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  • 14-Apr-2014 14:00 | Deleted user

    PARRAMATTA will be Australia’s boomtown over the next five years with a projected $8 billion building explosion set to dramatically reshape the city’s skyline.

    But urban planners warn the capital of Western Sydney will face worsening traffic chaos unless transport links to other western regions, including the potential airport at Badgerys Creek, are properly planned now.

    Parramatta City Council planners have given The Daily Telegraph a glimpse of the city’s skyline of tomorrow, using updated development data. Within a decade, Parramatta’s CBD is expected to boast a dramatic skyline of towers, including Australia’s tallest residential building, the 90-storey­ Aspire tower.

    Parramatta boom

    With already 33 major projects on the drawing board, the gateway to the West could overtake Adelaide in coming years to become the nation’s fifth -biggest CBD, a former state government architect said.

    An extra 838,000sq m of commercial office space undefined the equivalent of 140 football grounds undefined would be developed in Parramatta’s heart if all the planned projects get off the ground.

    Parramatta Mayor John Chedid said he is encouraging architects to “be creative” and to build a skyline that is worthy of a vibrant and bustling capital city.

    “We want to see creative, iconic designs undefined a legacy we can look back on in 25 years’ time and be proud,’’ he said.

    The building boom is already taking off, with Mr Chedid revealing the council has received development applications worth $1.6 billion this financial year undefined more than double last year.

    Council planners said they expected a similar level of activity for up to five years, equating to a possible $8 billion of construction, mainly in the CBD.

    BIS Shrapnel senior manager of infrastructure Adrian Hart said Parramatta had “the greatest growth potential of anywhere in Australia over the next five years’’.

    He said the boom in residential apartment buildings would drive growth in Parramatta.

    More than 3700 apartments and townhouses in seven upmarket projects have already been approved or are under consideration.

    Work is under way on the luxury $309 million “V by Crown” tower, where more than $150 million worth of apartment sales have been racked up since the project was launched in Singapore two years ago.

    The first two projects of the ambitious $1.6 billion, 3ha Parramatta Square project are close to be finalised undefined including the iconic Aspire tower, which will contain a swish inner-city hotel and up to 700 apartments.

    Architectural drawings have also been released for the $250 million, 41-storey Riverside Tower, which will include a major upgrade of the Parramatta River foreshore.

    An adjoining 1000-person conference centre will become Parramatta’s largest function space.

    The development plans make a mockery of Labor MP for Chifley Ed Husic’s claims last week that the idea of Parramatta becoming Sydney’s second CBD should be shelved.

    Urban Taskforce Australia chief executive Chris Johnson, who was the state’s most senior architect for 10 years, said if Parramatta was “humming with people and workers”, it would drive further development in Penrith and Liverpool.

    “We need a vibrant cosmopolitan CBD with more people living in the centre,’’ he said.

    Parramatta council believes an extra 100,000 jobs need to be created in its city area over the next 25 years to ensure residents can work within easy access to their homes.

    Already two million Sydneysiders call the golden west home, with another million expected to move in over the next 20 years.

    Tourism and Transport Forum chief executive Ken Morrison said infrastructure investment in the West was needed to handle the growth.

    “We encourage the city council and state government to do that thinking. You get traffic snarls in Parramatta at the moment. That will only get worse as more activity moves there,’’ he said.

    Mr Chedid said the council hoped the government would sign off soon on a $20 million feasibility study into the $1.9 billion light rail project that would link Parramatta with Macquarie Park and Castle Hill. The council also needs funds to build a $36 million ring-road around the Parramatta CBD and Westmead over the next 10 years to avoid traffic chaos.

    Source: The Daily Telegraph by John Lehmann. Full and original article.

  • 14-Apr-2014 11:49 | Deleted user

    WSBC is proud to support Platinum Partner TAFE NSW - Western Sydney Institute (WSI) as it commences the first stage of a fundamental shift in the VET market by introducing an entirely flexible course offering - “Mix + Match”  which puts learning on the terms of the student by giving them the choice of how, when and where they study units within a qualification.

    Research: Eight in ten students want flexibility to fit study around busy lifestyles

    This is the first release of what will be a wider range of Mix + Match products which will progressively increase throughout 2014 and 2015.

    The innovative offering was created in response to research conducted by TAFE WSI which showed eight in ten (81 percent) students wanted greater flexibility in where, when and how they study to fit their study program around their individual lifestyle. The research also showed three quarters (75 percent) wanted the option of completing their studies faster by combining classroom learning with self-paced online learning.

    Mix + Match will be available across more than 12 study areas* and will allow students to fit their studies around their current work and life schedule, with options to choose how, when and where they study.  They can choose to learn online or face-to-face – or a combination of these – as well as being able to fast-track qualifications using previous qualifications and work experience.

    “Western Sydney’s population is expected to grow by more than half a million people in the next 25 to 30 years and will be the engine powering growth for Australia’s economy with the development of the Broader Western Sydney Employment Area . We need to ensure people in this area have easy access to training options that are practical and relevant so they are job-ready with the right skills to work in growth areas,” said TAFE-WSI Associate Director Organisational Capability, Ms Francesca Saccaro.

    “We have undertaken a significant amount of research with our student population and industry partners across western Sydney to identify what they need from their local TAFE. mix+match directly responds to these needs, as well as aligning with the TAFE NSW Owners Expectations released by the Minister for Education as part of the NSW-wide Let’s Talk About TAFE research initiative. 

    “The mix+match web portal has been designed to make enrolment simple, including the online shopping-style experience of selecting the modes of learning that suit the student. The flexibility of mix+match requires our customer service and educational resource capability to be able respond rapidly to our customers,” Ms Saccaro continued.

    “In today’s market, students are demanding choice.  While some may prefer to attend their TAFE college full-time or part-time, others may have jobs, families and other demands on their busy lives, around which studying needs to be accommodated and that’s where Mix + Match is a great option for our students,” Ms Saccaro concluded.

    “TAFE-Western Sydney Institute has always provided industry relevant training that produces job-ready graduates for western Sydney businesses and beyond through regular consultation with industry reference groups,” said Mr Michael Sugg, General Manager Western Sydney Business Connection. 

    “Western Sydney is a fast growing region that requires increased skills to meet the demands of industry. TAFE WSI’s mix+match responds to the region’s commitment to further education by providing students with the flexibility to fit study around their work and their lives, which in the end will produce more work-ready graduates for the region and beyond,” Mr Sugg concluded.

    One of the students featured in the campaign for Mix + Match is 38 year old Eric Fanene who is studying Diploma of Mental Health. Eric welcomes Mix + Match, “The course I’m studying has made a massive difference to my life, I have just started a new job in the area of mental health, which a TAFE teacher helped me get. I want to encourage other people to be role models for the community too and it’s not always easy to fit study in with other commitments.  The flexibility of being able to combine what units I study in class at any of the TAFE WSI campuses or  online, makes it much simpler.  There are no more excuses for not pursuing further qualifications.”

    TAFE WSI’s Mix + Match courses will be available online at, from April 11 on campus at Baulkham Hills, Blacktown, Castle Hill, Kingswood, Mount Druitt, Nirimba, Richmond, Katoomba and Wentworth Falls campuses.

    Students can visit the website:, Facebook:WSI Facebook, Twitter: WSI Twitter or call [131 870] for information on their flexible study options.

  • 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.

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