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Nsw Government Weekly Update – 31 May 2013

NEW RULES FOR CHILDHOOD VACCINATION

  • Unvaccinated children will face exclusion from child care facilities under new laws to be introduced by the NSW Government.
  • The changes mean parents will need to provide evidence their child is fully vaccinated for age, is on a recognised catch-up schedule, or has an exemption approved by a GP, when enrolling.
  • Parents who have been reluctant to vaccinate will need to consult a GP about their decision and be counselled about the health risks involved before an exemption is granted..
  • The NSW Government has a multi-faceted approach to lifting the vaccination rate including a ‘Save the Date to Vaccinate’ campaign and the creation of a Childcare Enrolment Toolkit to assist child care facilities.

F3-M2 LINK MOVES A STEP CLOSER

  • The delivery of a key missing link in Sydney’s motorway network is a step closer with the unsolicited proposal from Transurban and the Westlink M7 shareholders moving to the final stage of consideration.
  • The 8km link is expected to mostly be a tunnel beneath one of the State’s busiest road corridors – connecting the F3 at Wahroonga and the M2 at Pennant Hills Road.
  • The proposal has the potential to save about 15 minutes travel time for motorists in each direction, while removing thousands of trucks from Pennant Hills Road every day – providing long-awaited relief for local residents.
  • The NSW Government and the proponents will now work together to undertake a competitive tender to selecta design and construction contractor and begin community consultation and seek environmental and planning approvals – if the government reaches final agreement, construction could begin next year.

NSW GOVERNMENT TO CRACK DOWN ON ILLEGAL DUMPING

  • People who illegally dump waste including asbestos face jail terms under tough new laws introduced to Parliament this week.
  • Illegal dumping is an environmental crime that costs the community millions of dollars each year and causes harm to people and the environment.
  • The introduction of a maximum two-year jail term for offenders who commit a waste offence within five years of a prior waste conviction – a crime currently punishable with a fine.
  • The laws will also authorising the EPA to seize a motor vehicle it believes have been used in repeat waste offences, and for the courts to then order the forfeiture of the vehicle if the operator is convicted.

HOUSING APPROVALS UP 33%

  • NSW Government measures to boost housing are paying off with more than 3,800 new houses approved in April, up 33% on the previous month.
  • This increase is a great result for new homebuyers, builders and tradespeople, and a great result for the NSW economy.
  • Since the NSW Government came to office, housing approvals in NSW have increased against a backdrop of falling approval numbers nationally.
  • It is fantastic to see the housing approval results for NSW flow from targeted Government policy to boost construction and record investment in infrastructure to support growth.

MEASURES TO TACKLE ALCOHOL-FUELLED VIOLENCE ARE WORKING

  • The latest list of the State’s most violent venues confirms a continuing fall in violent incidents on licensed premises demonstrating the NSW Government’s crackdown on alcohol-fuelled violence is delivering results.
  • The violent venues list contains the lowest number of hotels and clubs since the scheme started in 2008.
  • The NSW Government has made fighting alcohol-fuelled violence a priority and we’ve introduced tough new measures like the ‘Three Strikes’ disciplinary scheme which can result in licence suspensions or cancellation for serial offenders, increased police powers to deal with drunks and we’re establishing a trial of sobering-up centres.
  • We’re also trying to change people’s behaviour through positive measures by launching an internet-based resource to minimise alcohol-related harm among young people by educating them about the impacts that drinking can have on themselves, their friends and their community.

ONCE IN A DECADE CLEANING BLITZ ON SYDNEY TRAINS

  • A 27,000-hour cleaning blitz on the interior of Sydney’s trains is radically improving the standards of cleanliness with some seats and floors receiving their most intensive scrub in more than a decade.
  • The blitz comes after the NSW Government established a permanent cleaning unit outside of RailCorp with new commercial benchmarks and new management to ensure trains will be properly cleaned on an ongoing basis.
  • It will see more than 1,300 carriages extensively deep cleaned by June 30, dry steam cleaning of fabric seats, pressurised steam cleaning of floors and trials of new technologies to remove chewing gum and graffiti.
  • Cleanliness is really important to our train customers and the NSW Government is committing to using modern equipment, professional practices and commercial standards when it comes to cleaning our carriages.

CLEAR FUTURE FOR Local land services

  • The NSW Government is making it easier for farmers and land managers to access agricultural, biosecurity and natural resource management advice in a new organisation called Local Land Services.
  • In January 2014 Local Land Services and DPI offices will be accessible in 139 towns across the State, an increase of 22 towns by bringing the LHPAs into the network.
  • Through reducing duplication of governance, managerial and back office functions, we have found savings in the order of $5 million which will be directed back into frontline extension and advisory services – whether through contracting private agronomists, partnering with Farming Systems groups, or hiring additional staff.
  • We’ve also created a Future Fund in the order of $35 million – the first time such a fund has been created to support the future sustainability of primary industries and natural resource management advice in NSW.

DOUBLE CONVENTION BOOST FOR SYDNEY

  • The NSW Government has secured two major conventions for Sydney to add to our reputation as Australia’s conference capital.
  • CeBIT Australia, the Asia Pacific arm of the world’s largest trade fair, will remain in Sydney for 2014-16. It’s the largest business technology event in the Asia Pacific, attracting more than 30,000 attendees from more than 45 countries each year.
  • It was also confirmed this week Sydney will host the 2013 Regional Overseas Indian Conference – a convention which will attract about 1,000 delegates from the Asia Pacific.
  • The events will generate over $30 million for the NSW economy.

OPEN YOUR HEART TO FOSTERING

  • Minister for Family and Community Services Pru Goward has launched Fostering NSW, a year-long foster care recruitment and awareness campaign run by the Association of Children’s Welfare Agencies (ACWA) to encourage people to open their heart and foster a child.
  • There is urgent need for new foster families to provide safety and stability for vulnerable children and young people.
  • We have 9,000 amazing foster carers across NSW, but we need more. In the next year alone we need at least 450 new carers.
  • The NSW Government has invested $1 million to run the Fostering NSW campaign, as part of its commitment to make sure that children and young people at risk of abuse and neglect get the help they need, when they need it.

PRESERVING WAR MEMORIALS FOR FUTURE GENERATIONS

  • The preservation of war memorials is vital to honour our veterans and the NSW Government has moved to ensure they are conserved for future generations.
  • New guidelines have been released to assist local councils and other organisations with the restoration of the over 3,000 war memorials in NSW
  • Grants worth up to $10,000 for repairs and restoration are available from the NSW Government.

CONSERVING PARRAMATTA PARK’S HERITAGE

  • Heritage conservation works have commenced to preserve many of the treasured heritage elements within Parramatta Park – home to the world heritage listed Old Government House and Domain.
  • In a joint project with the NSW National Trust, the fencing around Old Government House will be replaced and landscaping will help to reinstate early features.
  • Parramatta Observatory will undergo revitalisation, with the fragile transit stones being stabilised and a protective structure will to be constructed.
  • The works is to breathe new life into these important historical monuments and return them to a standard the community can be proud of.

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Stuart Ayres - Member for Penrith

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