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  • 11-Sep-2013 12:22 | Anonymous
    Community to benefit from new civic facilities

    Work on Parramatta Square continues to roll on, with Parramatta City Council and Alfasi Property Developments Pty Ltd lodging Development Applications (DA) with the Joint Regional Planning Panel (JRPP), and Council set to launch a design excellence competition for two additional commercial towers.

    Designed by FJMT, the development is Stage Three of Parramatta Square, located at 153 Macquarie Street and will include new state-of-the-art, A-grade office and community facilities including a new library, community meeting rooms and Council chambers.

    The DA plans are for a 16-level, 22000 square-metre commercial tower to be developed by Alfasi and a separate podium building to be developed by Parramatta City Council for its new civic building and library. In total, the development will have 7000 square metres of public facilities, opening out onto the public domain.

    Lord Mayor of Parramatta, Cr John Chedid said he expected the DA for Stage Three to be approved later this year, with construction to commence early 2014.

    “We’re confident we will be able to deliver these state-of-the-art facilities to the Parramatta community by late 2015,” Cr Chedid said.

    “Our residents, workers and visitors can look forward to vibrant and contemporary spaces and high quality amenity.

    “As part of Council’s $1.6 billion to $2 billion Parramatta Square development, Stage Three will contribute to helping the City realise its potential and bring economic, social and environmental benefits to Parramatta, Western Sydney and Greater Sydney.

    “As the design evolves, Council will be going out to the local community to seek their input on how these new public facilities should look, feel and be used,” Cr Chedid said.

    Parramatta Square is Council’s landmark urban renewal development that is set across three-hectares of Council-owned space and real estate in the heart of the Parramatta CBD. It will include generous public space, corporate centres, retail and dining options, new Council facilities, and strong connections to the Parramatta transport interchange.

    A design competition for the two remaining commercial towers with gross floor area of up to 130,000 square metres will commence this month.  The design competition will seek expressions of interest from international and national architectural firms from which four will be selected to prepare designs. 

    The design excellence competition for the remaining projects; the public domain and Stage Four, will commence later this year.

    The DAs for the first two stages of Parramatta Square were lodged earlier this year. With Leighton Properties confirmed as developer for 169 Macquarie Street, the DA is expected to be approved this year, construction to commence by the end of the year and the development completed by late 2015.

    The DA for a 90-storey mixed-use tower on the corner of Church and Darcy Streets is expected to be approved later this year.

    Parramatta Square Stage Three forms part of Council’s program to revitalise its public assets, including a new operations centre in Rydalmere and a Discovery Centre by Parramatta River.

    “The renewal of our public assets reflects Council’s commitment to delivering quality and efficient customer service to the community, operational efficiencies and facilities that will allow for expansion to meet the needs of our growing population,” Cr Chedid said.

    Parramatta Square Stage Three facilities will include:

    • Library
    • Community meeting, activity rooms and Senior Leisure and Learning
    • Customer contact centre for general, visitor and business information and development services
    • Foyer to include café, concierge wireless lounge area and self-help services
    • Technology or Innovation Centre
    • Council Chambers
    • Council Administration

    For artist’s impressions or interviews, contact:

    Anh Dang, Media and Communications Advisor, Parramatta City Council on 9806 5233/ 0400 971 844 or email
  • 11-Sep-2013 12:21 | Anonymous
    Parramatta's best dining

    Sydney's 'second city' is stepping up to - and loading - the plate with its burgeoning, vibrant and diverse culinary culture, asserting itself as a foodie hub.

    When Circa was handed the gong for best cafe at the Good Cafe Guide awards earlier this year, city dwellers raised eyebrows in unison: ''What is this malarkey, George? Quality coffee in Parramatta?'' Not only is there brill coffee, there's a bevy of other new happenings for those who like to eat and drink (that is, everyone). As local resident Arthur Tong, of artisan tea wholesaler Tea Craft, reports: ''It hasn't taken long for the food trucks to arrive here, and food events in laneways and unused buildings are now a regular feature. The Parra food scene has asserted itself as an important binding element of our community.''

    The farmers' market has been revamped with a focus on organic produce and, in the past year or so, there's been an increase in good cafes, including hole-in-the-wall espresso bars. ''The feeling lately here is quite electric,'' Tong says. ''We're on the brink of major change and the excitement is palpable. This is the first time locals are feeling like we're finally stepping up as truly Sydney's second city.''

    Read more:
  • 11-Sep-2013 12:20 | Anonymous
    Do you love your local business?

    NSW Fair Trading’s I love my local business competition is back for 2013.

    It can be hard work running a great local business. That is why NSW consumers are being encouraged to nominate their favourite local business by telling Fair Trading, in 60 words or less, what they love about them and why. There are 6 prizes worth $250 to be won!

    The competition celebrates good business practice in NSW. Consumers can nominate a local business which goes out of their way to do the right thing by their customers. It might be because they respond positively to complaints. They might sponsor the local cricket team. Or it could simply be that they are really good on the tools or be the best real estate in town!

    All shortlisted entries will be promoted on our Facebook page, which has close to 20,000 followers.

    We’ve also created some resources for businesses to use to help them promote the competition to their customers, including a downloadable poster, web images and more. Go to the ‘I love my local business’ (link: page on the Fair Trading website to find out more.

    The competition runs from Monday 2 – Monday 30 September 2013.

    For more information and to enter go to Fair Trading’s Facebook page

  • 11-Sep-2013 12:19 | Anonymous

    Clean energy project saves Castle Hill RSL $200,000 a year

    A new tri-generation plant launched today at the Castle Hill RSL in Sydney's north-west is set to deliver huge cost savings to the club, enabling it to invest even more in the local community.

    Supported by $495,400 in Federal Labor funding, the tri-gen system will capture waste heat and turn it into heating, cooling and surplus electricity, saving on energy costs and cutting carbon pollution.

    Powered almost entirely by cleaner electricity generated on site, the Castle Hill RSL will see cost savings of $200,000 each year and will cut its emissions by half – equivalent to taking 268 cars off the road each year or planting 12,000 new trees.

    “The Castle Hill RSL is dedicated to supporting its local community and the energy savings achieved from this project will enable the club to deliver even more,” Senator Doug Cameron said at the launch.

    “It shows how the carbon price is funding practical clean energy projects that have financial and environmental benefits.  By charging large polluters, we then use that money to help households, businesses and communities to use energy in smarter, cleaner ways. By comparison, the Coalition’s Direct Action policy will cost households $1200 each to pay polluters to reduce their emissions.”

    Castle Hill RSL’s $1 million project is a joint commitment between the club and the Federal Labor Government through the Community Energy Efficiency Program (CEEP). 

    CEEP is a demonstration program providing $112 million in grants to local councils and community organisations to adopt practices that increase the energy efficiency of       community use-buildings, such as sports centres, town halls and libraries. 

    “Castle Hill RSL - ‘Your Green Club’ - is committed to sustainable business practices and protecting our environment for current and future generations,” said Warren Glenny,   President, Castle Hill RSL Group.  

    “Sustainable initiatives are integrated into our whole of business approach therefore the CEEP grant presented the opportunity to assist with the upfront purchase of the tri-generation system which will achieve longer term energy efficiency outcomes, improving our return on investment and overall responsibility to members, the broader community and our environment."

    The RSL Club will redirect the money from its energy savings back into the community.  It directly supports over 20 sporting and other clubs, and provides significant assistance to numerous local charitable organisations.

    The Castle Hill RSL Club is one of 170 successful recipients under the program.  More information on CEEP funding recipients and their projects is available at:


    Melanie Morson

    Group Marketing Manager Castle Hill RSL Group

    Phone: 88584818 or 0419 461 454

  • 11-Sep-2013 12:17 | Anonymous
    TAFE SWSi wins Large Training Provider of the Year Award

    TAFE NSW – South Western Sydney Institute (SWSi) last night was awarded the Large Training Provider of the Year Award as part of the 2013 NSW Training Awards.

    The NSW Training Awards recognise outstanding achievement in the vocational education and training sector.

    TAFE SWSi students also performed strongly with three out of four finalists winning awards. These students were:

    • Excellence in Manufacturing winner, Andrew Niedermayer
    • Trainee of the Year winner, Ashlee Hodson
    • School Based Apprentice/Trainee of the Year, Alexander Dagger
    • Apprentice of the Year finalist, Matthew Papandrea    

    TAFE SWSi Institute Director Peter Roberts said the Institute’s customer first approach had helped secure the win.

     “TAFE SWSi is committed to finding the right training solutions for all of our customers, whatever their needs may be,” Mr Roberts said.

    “I am proud to say that each year TAFE SWSi helps thousands of students realise their dreams, equipping them with the job-ready skills needed to excel in the workplace.

     “I am equally proud to say that businesses, government and community organisations are also the beneficiaries of our excellent training.

    “Our industry-experienced team has worked hand-in-hand to help upskill and grow organisations such as Telstra, Blue Tongue Recruitment, NSW Police and many more.”

    To view all the winners of the 2013 NSW Training Awards please follow the link:

    TAFE SWSi is one of Australia’s largest educational institutions, delivering programs to more than 72,000 students every year in nine colleges across South Western Sydney, in workplaces all over Australia and in partner colleges in China, and the Philippines.

  • 29-Aug-2013 18:16 | Anonymous

    Council’s bold vision for the future of Parramatta is taking shape. The $1.6 billion, three-hectare Parramatta Square development will cement the city’s reputation as the commercial heart of Western Sydney.

    At a recent Property Council of Australia event, Lord Mayor of Parramatta Cr John Chedid announced Leighton Properties as the developer of the initial stage of the scheme and Alfasi Property Group as the developer of the third stage.

    The Lord Mayor also launched two design competitions for the remaining Parramatta Square projects: the public domain, Stage Four, Stage Five and Stage Six. Cr Chedid said, "This development will provide the foundation for growth in this City and create a future city based on good urban design that is environmentally sustainable, has vast, vibrant, beautiful public spaces and an effective integrated public transport system.” This groundbreaking urban renewal project incorporates six distinct stages of development:

    Stage One is 169 Macquarie Street, which will be a 25,000 sqm office tower designed by Architectus, to be completed in late 2015.

    Stage Two is the 90-story Aspire Tower on the corner of Church and Darcy Streets, which will offer a mix of uses including 700 apartments, a 150-key hotel, retail outlets and a skydeck and experience centre. Expressions of interest are expected to be received later this year.

    Stage Three is 153 Macquarie Street, which will feature commercial and community  facilities such as a 24,000 sqm office tower, a 7,000 sqm public amenity including a civic building, a community centre and a library, with construction due to start in mid-2014.

    Further down the line, Stage Four will be a 5,000 sqm mixed-use retail and commercial building central to the Parramatta Square Public Domain, while Stages Five and Six will incorporate dual commercial office towers totalling 100,000 sqm. Cr Chedid added: "When we took this opportunity to the leasing market, we received 100,000 square meters of firm interest – demonstrating just how constrained A-grade office space is in Parramatta. Our vacancy rate sits at 1.5%, which is well below the averages for North Sydney, the Sydney CBD and Australia as a whole.”Mark Gray, Managing Director, Leighton Properties said, "We have a strong track record of developing leading commercial projects in Parramatta CBD that have been sought after by tenants and investors alike.”

    Council has also become the first local government in Australia to seek a Green Star – Communities rating, and is also the first to specify Green Star ratings for each building across an entire precinct.

  • 29-Aug-2013 12:22 | Anonymous

    Shortage of business managers across five diverse business sectors

    Despite an oversupply of skilled labour in many sectors, there was a significant shortage of managers across a diverse range of industry sectors in the March quarter 2013, according to the latest Clarius Skills Indicator.

    The Indicator reveals a shortage of 3,200 skilled managers in hospitality, retail and service managers and a shortfall of 2,200 skilled advertising and sales managers.

    Kym Quick, CEO of the Clarius Group of recruitment companies, said the numbers reflected a shortage of key management skills and the urgent need to build revenue streams across these sectors.

    “Demand for managers is usually less sensitive to the fluctuations in the cycle of economic conditions as they tend to have high skill levels and extensive experience that employers are keen to retain,” she said.

    “In advertising and sales there is a heightened need for seasoned sales managers as companies trade through tough economic conditions and try develop revenue streams. There is also an increasing demand for skills to leverage the emerging and fast moving on-line and social media trends and technologies with new applications being launched almost on a daily basis.

    “While in the hospitality, retail and service industries, the shortage of managers is driven by comparatively stronger growth in retail sales, which includes sales at cafes and restaurants.”

    The new Clarius Skills Indicator predicts a closer balance next year between the number of available jobs and the supply of labour in the total workforce. The gap is projected to rise from a current oversupply of 75,000 skilled job-seekers to 84,000 in the December quarter 2013 before eventually dropping to 54,000 in the June quarter 2014.

    Clarius Group proudly released the first edition of the Clarius Skills Indicator in May 2013 off the back of the highly-publicised Clarius Skills Index.  The Indicator tracks the availability of skilled labour in the entire Australian labour market and, for the very first time, a forecast for the year ahead at a quarterly frequency is provided.

    The Clarius Skills Indicator draws on the best available data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) and Commonwealth Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (DEEWR) to measure oversupply and shortfalls for 10 major occupation categories, covering approximately half of all “white-collar” jobs (more than four million employees) or 35 per cent of the total Australian labour force.

    Alliance Recruitment is a division of Clarius Group.
  • 27-Aug-2013 12:29 | Anonymous

    ents urged to consider local manufacturing career

    South Western Sydney residents will have a chance to learn first-hand about local career opportunities at the Manufacturing Excellence Expo from 10am to 8pm on Thursday, the 29th of August at TAFE NSW – South Western Sydney Institute (SWSi’s) Miller College.

    The free event will include:

    • Live demonstrations;
    • TAFE apprenticeships showcasing their skills;
    • A barbeque lunch; as well as
    • Opportunities to speak directly with more than 60 local manufacturers. 

    TAFE SWSi Institute Director, Peter Roberts encouraged local residents to come along and find out more about the region’s largest industry.

    “Local manufacturing offers local residents in South Western Sydney with one of the best opportunities of finding rewarding work close to home,” Mr Roberts said.

    “As the region’s largest employer, manufacturing supports the jobs of more than 67,000 people in our community.

    “Local residents can also find the training needed to build a successful career in manufacturing at TAFE SWSi, where we offer a number of courses related to the industry.”

    TAFE SWSi is one of Australia’s largest educational institutions, delivering programs to thousands of students every year in nine colleges across South Western Sydney, in workplaces all over Australia and in partner colleges in China, and the Philippines.
  • 27-Aug-2013 12:26 | Anonymous
    Castle Hill RSL announced the launch of new Apple® and Android™ mobile applications and a new mobile website created by Bally Technologies.

    Castle Hill RSL Group Operations Manager Brett Crastin said, “We make a continuous effort to provide our members and guests with the highest level of service possible,” “That effort includes offering them the best tools and technology on and off our venue to enhance their experience at Castle Hill RSL. Our new apps deliver convenience, information, and entertainment through a host of easy-to-use features that we can’t wait for our members and guests to use and enjoy."

    Anyone can download the apps, which are available in the Apple iTunes® store and inGoogle Play®. They enable users to:

    ·     See the current promotions in just a few clicks. 

    ·     View dining menus instantly and discover what entertainment and events are happening around the venue.

    ·     Access overhead custom GPS maps or view detailed property maps of the  venue and surrounding area.

    ·     Use the embedded smart-search bar to find content by keyword.

    ·     Bookmark information and create your own itinerary with My Castle Hill RSL

    ·     Easily reach key contacts like our friendly reception team

    ·     Check out Castle Hill RSL’s live Facebook wall feed directly from the app. 

    “We are so pleased to partner with Bally Technologies in launching this custom mobile solution to the Australian market,” said Castle Hill RSL Group President Mr Warren Glenny. “The Castle Hill RSL apps will be an incredible customer-service tool and a powerful new way to interact with and entertain our patrons.”

    Aron Ezra, Bally Technologies’ Vice President of Mobile, said, "All of us at Bally Technologies are thrilled to be working with Castle Hill on this project. These mobile   applications give people a whole new way to interact with the club and with each other  using their phones and tablets. Best of all, we're just getting started undefined you can expect these applications to continue to evolve over time as we add more features for members and visitors alike." 


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