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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.

  • $790 Million Liverpool Hospital Gets Underway

    One of the state’s largest hospital projects will begin within weeks, with the main works contractor appointed for the $790 million Liverpool Health and Academic Precinct.

    Health Minister Brad Hazzard announced the awarding of the principal contract to Lendlease, following a competitive tender process.

    “The Liverpool Health and Academic Precinct will deliver a world-class medical, research and education hub in the rapidly growing south-western Sydney region,” Mr Hazzard said.

    “The redevelopment will be a real boost for communities throughout the region, bringing greatly enhanced healthcare services closer to home.”

    The redeveloped hospital will provide a total of 900 beds, an expanded emergency department, new maternity and paediatric inpatient beds and double the capacity within the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.

    Another key feature will be a new, expanded Integrated Cancer Centre which will almost double the chemotherapy treatment spaces.

    Member for Holsworthy Melanie Gibbons said the redevelopment would boost the local economy and meet the south-western Sydney’s community’s growing healthcare needs now and into the future.

    “The start of major works at this new world-class precinct will support thousands of jobs during the construction phases and beyond, which will be greatly welcomed as we recover from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Ms Gibbons said.

    Construction of a $50 million multi-storey car park for the Liverpool Hospital is already underway, with work being carried out by ADCO Constructions.

    The precinct is part of the NSW Government’s record $10.8 billion investment in health infrastructure over four years to 2024-2025.

    Over $5.5 billion in health capital works are underway in  Western and South Western Sydney including:

    • $790 million for the Liverpool Health and Academic Precinct
    • $1.3 billion for a new Bankstown-Lidcombe Hospital
    • $832 million Westmead Hospital redevelopment
    • $65 million Commonwealth Government funded adult Cystic Fibrosis Specialist Services Unit at Westmead. 
    • $619 million Children’s Hospital at Westmead Stage 2
    • $632 million Campbelltown Hospital redevelopment Stage 2
    • $1 billion Nepean Hospital redevelopment
    • $300 million for a Rouse Hill Hospital.

    Work on Liverpool Hospital is expected to start in the coming weeks, to be completed by 2026.

    Artist impressions and a flythrough of the Liverpool Health and Academic Precinct can be viewed here: www.shorturl.at/lvzA3

  • Scholarships To Support Students In Liverpool

    46 young people across the Holsworthy and Liverpool electorates will receive cash grants of $1,000 to help achieve their academic aspirations and training goals as part of a NSW Government scholarship program.

    State Member for Holsworthy, Melanie Gibbons MP, said the Department of Communities and Justice (DCJ) Scholarships would help lift the load for students in their final years of high school and early years of tertiary education.

    “The program is an investment in the future of young people growing up in social housing or who are in out-of-home care,” Ms Gibbons said.

    “These scholarships aim to improve school completion rates, boost vocational and tertiary qualifications and enhance work readiness, so that young people can break the cycle of disadvantage.”

    The program is available to young people living in social housing or on the housing register, students receiving private rental assistance, or those living in crisis, supported accommodation or out-of-home care.

    Minister for Families, Communities and Disability Services Alister Henskens said recipients can use their funds for education-related expenses such as textbooks, IT equipment or internet access.

    “A good education provides the foundation for the future and these scholarships are about giving young people a helping hand to pursue education or work,” Mr Henskens said.

    “We want to see young people growing up in social housing or out-of-home care break the cycle of disadvantage and live long, happy and healthy lives. These scholarships are one of the ways the NSW Government is helping to make that happen.”

    DCJ Scholarships are funded under Future Directions for Social Housing in NSW, a ten-year plan to drive better outcomes for social housing tenants.

  • New LED Lighting For Our Schools

    Students at Hammondville, Wattle Grove and Nuwarra Public Schools will soon benefit from brighter and smarter learning spaces with the NSW Government announcing the first tranche of schools in the LED Lighting Upgrade Program.

    State Member for Holsworthy, Melanie Gibbons MP, welcomed these improvements and said upgrades like these highlighted the NSW Liberal and National Government’s commitment to improving school facilities and supporting jobs.

    “LED lighting will improve the learning environment for students and this program will also help support jobs in our local area.

    “We know student learning is enhanced when the learning environment is comfortable and LED lighting is proven to provide a more stable source of light.” Ms Gibbons said.

    Minister for Education Sarah Mitchell said the program is an initiative funded by the NSW Government’s COVID-19 Recovery Plan.

    “The LED Lighting Upgrade Program will not only support jobs, but through the replacement of inefficient lighting with LED luminaires we will be delivering better classrooms and learning areas for students,” said Ms Mitchell.

    “This program is part of our $450 million school based COVID-19 Recovery plan to deliver thousands of school projects to hundreds of schools.”

    More than 290 schools have been announced in the first tranche with up to 1,000 schools to benefit from the $158 million program. The program will also reduce school energy bills with smart LED lighting offering a more efficient and sustainable option.  

    The NSW Government is investing $7 billion over the next four years, continuing its program to deliver more than 200 new and upgraded schools to support communities across NSW. This is the largest investment in public education infrastructure in the history of NSW.

  • Playground Upgrade For Hammondville Public School

    Hammondville Public School is one step closer to new and improved facilities, with a playground upgrade announced as part of the NSW Government’s Metro Renewal Program.

    Since the announcement of the Metro Renewal Program in November last year, schools have been invited to apply for renewal projects to improve their school facilities.

    State Member for Holsworthy, Melanie Gibbons MP, welcomed the news that this project at Hammondville Public School has been funded.

    “I’m delighted to see that the students at Hammondville will have access to a better and more user friendly playground – I know it is a project that the school community have been working towards for some time.

    “This $150,000 investment by the Liberal and Nationals Government is essential for our students, so that they can thrive in a great learning environment.

    “Delivery of these projects will be undertaken in the next 18 months as part of the NSW Government’s economic stimulus package for NSW schools,” Ms Gibbons said.

    The Metro Renewal Program will provide a government co-contribution of between 50 to 80 per cent for school infrastructure improvements to high priority schools in metropolitan areas.

    Minister for Education Sarah Mitchell said the project at Hammondville Public School was part of the NSW Government’s stimulus program and the State’s COVID-19 Recovery Plan.

    “I’m pleased that we are continuing our record investment in school infrastructure, including the project at Hammondville Public School. The funding will directly benefit local communities and support hundreds of jobs in metro NSW,” Ms Mitchell said.

    “This program is part of the NSW Government’s economic stimulus response to the pandemic, and will deliver educational benefits, community benefits and economic benefits as communities continue to recover.”

    The NSW Government is investing $7 billion over the next four years, continuing its program to deliver more than 200 new and upgraded schools to support communities across NSW. This is the largest investment in public education infrastructure in the history of NSW.

  • 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

  • Sod Turned For New $50 Million Liverpool Hospital Car Park

    Construction of a $50 million multi-storey car park for the new Liverpool Hospital has begun, promising families improved access to healthcare in south-western Sydney.

    Health Minister Brad Hazzard today joined Member for Holsworthy Melanie Gibbons to turn the sod on the new building, which will have an additional 500 parking spaces.

    “Over the next decade, south-western Sydney is projected to have nearly double the current number of elderly people, and households with children,” Mr Hazzard said.

    “Families and the elderly, as well as staff, will want and need to park close to the redeveloped hospital, which will contain expanded and additional clinical services.”

    Funding for the new seven storey car park is in addition to the $740 million Liverpool Hospital redevelopment. The car park was recently granted planning approval, along with a sky-bridge over Campbell Road; an eight-storey building housing women’s and paediatric services; and a new cancer treatment centre – all part of the planned Liverpool Health and Academic Precinct.

    Ms Gibbons said construction of the onsite, multi-storey car park is expected to support around 200 jobs, while the entire precinct project will support 3,000 jobs.

    “There are so many people out of work as a result of the COVID-19 recession, which is why projects like this are vital for both the economy and health,” Ms Gibbons said.

    “No other government in the history of this State, or indeed the country, has invested in health infrastructure to the extent the Liberals-Nationals Government has, ensuring more jobs and better services.”

    Since 2011, more than 150 health projects have been completed with more than 100 more projects underway, including the new Liverpool Health and Academic Precinct.

    Some of the expanded and new services to be included at Liverpool Hospital are:

    • an additional 200 inpatient beds
    • doubling of chemotherapy treatment spaces
    • a Cancer Centre of Excellence
    • expanded and refurbished emergency department
    • expanded Neonatal Intersive Care Unit (NICU)
    • new maternity and paediatric inpatient beds.

    ADCO Constructions Pty Ltd has been awarded the contract for the new car park, which will also incorporate solar panels to improve the hospital’s sustainability.

  • NSW Urged To ‘Get Ready’ For Summer

    Prepare your bushfire survival plan, don’t drive through floodwater, swim between the flags, and make sure your home is fire safe this summer – these are some of the safety tips NSW emergency service agencies have shared ahead of the 2020 summer season.

    Minister for Police and Emergency Services David Elliott today joined emergency services leaders on Sydney Harbour to issue the timely reminder, as people begin decorating their homes for Christmas, planning holidays in regional NSW and enjoying warm days by the water.

    “Aussie summers are iconic, but they can also be tragic. Last year, we had a horror bushfire season. This year, we’re expecting a wet and wild summer. But bushfires and storms are not the only threats we face,” Mr Elliott said.

    “I urge you to use the start of summer as a start of a conversation with your friends and families about being prepared for seasonal hazards. Especially this year, as experts warn of a La Niña summer.”

    NSW Police Force Deputy Commissioner Gary Worboys said summer is a particularly busy time of year for all emergency services and urged the community to put safety first. 

    “Police will be out and about - on the streets, on our roads, in, on and around the water, and even in the air. If we all put safety first, our holidays will be remembered for all the right reasons," Deputy Commissioner Worboys said.

    NSW SES Commissioner Carlene York said there have been more than 500 rescue requests this year from people who have risked their lives by driving through floodwaters.

    “You wouldn’t run into a bushfire, so never drive, walk or ride through flood water – it’s incredibly dangerous for both you and the volunteers rescuing you. It’s vital to know your flood risk and have an emergency plan in place,” Commissioner York said.

    NSW RFS Commissioner Rob Rogers said last summer’s bushfire season was a stark reminder of the dangers of fire and the importance of early planning and preparation.

    “Last summer’s bushfires destroyed 2,476 homes and claimed 26 lives in NSW. Every family should have a five-minute conversation about important decisions like when to leave and what to take if a fire threatens your home,” Commissioner Rogers said.

    Fire and Rescue NSW Assistant Commissioner Paul McGuiggan said decorative lights and summer barbecues also pose a fire risk around the home.

    “Make sure you have a sufficient number of working smoke alarms throughout your home that are tested regularly and are supported by a written home escape plan,” Assistant Commissioner McGuiggan said.

    NSW Surf Life Saving CEO Steve Pearce reiterated the importance of water safety.

    “Only swim at patrolled beaches, stay between the red and yellow flags, always check conditions before heading out, wear a life jacket when boating or rock fishing, and be sure to keep an eye on your mates,” Mr Pearce said.

    Marine Rescue Commissioner Stacey Tannos said they’re ready for a record summer on the water as more people stay home instead of heading overseas on holidays.

    “Boaters should always Log On with Marine Rescue when heading out and Log Off when they return on VHF Channel 16 or the free Marine Rescue App. It’s quick and simple and gives you the reassurance that our volunteers are watching out for your safe return,” Commissioner Tannos said.

    Find out more about the steps you can take to Get Ready for summer at https://resilience.nsw.gov.au/prepare.html

  • 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.