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  • 08-Apr-2014 18:48 | Deleted user

    It began with an urgent call for action. Last October, University of Western Sydney deputy vice chancellor Rhonda Hawkins and the university’s marketing and communications director Scott Christensen arrived at the Daily Telegraph to discuss the significant shortfall in resources that exists in Sydney’s west.

    During that 40-minute meeting the idea for a powerful and passionate campaign was born. As meetings continued, with UWS Chancellor Peter Shergold and new UWS vice-chancellor Barney Glover, that idea developed into the Daily Telegraph’s mission to bring economic justice to Western Sydney.

    We called it Fair Go for the West, and it means exactly as it says.

    By any measure, the west is short-changed when it comes to funding, infrastructure spending and transport. Our two million Western Sydney residents have far fewer doctors and hospital beds relative to residents in other Sydney regions.

    The wages on offer in Western Sydney are lower than elsewhere.

    Even arts spending is dramatically out of kilter with the rest of the state. Only $3 million of this year’s $311 million being spent on arts is earmarked for Western Sydney.

    This simply isn’t good enough.

    It isn’t good enough for Western Sydney, it isn’t good enough for NSW and it isn’t good enough for Australia.

    Our Fair Go for the West campaign will highlight all of these issues and present compelling solutions from men and women with the west’s interests at heart.

    Already, there have been a range of positive developments for Western Sydney, including the O’Farrell government’s shift of 3000 bureaucrats to the west, a $30 million boost to arts funding from James Packer’s Crown Resorts and an $11.5 billion commitment to build the WestConnex motorway.

    Together with our partners NAB, NRMA Road Services, the University of Western Sydney, Harvey Norman and Crown Resorts, and with the media support of Channel 7 and Nova, The Daily Telegraph and NewsLocal will carry the momentum for Western Sydney forward.

    A Fair Go for the West began with a brief meeting. It’s now a machine, and it will deliver a bolder and brighter future for an area that is crucial for both our state and our nation. We invite all of our readers to join The Daily Telegraph’s campaign, and to share in the excitement of building a west that is the best.

    Source: Daily Telegraph. Original article.

  • 08-Apr-2014 18:42 | Deleted user
    The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has launched a new online survey to gather feedback from small business owners on its services and engagement with the small business sector.

    This is ASIC’s second small business survey. The last survey, conducted in late 2012, resulted in the establishment of ASIC's Small Business Engagement team, which is focused on strengthening ASIC’s relationship with key stakeholders such as business advisers and industry associations and developing resources to help small businesses better understand their compliance obligations.

    A video featuring ASIC Commissioner Greg Tanzer discussing the importance of the survey can be viewed by clicking on this link. The survey, which anonymous and takes approximately five minutes to complete, will be available until May 26, 2014. Complete the survey online now via ASIC's website.

    “Small businesses account for 96 per cent of businesses registered with ASIC, so it's important we understand the sector's needs and expectations', said ASIC Commissioner Greg Tanzer. “This survey is about benchmarking our work over the last 18 months and further improving our services.

    “It's important we know that the services and resources we're providing are what small businesses need. For example, has our recently released small business hub on the ASIC website helped small businesses better understand our role and their compliance obligations? Have we established and strengthened relationships where we need to?”

    Tanzer said that all responses to the survey will help inform ASIC’s work with the small business sector, with findings and details of the outcomes and the follow-on improvements to be announced later in the year.
  • 06-Apr-2014 09:38 | Deleted user

    Property prices are booming in Sydney's west, with some houses rising in value by more than 50 per cent over the past five years.

    House price growth in Auburn, Holroyd, Fairfield and Parramatta outpaced most of NSW and was 10 percentage points higher than the 42.9 per cent rise in City of Sydney property values, figures from Australian Property Monitors show.

    Quarterly auction data shows that the west has been the best performing region in Sydney this year, clocking 8.8 per cent price growth over the March quarter.

    The linchpin for this explosion in western Sydney house values is Parramatta, which was recently crowned the most liveable centre in NSW. ''Parramatta 10 to 15 years ago didn't have a lot of sparkle to it,'' Bill Randolph, director of the city futures research centre at the University of NSW, said.

    ''But if you go there now it's got theatres, it's got a very active restaurant scene, it has a lot of activity, and that is generated by that concentration of jobs and deliberate planning action.''

    Rapid price growth in the inner city has driven many buyers to Parramatta and nearby areas that offer more affordable housing. ''Affordability was the main thing,'' said first home buyer Brendon Clark, 36, who has just bought an apartment south of Parramatta in Guildford with his girlfriend, Jade Grimwood, 33.

    The couple, who rented in Erskineville for six years, secured a modern three-bedroom apartment with two bathrooms, two balconies and a car spot for $465,000.

    ''We all know how insanely expensive it is in the inner city, so I was fairly surprised to get something this good at this price,'' Mr Clark said.

    The couple commute to the city and to the inner west for work but for shopping and restaurants they have Parramatta.

    Guildford is within both the Holroyd and Parramatta local government areas, which both have experienced 51.3 per cent house price growth over the past five years. Last year, both areas clocked just over 15 per cent house price growth.

    APM senior economist Andrew Wilson said impressive price growth in Parramatta and nearby areas was a story of ''gradual gentrification''.

    Population and price growth in inner Sydney has underpinned a ''hunt for residential amenity'', Dr Wilson said, with home buyers wanting to find affordable suburbs that have good infrastructure.

    Parramatta lord mayor John Chedid said he was not surprised by the price growth.

    ''We've got all the right attributes for our city to be able to market itself and for people to come invest in the city, which creates jobs,'' he said.

    ''We are also very fortunate to have one of the best eat streets in Sydney [Church Street].''

    But Mr Chedid said the most urgently needed development was light rail connecting people from Parramatta to the Hills as well as Macquarie Park.

    The chief executive of Starr Partners, Douglas Driscoll, said, apart from Parramatta, families buying homes had been propping up demand in other hotspots such as Penrith, Pemulwuy, Rouse Hill and Narellan. But not all of the west is doing well.

    ''It's not black and white; it is a patchwork of leading and lagging areas,'' Professor Randolph said.

    ''The south-west is more of a problem because there is less access to the global arc and job opportunities as there is in the north-west. I think the south-west is going to lag for some time.''

    Danish architect Jan Gehl said the key to ''saving the suburbs'' was to promote better transport.

    ''The suburbs were made on the condition that we had cheap gasoline for eternity,'' he said. ''We don't. We need to move in other ways than with a rubber wheel in all four corners.''

    Professor Randolph said Parramatta was a success story, but it was critical for investment to be spread more evenly through the western suburbs.

    ''The game changer of all time would be a second airport,'' he said.

    Source: The Border Mail by Toby Johnstone. Original article.

  • 04-Apr-2014 14:43 | Deleted user

    IN 1810 the only plains Governor Lachlan Macquarie saw in Western Sydney were those neighbouring the Nepean River.

    Those plains signalled an opportunity for the region to be much more than an English penal colony.

    At the time his vision to create “Five Towns’’ and a food bowl were ridiculed but history tells us Macquarie got it very right.

    Fast forward 200 years and Western Sydney is now home to more than two million people and one of Australia’s most important growth sectors. The conversation has now turned to very different “planes’’.

    For many years Western Sydney and Badgerys Creek have been at the centre of discussions around a potential second Sydney airport.

    While I accept that the time may have come for a decision on Sydney’s airport needs, I remain unconvinced that Western Sydney is the answer.

    I am sceptical at the forecast employment growth numbers and the integrity of impact assessments on the communities that would surround the Badgerys Creek site.

    I don’t believe anyone wants aircraft noise over their homes undefined particularly if the airport arrives without a comprehensive infrastructure and jobs plan.

    The benefits for local residents need to go beyond proximity to an airport.

    While there are differing opinions on the merits of a second Sydney airport, it is good to see people of all political persuasions finally acknowledging the value of Western Sydney to the growth of Australia.

    Show the people of Western Sydney some respect about their future needs and I’ll show you a community prepared to listen.

    For Western Sydney to thrive and prosper, the debate needs to move beyond simply where a second Sydney airport should be located to a more sophisticated conversation about the very real infrastructure needs our region is crying out for.

    For decades Western Sydney has been a beacon for Australians, and recent arrivals to this country, who have deciding it was the best place to build a new and rewarding life.

    Unfortunately those decades saw successive governments, both state and federal, fail to plan and fund much needed physical and social infrastructure.

    For far too long Western Sydney has been underutilised, undervalued and, most of all, underestimated.

    The current jobs shortfall in Western Sydney is in excess of 180,000 and projected to grow to 290,000 within 20 years. Meanwhile, the population grows.

    In the electorate of Lindsay there are five housing estates under construction undefined Jordan Springs, Mulgoa Rise, Caddens, Waterside and Thornton undefined with major developments under way in the north west and southwest growth sectors to meet demand. But the question remains, where will these people work?

    The emergence of the University of Western Sydney as a world-class institution, together with Sydney University establishing a teaching facility adjacent to Nepean Hospital, highlights the fact we are establishing a highly educated workforce seeking skilled employment.

    Currently two-thirds of Penrith residents travel east every day to work, which is unsustainable and creates strain on our inadequate road and rail infrastructure.

    The people of Western Sydney deserve the opportunity to compete economically and to do that we need to create smart jobs and tap into the innovative minds of our local community.

    The discussion needs to be focused more on the infrastructure needed to link the employment hubs of Western Sydney to create an economic corridor.

    We need to look beyond city-centric infrastructure and truly connect the regions across Sydney.

    Mulgoa, Mamre and Northern roads must be upgraded, with the latter linking Luddenham to the M4 allowing for the longer term construction of the outer Sydney Orbital.

    Consideration should also be given to intermodal terminals and key rail and road infrastructure upgrades designed to meet the growing needs of the region.

    The delivery of key infrastructure in Western Sydney will lead to housing, employment and continued investment in services.

    Quite simply, we need a more balanced and equitable Sydney, not simply tarmac in a cow paddock.

    I remain committed to fighting for the Western Sydney region and open to constructive conversations about infrastructure and investment in our region.

    Fiona Scott MP is the federal Member for Lindsay, and represents Penrith, St Marys, Glenmore Park, Cranebrook, Colyton and Mulgoa residents

    Source: The Daily Telegraphy by Fiona Scott MP. Original article.

  • 04-Apr-2014 10:31 | Deleted user

    Don't miss the final Asian Champion's League pool match where Western Sydney Wanderers take on Guizhou Renhe.

    Book now to see the Wanderers take on Asia's best and take advantage of a networking opportunity with key Australian and Asian businesses in a relaxed sporting environment.

    The match will be held on Tuesday 22 April at Parramatta Stadium. 

  • 04-Apr-2014 10:19 | Deleted user
    The revamp of Parramatta continues full steam ahead with LIDIS lodging a development application for the ‘Riverside Tower’ – a new world-class riverfront precinct with residential living, retail, entertainment, a state-of-the-art Conference Centre and a first-class visitor and exhibition facility named the Discovery Centre.

    The $250 million Riverside Tower will offer 41 storeys of premium grade apartments and public facilities with never-to-be-built-out views of Parramatta River, surrounding parklands and the CBD.

    Lord Mayor of Parramatta, Cr John Chedid, said the proposed development involves major upgrades to more than 4,400 sqm of public domain and foreshore land and new pedestrian links and cycle paths for Parramatta’s growing community.

    “The Parramatta River is our greatest natural resource – ours is the only CBD within Sydney that is located on the riverfront,” Cr Chedid said.

    “As Parramatta continues to expand, access to the river and surrounding foreshore will be critical to the city’s recreational and cultural future. We are pleased to be working with LIDIS and Dockside Group who share our vision of refocusing Parramatta’s CBD towards the river.

    “This project will transform the old Lennox Bridge car park site into a world-class riverfront precinct, creating more than 700 jobs during the construction phase and ongoing economic activity after the project’s completion.

    “The centrepiece of the Riverside Tower is the Discovery Centre which will replace the CBD’s existing Visitor and Heritage Centre and deliver a spectacular entertainment and dining experience that befits the geographical heart of Sydney.

    “The Council owned and managed Discovery Centre will provide new business opportunities for tourism operators and hospitality and accommodation providers, along with the adjoining Conference Centre. Operated by Dockside Group, the Conference Centre is set to house the CBD’s largest function space with 1,000 guest capacity in its pillar-less ballroom.”

    Both the Discovery and Conference Centre are registered with the Green Building Council of Australia.

    LIDIS Executive Chairman Dennis Lidis said he is delighted to be working with Parramatta City Council on what will be a landmark feature of Sydney.

    “It is an exciting opportunity to be working together with Council to achieve their vision of a world-class riverfront precinct in Parramatta.  This is a unique site in the geographical heart of Sydney that will provide a new cultural and entertainment destination for everyone to enjoy,” he said.

    The City of Parramatta is implementing plans that will transform and rejuvenate the CBD and riverbank areas.

    These projects will help realise Parramatta’s potential and bring economic, social and environmental benefits to Parramatta, Western Sydney and Greater Sydney.

    Pending development approval, construction is expected to start this year.

    Public exhibition of the development application is set to commence on 16 April and the community is encouraged to view the plans for Riverside Tower online at<> or by visiting the information centre at Shop 2, 333 Church Street, Parramatta between the times and dates advertised on the website.
  • 02-Apr-2014 14:33 | Deleted user

    One of the Australia's most recognised youth workers is hoping he can help to reduce unemployment and rising gang violence in western Sydney.

    Order of Australia Medal recipient Les Twentyman today announced a new partnership between his Melbourne based foundation 20th Man Fund and training organisation Astute Training in Penrith.

    "We're very excited to be in western Sydney," he said.

    "Sport and education is our prime focus.

    "We want to keep kids in classes and out of courtrooms."

    The youth foundation has teamed up with training service provider Astute Training, youth public housing provider Evolve Housing and sporting clubs the Greater Western Sydney Giants, Penrith Panthers and Western Sydney Wanderers.

    At the launch today, Twentyman addressed a group of western Sydney youth workers, training agencies, housing providers, politicians and sporting clubs.

    "There are kids out there who are treading water and waiting to drown," he said.

    "We need to throw a lifejacket to them which is the youth workers to save these kids.

    "Youth workers are brokers, they broker young people who are disconnected and try to connect them up with services."

    Mr Twentyman said many young people from low socio-economic pockets in western Sydney lacked positive role models in their lives.

    "Youth workers can step into that void," he said.

    "Sometimes if they [young people] don't have role models, the only role models are their drug dealers.

    "That is going to be one of our big focal points, which is connecting with these kids and trying to work them back into mainstream education or training."

    Based in Melbourne, the youth organisation has built a reputation for actively tackling gang culture and steering potential youth away from crime and into school or work.

    It provides a number of services and programs, including counselling, education, sport and support services to at-risk youth in Melbourne's outer suburbs.

    "One of the big issues facing Australia at the moment is disengaged young people," said Twentyman.

    "That's why we're seeing unprecedented problems with street gangs, youth gangs, bikie gangs and also methamphetamines.

    "We believe by giving to young people at an early stage, we have the opportunity if we have the resources, to shortcut them out of that life and hopefully into training then into a job."

    Former Australian Matildas football player Danielle Brogan who was in attendance said it was important to provide the right support.

    "Support is something and it's hard to come by," said the Sydney FC player.

    "Give them a few targets in life and help them out with something they might be struggling with.

    "We're happy to get out there and help these kids and hopefully show them some things they've never been taught before."

    Source: ABC by Allan Clarke and Mohamed Taha. Original article.

  • 31-Mar-2014 16:27 | Deleted user

    OPPOSITION Leader John Robertson is pledging $20 ­million for a study into the ­proposed Parramatta light rail project to Castle Hill and Macquarie Park if elected, putting pressure on the O’Farrell ­government to do the same.

    Parramatta Council has been calling for the funding and Mr Robertson is also promising the establishment of the Western Sydney Economic Development Authority (WSEDA) if elected to work on building jobs in the west and with the Commonwealth on the “delivery of a second ­airport in western Sydney”.

    The pledge comes after Transport Minister Gladys Berejiklian confirmed earlier this month a Parramatta light rail project was “in the mix” for the government ahead of the next election but did not commit to any funding. Her comments came after plans announced by Urban Growth NSW included a map showing light rail through Parramatta.

    Under Parramatta Council plans, one line would operate from Westmead through ­Parramatta to Macquarie Park and another from Parramatta to Castle Hill, with hopes a Parramatta-Bankstown line could be added.

    Mr Robertson’s office said Labor would commit $20 million for a “detailed feasibility study into the Western Sydney Light Rail Network undefined a project that would connect Sydney’s major development centres, universities and new urban communities”.

    “Importantly, the network will address the lack of cross-regional transport links in Sydney, especially north-south connections,” a spokesman said.

    The Opposition claims the project could generate $5 ­billion in construction activity and 2500 jobs. It is also promising to ­establish WSEDA which would oversee economic, jobs and infrastructure growth across western Sydney and ­co-ordinate government agencies to deliver infrastructure.

    “Western Sydney is a region of immense potential undefined but one that faces challenges,” Mr Robertson said. “Labor has already called for a western Sydney airport at Badgerys Creek undefined a project that will be a catalyst to transform the region. A western Sydney light rail network is an exciting project that will ­provide much needed transport links across the region.’’

    Source: The Daily Telegraphy by Andrew Clennell. Original article.

  • 28-Mar-2014 17:56 | Deleted user

    The $4 billion sale of Medibank Private will be used to partly fund Sydney’s future infrastructure, ­including an airport at Badgerys Creek, it has been revealed.

    The federal government announced yesterday it planned to sell the government-owned private health insurer by next year.

    But rather than use the ­proceeds to help with what ­Treasurer Joe Hockey has ­described as the debt crisis left by Labor, the government confirmed it would put the money into building things.

    While many of the infrastructure projects being planned for western Sydney will require more immediate funding, larger projects such as the second airport undefined which has yet to go to cabinet undefined will now be partly funded from the proceeds of the Medibank Private sale.

    Tomorrow Mr Hockey will meet state and territory treasurers to broker a deal in which he will tie future infrastructure funds to the sale and ­recycling of state public assets.

    Sources said the federal government had set an example before the meeting by ­announcing it would use the money from privatising its own assets undefined such as Medibank Private undefined to put into the ­national infrastructure funding pool.

    The Daily Telegraph revealed last month that the federal ­government would announce a $200 million-plus infrastructure package for western Sydney to ­accompany the airport.

    However, it is expected that the infrastructure package to be announced in the May budget will now be significantly larger for western Sydney.

    Finance Minister Mathias ­Cormann confirmed yesterday that the Medibank Private sale would go ahead in the 2014-15 financial year.

    He said a scoping study had confirmed there was no longer a compelling case for the federal government to own the insurance provider.

    He said the study also showed the sale would not necessarily result in higher ­premiums for its members.

    “Medibank Private is a ­commercial business operating in a well-functioning, well-regulated competitive private health insurance market with 34 competing funds,” he said.

    “There is no market failure in the (private) health insurance market.”

    “The sale of Medibank Private will remove the inherent conflict currently in place where the ­government is both the market regulator and the owner of a large participant in the market.”

    The federal government has appointed three new board members undefined Clayton Utz corporate lawyer David Fagan and experienced company directors Linda Nicholls and Christine O’Reilly undefined to oversee the sale.

    The federal opposition has said it is opposed to the Medibank Private sale but admitted it was powerless to stop it because legislation already existed that would allow it.

    Labor’s manager of opposition Tony Burke said the sale would wipe out dividends paid by the insurer to the government and reduce the ability to return the federal budget to surplus.

    Source: Original article

  • 27-Mar-2014 14:08 | Deleted user
    Liverpool is one of three western Sydney cities set to receive 3000 state government jobs in the next five years.

    Premier Barry O'Farrell said the jobs would be in new government offices and would boost western Sydney's economy.

    He said the government would seek expressions of interest for 5000 square metres of commercial space in each of the three centres, which equates to between five and 10 storeys in additional office space in each.

    "The NSW government will not own the new office accommodation but will instead become an anchor tenant for new investment," Mr O'Farrell said.

    He says the move "makes economic sense and has the added benefit of ensuring that public servants are based in the communities they serve".

    A spokesman for the Premier said the Community Relations Commission and divisions within the Family and Community Services would move from Sydney's CBD and Ashfield to Liverpool.

    "Relocation will begin as existing office leases are approaching renewal," the spokesman said.

    He said he could not confirm how many of the 3000 jobs would be going to Liverpool.

    "Individual agencies are still consulting with their staff," the spokesman said.

    "Exact numbers have not yet been finalised.

    "However, staff will be relocated in accordance with their conditions of service."

    Liverpool mayor Ned Mannoun said he was "over the moon" about the announcement.

    "It's a wonderful achievement, which we've all been working towards for a long time and I'd like to thank Menai MP Melanie Gibbons in particular, because she was always in the ear of the Premier," he said.

    "Not only is this great news in terms of jobs it will bring directly to the region but it will also act as a catalyst for further commercial development and send a strong signal to investors."

    Ms Gibbons said the relocation would provide more opportunities for Liverpool residents to work closer to where they live and would bring lots of life to Liverpool's city centre.

    Source: Liverpool City Champion by Anne Tarasov. Original article

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