivery partners up to 25 per cent of the grant value up front to help fast-track the planning and delivery of projects to stimulate local economies.” Ms Gibbons said.

    As part of the new round of funding, $2 million has been set aside for boating infrastructure to be repaired quickly following damage caused by severe weather events such as storms and bushfires.

    The remaining funding will be allocated to priority infrastructure outcomes identified in the 2018 Maritime Infrastructure Plan, which provides strategic guidance for investing in maritime infrastructure, with the outcomes that are receiving funding to be announced later this year.

    The Boating Now Program also contributes to achieving the outcomes for the ten-year Marine Estate Management Strategy to coordinate the management of the marine estates in NSW.

    The Boating Now Round 3 allocation is in addition to the $70 million investment since the program commenced in 2015.

    For more information on the program and successful projects go to www.rms.nsw.gov.au/projects/key-build-program/boating-now.

  • Funding Green Light For New Boating Infrastructure At Light Horse Park

    State Member for Holsworthy, Melanie Gibbons MP, announced $163,870 in NSW Government funding for Liverpool City Council’s plans for a new kayak launch facility at Light Horse Park in Liverpool .

    Ms Gibbons said the new non-powered vessel facility represents one of 69 successful projects allocated grant funding under the NSW Government’s $28 million investment in Round 3 of the Boating Now program which supports infrastructure projects to improve boating access, amenities and safety for NSW boaters.

    The new round will allow local councils, boating and community groups, as well as private sector organisations, deliver new or upgraded boating infrastructure, including boat ramps, jetties, wharves, car and trailer parking, dinghy storage racks and sewage pump-outs.

    “The project at Light Horse Park will involve designing and building a new kayak launch facility on the Georges River close to the new Paper Mill Precinct. The new launch facility will include an all-abilities access kayak launch platform to cater for individuals in a wheelchair.

    “The program is funded from boating licence and registration fees which are reinvested back into initiatives that improve boating for local communities.

    “We are offering delivery partners up to 25 per cent of the grant value up front to help fast-track the planning and delivery of projects to stimulate local economies.” Ms Gibbons said.

    As part of the new round of funding, $2 million has been set aside for boating infrastructure to be repaired quickly following damage caused by severe weather events such as storms and bushfires.

    The remaining funding will be allocated to priority infrastructure outcomes identified in the 2018 Maritime Infrastructure Plan, which provides strategic guidance for investing in maritime infrastructure, with the outcomes that are receiving funding to be announced later this year.

    The Boating Now Program also contributes to achieving the outcomes for the ten-year Marine Estate Management Strategy to coordinate the management of the marine estates in NSW.

    The Boating Now Round 3 allocation is in addition to the $70 million investment since the program commenced in 2015.

    For more information on the program and successful projects go to www.rms.nsw.gov.au/projects/key-build-program/boating-now.