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NSW GOVERNMENT FORTNIGHTLY UPDATE – 21 DECEMBER 2017

NSW GOVERNMENT FORTNIGHTLY UPDATE – 21 DECEMBER 2017

Thursday, 21 December 2017

NSW GOVERNMENT LAUNCHES $110 MILLION SUMMER SCHOOL MAINTENANCE BLITZ

  • Schools across NSW will benefit from a $110 million maintenance blitz over the summer holidays so students can return to refreshed buildings for the new school year.
  • The summer holiday blitz is part of the NSW Government’s record $747 million school maintenance investment over the next four years announced in the 2017 Budget, allowing each and every school across the State to have their maintenance project lists slashed by December 2018.
  • The NSW Government also announced as part of its 2017-18 Budget a record $4.2 billion over the next four years on capital expenditure to cater for rising enrolments. This represented a 61 per cent increase on the previous year’s capital program.

NSW UNEMPLOYMENT THE LOWEST IN THE NATION

  • NSW has recorded the lowest unemployment rate in the country for a 30th straight month.
  • The latest figures from the Bureau of Statistics show the NSW rate remains at 4.6 per cent, the lowest rate in nine years (since April 2008).
  • This latest data shows we have now added 249,600 jobs since the last election, well exceeding the government’s election commitment of 150,000 new jobs.
  • The NSW unemployment rate has remained at or below the national rate for four years, providing job stability for the state’s communities.
  • The ABS data also showed NSW continues to have the lowest youth unemployment rate of all the states, and is the only state with a single digit youth unemployment rate.

MOTORISTS URGED TO STOP IT…OR COP IT

  • In the lead-up to the busiest time of year on the state’s roads, the NSW Government is urging motorists to re-think their driving behaviour with the launch of its latest enforcement campaign: Stop it…Or cop it.
  • The campaign is designed to deter motorists from taking risks and encourage them to take greater responsibility for their on-road actions.
  • Police will be targeting motorists who are speeding, drink and drug driving, illegally using mobile phones and not wearing a seatbelt – all of which continue to be the leading causes of fatalities and serious injuries on our roads.

PROMOTING TECHNOLOGY IN PROPERTY TRANSACTIONS

  • Public feedback is sought on a range of proposals aimed at promoting technology in property transactions, with the NSW Government releasing a Discussion Paper for comment.
  • The paper examines how technology can be utilised to improve the conveyancing process for industry and home buyers.
  • This announcement follows the Government’s reforms to electronic conveyancing which will see all standard property transactions in NSW being lodged electronically by July 2019.
  • The Discussion Paper is available for comment at registrargeneral.nsw.gov.au. Submissions close 16 February 2018.

HI GEORGE! CHRISTMAS INSTEAD OF CONSTRUCTION

  • Christmas has arrived on George Street with the construction crews and barriers replaced with six gigantic wreaths and more than 5000 lights.
  • Finishing work, including small areas of paving, intersections, smart poles and systems will continue in the New Year as well as construction of the QVB light rail stop.


‘REFLECTION’ MEMORIALISES SEA OF FLOWERS

  • The Martin Place Permanent Memorial has been unveiled in recognition of the outpouring of compassion and unity by thousands of people following the December 2014 Martin Place siege.
  • Two brave young Australians, Tori Johnson and Katrina Dawson, were tragically killed in the siege and the NSW Government has acknowledged the invaluable contribution made by their families to the design and placement of the memorial, which is entitled Reflection.
  • The Memorial is comprised of hundreds of cubes, each containing a handcrafted flower, embedded in the granite paving between Castlereagh and Pitt Streets.

SUTHERLAND HOSPITAL EXPANSION OFFICIALLY OPEN

  • The NSW Government has officially opened an expansion of Sutherland Hospital as part of a $62.9 million redevelopment.
  • The redevelopment includes:
    • A new and expanded Emergency Department
    • A new Emergency Department Short Stay Unit
    • A new General Medical Unit
    • A new General Surgical Inpatient Unit
    • Expanded Critical Care Medical Unit
    • Construction of a 140-space ground level car park

RESPONSE TO FINAL ROYAL COMMISSION REPORT

  • The NSW Government has established a taskforce to respond to the final report of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.
  • The taskforce, comprising representatives from across the NSW Government, would carefully consider the report’s 409 recommendations.
  • NSW will continue to engage cooperatively with the Commonwealth and other jurisdictions with a view to developing a meaningful and practical national scheme for redress as soon as possible. Our primary objective remains ensuring appropriate recognition of the ongoing hurt experienced by survivors.
  • Support is available through Lifeline 13 11 14, Domestic Violence Line 1800 656 463 and the Men’s Referral Service 1300 766 491.

NEW WATER SAFETY CAMPAIGN LAUNCHED AFTER DROWNING SPIKE LAST SUMMER

  • The NSW Government has launched a new advertising campaign – Be Water Safe, Not Sorry – to increase water safety awareness and deter risky behaviour that could lead to drowning.
  • The advertising campaign aims to educate people of the very real risks associated with water, and what they can do to ensure they stay safe, including:
    • Always supervise small children in or near water – don’t get distracted by your phone, people at your door, or attending to other children;
    • Stay sober – don’t drink or take drugs and then go swimming or participate in a water-based activity; and
    • Swim at patrolled beaches, where possible – no flags means no lifesavers, so don’t overestimate your swimming ability.

SCHOOL PLAYGROUND GATES THROWN OPEN FOR SUMMER HOLIDAY FUN

  • The playgrounds of dozens of NSW public schools will be available for everyone to use for the summer holidays under a NSW Government initiative to broaden community recreation and open space options.
  • Schools are an important part of every community and often occupy prime open space. Instead of locking the gate this summer, the trial program will share this public space to allow people to exercise and play at their local school over the summer holiday break.
  • Participating schools will receive a $15,000 grant to help upgrade their facilities for community and school use.

NSW WATER REFORM PACKAGE

  • The NSW Government has announced details of a comprehensive water reform package that will:
    • introduce best practice water management in NSW;
    • establish a compliance and enforcement regime that delivers strong and certain regulation;
    • ensure transparency and equity in how water is shared, allocated and managed in NSW; and
    • build capability across the NSW Department of Industry to support effective implementation of water reforms.
  • The NSW Government understands the importance of water to our food and fibre producers, the environment and other groups, and these reforms demonstrate our commitment to a fair and sustainable use of this precious asset.

NSW TO BECOME A GREENER STATE

  • The NSW Government will create a greener Sydney and State to improve the health, economy, environment, infrastructure and biodiversity for all its families and people as part of NSW’s statewide green infrastructure policy, Greener Places.
  • The Government’s commitment to enhancing green, open space will complement the new homes and infrastructure being delivered to address NSW’s increased population, which is expected to grow by 2.2 million people by 2036.
  • Through partnership with local government, developers, industry and the community, this program will see trees planted in our streets, parklands, and front and back yards.
  • “The Greener Places policy aims to create a healthier, more livable and sustainable urban environment by improving community access to recreation and exercise, and supporting walking and cycling connections.

RETURN AND EARN PARTNERS WITH COLES

  • Reverse vending machines at Coles’ supermarkets across the State will join the three hundred collection points that have already been rolled out as part of the Container Deposit Scheme, Return and Earn.
  • The retail partnership with Coles means there will be more locations for people to return their empty containers and receive their refund.”
  • More than eight million containers have been returned since the Scheme started on 1 December. The busiest day of the week for people to return their drink containers is Sunday. A new record was set on Sunday, 17 December with over 692,000 returns.

NEW REWARDS SYSTEM TO PROVIDE CERTAINTY FOR VICTIMS’ FAMILIES

  • Rewards of up to $1 million will be offered under a revised offence-based system, following a review conducted by the NSW Police Force and Department of Justice.
  • The model provides for greater reward amounts, more certainty for families of victims, and aligns NSW more closely to reward systems in other jurisdictions.

TAFE NSW DIGITAL LAB OPENED

  • Ground breaking online learning in the State’s vocational education sector is a step closer with the opening of the TAFE NSW Digital Lab in Armidale.
  • The Digital Lab will directly employ 10 expert staff locally and is a critical component of the NSW Government’s $3.6 million investment in the new TAFE Digital Headquarters in Armidale that will be completed in early 2018.
  • The new Digital Lab would allow TAFE NSW to test, trial and adopt the very best of new learning technologies such as virtual reality, augmented reality and robotics.

INFRASTRUCTURE RECORD EXTENDS TO $80 BILLION DRIVEN BY NATION’S STRONGEST BUDGET

  • The 2017-18 Half-Yearly Review has been released showing the NSW Government’s infrastructure investment has grown to $80.1 billion over four years.
  • The Government is also set to deliver a budget surplus of $3.3 billion in 2017-18.
  • The NSW economy continues to outperform the nation, with its 2016-17 growth of 2.9 per cent accounting for nearly half the country’s economic growth in that year and outpacing Australia as a whole for a third straight year.

MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES BOOST FOR OLDER PEOPLE

  • Hundreds of older people across NSW will benefit from an additional 17,000 care hours, as part of a $2.4 million boost for Older Persons Mental Health (OPMH) services.
  • This funding means older people living with mental illness and their families will receive improved care locally, better access to services and importantly more specialist assessment.
  • The new positions will be filled with a mix of psychiatrists, nurses and allied health professionals including occupational therapists, social workers and psychologists.

$11 MILLION KICK-STARTS REGIONAL COMMUNITY PROJECTS

  • The NSW Government has announced funding for the first 30 community projects set to share in more than $11 million in funding under the NSW Government’s $200 million Stronger Country Communities
  • The NSW Government is pouring $200 million into local parks, play equipment, sporting fields, local club amenities and we’re even upgrading bike paths – this is truly fantastic for regional communities.
  • The Stronger Country Communities fund is one of the six funds that make up the NSW Government’s $1.3 billion Regional Growth Fund, which is designed to improve economic growth and productivity and improve local community facilities through investment in regional communities.