Friday, 11 May 2018 WESTERN SYDNEY BECOMES A CULTURAL POWERHOUSE The Powerhouse Museum will completely relocate to stunning new premises in Parramatta and accommodate Australia’s largest and most advanced planetarium. Relocating Powerhouse Museum to Parramatta – the geographic heart of Sydney – ensures families have world-class facilities on their doorstep. The existing Powerhouse Museum will stay open for business before relocation, with an exciting array of international exhibitions and programs scheduled in the coming months. Link to images, videos, the business case summary and a factsheet visit: https://bit.ly/2HqGmvL. KOALA STRATEGY WILL SAVE AUSTRALIA’S NATIONAL TREASURE The NSW Government has today unveiled an unprecedented State strategy to protect Australia’s iconic koala, including a special new koala hospital and major new reserves for the much-loved marsupial. The centrepiece of the NSW Koala Strategy is setting aside large swathes of land where koalas can thrive and new habitats can be created. The NSW Koala Strategy is the first phase of the NSW Government’s response to an independent review into the decline of koala populations in key areas of NSW by the State’s Chief Scientist and Engineer. For more information about the NSW Koala Strategy, including a list of local projects, please visit: www.environment.nsw.gov.au/koalas. MORE POLICE ON THE BEAT AS RECUITS GRADUATE More than 230 new probationary constables have today joined the record numbers of frontline police to help keep the community safe. Since 2011, the NSW Government has delivered 994 additional officers. The new recruits have undertaken university-level education and eight months of practical training at Goulburn Police Academy to become Probationary Constables. New officers have been assigned to Police Districts and Area Commands across the state. GONSKI 2.0 REPORT A POSITIVE WAY FORWARD The NSW Government welcomed the release of David Gonski’s review of Australian school education and its discussion of how to maximise every student’s learning growth. These and other reforms being implemented in NSW schools are already producing results with our state in the top three jurisdictions for all test domains across all year levels in NAPLAN. The NSW Government welcomed Mr Gonski’s observation that NAPLAN in its present form is limited by its focus on achievement rather than growth. NEW LAWS TARGET DISTRACTED AND DRUG DRIVERS Drug drivers and motorists who illegally use their mobile phones will be targeted as part of the NSW Government’s road safety reforms which have passed NSW Parliament. Last year, 74 people lost their lives in crashes where a driver or rider had an illicit drug present in their system. From 2012 to 2017, 184 crashes involved illegal mobile phone use, which resulted in 7 deaths and 105 injuries. The legislative reforms will come into effect from 1 July 2018. HISTORIC CRIMINAL JUSTICE REFORM BEGINS A transformational criminal justice reform designed to deliver swifter justice to victims and the community begins in NSW. The $93 million reforms will accelerate the wheels of justice and help ease pressure on the District Court’s backlog of criminal cases. The early appropriate guilty plea reform will provide certainty about sentencing discounts. The reforms will be monitored on an ongoing basis to ensure they are working effectively. The Bureau of Crimes Statistics and Research will also carry out a review. FINAL STAGE OF WESTCONNEX LINK APPROVED The third and final stage of WestConnex, linking the M4 and M5 motorways has been approved by the NSW Government, and will complete Australia’s largest road project. The project included the transformation of the disused Rozelle Rail yards into a 10-hectare park with green space, footpaths and cycle ways. There will be opportunities for local community involvement in the design of the project such as community input into the Urban Design and Landscape Plan and involvement on the Air Quality Community Consultative Committee. For more information about the Department’s assessment, please visit http://majorprojects.planning.nsw.gov.au/index.pl?action=view_job&job_id=7485. $41 MILLION BOOST TO FIGHT CANCER Australia’s position as an international leader in cancer research has been strengthened with a $41 million boost to expand research to fight cancer. The NSW and Commonwealth Governments joined forces to announce the funding to help researchers apply cutting-edge science to detect, diagnose and treat cancers. The joint investment will support a world-first proteomics project, ProCan, at the Westmead Children’s Medical Research Institute (CMRI). The technology will generate results within five to seven years, which will help develop a new method of cancer diagnosis and treatment planning that can give clinicians guidance within 36 hours. It will be particularly powerful for rare cancers. TECH SAVVY SENIORS EMBRACE TRANSPORT APPS Seniors are being taught how to plan public transport routes, check bus or train timetables in real time and top up their Gold Opal cards online as part of the NSW Government’s new Tech Savvy Seniors Transport App workshop. The participants in the new workshop will learn how to operate three of the most common Transport Apps used for navigating public transport in NSW. The NSW Government’s target to deliver skills-based technology training to older people had been exceeded. To find your nearest Tech Savvy Seniors Transport App workshop, visit www.telstra.com.au/tech-savvy-seniors/register-for-training. NSW DOMESTIC VIOLENCE DISCLOSURE SCHEME TO CONTINUE The NSW Government’s Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme will be extended until June 2019 following a two-year trial that resulted in more than 50 people learning of their partner’s violent past. The Scheme, launched in April 2016 as an Australian first, helps people who may be at risk of domestic violence to find out whether their current or former partner has a history of violent criminal offences, such as stalking, physical and sexual assault, murder or manslaughter, or breaching an Apprehended Violence Order. The Scheme will continue to operate in its four pilot sites of Shoalhaven, St George, Sutherland, and Oxley. More than 350 people have also been assisted by the wraparound crisis assistance support that is attached to the scheme and run by specialist organisations. OPAL CELEBRATES TWO BILLION CUSTOMER TRIPS AND $160 MILLION IN SAVINGS The popular Opal network has clocked up two billion customer trips since the electronic ticketing system was launched in December 2012. Opal is the easiest and most affordable way for regular travellers to get around on Sydney’s public transport network offering incentives such as the weekly travel reward, the transfer discount, the $2.60 Sunday cap for adults and daily reduced fares for Concession and Gold Senior/Pensioner card users. In 1996, the previous Labor Government promised to have the T-Card in place by the 2000 Olympics. It bungled its delivery and left the taxpayer with a multi-billion dollar bill and nothing to show for it. AUSGRID MOVES TO REDUCE POWER BILLS IN NSW The NSW Government has welcomed Ausgrid’s proposal to reduce its network prices by 6% in real terms from 1 July 2019, reducing power bills for 1.7 million households and businesses. This proposal from NSW’s largest electricity distributor comes on top of the $100 million a year in efficiencies which have been made since 2013. This will continue to deliver savings of $76 per customer a year. Ausgrid’s proposal will now go through public consultation and consideration by the regulator, with its final network prices to be set by April 2019. $70.9 MILLION BOOST FOR VITAL ROAD SAFETY PROJECTS The most dangerous hotspots on NSW roads will be upgraded as part of the NSW Government’s Safer Roads Program, which will help drive the number of deaths and serious injuries on our roads Towards Zero. The projects are estimated to save the equivalent of 425 deaths and serious injuries over the life of the program. Safer Roads projects are funded from the Community Road Safety Fund, which receives all revenue from speed and red-light cameras in NSW. TEACH RURAL: STUDENTS TO BENEFIT FROM MORE TEACHERS IN REGIONAL AREAS The first cohort of graduates of the teach.Rural Scholarship program will commence work in the state’s public schools across regional and remote NSW this month. The NSW Government is ensuring every student – whether they are from Dubbo or Drummoyne – has access to top quality education. Applications for the 2018 round of teach.Rural open on 18 June. Already, 150 NSW public schools are to benefit from the enhanced incentives and initiatives offered to teachers. For more information, visit https://teach.nsw.edu.au/find-teaching-jobs/choose-rural. GRANTS UP TO $30,000 TO KEEP LOCALS SAFE Local communities know their local streets and roads like the back of their hand. To harness this knowledge, the NSW Government is encouraging communities to identify ways to promote safety in their local area. Applications are now open for the Community Road Safety Grants Program, with up to $30,000 available for local initiatives ranging from young driver education programs, radio campaigns to workshops for seniors. The NSW Government is awarding up to $1.6 million in grants over four years. Program guidelines and application forms are available online: www.roadsafety.transport.nsw.gov.au. SEXUAL CONSENT LAWS TO BE REVIEWED A review of the sexual consent provisions in the Crimes Act will determine if the law needs to be amended to protect victims better. The NSW Law Reform Commission was asked to undertake the review. The review will consider sexual assault research and expert opinion, as well as community views, and developments in law, policy and practice in Australia and internationally. The review is the first priority action of the NSW Government’s Sexual Assault Strategy because it is vital that survivors feel confident the justice system us working effectively to keep them safe. To make a submission, visit www.lawreform.justice.nsw.gov.au. SUPPORTING OUT OF HOME CARE FOR CHILDREN WITH SEVERE DISABILITY Children with severe disability who are unable to live at home will receive the support and care they need. The Commonwealth and NSW Governments have agreed on the delivery of support arrangements provided through the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) and the NSW Government. The NSW Government is committed to successfully transitioning to the NDIS and will not let people with disability down. Children and families will be supported to live together, and where this is not possible, the NDIA, the NSW Government, and the family will work together to agree on options for the care and support of the child. STATEMENT ON THE 2018/19 FEDERAL BUDGET The NSW Government applauds the Federal Government for delivering a responsible, forward-focussed budget which lowers taxes, promotes business growth and boosts the standard of living for Australians for years to come. Over time these reforms mean more money in the pockets of the youngest generation of Australians entering the workforce. As a state, we will continue partnering with the Federal Government to deliver lower taxes, first-class services, and state-of-the-art infrastructure to the people of NSW. PLAN TO IMPROVE QUALITY OF MENTAL HEALTH CARE Around-the-clock supervision of mental health units and targets to reduce the use of seclusion and restraint will be introduced under a plan to significantly improve mental health care in NSW. The NSW Government has also committed an initial $20 million to improve the therapeutic environment inside acute mental health units across the State. To view the Plan visit: www.health.nsw.gov.au/mentalhealth. To be involved in the design of your local seclusion and restraint prevention plan visit www.health.nsw.gov.au/lhd.