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  • 30-Sep-2015 10:01 | Michael Sugg (Administrator)

    A special Council meeting has elected long-time Parramatta City Councillor Paul Garrard to the position of Lord Mayor, with Cr Bakous Makari named Deputy Lord Mayor. 


    Cr Garrard was first elected to represent the Woodville Ward in September 1974 and has been re-elected on ten consecutive occasions. This is his sixth term as Lord Mayor.


    “It is a great honour to again have the opportunity to serve the people of Parramatta in the capacity of Lord Mayor. Parramatta is growing at a rapid rate and Council is playing a crucial role in facilitating that growth and ensuring resident’s needs are met along the way,” Cr Garrard said.


    “For Parramatta to continue to grow and develop we need to be  a ‘Smart City’ driven  by intelligent planning  and leading-edge  innovative technologies that will improve the functionality and liveability of our City, while respecting our rich heritage.


    “Having launched Council’s Smart City committee, ParraConnect, five years ago I am committed to seeing that our City fosters innovative entrepreneurship and collaboration between governments, businesses and our local communities.


    “I have always been a strong advocate of our neighbourhoods and this term I want to introduce a ‘Neighbourhood focus’ to Council so that we bring our residents with us into the future.


    “By redefining our neighbourhoods, we have the opportunity to better focus on service delivery and efficiency, effectively bringing local government closer to the community.


    “There are many positive changes taking place in Parramatta, with work set to start on a $300 million redevelopment of Pirtek stadium, plans for the Powerhouse Museum to come to the City and work still underway to determine the first route of the Western Sydney Light Rail.


    “We have made great progress on the $2 billion Parramatta Square urban renewal project, which will see a new City heart created for residents, workers and visitors.


    “We also stand at the crossroads of how Local Government will be administered for generations to come with the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) soon to release its recommendations on the State Government’s ‘Fit for the Future’ reform process. I support Council’s proposal for the creation of a new Parramatta based Council with the scale and capacity to deliver growth and improved services.


    “We will continue to work closely with State and Federal Governments to achieve large scale projects to enhance our City and secure Parramatta as Sydney’s dual CBD.


    “I would like to congratulate and thank the outgoing Lord Mayor Cr Scott Lloyd and Deputy Lord Mayor Cr Steven Issa who have done a commendable job keeping the City moving forward over the past year. I look forward to continuing the great work that the Council has been achieving.”


  • 29-Sep-2015 09:09 | Michael Sugg (Administrator)

    Parramatta Council seeks your views on the draft concepts for Parramatta Square, a unique opportunity to define the future heart of the City.

    A winding stream that changes shape and form, areas of green open space and public art installations are among the features of a concept design for Parramatta Square’s public domain area which is now on public exhibition.


    Parramatta City Council last night voted to endorse the Draft Concept Design for a four-week exhibition period to seek feedback from the community and stakeholders.


    The $35 million investment by Council is central to the $2 billion Parramatta Square redevelopment that will include commercial, residential, educational and civic buildings.


    Key to the concept design is a central fountain and watercourse that winds through the length of the 10,000sqm space.  While the final design is still to be determined, the stream could take on a variety of forms including still water, running water, a shallow curtain, mist or spray.


    “As a river city, Parramatta has a long and well-established connection with water and this design pays tribute to that, with a water feature that lends itself to a variety of different interpretations,” Lord Mayor of Parramatta Cr Scott Lloyd said.


    “This is a unique opportunity to define the future heart of our City, to create an engaging space that will be used by thousands of residents, visitors and workers every day. Council and the design team aim to create a world-class public square befitting Sydney’s dual CBD that respects and pays homage to our unique heritage, while creating a versatile, modern and visually appealing space.”


    A team of four internationally-acclaimed design firms, including Danish architect Jan Gehl, has worked with Council to celebrate the City’s connection to its riverside location by putting water at the heart of the design.


    As well as the iconic water feature and main fountain, the public domain will include digital way finding and public art, a northern lawn and southern plaza, play garden, a new Town Hall lobby, focal artwork and multiple crossing points across the stream.


    The draft concept was created by 42 – a design team including award-winning firms James Mather Delaney Design (JMD), Taylor Cullity Lethlean (TCL), Tonkin Zulaikha Greer (TZG) and Gehl Architects, Denmark. The team have won acclaim for their individual and collaborative work both locally and overseas, including projects in New Zealand, the UK and New York’s Time Square and Broadway.


    “Water becomes a centrepiece to Parramatta Square and will animate it in many wonderful ways.  It will celebrate the great diversity of Parramatta’s community and connect to a range of beautiful civic spaces that allow visitors, residents and workers to promenade, play, meet or be entertained,” 42 spokesman and TCL director Perry Lethlean said.


    “The public realm will also include many inviting lawn spaces, display gardens and extensive tree planting to create a memorable setting and a unique Parramatta identity.”


    Professor Jan Gehl of Gehl Architects said a great heart of a city is a key condition for a thriving urban community.


    "Parramatta Square will become the new urban heart of a diverse and changing face of Parramatta.  It will provide many opportunities for people to enjoy urban life in a great city,” Professor Gehl said.


    The design team includes Melbourne artist Callum Morton, who will oversee the public art masterplan for the new public space. Callum is Professor of Fine Art at Monash Art, Design and Architecture (MADA) in Melbourne, and has exhibited his work internationally.


    Council recently announced that Walker Corp will be developing and sourcing buyers and tenants for Stages 2 and Stages 5 & 6 of Parramatta Square.


    The public domain will be completed in stages to ensure coordination with the construction projects in Parramatta Square including the Western Sydney University high-rise campus, new civic and library facilities and commercial high-end office buildings.


    The project will see 20,000sqm of space transformed, including the 10,000sqm, 40 metre-wide and 250 metre-long central area.


    More than 1000 comments have already been received from the public through a number of focus groups, three community open days and an online survey. Residents and ratepayers are now being asked to provide their feedback on the draft concept design and can attend a number of open days during the four week exhibition.


    Feedback can also be provided:


    • In person – Hard copies can be viewed at Parramatta City Council administration building at 126 Church St, Parramatta or at Parramatta Central Library at 1-3 Fitzwilliam St, Parramatta
    • Online - The documents can be viewed at
    • Email – Submissions can be emailed to
    • Post – Submissions can be sent to PO Box 32, Parramatta NSW 2124. 
    All submissions should be marked ‘Parramatta Square Public Space Exhibition’.


    For artist’s impressions of the new draft concept design click on the link below:


  • 26-Sep-2015 14:59 | Michael Sugg (Administrator)

    Moore Stephens Spring Wealth Management update covers the following:

    • Equities: The Lost Decade
    • Superannuation: Nominating a Beneficiary
    • Model Equity Portfolio Update

    Equities: The Lost Decade

    On 31 August 2006 the ASX200 closed at 5115. Nine years later - on 31 August 2015 - the ASX200 closed at 5207, barely 2% higher. Investors in equities are supposed to be rewarded for risk, but after almost an entire decade they have seemingly received next to nothing.

    We have examined rolling 9 year returns since 19921 and found the average index return over the period was 64%. The best period was 164% and the worst period has been the last 9 years ending 31 August at 2%.

    Click here to read the full version of our Spring Wealth Management Update 2015.

    Should you have any queries in relation to the above, please do not hesitate to contact the author or your Moore Stephens relationship partner.


    Martin Fowler
    Partner, Wealth Management
    Moore Stephens Sydney
    T +61 (0)2 8236 7776

    On the 1st November 2015 Moore Stephens Sydney is merging with Pitcher Partners Sydney creating a new Pitcher Partners Sydney practice.  The new practice will be an independent member of the Pitcher Partners Association and Baker Tilly International Network.

    Read our Merger – Questions and Answers for further information.

  • 26-Sep-2015 14:56 | Michael Sugg (Administrator)

    This September saw not for profit disability service provider Northcott host several highly successful Walk with Me events around New South Wales with the biggest event in Parramatta attracting a crowd of close to a thousand people and leading to road closures in Market and Church Streets.

    Walk with Me is an annual event hosted by Northcott which encourages communities to unite and walk alongside people of all abilities, while encouraging a better understanding of disability and promoting social inclusion.


    The Parramatta Walk with Me event commenced at the Riverside Theatre and ended in Centenary Square where the exuberant crowd were then entertained by Australian Idol winners Wes Carr and Damien Leith. 

    Other Walk with Me events took place in Campbelltown, Wagga Wagga, Moree, Tamworth and Dubbo with several hundred people taking part. For more information see

  • 26-Sep-2015 14:51 | Michael Sugg (Administrator)

    The Australian Turf Club proudly accepted ‘Best Caterer at a Major Event NSW’ at The Savour Australia Restaurant & Catering HOSTPLUS Awards for Excellence last night.

    Held at the Dockside Pavilion in Darling Harbour Sydney, the Awards for Excellence gala dinner welcomed 750 guests from all around the state who came together to try their luck across five major categories.

    The ATC will now battle it out for the national title at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre on Monday 26th October.

    Continuing our award-winning success, this win comes off the back of the Best NSW Function/Convention Centre Caterer in 2014.

    To see a preview of what Royal Randwick has to offer, watch our videos from the John Eales Medal Awards Night and the Hyundai Tucson Launch.

    For more information on Events at the ATC, please visit:

    Alternatively, please email or call us on (02) 9663 8478.

  • 26-Sep-2015 14:47 | Michael Sugg (Administrator)


    When it comes to planning for growth, most SMEs are disciplined in developing a plan however the day to day demands, both external and internal, can make it difficult to execute plans in the most effective manner.

    KPMG has released the 'Growth Intentions Snapshot 2015' a survey which sought to understand how SMEs plan for and implement initiatives to grow their businesses.

    The key findings are as follows:

    • Almost all SMEs (90 percent) are planning for growth. However the depth of their plans varies with most having performing a SWOT analysis (78 percent), defined their growth objectives (74 percent) and defined their customer segments (72 percent) however only 60 percent had developed a value proposition. However, less than half (47 percent) has completed a competitor analysis.
    • In contrast to this 73 percent of respondents said that effective marketing strategies had been a key to their success.
    • The vast majority are developing their growth plans internally, only 28 percent sought external assistance.
    • Fifty percent of businesses wanted to grow and believed their business had the potential to expand at a rapid rate but were simply not equipped with the right systems and practices to accommodate rapid growth.
    • Nearly one third of respondents are having difficulty attracting the right talent.
    • The day to day pressures of running the business take a significant toll on the ability to execute on growth plans with 76 percent saying they were too focused on the operational aspects of the business or running their internal operation to track revenue growth regularly. A further 17 percent were focused on customers and suppliers so didn't have the time to track revenue growth.

    Click on the link above to download the report.

  • 26-Sep-2015 14:08 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

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  • 25-Sep-2015 19:09 | Michael Sugg (Administrator)

    WSBC Charity Partner Parramatta Mission encourages you to become a volunteer. Full training provided. 

    Lifeline Western Sydney is one of the largest centres accredited by Lifeline Australia to answer telephone crisis calls to 13 11 14, and is a service of UnitingCareMental Health.

    We operate 24/7 and answer over 80,000 crisis calls per year from people of all ages who are in crisis due to a range of issues including:

    • Suicidal thoughts

    • Relationship difficulties

    • Mental illness

    • Domestic violence

    • Addictive behaviour

    • Social isolation 

    • Disabilities

    This service would not be possible without our friendly, caring team of dedicated volunteers. As the demand for the Lifeline telephone crisis service is continuing to grow, we are looking to expand the team.

    We run courses throughout the year at our training centre at Parramatta. Thanks to grants, donations and our fundraising events, we offer this course at a greatly subsidised rate of only $890 (actual cost of the course is valued at approximately $3,500).

    Because of our investment in students, we ask for a minimum 12 month commitment to doing fortnightly, 4 hour shifts at Lifeline Western Sydney (and we’d love it if you could stay longer!). 

    We start courses all throughout the year

    Contact us on 0427 320 690 or


  • 25-Sep-2015 18:58 | Michael Sugg (Administrator)

    Over 85 percent of large businesses interviewed in the bi-annual Making Western Sydney Greater research expect to grow their business within the coming year, while 66 per cent of SME businesses recorded a similar expectation. An average growth rate of 8.63% is expected over the next 12 months.

    Overall business sentiment was also notably positive. The Business Sentiment Index for Western Sydney remained positive, moving slightly from 15.83 (Q4 2014) to 13.49 (Q2 2015).

    The Making Western Sydney Greater research is a collaborative project between William Buck, St.George, the University of Western Sydney and Western Sydney Business Connection. The research report drew on responses from over 200 business owners and senior management personnel involved with businesses in Western Sydney.

    Greg Travers, Director at William Buck comments, “Overall business sentiment for the Greater Western Sydney region is positive. It is interesting to note that the business sentiment amongst large businesses has improved significantly, and while the SME demographic remains positive, the business sentiment for these businesses has actually decreased.

    “Both SME and large businesses are forecasting that they will exceed their revenue and profit targets.  Capital expenditure is expected to be maintained for SMEs, and marginally increased for large businesses.”   

    Employment trends were also very strong and consistent with the positive outlook for economic activity in the region. SME businesses expected to increase the number of full time employees by 1.9 per cent while large businesses expect a 3.3 per cent increase.

    According to the Employment Projection Report prepared by the Department of Employment, employment in Greater Western Sydney was projected to grow by approximately 10.7 per cent over the period spanning 2014 to 2019. The research indicates the actual growth in employment should exceed this forecast.


    Matthew Kelly, Executive Manager for Western Sydney at St.George said, “Overall, the research indicates a real strength in the Greater Western Sydney economy which reflects what I’ve been hearing from St.George business customers in the region".

    “It’s positive to see a big proportion of businesses expecting to grow. Many have taken concrete steps to plan and implement this growth. There are also some businesses that appear to be at the front end of their growth cycle and have not yet planned for future growth - these businesses are facing huge potential to expand their workforce and invest in the future.”

    Export markets and new product development are two growth opportunities for Western Sydney businesses that don’t appear to be fully exploited. Less than 25 per cent of SME and large businesses consider increasing their export sales to be a key part of their growth strategy, and only around half considered developing/launching new products or services as key.

    Greg observed, “On one hand this indicates further potential growth opportunities for businesses in the region, which is a positive. However, it also raised questions on potential barriers to accessing export markets and inhibitors for innovation and investment in new products and services. These are issues we will be looking to further explore with businesses.”

    Warren Day, Director, Engagement at the School of Business at the University of Western Sydney said, “One of the biggest issues identified by all businesses was the challenge in finding employees with the right skills. With a projected upswing in employment in Western Sydney, applying skills development training alongside a local procurement policy are important steps towards developing Western Sydney’s workforce for the future.”

    Development of Parramatta CBD

    Developing the Parramatta CBD is a central plank of the State Government’s policies for the region.  A special focus of the research was on business attitudes towards this strategy.

    For businesses based in the Parramatta LGA, almost without exception the redevelopment of Parramatta is seen by business leaders as positive for their own business and also for businesses across the region.

    For businesses based outside of the Parramatta LGA, 90% view the redevelopment of Parramatta as valuable for businesses throughout Greater Western Sydney, although only 60% believe it will be valuable for their own business.

    Businesses identified three priorities to ensure the success of Parramatta as the second CBD.

    • Creating improved public transport connections with surrounding Western Sydney centres (Westmead, Rydalmere, Olympic Park and Norwest) was the highest priority identified by businesses across the region as a whole, and the highest priority issue for businesses located outside of the Parramatta LGA.

    • Increasing the number of financial and professional service businesses with substantial presences in Parramatta was a high priority for business across the region as a whole, and the highest priority issue for businesses in the Parramatta LGA itself.

    • A third priority was to ensure Parramatta is developed as a “living city” by having an appropriate mix of residential, commercial, entertainment and open space developments. 

    “Turning the vision of Parramatta as a second CBD into a reality that delivers real benefits for businesses will be challenging, but focusing on these key priority areas is a must.  With the right policies and support, Greater Parramatta and the Western Sydney region can drive the future productivity of Sydney and New South Wales,” Greg concluded.


    The next Making Western Sydney Greater research will be undertaken in October.


  • 25-Sep-2015 18:49 | Michael Sugg (Administrator)

    Over the past three years, Australian mid-size manufacturers (MSMs) have experienced declining sales, tighter margins, rising employee costs, and as a consequence - declining profits. However, not all businesses have been impacted in the same way. 

    Grant Thornton’s latest benchmarking report Manufacturing growth:  Benchmarks for Australian mid-size manufacturers demonstrates that several MSMs are bucking the trend. Despite difficult market conditions, these businesses point to a positive correlation between strategic investment and improved profitability.

    Manufacturing growth: Benchmarks for Australian mid-size manufacturers is unique in its focus on MSMs – and the information captured is not otherwise available in the Australian marketplace. The full report addresses market and margin growth for MSMs, employee value, the bottom line, optimising operations and financing for growth – specifically, what they may mean for your operations.

    If you would like further information on the study and a customised copy of the complete report, please contact Grant Thornton’s Manufacturing team via the details below who will arrange a time to discuss it with you.

    Ryan Pollett
    NSW Head of Manufacturing, Grant Thornton
    T +61 2 9286 5532

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