What to look forward in Sydney over the next 10 years

What to look forward in Sydney over the next 10 years

No-interest loans of up to $9,000 per battery system and up to $14,000 per solar-battery system for owner-occupiers of a house with an annual household income of up to $180,000, available at some point in the future

No-interest loans of up to $9,000 per battery system and up to $14,000 per solar-battery system for owner-occupiers of a house with an annual household income of up to $180,000, available at some point in the future

Up to 300,000 households across NSW could save hundreds of dollars on their power bills thanks to a no-interest loan provided by the NSW Liberals & Nationals Government to purchase solar-battery and battery systems.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian today announced the 10-year Empowering Homes program, which will unlock a $3.2 billion investment in renewables and give families the opportunity to install solar energy and battery storage systems that will also help cut emissions. This initiative is only made possible due to the strong economic management of the NSW Liberals & Nationals.

Up to 300,000 households across NSW could save hundreds of dollars on their power bills thanks to a no-interest loan provided by the NSW Liberals & Nationals Government to purchase solar-battery and battery systems.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian today announced the 10-year Empowering Homes program, which will unlock a $3.2 billion investment in renewables and give families the opportunity to install solar energy and battery storage systems that will also help cut emissions. This initiative is only made possible due to the strong economic management of the NSW Liberals & Nationals.


“We’ve been working hard to ease cost of living pressures for families and this is a major initiative that households can use to help reduce their power bills,” Ms Berejiklian said.

“Embracing new technology is a good way for many people to access cheaper energy – putting more money back into the pockets of hard working households.”

Treasurer Dominic Perrottet said bringing down the cost of power bills is a priority of the NSW Liberals and Nationals.

“Families across the state will be able to take control of their energy bills and potentially save thousands of dollars a year,” he said.

Energy Minister Don Harwin said the program was designed to bring down the cost of power bills, while allowing more households to access affordable solar technology.

“More than 400,000 households and small businesses in NSW are already benefitting from solar power. This new program will help up to a further 300,000 households over 10 years reap the benefits of solar with no interest loans for solar energy and battery storage systems,” Mr Harwin said.

It is estimated that a family with a $500 quarterly electricity bill could save up to $285 a year on their bills while repaying the no interest loans. These savings could increase to more than $2,000 a year when the loan is fully repaid.

Households with quarterly energy bills of $625 could save up to $457 a year while repaying the no-interest loans, and up to $2,200 a year when the loan is fully repaid. Households with quarterly energy bills of $875 could save up to $640 a year while repaying the loans, and up to $2,390 when the loan is repaid.

When the program is fully rolled out, these batteries will add up to 3,000 megawatt hours of storage to our energy system.

To be eligible for the scheme, applicants will need to be owner-occupiers of a house with an annual household income of up to $180,000. Loans of up to $9,000 per battery system and up to $14,000 per solar-battery system will be available.

Delivery partners for the program will be selected through a competitive tender process to ensure households receive high quality and cost effective systems, with only approved accredited installers able to participate in the program.

The Government will also use this program to encourage battery manufacturing in NSW as part of the roll out which will create jobs and encourage innovation.

In recent months the NSW Government has helped households and businesses right across the State with their power bills by:

  • Boosting  energy rebates by 20 per cent for around 900,000 households;
  • Helping households save on average over $400 on their annual electricity bills by switching to a better electricity deal through Service NSW’s free Energy Switch service; and
  • Allocating funding from the Government’s $1.4 billion Climate Change Fund to help thousands of households and businesses to transition to energy efficient and lower emissions technologies.

The Empowering Homes program is another NSW Liberals & Nationals commitment to more affordable, reliable and cleaner power.

End of Liquor Licence Freeze in Sydney CBD and Kings Cross on 1 June 2019

End of Liquor Licence Freeze in Sydney CBD and Kings Cross on 1 June 2019

The freeze on liquor licence applications in the Sydney CBD and Kings Cross precincts has been extended for 12 months until 1 June 2019.

As part of the NSW Government’s commitment to promote a vibrant and diverse nightlife for Sydney, public entertainment venues focused on live music, arts and culture have been excluded from the one-year extension.

This change means the Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority can now consider new on-premises licence applications for dedicated live music venues regularly putting on live acts where the music is played or performed in person.

Additionally, new on-premises licences can be considered for multi-purpose venues that also host broader visual or performance arts or other cultural events.

Applicants will need to explain the benefits of their proposal to the live music and arts sector, and show they meet the relevant criteria when making their application.

Existing licensing and development application controls will apply to help ensure the merits are carefully examined, including overall impacts on vibrancy and safety of the precincts. These ensure community members are involved and can also have their say.

Kings Cross restaurants and venues offering tourist accommodation have also been excluded from the freeze restrictions, aligning their arrangements with those located in the Sydney CBD.

Freeze restrictions remain in place for traditional nightclubs, hotels, clubs and bottle shops as part of the 12 month extension for other licence types.

The extension means the freeze will continue to play an important role in limiting the concentration of higher risk venues in the precincts and helping to reduce alcohol-related violence and other related harms. It provides certainty for businesses considering their licensing options.

Opal Card reduced weekly cap to $50 starting from 1st of July 2019

Opal Card reduced weekly cap to $50 starting from 1st of July 2019

Sydney Metro North West Line (Rouse Hill Station to Chatswood) – Opening second quarter of 2019

Sydney Metro North West Line (Rouse Hill Station to Chatswood) – Opening second quarter of 2019

Sydney’s driverless metro train has completed its first full test run along the Metro Northwest corridor, arriving at Chatswood station early on Monday afternoon.

The $8.3 billion railway line stretches 36km from Chatswood to Tallawong in the city’s northwest, sections of which have been upgraded from existing infrastructure to accommodate the new fleet of single-deck, autonomous trains.

However, more than 19,000km of train testing has taken place so far on the Sydney Metro system, the government said in a release, with 17 out of 22 trains having already been delivered – up from nine in July when the Alstom-manufactured trains underwent their first major tests.

Further tests of the onboard train systems, signalling, acceleration and braking will be conducted before the planned opening of the Metro Northwest line in the second quarter of this year.

“We’re finishing stations, car parks and testing trains to get the Northwest rail line open as quickly as possible, on time and at least $500 million under budget,” minister for Transport and Infrastructure Andrew Constance said.

Both Constance and NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian were in Chatswood as the train completed its trial run, standing behind the platform screen doors that are somehow being touted as a tech feature due to the fact they will only open as the train’s doors open.

“These platform screen doors are a major customer safety feature of all Sydney Metro stations,” Constance said.

“They keep people and objects like prams away from the tracks, creating a physical barrier at the edge of the platform which also allows trains to get in and out of stations much faster.”

Berejiklian added that the trains are expected to operate as a “turn up and go” service during rush hour, with a train departing every four minutes.

Stage two of the Metro project, which covers the line from Chatswood through to Sydenham, is still undergoing construction, with tunnel excavation expected to continue until halfway through next year.

Testing of trains and equipment is then expected to be completed by the end of 2024.

South Eveleigh (old Australian Technology Park) + Locomotive Workshop redevelopment due for 2020

South Eveleigh (old Australian Technology Park) + Locomotive Workshop redevelopment due for 2020

Mirvac has received two important development approvals for its $1 billion precinct at South Eveleigh in Sydney.

The ASX-listed developer is currently in the midst of a major urban renewal project at Australian Technology Park (ATP), developing the 13.2 hectare site into a world-class technology and innovation hub with the addition of three new commercial buildings.

Mirvac has now secured sensitive conversion and adaptive re-use permits to redevelop the century old Locomotive Workshops in a bid to repurpose the buildings into its Silicon Valley-style technology hub.

“For over 100 years the precinct was the engine room for Australia’s rail network, pioneering technology and advances in industry,” Mirvac project director William Walker said.

“We are restoring the precinct to its former status as a technology powerhouse with the Locomotive Workshops set to become a place for organisations of all shapes and sizes to find common ground to collaborate on the jobs and industries of the future.”

Mirvac won the hotly contested tender to buy the Australian Technology Park from the NSW government for $263 million in late 2015, and quickly set plans in motion to redevelop the site south of Redfern.

The completed precinct will eventually cater to 18,000 workers, including staff from the Commonwealth Bank (CBA), Channel 7 and CSIRO.

The new CBA campus is planned for completion in 2020 and the bank will lease two buildings on a 15-year term. It will house 10,000 employees, the largest number of employees the bank has ever been able to accommodate on a single site.

The technology park, which has had its name changed to South Eveleigh, will also feature cafes, a supermarket, sporting facilities and public spaces.

The precinct will provide more than 700 car spaces, as well as 600-plus secure bicycle spots across the three buildings.

Construction on the Locomotive Workshops will begin in 2019 and is expected to be completed in 2020.

WestConnex, 2019 (M4 East), 2020 (New M5), 2022 (M4–M5 Link Main Tunnels), 2023 (Rozelle Interchange, Iron Cove Link & Sydney Gateway)

WestConnex, 2019 (M4 East), 2020 (New M5), 2022 (M4–M5 Link Main Tunnels), 2023 (Rozelle Interchange, Iron Cove Link & Sydney Gateway)

WestConnex is a 33-kilometre (21 mi) predominately underground motorway scheme currently under construction in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. The motorway scheme, a joint project of the New South Wales and Australian governments, encompasses widening and extension of the M4 Western Motorway (M4), a new section for the M5 Motorway (M5), and a new inner western bypass of the Sydney CBD connecting the M4 and M5. Together, these projects will create around 16 kilometres (9.9 mi) of new tunnels. In addition, 7.5 kilometres (4.7 mi) of the existing M4 will be widened and converted to a private tollway. To help fund the project, the publicly-owned M5 East Motorway (M5 East) will be converted to a private tollway, while the toll on the existing M5 will be extended for a further 34 years.

The initial M4 widening and King Georges Road Interchange Upgrades began construction in 2015 and were completed in 2017; the M4 East and New M5 tunnel stages started work in mid-2016 and are due for completion in 2019 and 2020 respectively; and the final stages, the M4–M5 link, the Iron Cove Link and the Sydney Gateway are expected to be constructed between 2019 and 2023.

The forecast cost of WestConnex has grown from A$10 billion to over $18.6 billion. Once land acquisitions, network extensions development costs and the cost of operations are accounted for, the total cost is forecast to be at least $20 billion and possibly more than $45 billion. The NSW Government has announced its intention to sell at least 51 per cent of WestConnex; estimated by UBS to yield between $2 billion and $4 billion.

The project has bipartisan political support from the coalition and Labor parties, at both a federal and state level. Described as “the biggest transport project in Sydney and Australia since the Harbour Bridge” and costing “in current dollars, double the Snowy River scheme”, the project has been widely criticised on economic, social and process grounds and has been the subject of escalating public protest. It has faced intense opposition from residents, pro-public transport groups, anti-toll groups, and councillors from impacted suburbs, including the Lord Mayor of Sydney Clover Moore, and the Greens. In June 2017, the City of Sydney called on the government to abandon the third and final stage of the project.

Redevelopment of Bankstown-Lidcombe Hospital on a new site, to be complete by 2020

Redevelopment of Bankstown-Lidcombe Hospital on a new site, to be complete by 2020

The Bankstown-Lidcombe Hospital (BLH) Operational Plan is based on the South Western Sydney Local Health District (SWSLHD) Strategic Plan 2018-21. The Operational Plan documents the actions to be undertaken over the next two years to assist the hospital in achieving the District’s Strategic Directions, and vision of “Leading care, healthier communities”.

The plan covers the six Strategic Directions:

  • Safe, quality care: ensuring robust governance processes and structures across the organisation
  • A healthy community: integrated care solutions to manage the needs of complex patients
  • Collaborative partnerships: utilisation of external service providers to support the health service
  • A healthcare system for the future: investment in infrastructure and new technologies to ensure the demand of the future population can be met
  • Our people make a difference: strengthening efforts in workforce development and succession planning
  • A leader in research and teaching: increase resources at BLH to support the education and development of clinicians

As well as the Strategic Directions of SWSLHD, the Plan considers both the community and facility profile. BLH faces significant challenges in the provision of healthcare, including:

  • Unprecedented population growth;
  • Population characteristics which include:
  • Low socio-economic status
  • Culturally and linguistically divers population
  • Large refugee population
  • Low health literacy levels
  • Complex health issues
  • Poor health behaviours and status of the local population
  • Insufficient and ageing infrastructure to meet the demands of the growing population
  • An ageing workforce with a high attrition rate

With recent investment in the BLH Emergency Department from the 2018/19 State Budget, the facility must focus on enhancing subsequent services and ensuring the same safe, quality care is provided. This will be achieved through engaging with clinical streams, further investment in infrastructure and technologies, and upskilling the health workforce to provide such services.

BLH is highly engaged with the local community with a strong consumer and community participation network. This Plan highlights the value of community and plans to strengthen networks in the private sector, to further support the growing population and associated demands.

The Plan also hones in on the complexity of healthcare and the challenge to support acute services, with primary and community based solutions. The needs of the health consumers and staff at BLH are the forefront of this plan, and wide consultation occurred in its creation. Further detail is provided throughout on the District profile, community profile, hospital profile and strategic goals of SWSLHD.

NorthConnex, open to traffic in 2020

NorthConnex, open to traffic in 2020

This project comprises the construction of dual road tunnels, approximately 9km in length, beneath Pennant Hills Road and the Northern Railway Line linking the M1 and M2 Motorways. Each of the tunnels will be built with a capacity for three lanes.


The benefits of the NorthConnex project include:

  • reduction in traffic congestion on Pennant Hills Road and surrounding traffic network
  • quicker travel times between the M1 and the M2
  • a reduction in operating costs for national freight carriers and long-distance transport operators
  • a reduction in heavy traffic and associated noise in local streets
  • an improvement in local air quality
  • improved safety and productivity on local, intrastate and interstate freight movements
  • increased infrastructure capacity and efficiency
  • improved reliability of travel between the M1 and M2 and the Sydney to Brisbane Corridor


The Australian and NSW governments have each committed $412.33 million towards the NorthConnex project, including the use of Hornsby Quarry for spoil management.

The project is being delivered in partnership with the project’s private sector sponsors, Transurban and the Westlink M7 Shareholders.


Planning approval was received on 13 January 2015, along with submission and acceptance of the final binding offer as part of the Unsolicited Proposals process.

The NSW Government, Transurban and the Westlink M7 Shareholders reached Contract and Financial Close on 31 January 2015, which includes acceptance of the final offer from the preferred tenderer and reaching final agreement on funding. Lend Lease Bouygues Joint Venture was awarded the contract to design and build the project following Contract Close.

Construction started on 5 February 2015. Excavation of all mainline tunnels was completed in November 2018. Fit-out and road connections are underway, with the project expected to open to traffic in 2020.

Light Rail, open in May 2020

Light Rail, open in May 2020

The civil construction company building Sydney’s troubled light rail has revealed the project has been delayed again, and will not be complete until May 2020.

Bede Noonan, the Managing Director of Acciona Infrastructure Australia, told a parliamentary inquiry the NSW Government was informed of the two-month delay in August.

Last month, Premier Gladys Berejiklian said she was hopeful the project — which runs from Circular Quay to Randwick — would be open by late 2019.

It was initially supposed to be finished before the State Election, in March 2019.

Mr Noonan told the committee he was “sincerely sorry” for the disruption and pain caused by the project.

“I would like to assure the committee, residents and businesses that we regret the delays, disruption, and impacts that the Sydney Light Rail project has caused,” he said.

Acciona is suing the NSW Government for more than $1 billion over claims of “misleading and deceptive” conduct.

The litigation relates to changes in guidelines provided by electricity company Ausgrid.

Mr Noonan said Acciona’s biggest challenge had been dealing with Ausgrid’s power assets and underground pits in George Street.

“This has had the greatest impact on the lack of certainty of the works and ultimately the disruption overall and impact on residents and businesses,” he said.

The Ribbon, Darling Harbour. Q4, 2020

The Ribbon, Darling Harbour. Q4, 2020

The Ribbon is a breathtaking new development set to transform Sydney’s skyline and form an extraordinary new gateway to the western side the city’s central business district.

The Ribbon has earned its name for the undulating form that rises through two elevated roadways on Sydney’s Darling Harbour. Designed by international award-winning architects HASSELL, this $700M redevelopment in the heart of Darling Harbour will create a spectacular waterfront experience, providing enhanced ground level activation, improved sightlines over the Harbour and pedestrian links across Cockle Bay and from the Harbour through to Darling Quarter.

The 25 storey hotel and serviced apartment development will also deliver modern new premises for the IMAX theatre, which currently occupies the site, together with significant upgrades to the surrounding public realm. Its organic, flowing shape appears to peel the surrounding roadways up and manipulate them into a built structure that is sympathetic to the change of scale between the high-rise city to its west and Darling Harbour to its east.

An expanded NSW Arts Gallery, scheduled for 2021

An expanded NSW Arts Gallery, scheduled for 2021

Sydney Modern Project gets planning green light

We are expanding to create a vibrant new cultural meeting place to show more of the State’s outstanding art collection, to host more of the best exhibitions from around the world, and to provide a wide range of inspiring art experiences for our growing audiences.

The Gallery’s new building, designed by internationally renowned architects, SANAA, brings together art, architecture and landscape in spectacular new ways with dynamic galleries and indoor and outdoor art spaces in one of the world’s most beautiful cultural precincts.

Planning approval for the Gallery’s expansion – the Sydney Modern Project – has been received, paving the way for construction of our new building to commence in 2019. We are setting a new standard for art museums becoming the first in the nation to achieve the highest environmental standard for design with a 6-star Green Star design rating.

Art is at the heart of everything we do. With record attendances, the new building will close to double our exhibition space for the display and enjoyment of art in all its evolving forms, along with more opportunities for visitors to learn, create and discover.

Highlights of the expansion include a new prominent destination for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art, a major exhibition gallery, unique contemporary art space repurposed from a former WWII oil tank, and dedicated studios for education and community programs. A public Art Garden will link the new stand-alone building with our much-loved historic building.

Scheduled for completion to mark our 150th anniversary in 2021, our expanded Gallery will offer all our visitors a unique art museum experience only possible in Sydney.

King Tutankhamun exhibition arrives to Sydney by 2021

King Tutankhamun exhibition arrives to Sydney by 2021

If anyone knows one name from ancient Egypt it is Tutankhamun, and soon Sydney will know a lot more about the boy king.

The Harbour City will be one of only 10 cities in the world to host the largest King Tutankhamun exhibition to ever leave Egypt, and to welcome it — a $50 million museum upgrade.

This is the final time the blockbuster Tutankhamun: Treasures of the Golden Pharaoh exhibition will be able to be viewed anywhere outside Egypt, where it will soon be permanently housed.

To accommodate the 150 exquisite objects from King Tutankhamun’s tomb — the most intact royal tomb ever to be discovered — the NSW Government on Monday announced it would carry out a $50 million upgrade of Sydney’s Australian Museum.

This is to cater for the predicted 800,000 visitors expected during the six months of the exhibition.

So what draws people in to one of history’s greatest unsolved mysteries?

“People are fascinated with Egypt and they always have been … and it is a fascinating story — the boy king,” leading Egyptologist Constance Lord from Sydney University said.

“The 5,000 things that were found in his tomb were endlessly amazing. From gold right down to everyday items,” Dr Lord said.

Refurbishment of the Olympic Stadium (ANZ Stadium) into a 70,000-seat world class rectangular stadium, to be finished by July 2021

Refurbishment of the Olympic Stadium (ANZ Stadium) into a 70,000-seat world class rectangular stadium, to be finished by July 2021

ANZ Stadium at Sydney Olympic Park will be refurbished into a rectangular stadium at a cost of $810 million.

In November 2017 the NSW Government had announced that it planned to knock down and rebuild both ANZ and Sydney Football stadiums. The NSW Government had estimated that the cost to rebuild ANZ Stadium would be approximately $1.25 billion, in addition to the $200 million the NSW Government spent on buying the stadium back from its private operator.

However in March 2018, the NSW Government announcement that it will refurbish ANZ Stadium. This sees the Government revert back to the program proposed in 2015, which was to refurbish ANZ Stadium.

The Infrastructure NSW (INSW) State Infrastructure Strategy, released in early March 2018, recommended that business cases for both ANZ and Allianz stadiums be completed in 2018. The NSW Government supported the recommendation in its response to the Strategy.

The strategic business case for ANZ Stadium, led by INSW, was issued to the NSW Government in late March 2018, which prompted the Government to instead commit to a refurbishment of the stadium. The strategic business case investigated three options, including:

  • refurbishing/remodelling the stadium into a rectangular formation with 70,000 seat capacity ($810 million);
  • a new stadium with 70,000 seat capacity ($1.292 billion); and
  • a new stadium with 75,000 seat capacity (1.33 billion).

The strategic business case estimated that the rebuild options would be completed by September 2023, while the refurbishment option would be completed by July 2021. The business case found that the cost benefit ratios for all three options were similar. The NSW Government has opted for the refurbishment option, citing the $500 million saving and the estimated completion date being two years earlier. The refurbishment will extend the stadium life by a further 40 years.

The final business case is now being prepared by INSW. Construction is expected to start in late 2019, to be completed by mid-2021.

ANZ Stadium, also known as Stadium Australia, was completed in 1999 to host the Sydney 2000 Summer Olympics. It is a multi-purpose stadium and has hosted events and games such as the Rugby World Cup, the Asian Cup Final, the NRL, State of Origin and the AFL. The confirmation from the NSW Government of the refurbishment has resulted in NSW securing the NRL Grand Final in Sydney for the next 25 years.

The re-election of the NSW Liberal-National Coalition Government in the 2019 State election means the refurbishment of ANZ Stadium will go ahead.

Rebuild of the Sydney Football Stadium (SFS, aka Allianz Stadium) into a new 45,000-seat stadium, to be completed by March 2022

Rebuild of the Sydney Football Stadium (SFS, aka Allianz Stadium) into a new 45,000-seat stadium, to be completed by March 2022

Cox Architecture’s proposal for a new stadium at Sydney’s Moore Park has been selected as the winning design.

The stadium will replace the existing Sydney Football Stadium (also known as Allianz Stadium), itself originally designed by Philip Cox and completed in 1988 as one of Sydney’s major bicentennial projects.

In March, the NSW government announced it would demolish the existing 40,000-seat stadium and replace it with a new 45,000-seat stadium at a cost of $729 million.

Cox Architecture’s design succeeded over two other rival proposals for the project.

“We’ve proposed something with more community value, more experience for teams and fans, and with better connection to surrounding parkland and amenity,” said Cox executive chair Patrick Ness. “It is something that is simultaneously sculptural and highly functional. It is lighter, kinder to the environment and more self-sufficient as a structure than any other major stadium in Australia. It is a fitting continuation of what it replaces.”

Design director Pete Sullivan added, “And of course, there was the added responsibility to craft a form which progresses the elegance, balance and recognition of Philip Cox’s original design.”

The stadium is designed from the “outside in” and will integrate with the natural environment Moore Park. A sculptural, ribbon facade will draw on elements of technology, engineering and art, with its materiality changing in direct response to the immediate context, from surrounding fig trees, to the Sydney Cricket Ground, Kippax Lake and the neighbourhood of Paddington.

The structure will include an activated “events platform” in place of a conventional pedestrian concourse which will create a year-round public precinct for events. The landscape, designed by Aspect Studios, will weave together the parkland, public and activated spaces.

The stadium will have a lightweight roof structure that uses 40 percent less steel compared to the reference design, as well as solar panels and water harvesting solutions integrated into the roof.

Sports minister Stuart Ayres described the design as a “colosseum of sound and colour [that will] set the standard for rectangular stadium in Australia.”

Demolition of the Sydney Football Stadium is due to begin in January 2019 and the new stadium is expected to be complete by March 2022.

The redevelopment of the stadium has drawn the ire of architects and the public alike. Of the submissions made to the state government’s stage one development application, 95 percent were opposed to it and more than 200,000 people signed an online petition to stop the demolition.

The last game at the existing Sydney Football Stadium was held in September. Philip Cox told the ABC, “There’s a tragedy in that we’re losing a lot of the buildings that were put up for the Bicentenary.” Cox’s Darling Harbour Sydney Exhibition Centre was demolished in 2014 and was replaced with the new ICC Sydney designed by Hassell and Populous.

8,300 new health related job positions created, including 5,000 nurses and midwives, 100 palliative care nurses, 1,060 doctors and specialists, 880 allied health workers and 1,360 support staff, all of those to be hired by 2023

8,300 new health related job positions created, including 5,000 nurses and midwives, 100 palliative care nurses, 1,060 doctors and specialists, 880 allied health workers and 1,360 support staff, all of those to be hired by 2023

In the largest workforce boost in the history of Australian healthcare, patients will gain an extra 5000 nurses and midwives under a NSW Liberals & Nationals Government.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian said the unprecedented workforce rise over four years was only possible due to the NSW Liberals & Nationals’ strong economic management.

“We are investing $2.8 billion to recruit thousands of extra nurses, midwives and frontline staff to care for patients, far more than Labor promised,” Ms Berejiklian said.

“Labor promised hundreds of nurses across NSW in its election material but the Liberals & Nationals are boosting frontline staff numbers to figures never seen before.

“Patients in NSW will now have more nurses to look after them and nurses will have more colleagues to share the workload – all due to our strong economic management.”

Deputy Premier John Barilaro said almost half the new nurses and midwives employed will be in regional areas. In total, 8300 frontline staff, including doctors, allied health and other professionals will be added to the workforce, with 45 per cent in the regions.

“Whether you are in Byron or Bombala, Broken Hill or Bulahdelah, Wagga Wagga or Walgett, you will get the care you need, much closer to home,” Mr Barilaro said.

Health Minister Brad Hazzard said nursing hours per patient day will increase dramatically in Peer Group B and C hospitals across NSW, from 5.2 hours to six hours and 5.5 to six hours respectively.

“This increase in nurse numbers equates to even higher nurse to patient ratios than the NSW Nurses & Midwives’ Association asked for and leaves Labor’s promises in the dust,” Mr Hazzard said.

“No other State or Territory in Australia could match this commitment and the only reason we can deliver it is thanks to eight years of strong economic management.”

The NSW Liberals & Nationals have boosted the nursing and midwifery workforce by almost 20 per cent to 51,890 while in Government, and the number of doctors has soared 35 per cent to 12,100 – huge increases compared to the workforce under Labor. In total 16,000 extra frontline health staff have been employed since 2011, up 23 per cent on Labor.

The new investment will fund targeted areas of services and workforce including:

  • More nurses: 5000 nurses and midwives across regional and metropolitan areas of NSW, including mental health and residential care nurses;
  • More doctors: 1060 more doctors to enhance response times for patients waiting in emergency departments, for elective surgery, and to access psychiatric care;
  • More allied health staff: 880 additional allied health staff including pharmacists, social workers, physiotherapists, occupational therapists and psychologists; and
  • More support staff: 1360 hospital support staff.

“The Liberals & Nationals Government has built or upgraded more than 100 hospitals and health facilities since elected, with 100 more underway,” Ms Berejiklian said.

Mr Hazzard said more than half of the hospital redevelopments or upgrades are in regional NSW, where many of the new staff will be deployed.

“Good patient care relies not only on first-class facilities but skilled people to deliver it, which is why we are building on our commitment to look after those who look after us,” Mr Hazzard said.

4,600 new job positions for public school teachers, all of them to be hired by 2023

4,600 new job positions for public school teachers, all of them to be hired by 2023

The NSW Government will hire an additional 4600 teachers to join the ranks of the public school system – delivering the highest number of teachers in the State’s history, Premier Gladys Berejiklian and Education Minister Rob Stokes announced today.

“We are investing record amounts into NSW schools and teachers, and this $2 billion investment has only been made possible due to the strong economic position created by the NSW Liberals & Nationals Government,” Ms Berejiklian said.

“It is so important to invest in our children to ensure they are equipped with the knowledge and skills to succeed in the jobs of the future.”

This commitment will bring the total number of full-time positions funded by the NSW Liberals & Nationals Government to nearly 11,000 new teachers since we came to Government.

By comparison, Labor hired just over 1000 new teachers in their last five years in office. They closed more than 90 schools, with a secret plan to close 100 more and axe 7500 teachers.

This record-breaking teacher recruitment drive over four years will help staff the 170-plus new and upgraded schools being delivered as part of the NSW Liberals & Nationals Government’s record $6 billion investment in school infrastructure.

Mr Stokes said he was thrilled to be growing NSW’s world-class teacher workforce.

“We have some of the best teachers in the world who have the incredibly rewarding career of shaping the lives of the next generation,” Mr Stokes said.

“It is my priority to ensure NSW continues to have the best schools and best teachers in the country.”

Last year, the NSW Government committed an additional $6.4 billion for public schools to 2027 as part of the Gonski deal with the Commonwealth, bringing the State’s total investment to $148 billion for government and non-government schools.

NSW was also the only State to provide extra money to public schools to complement the Commonwealth’s $1.2 billion Choice and Affordability Fund.

Additional classrooms and upgraded facilities for religious and private schools by 2023

Additional classrooms and upgraded facilities for religious and private schools by 2023

The Coalition promised to hire 8,300 frontline health workers over the next four years at a cost of $2.8 billion.

This will include 5,000 nurses and midwives, 100 palliative care nurses, 1,060 doctors and specialists, 880 allied health workers and 1,360 support staff.

John Hunter Hospital in Newcastle will be redeveloped and $1.3 billion will be spent relocating the Bankstown-Lidcombe Hospital.

There will be multi-million dollar upgrades of the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, the Children’s Hospital at Westmead, St George and Ryde hospitals, plus $428 million towards a children’s cancer centre.

The Berejiklian Government will spending $500 million to install air conditioning in 1,000 schools over the next five years, with religious and private schools receiving $500 million worth of additional classrooms and upgraded facilities over four years.

It has also pledged $2 billion to hire an additional 4,600 teachers over the next four years.

On the environment, the Coalition has promised to help around 300,000 households by providing no-interest loans of up to $14,000 to install solar and battery systems.

The Liberals also have a target for NSW to have zero net emissions by 2050.

Sydney Metro City & Southwest, starting at the end of 2024

Sydney Metro City & Southwest, starting at the end of 2024

Sydney Metro City & Southwest is a 30 km (19 mi) rapid transit railway line in Sydney, Australia currently under construction. The project will extend Sydney Metro Northwest from Chatswood on the North Shore, to Bankstown in the city’s south-west via the Sydney central business district. The centrepiece of the project is a new 15.5 km (9.6 mi) twin-tunnel rail crossing under Sydney Harbour and through the city to Sydenham. Together with planned improvements to the Main Western line, the project is expected to increase capacity on the Sydney rail network by up to 60%, and allow for the movement of over 100,000 extra commuters across the network every hour.

The line began construction in 2017 and is planned to open by 2024. It is estimated to cost between $10–11 billion.

The line will act as a major extension of Sydney Metro, connecting Chatswood–the terminus of Sydney Metro Northwest–to Sydenham. At Sydenham, the line would join the existing Bankstown railway line, which would be converted to rapid transit operation between Sydenham and Bankstown. The combined route between Chatswood and Bankstown is called Sydney Metro City & Southwest.

The following stations are proposed:

  • Crows Nest
  • Victoria Cross (North Sydney)
  • Barangaroo
  • Martin Place (interchange with T4 Eastern Suburbs & Illawarra Line)
  • Pitt Street
  • Central (interchange with other railway and light rail lines)
  • Waterloo
  • Sydenham (interchange with T4 Illawarra Line)
  • Marrickville
  • Dulwich Hill (interchange with L1 Dulwich Hill Line)
  • Hurlstone Park
  • Canterbury
  • Campsie
  • Belmore
  • Lakemba
  • Wiley Park
  • Punchbowl
  • Bankstown (interchange with Sydney Trains services)

F6 extension – Rail line between St Marys and Badgerys Creek, Stage 1 open to traffic by late 2024

F6 extension – Rail line between St Marys and Badgerys Creek, Stage 1 open to traffic by late 2024

In October 2017, the NSW government announced it will proceed with the F6 Extension Stage 1. The project is a key element of the NSW Government’s transport vision for NSW, connecting Sydney’s south to the wider motorway network.

The EIS for the F6 Extension Stage 1 was placed on public exhibition by the Department of Planning and Environment (DPE) between 7 November and 14 December 2018.

The exhibition of the EIS has now closed and a submissions report is being developed on the feedback received. The report will be submitted to the DPE as part of the approval process.

The F6 Extension Stage 1 will deliver the missing link from Sydney’s south to the wider Sydney motorway network making journeys easier, faster and safer. It will remove more than 2,000 trucks a day from surface roads, and help return local streets to local communities.

Future Transport Strategy 2056 is the NSW Government’s 40 year vision for transport outcomes in NSW. The F6 Extension Stage 1 is a key part of this strategy, supporting safe, efficient and reliable journeys for people and freight

What is the F6 Extension Stage 1

The F6 Extension Stage 1 includes:

  • Twin four kilometre tunnels linking the New M5 Motorway at Arncliffe to President Avenue at Kogarah
  • Ramps between the main motorway tunnel and the surface intersection at President Avenue
  • Tunnel stubs for a future connection south to extend the F6 Extension
  • A new intersection at President Avenue including the widening and raising of President Avenue at this location
  • Provision of new shared cycle and pedestrian pathways connecting Bestic Street, Brighton-Le-Sands
  • Motorway support infrastructure including tunnel ventilation systems and the motorway control centre
  • New service utilities including a permanent power supply line
  • Minor adjustments to local roads in the project area.

The project is expected to cost between $2.2 and $2.6 billion, and open to traffic late 2024.

Halve street homelessness across the State by 2025

Halve street homelessness across the State by 2025

The NSW Government has signed a global agreement to halve street homelessness across the State by 2025.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian and Minister for Social Housing Pru Goward, together with service providers and the City of Sydney, signed the agreement today at NSW Parliament, making Sydney the tenth city to join the fight against street homelessness.

“We are working hard to break the cycle of homelessness with the latest street count showing a significant reduction in the number of rough sleepers in Sydney,” Ms Berejiklian said.

“We have already invested $1 billion in funding for homelessness services over four years to break the cycle of homelessness, but we cannot become complacent and by signing this agreement we are pushing ourselves to do even more.

“We know that homelessness is not just a city issue, which is why we have set this target to halve street homelessness across the entire State by 2025.

“Homelessness is a complex social issue that cannot be solved by government alone – that’s why we will be inviting the best and brightest from the frontline and from the community to collaborate with us to find new ways of tackling street homelessness.”

The ‘A Place to Call Home’ initiative – founded by the Institute of Global Homelessness – will support homelessness services in Sydney to set goals and strategies to reduce rough sleeping numbers and to measure and track their progress.

Chair of the Institute Dame Louise Casey said ‘A Place to Call Home’ gives cities a focused way to share knowledge among leaders who might not otherwise learn about each other’s work.

“There is an emerging global movement to end homelessness and NSW is leading by example and will help other cities around the world set ambitious, achievable goals to end street homelessness,” Ms Casey said.

The City of Sydney last year recorded the lowest number of people sleeping rough in five years – evidence that the NSW Government’s record spending and intensive outreach efforts are helping more people facing homelessness to find housing and support.

The NSW Government’s assertive street outreach program in Sydney has already housed nearly 300 rough sleepers since May 2017 and 94 per cent have successfully maintained their tenancies for more than 12 months.

Minister for Social Housing Pru Goward said the drastic drop in people sleeping rough in Sydney in 2018 showed the Government’s focus on prevention and early intervention was working.

“Homelessness is not a simple issue to solve – you cannot simply put a person who has been sleeping on the streets for years into a home and expect it to work – you need to give them the right wraparound support,” Ms Goward said.

“Complex mental health and substance abuse issues are often the underlying causes of homelessness which is why we are focusing on early intervention.”

The NSW Homelessness Strategy sets the direction for the next five years, focusing on prevention responses that address the root causes of homelessness and early intervention responses that will reduce the longer-term impact of homelessness.

Member for Sydney Alex Greenwich said: “The issue of homelessness in NSW needs urgent attention and the setting of this target and signing of this agreement kick starts this vital action.”

The following parties have signed the agreement:

  • NSW Government
  • City of Sydney
  • Institute of Global Homelessness
  • St Vincent de Paul, St Vincent’s Health, Mission Australia, Salvation Army, Wesley Mission, Neami National, Yfoundations.

Western Harbour Tunnel, open to traffic in 2026

Western Harbour Tunnel, open to traffic in 2026

The Western Harbour Tunnel & Beaches Link is a planned north-south motorway along the current alignment of Wakehurst Parkway between Warringah Road, Frenchs Forest and the WestConnex motorway in Sydney. The six-lane motorway is planned to be 14 km long and to be built (with both State and Federal funding). It is intended to provide direct access from the Northern Beaches to the Inner West at Rozelle.

The Western Harbour Tunnel & Beaches Link is aimed at reducing the level of traffic congestion in the greater Sydney area. The Sydney Harbour Bridge and Sydney Harbour Tunnel corridor currently carry 80 percent of all vehicles crossing Sydney Harbour and the Parramatta River, greatly increasing traffic congestion. The Government of New South Wales has pledged $77 million in funding to evaluate the design and construction feasibility of the project. The design phase began in early April 2017 and is scheduled to be completed by mid-2018.

Northern Beaches Tunnel, open to traffic in 2026

Northern Beaches Tunnel, open to traffic in 2026

Travel time between Dee Why and Sydney Airport would be slashed by up to 41 minutes once the Northern Beaches Tunnel opens to traffic in 2026, according to the New South Wales Government.

Detailed plans for that project, and the Western Harbour Tunnel, were today released by the State Government.

It said travel time between Brookvale and the CBD would be cut by 27 minutes and a journey from Olympic Park to North Sydney would take 13 minutes less.

The State Government is planning to begin construction of the tunnels in 2020 and said it revised its plan significantly so the project had less impact on the community.

Last year the ABC and Fairfax revealed ventilations stacks as high as 35 metres were being proposed near schools and homes to disperse the fumes from the underground tunnels.

But Premier Gladys Berejiklian said the locations have changed, and her Government had also reduced the number of properties that would be acquired for the project to 37.

“The proposed ventilation stacks are now away from schools, away from where people live,” Ms Berejiklian said.

She said the NSW Government was also seeking the input of the Chief Scientist on the location of the stacks.

However the Premier refused to rule out tolling motorists both ways on the Sydney Harbour Bridge to pay for the project, a proposal that was also revealed by the ABC and Fairfax.

“There will obviously be tolls on this road, we don’t shy away from that,” Ms Berejiklian said.

“I can’t tell you yet exactly how much they’ll be or whether there’ll be a toll on the Harbour Bridge going in the opposite direction or not yet, but as soon as we’ve done sufficient work we’ll make that information available.”

The price tag of the project is estimated to be $14 billion.

Western Sydney Airport will be open 2026

Western Sydney Airport will be open 2026

Western Sydney International (Nancy-Bird Walton) Airport (also known as Badgerys Creek Airport or Western Sydney Airport) is the site for the second Sydney airport, located within the suburb of Badgerys Creek. The Airport is planned to have 24 hour and curfew-free operations. Construction of Stage 1 of the Airport began on 24 September 2018 and is expected to be complete by December 2026. The site was officially designated by the Federal Government on 15 April 2014, after decades of debate on the location of another airport within the Sydney basin.

The airport’s location is situated 44 kilometres (27 mi) west of the Sydney CBD and 41 km (25 mi) west of Sydney Kingsford Smith Airport. The site lies 13 kilometres (8.1 mi) south of the Penrith CBD and is located within 7 kilometres (4.3 mi) of the Blue Mountains National Park. The site is within the City of Liverpool local government area and consists of approximately 1,700 hectares (4,200 acres) of Commonwealth land that was acquired between 1986 and 1991.

The Federal Government claims the initial construction phase is expected to generate around 4,000 jobs, the airport development is expected to create 35,000 jobs by 2035, increasing to 60,000 jobs over time.

The airport is legislated for construction via the Commonwealth Governments Airports Act 1996, and is known as Sydney West Airport under this Act. The airport will be developed and operated under the Airports Act 1996. The Airport Plan released in December 2016 by the Commonwealth Government for the airport site notes that the airport is referred to in the Airports Act as Sydney West Airport is commonly known as Western Sydney Airport, and is officially known as Western Sydney International (Nancy Bird Walton) Airport.

Great Western Highway duplication, open in 2028

Great Western Highway duplication, open in 2028

The NSW Liberals & Nationals Government have approved the duplication of the full 31km stretch of the Great Western Highway, from Katoomba to Lithgow, by 2028.

Deputy Premier John Barilaro and Member for Bathurst Paul Toole announced the NSW Liberals & Nationals Government will begin construction and design on $2.5 billion of upgrades in the next term of government.

Construction will begin on the following locations:

  • Medlow Bath Upgrade
  • Mount Victoria Bypass
  • Jenolan Caves Road to South Bowenfels

Planning and design will begin on:

  • Katoomba to Medlow Bath
  • Medlow Bath to Blackheath
  • Blackheath Bypass Tunnel 
  • Blackheath to Mount Victoria

Mr Barilaro said the full duplication from Katoomba to Lithgow will deliver much improved safety and efficiency, improve freight access and cut travel times and the road toll.

Member for Bathurst, Paul Toole, welcomed the news, “The population in the Central West region is expected to grow by around eight per cent over the next 20 years, with the total number of vehicles travelling along the highway west of Katoomba expected to increase by at least 1.5 per cent each year.”

Mr Toole said. “The Great Western Highway duplication project will not only improve road safety and access, it will generate thousands of local jobs, primarily in construction and engineering but also in the many service sectors required to support such an enormous enterprise.”

The NSW Liberals & Nationals is currently undertaking $250 million in safety upgrades between Katoomba and Lithgow and has already completed upgrades on parts of the Great Western Highway between Emu Plains and Katoomba.

Great Western Highway upgrades are to be delivered as part of a 10-year program.

The NSW Liberals & Nationals Government will seek funding from the Federal Government to assist with the task.

Source: Reddit Endorsed Contributor: Tinmun, /r/sydney Subreddit, Reddit.com, March 25, 2019.

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