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  • 28-Apr-2014 09:15 | Deleted user

    Premier Mike Baird has declared he will get on with the job of making a second Sydney airport undefined and the infrastructure that supports it undefined a reality.

    Baird is up and away on rail

    Premier Mike Baird / Picture: Bradley Hunter Source: News Corp Australia

    His government is already setting aside a corridor for the rail line that will eventually link the new airport with the South West Rail Link and ultimately the Western Line. The proposed route of the $5 billion line will be released for public consultation today but will not be built until after the road links and airport.

    Mr Baird has set himself apart from his predecessor Barry O’Farrell’s lukewarm support for the second airport project, declaring “Hallelujah” that a decision had been made. But he said: “It’s roads first, the airport second and then rail.”

    Backing the airport, he said: “It provides an incredible opportunity for jobs, for business, for housing undefined it comes as an economic powerhouse for Western Sydney.

    “The federal government’s made a decision. Hallelujah, let’s get on and make it reality.”

    The rail line would run from the end of the South West Link at Leppington to Bringelly and Badgerys Creek, south to Oran Park and Narellan and then north to connect to the Western Line at St Marys.

    Mr Baird has long been a supporter of a Badgerys Creek airport. Mr O’Farrell previously backed a second airport at Canberra before finally­ supporting Badgerys Creek once it became clear Prime Minister Tony Abbott was going to proceed with it.

    The first projects to be upgraded will be Elizabeth Drive and Bringelly Rd, with the federal government providing $5 billion for road upgrades. In relation to the prospect of an M7 widening, Mr Baird said: “That’s a longer-term proposal that needs to be considered as infrastructure starts to come to fruition.”

    And he said rail line “provides an opportunity­ not just for the airport but for Western Sydney”.

    “What this shows is that the decision’s made on the airport, let’s get cracking and we’ll be doing everything possible to build the infrastructure, certainly starting with the roads ASAP but this is a clear indication we are pushing the go button and ripping into it,” he said.

    Transport Minister Gladys Berejiklian said consultation would begin this week on reserving the corridor for the rail, which would “link jobs, service hubs and communities in the southwest with Sydney’s existing and future public transport and roads networks”.

    “To begin with undefined when the airport’s air traffic will be less than 10 per cent of that at Sydney Airport undefined access to the second Sydney airport will be provided through road upgrades, park and ride facilities and public transport services, including new express buses,” she said. “Longer term we are putting plans in place to make sure Sydney’s rail network will connect Badgerys Creek airport with the rapidly-growing communities that will rely on it.” She added the South West Rail Link was due to open in 2015 “one year ahead of schedule and $100 million below the $2.1 billion budget”.

    Ms Berejiklian said reserving the corridors wasn’t “just about servicing an airport, it’s about servicing Western Sydney communities with appropriate transport links, now and into the future”.

    By reserving the corridors, it would keep the costs of building the rail line down.

    Government sources said in present dollars, the links would cost between $4 billion to $5 billion to build.

    “We’ve seen previous growth centres of Sydney let down by insufficient transport planning by previous governments and we’re not making that mistake,” Ms Berejiklian said. “This corridor planning means when the time comes to extend the South West Rail Link, we will be ready and costs will be lower.”

    Source: News Local by Andrew Clennell. Full article.

  • 26-Apr-2014 09:29 | Deleted user

    WSBC wishes Gold member WS Wanderers all the best in the final and invites WSBC members and Western Sydney businesses to get behind them with their support.

  • 25-Apr-2014 13:59 | Deleted user

    Western Sydney will be given a “fair go’’ by the new Premier, who says the region’s “time has come”.

    Premier Mike Baird told The Daily Telegraph “over the next 10 years Western Sydney is going to be transformed”.

    The new Premier declared his commitment in the wake of The Daily Telegraph’s campaign Fair Go for the West undefined which lobbies for better resources for Western Sydney.

    On Wednesday Mr Baird became the second North Shore-based MP in succession to take on the Ministry for Western Sydney, after his ­predecessor Barry O’Farrell.

    The Manly MP has faced criticism for taking the Western Sydney portfolio in government, considering where he lives, but says he feels it is important the responsibility comes to him to show how much of a priority for the ­government the area which houses two million people is.

    “It’s an economic powerhouse in waiting and it also represents a huge part of the city,” Mr Baird said.

    He said he had taken on the portfolio to “have the privilege and opportunity to spend more time with those (Western ­Sydney) families and local businesses and oversee the huge amount of infrastructure that is coming in to transform the broader economy”.

    The new Premier has ­increased Western Sydney’s representation in Cabinet from one to two, with northwest Castle Hill MP Dominic ­Perrottet becoming Finance Minister, joining Fair Trading and Sport Minister and ­Penrith MP Stuart Ayres.

    Mr Ayres also remains the Minister Assisting the Premier for Western Sydney.

    It’s understood that, after the next election, two more MPs from the northwest, David Elliott and Ray ­Williams, could be in line for cabinet positions.

    It’s still a vast difference from the old Labor government, where at least four or five ministers were from ­Western Sydney electorates.

    “I accept people (in the west) will not be so happy with my rugby league team (Manly),” Mr Baird said.

    Source: The Daily Telegraph by Andrew Clennell. Orginal article.

  • 22-Apr-2014 14:26 | Deleted user

    While Prime Minister Tony Abbott and Infrastructure Minister Deputy Warren Truss said the "talk is over" and the "final decision" had been made, debate on Sydney's second airport at Badgerys Creek is likely to continue for some time.


    Their joint announcement on April 15, confirming the site 56 kilometres from the Sydney CBD, posed more questions than answers in a debate that has been raging, on and off, since the 1960s.


    A prominent voice among proponents of the plan was former Parramatta lord mayor and state Labor MP David Borger, now a Western Sydney Airport Alliance spokesman, who said the decision was long overdue and would create jobs and raise living standards in western Sydney.


    Paramatta Federal Labor MP Julie Owens said an airport with fully funded infrastructure could be a good thing for the people of western Sydney "if it's done right".


    "We need to hear the details of planning and funding," she said.


    "Adequate public transportation and roads in and out of the airport would need to be built to meet future capacity - not just what we think we'll need now.


    "We need a train line to service the airport, including a direct line to allow the people in Parramatta and surrounds to access the airport.


    "[There] needs to be enough funding to cover infrastructure costs.


    "This is a chance to create significant economic activity for an area that has a growing population."

    Parramatta State Liberal MP Geoff Lee said the airport would bring "economic stimulus of billions of dollars in western Sydney during the building phase".


    "Overall, it is great news that the federal government has given the green-light to an airport in western Sydney after so many years of debate.


    "Western Sydney is a $90 billion economic zone, the third largest in Australia, and home to one in 11 Australians.


    "The time is right for its own airport.


    "However without the benefit of knowing the timing, details and scope of the decision, it's too early to predict the economic and social impact and full benefits of the proposal.


    "It is important that the federal government includes essential enabling infrastructure and doesn't just build an airport at Badgerys Creek.


    "For the full economic and social benefit to be achieved for western Sydney, the road, rail, fuel lines and other critical infrastructure needs to be built to support the integration of the airport into western Sydney and its business and local communities.

    "A fast train that stops at Parramatta, the capital of western Sydney undefined would ensure that Parramatta realises economic benefits from this airport.

    "Similarly, the arterial roads need to connect into the state's future vision for our major highways."

    Asked for his opinion on the Badgerys Creek announcement and what infrastructure would be needed to support the airport, Holroyd mayor Nasr Kafrouni said: "Council has a resolution which supports an airport at Badgerys Creek, subject to outcomes of environmental impacts and proposed specifications."

    Source: The Hills News by Alison Mills and Vanessa Watson. Original article.

  • 22-Apr-2014 14:12 | Deleted user
    NSW Premier Mike Baird says his new-look cabinet balances experience and renewal.

    Mike Baird is the new NSW Premier after Barry O’Farrell quit. Picture: Bradley Hunter
    Mike Baird is the new NSW Premier after Barry O’Farrell quit. Picture: Bradley Hunter Source: News Corp Australia

    The big winners are Andrew Constance, who replaces Mr Baird as treasurer, and Pru Goward, who becomes the new planning minister.

    Brad Hazzard has been promoted from planning to Attorney General, at the expense of Greg Smith.

    Mr Baird said the new ministerial team balanced “experience, renewal and hunger”.

    Attorney General Greg Smith has been dumped, along with liberal colleague Robyn Parker, to make way for new Environment Minister Rob Stokes, Finance Minister Dominic Perrottet and Mental Health Minister Jai Rowell.

    Premier Mike Baird said the new team represented renewal for the state, and would be unchanged in the lead up to the election.

    “It is a group that brings experience but just as importantly, it brings a hunger,” Mr Baird told reporters of his new team.

    “A hunger to make this great state even greater. A hunger to transform NSW.”

    He described Mr Smith as a “good man and a good friend”, but stood by his decision to replace him as Attorney-General.

    “I’ve had to weigh up what I think is the right team to take us forward, to provide a renewed focus on how we can turn this great state to an even greater state,” he said.

    “Part of that involves some difficult decisions ... but I strongly think that they were in the right long-term interests of this state.”

    Dumped National Party minister Don Page announced he would retire at the 2015 election and Deputy Premier Andrew Stoner said he “wouldn’t be surprised” if dumped minister George Souris came to the same decision.

    “They’ve had a good run,” Mr Stoner said.

    The announcement came an hour after veteran north coast MP Don Page said he was retiring from politics.

    Mr Baird confirmed the Nationals MP had been demoted from Local Government Minister and paid tribute to his service to the state.

    Deputy Premier Andrew Stoner said he wouldn’t be surprised if George Souris undefined another Nationals MP who has also been demoted undefined would also step away from parliament before the next election.

    Outgoing Environment Minister Robyn Parker said she was proud of her achievements during her three years in the position.

    “As a member of Cabinet I am proud to have taken this opportunity to exercise my conscience as we made very difficult decisions,” she said.

    “I urge my colleagues to remember that good policy, integrity and the wellbeing of the community should always be our guiding motivation.”

    Full Ministry List

    Michael Bruce Baird MP: Premier, Minister for Infrastructure, and Minister for Western Sydney

    Andrew John Stoner MP: Deputy Premier, Minister for Trade and Investment, Minister for Regional Infrastructure and Services, Minister for Tourism and Major Events, Minister for Small Business, and Minister for the North Coast

    Gladys Berejiklian MP: Minister for Transport, and Minister for the Hunter

    Adrian Piccoli MP: Minister for Education

    Michael Joseph Gallacher MLC: Minister for Police and Emergency Services, Minister for Industrial Relations, Minister for the Central Coast, and Vice-President of the Executive Council

    D uncan John Gay MLC: Minister for Roads and Freight

    Anthony John Roberts MP: Minister for Resources and Energy

    Jillian Gell Skinner: Minister for Health, and Minister for Medical Research

    Andrew James Constance MP: Treasurer

    Prudence Jane Goward MP: Minister for Planning, and Minister for Women

    Bradley Ronald Hazzard MP: Attorney General, and Minister for Justice

    Gabrielle Cecelia Upton MP: Minister for Family and Community Services

    Katrina Ann Hodgkinson MP: Minister for Primary Industries, Assistant Minister for Tourism and Major Events

    Kevin John Humphries MP: Minister for Natural Resources, Lands and Water, and Minister for Western NSW

    John George Ajaka MLC: Minister for Ageing, Minister for Disability Services, and Minister for the Illawarra

    Stuart Laurence Ayres MP: Minister for Fair Trading, Minister for Sport and Recreation, and Minister Assisting the Premier on Western Sydney

    Victor Michael Dominello MP: Minister for Citizenship and Communities, Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, and Minister for Veterans Affairs, Assistant Minister for Education

    Robert Gordon Stokes MP: Minister for the Environment, Minister for Heritage and Assistant Minister for Planning

    Troy Wayne Grant MP: Minister for Hospitality, Gaming and Racing, and Minister for the Arts

    Dominic Francis Perrottet MP: Minister for Finance and Services

    Paul Lawrence Toole MP: Minister for Local Government

    Jai Travers Rowell MP: Minister for Mental Health and Assistant Minister for Health

    Source: The Daily Telegraph by Alicia Wood and AAP. Original article.

  • 19-Apr-2014 14:18 | Deleted user

    The former chief of the Federal Airports Corporation believes an extra 1200ha must to be acquired around Badgerys Creek to ensure the project is financially successful.

    Barry Murphy, regarded as one of Sydney’s most know­ledgeable airport specialists, called on the government to follow up its decisive handling of the second Sydney airport issue by quickly establishing a Western Sydney Airports Corporation.

    “The risk is that a dangerous vacuum emerges in which people without the facts try to build up opposition,’’ Mr Murphy said.

    Former NSW premier Nick Greiner also warned private investors would not be as willing to sink the required $2.5 billion into the project if the airport was prevented from operating 24 hours a day.

    “It’s like being asked to invest in a widget factory that’s only able to make widgets 16 hours a day, when the one down the road in Melbourne can make them 24 hours a day,’’ said Mr Greiner, former Infrastructure NSW chief.

    Mr Murphy experienced first-hand how political momentum for Badgerys stalled in the mid-1990s, at a time when he was running the-then FAC, the government airport operator.

    He said the new airport corporation would be responsible for building community support in Western Sydney as key decisions about Badgerys Creek were being made.

    One of its first tasks should be assessing how much extra land needed to be compulsorily acquired around the existing government-owned parcel of 1700ha.

    Mr Murphy said he believed the site should be expanded by about 1200ha to ensure the project is able to attract private investment.

    Only about 40 per cent of an airport’s revenue is made landing planes, with additional money generated by leasing airport-controlled land to retailers, hoteliers, freight forwarders and other aviation-related businesses.

    Several Western Sydney MPs, including Labor’s Ed Husic, Jason Clare, Michelle Rowland and Chris Bowen, have called for a curfew.

    Business leaders have said a curfew would significantly limit how many new jobs would be generated.

    As many as 380,000 jobs need to be created in Western Sydney over 20 years to keep pace with population growth.

    “If we don’t create these jobs we’re going to have a youth unemployment nightmare,’’ Sydney Business Chamber Western Sydney director David Borger said.

    Source: The Telegraph by John Lehmann. Original article.

  • 18-Apr-2014 14:13 | Deleted user

    The country’s most spectacular musicals are set to sail to Sydney’s west, with Australia’s biggest musical theatre producer throwing his weight behind the push to revamp Parramatta’s Riverside Theatres.

    John Frost, the man behind blockbuster productions of Legally Blonde, Annie and Wicked said an expansion of the venue to a 1450 or 1500-seat performance space would make it commercially viable for big shows.

    “Anything under 1450, it’s really hard to make a dollar out of it. If it was closer to 1450, it would be worthwhile and I’d look at it seriously,” he said.

    Comedy promoter Adrian Bohm undefined who has toured some of the biggest names to visit Down Under including last week’s John Cleese shows undefined said an expansion would be welcome.

    “We would definitely consider bringing some of our shows to the area as the majority of our shows are presented in Sydney and we feel that Parramatta is big enough to support a larger venue,” he said.

    Parramatta Council has commissioned architects Cox Richardson to develop plans for an upgrade to the theatres, with the process in full swing.

    One proposal has been costed at about $75 million and includes new rehearsal rooms, dressing rooms, a hugely expanded foyer including restaurants and shops.

    Riverside Theatres director Robert Love said the master planning process was ongoing, with extensive market analysis, and he could see a revamped Riverside becoming part of a flourishing entertaining and leisure precinct around the Parramatta River precinct.

    Parramatta Lord Mayor John Chedid noted such a development would be a step forward for the whole of Western Sydney.

    “It would be a huge benefit not just to Parramatta but to the whole region, to attract great international music acts, great theatre productions, it’s exactly what the city needs,” said

    Sydney Business Chamber Western Sydney director David Borger, pointed out that less than one per cent of the state government’s arts funding went to Western Sydney, and the region’s taxpayers were not seeing much of a return for their contribution to the state’s coffers.

    “It’s time we saw a theatre with a capacity to serve a region with more than two million people,” he said.

    Jorge and Megan Giunta of St Clair loved the idea of an expanded Riverside with bigger shows, saying it would make excursions with their three kids much easier to take on.

    “Transport-wise, with the family, Parramatta is a lot easier to get to,” Mr Giunta said.

    “I think for most people like us, people with young families, going into the city requires a bit of effort, a bit of planning,” Mrs Giunta said.

    “If a show starts at 7pm you have to worry about traffic and getting there on time, but Parramatta is just 25 minutes away, so you’re even more likely to make a spur-of-the moment decision to go into Parramatta.

    “And Riverside is really nice, then you’ve got all the restaurants around there, I think if they did this it would mean a lot more business going into Parramatta overall,” Mrs Giunta said.

    Source: The Telegraphy by Chris Hook. Original article.

  • 16-Apr-2014 17:19 | Deleted user

    Champions Of The West is a celebration of all that is great in Western Sydney.

    It is an opportunity to recognise the west is full of talent, ingenuity, creativity and determination.

    Champions Of The West comprises a grants competition for 12 awards, each boasting a $10,000 prize for individuals, groups and businesses.

    An additional grant of $10,000 will be awarded to the ‘Champion of Champions’ winner, encouraging people to get behind their peers who are nominated finalists.

    What kind of ideas are we looking for? Anything that will be of benefit to the community and requires a grant to help the project come to life, such as:

    Community – facility upgrades, infrastructure, new works or equipment;

    Environment  restoration and protection, volunteer program funding;

    Indigenous – arts, up-skilling, scholarships;

    Sport – equipment, uniforms, training, health improvements;

    Small business – new products or services;

    Education – primary, secondary, day care, special needs, TAFE;

    Arts – skills development, new work, residencies;

    Employment – training, job placement, social entrepreneurship;

    Young Achiever – scholarships, workshops;

    Health – aged care, clinical funding, training;

    Tourism – attractions, historical/cultural sites, interpretive programs; and

    Manufacturing/Innovation – training/development, new products or services.

    Who can apply for a grant? Anyone that lives or works in Western Sydney as determined by the Council boundaries referenced in the Champions Of The West Guidelines. Applicants under the age of 18 must obtain prior permission of their legal parent or guardian.

    How long do I have to apply? Applications can be submitted between Sunday 13 April 2014 and Sunday 11 May 2014.

    How do I apply?

    1.Download the Champions Of The West Guidelines and Terms And Conditions to ensure you are eligible to apply.

    2.Download and review News Corp’s Privacy Policy prior to applying online

    3.Submit your online application using the form below. Please read the questions on the form prior to starting to ensure you have the necessary documents to submit your application.

    The program will culminate in an event where winners will be announced and grants awarded, on Tuesday 3 June 2014. If you or someone you know are doing something worthwhile for your community from Western Sydney, apply today.

    Source: The Daily Telegraph. Original article.

  • 16-Apr-2014 14:50 | Deleted user

    It was supposed to be a day of triumph for team Liberal.

    Barry O'Farrell was meant to be standing at Tony Abbott's side as the prime minister announced billions of dollars in road funding for western Sydney.

    Instead, the NSW premier sent Mr Abbott a text on Wednesday morning to tell him that not only would he not be making it to Liverpool, he was resigning his job.

    Despite being thoroughly overshadowed, Mr Abbott used his press conference to launch an unprompted defence of his Liberal colleague and friend.

    Mr O'Farrell had "innocently" and "inadvertently" misled a corruption inquiry, he told reporters.

    The premier had done the "utterly honourable" thing by stepping down.

    "We are seeing an act of integrity and an act of honour," he said.

    Mr Abbott admonished a reporter who queried whether he could still trust partnering the "corrupt" NSW government on his roads plan.

    That was an "entirely unjustified smear", he said.

    The prime minister said public figures met lots of people who gave them many things - from pens to ties to wine.

    So it was reasonable to expect a bottle of vintage wine could be forgotten.

    "Given that premiers and other senior politicians have very crowded busy lives, I don't think it is reasonable to expect everything from some years ago to be front of mind," Mr Abbott said.

    Mr Abbott said he had no recollection of ever meeting Nick Di Girolamo, whose evidence to the corruption inquiry led to the premier's decision.

    But he could not say he had never met the Sydney businessman.

    Source: The Daily Telegraph. Original article.

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