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  • More Money For Heathcote Road

    The full duplication of Heathcote Road is one step closer, with an additional $35 million allocated for the planning of the upgrade between Voyager Point and Heathcote, in the 2020-21 NSW Budget.

    Minister for Transport and Roads Andrew Constance said duplicating Heathcote Road is not an easy task and will take time, but it will be well worth it as it will improve safety for the 36,000 drivers who use the road every day.

    “We need to get this road right to accommodate future growth from the Illawarra to Western Sydney, and to ensure we have the right infrastructure in place for generations to come,” Mr Constance said.

    “Last year alone there were 13 crashes with three people killed - Heathcote Road has an unacceptable road safety record that this government is committed to fixing as soon as possible.”

    State Member for Holsworthy, Melanie Gibbons MP, said today’s announcement is in addition to the $183 million in state and federal funding already announced for duplication between Infantry Parade and The Avenue, and $73 million for Heathcote Road Bridge.

    “The current upgrade will see the duplication of existing bridges across Harris Creek, Williams Creek and the T8 Airport railway line, and a pedestrian and cyclist shared path installed adjacent to the road, connecting Voyager Point to Holsworthy Station.

    “The duplication of Heathcote Road will help ensure drivers make it home every night, and spend more time with their families and less time in traffic.” Ms Gibbons said.

    Early work was carried out in 2019 in preparation for the upgrade, including the relocation of utilities and the gas main along Heathcote Road.

    Preliminary work along Heathcote Road between Holsworthy and Voyager Point is expected to start in early 2021, with completion of the 2.2km project expected in late 2024.

  • 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.

  • New Service NSW Centres Open In Revesby And Engadine

    More people can now complete hundreds of NSW Government transactions and access cost of living support online and face-to-face, thanks to the opening of two new Service NSW Centres.

    Premier Gladys Berejiklian said the NSW Government is on its way to opening a further 10 Service NSW Centres in Sydney, with Revesby and Engadine being the first to open. 

    “These new one-stop shop Service NSW Centres in Revesby and Engadine put the customer first. Gone are the days of waiting in line for hours to be served,” Ms Berejiklian said.

    “Whether it’s renewing your vehicle registration or driver’s licence, or applying for a Seniors Card or marriage certificate, these Centres will save customers time.

    “Service NSW is also a gateway to up to 70 NSW Government Cost of Living savings and rebates, including Energy Switch, Creative Kids and Active Kids vouchers. Customers can also access nearly 1000 NSW Government transactions at Service NSW centres. Locals will be able to make an appointment with a Cost of Living Specialist who can help them identify potential savings. The average saving so far is $575.”

    Minister for Customer Service Victor Dominello said both centres feature a modern ‘digital first’ design with additional staff available to help customers on self-serve touch screens, or to complete a transaction over the counter.

     “We’re turbocharging the customer experience to make life easier for people,” Mr Dominello said.

    “Customers have quickly embraced the new Centres, with more than 3000 people visiting them since 28 August.

    “There are now 109 Service NSW Centres across the State, as well as four Mobile Centres that cater for customers in remote and regional areas.”

    Eight more Service NSW Centres will be delivered across Sydney by 2023 as part of an election commitment. They include Merrylands, Randwick, Northmead, Glenmore Park/Edmondson Park, Roselands and Schofields.

    Between 2017 and 2019 24 Service Centres were opened across regional and remote NSW as part of a $20 million expansion of the network.

    Revesby Service Centre is located at 38-42 Marco Avenue, Revesby. It is open from 8:30am – 5:30pm Monday to Friday and 8:30am – 12:30pm on Saturdays.

    Engadine Service Centre is located at Shops 7-10, Engadine Town Square Shopping Centre, 1040 Old Princes Hwy. It is open from 8:30am – 5:30pm Monday to Friday and 8:30am – 12:30pm on Saturdays.

    Further information on Service NSW is available at www.service.nsw.gov.au

  • 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

  • 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.

  • Planning Application Lodged For $790 Million Liverpool Hospital Redevelopment

    A key milestone of the $790 million redevelopment of Liverpool Hospital has been reached, with planning applications lodged and new designs of the hospital unveiled, taking us one step closer towards redeveloping Liverpool Hospital into an international hub of medical excellence, research and education

    Minister for Health Brad Hazzard welcomed the launch of the designs, acknowledging the extensive consultation that has helped shape the project.

    “The latest designs and planning lodgement follow a comprehensive process of planning and consultation involving Health Infrastructure, South Western Sydney Local Health District, hospital staff, local medical and emergency personnel, community groups and patients.”

    The lodgement of the planning applications for the $740 million hospital upgrade and expansion – known as the Liverpool Health and Academic Precinct,  as well as the new $50 million car park, was a major achievement in delivering the project for the communities of South Western Sydney.

    Melanie Gibbons, State Member for Holsworthy, also announced Multiplex as the successful tenderer for the next stage of early works, working alongside stage one early works contractors Roberts Pizzarotti.

    “Stage two early work is set to commence within weeks, with construction work and refurbishment happening on site. It will be great to see more construction taking place and contributing to our local economy and to a better facility for our area and our healthcare workers. ” Ms Gibbons said.

    This early construction will enable hospital operations to continue and allows major construction to take place once planning is approved, and includes reconfiguration of existing car parks, a new kitchen facility, retail spaces, a new mortuary, helipad upgrades and construction of a temporary education facility.

    The new flythrough and images can be viewed here: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1Ll6eGaXAMuLlWkhYurz8lydLNDTNqV-J