TACKLING CRIME AND FARE EVASION ON PUBLIC TRANSPORT
- New Transport Officers targeting fare evasion across trains, buses and ferries started this week for the first time.
- There were 38 transport officers who began work this week, with 150 due on the network this year.
- The Transport Officers – whose role includes checking tickets and assisting customers who have questions about public transport services – will complement the 401 Police Transport Command officers, who took over the security of public transport from transit officers in May last year.
- By the end of 2014, the NSW Government will have 610 police officers patrolling the public transport network.
INVESTMENT BOOST FOR SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE
- The NSW Government has announced a $112 million investment over four years to fund community-driven natural resource and productive landscape projects.
- Catchment Action funding is provided to Catchment Management Authorities for farmer-driven projects that underpin sustainable, productive agriculture and community-driven projects to look after beaches, estuaries, regional and suburban bushland.
- Catchment Management Authorities and their community partners such as Landcare, Bushcare and Coastcare are working on hundreds of projects across NSW and this funding announcement provides certainty for these groups to continue their good work.
RECORD HAZARD REDUCTION IN NSW NATIONAL PARKS
- National Parks and Wildlife Service crews have reached a new record for hazard reduction burning in national parks, which will help reduce the bushfire threat next summer.
- Burns in the Blue Mountains last weekend took the total amount of hazard reduction in national parks to 135,000 hectares since July 2012 – 40 per cent more than the previous annual best of 96,000 hectares in 2009/10.
- We are on track to meet our target of doubling hazard reduction in national parks to at least 135,000 hectares each year – providing very real protection to communities.
- The NSW Government had provided $62.5 million over five years to boost fire resources and double hazard reduction in national parks.
MAKING GAS BUSES EVEN SAFER
- A program to retro-fit fire suppression units on gas buses has been completed more than eight months ahead of schedule.
- Following an incident on a Mercedes Benz bus in 2011 in Sydney’s south west, the NSW Government took immediate action identifying the cause, checked all similar bus models and replaced the part that had been impacted.
- To put in an extra layer of safety for customers, the decision was made to retro-fit the buses with a fire suppression unit and an on-board fire alarm system.
- The fitting of the fire suppression units had originally been scheduled for completion by January 2014 – however, the installation program was accelerated and completed before the end of April.
WINTER FIRE SAFETY CAMPAIGN LAUNCHED
- Householders are being urged not to be complacent, after it was revealed that while the vast majority of NSW residents considered their homes and family fire safe, most had not practiced how to escape should a blaze start.
- The annual Winter Fire Safety Campaign was launched this week – with new figures showing between May and September 2012 there were 2,028 house fires in NSW, with 313 fire injuries and 11 preventable fire deaths.
- Householders are encouraged to complete an online Home Fire Safety Audit: www.homefiresafetyaudit.com.au
NSW NOW: SYDNEY NAMED AUSTRALIA’S TOP CONVENTION SPOT
- Sydney continues to boost its enviable reputation as the first place in Australia to do business, topping the country’s results in the International Congress and Convention Association’s Country and City Rankings Report.
- The harbour city ranked number one in Australia for conferences and congresses and number 24 worldwide, a rise of 10 places from last year – with the number of meetings held in the city rising from 57 in 2011 to 86 in 2012.
- The NSW Government is getting on with the job of building Australia’s largest fully integrated convention, exhibition and entertainment facilities at Darling Harbour, a development that will cement Sydney’s status as Australia’s number one business events destination.
- This redevelopment represents a major investment in the state economy and is set to generate about $5 billion in economic benefit for NSW over 25 years, create 3,700 jobs during construction and provide ongoing employment for 4,000 people across the precinct.
BOOK IT: FUNDING BOOST FOR 34 PUBLIC LIBRARIES
- Public libraries in rural and regional NSW are the big winner from the latest round funding with 80 per cent of the $2.5m allocation going to the bush.
- 34 local councils will receive grants for projects, providing significant public benefit and improving public library services for NSW citizens.
- The NSW Government understands public libraries play a critical role in our communities by providing access to collections, information and technology that help people at all stages of their lives.
- The NSW Government is committed to working with councils to enhance library services and facilities across the State.
NEW AWARDS FOR NSW NURSES
- Our nurses who go above and beyond in their care for patients will be recognised in the inaugural NSW Health Awards for Excellence in Nursing and Midwifery.
- Health Minister Jillian Skinner announced the establishment of the awards on International Nurses Day as a way of recognising the state’s 47,500 nurses and midwives for their dedication, skill and compassion.
- The nurse or midwife judged to have had an outstanding career of service will be awarded the Judith Meppem Lifetime Achievement Award, named in honour of NSW’s first Chief Nurse.
- Nominations will open online (www.health.nsw.gov.au) on Monday 3 June for a range of categories – the winners will be announced in September.
STUDENTS LINE UP FOR PREMIER’S SPORTING CHALLENGE
- This year’s Premier’s Sporting Challenge is underway with a record number of schools and students participating.
- Over the next 10 weeks more than 245,000 public school students will log the moderate to physical activity they undertake – whether it’s walking, bike riding or participating in team sports.
- The challenge helps students understand the benefits of having a healthy and active lifestyle and to develop good habits to carry through to adulthood.
- Sporting Challenge Ambassadors such as NRL legend Nathan Hindmarsh and Olympian Jessica Fox will visit schools to inspire students with their own experiences of active living.