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  • 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.

  • 15-Apr-2014 13:44 | Deleted user

    Three thousand public servants will be moved to western Sydney and new office buildings will be built in Parramatta, Penrith and Liverpoool, Premier Barry O'Farrell announced this afternoon.

    State-government agencies will move from next year and expressions of interest will be sought for 5000sqm of new commercial space at Penrith, Parramatta and Liverpool.

    The plan aims to enable western Sydney residents to work closer to where they live and to reduce congestion in Sydney's CBD.


    The individual agencies identified to move into new premises will include:

    • NSW Community Relations Commission and divisions within Family and Community Services - moving from Sydney CBD and Ashfield to Liverpool.
    • Ambulance Service of NSW - moving from Rozelle to North Parramatta.
    • NSW Sport and Recreation - moving from Sydney Olympic Park to Penrith.
    • Office of Environment and Heritage, Environmental Protection Agency and NSW Office of State Revenue - moving from Sydney CBD, Hurstville and existing Parramatta offices to be co-located in Parramatta.
    • Service NSW – moving from Sydney CBD to Parramatta.

    “Decentralisation makes economic sense and it has the added benefit of ensuring public servants are based in the communities they serve - improving the delivery of their services," Mr O'Farrell said. 

    “The relocation of these agencies will also provide more opportunities for western Sydney residents who want to work closer to where they live, and will help reduce congestion in the Sydney CBD."

    Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils president Tony Hadchiti said the announcement heralded the ‘‘dawning of a new age for western Sydney’’.  

    “Best of all this sends a very strong message to the private sector that the government has confidence in Western sydney and sees it as the future of our city,’’ Mr Hadchiti said.

    “Leading by example, this will pave the way for other companies to set up or relocate and provide a great boost to our economic development.”


    The announcement increases the necessity of building a second Sydney at Badgerys Creek, according to the western Sydney director of the Sydney Business Chamber David Borger.

    "Today's announcement of 3,000 government jobs moving to western Sydney only enhances the argument for the 28,000 jobs benefit of a Western Sydney Airport at Badgerys Creek," Mr Borger said.

    "The airport along with government department relocations is the sort of activity we need in western Sydney to make a meaningful dent in our jobs deficit - one that is expected to rise to 400,000 by 2050."

    Mr O'Farrell revealed the plan at a NSW Business Chamber event at Rosehill Gardens Racecourse this afternoon.

    Parramatta response

    Parramatta Lord Mayor John Chedid said the decision is part of a trend in recent years that has seen state agencies such as Sydney Water and the Department of Attorney-General and Justice move to Parramatta.

    “More than 3,000 new public service jobs put us in a solid position to further build on this success. It’s also a strong vote of confidence in the pro-growth vision our council has developed in recent years,” Mr Chedid said.

    “This is great news for Parramatta as it will further cement our status as the capital of western Sydney and an economic powerhouse at the geographical heart of Sydney."

    Parramatta Chamber of Commerce president Roger Byrne said the additional jobs would be a huge boost for small businesses. 

    "It's good news for Parramatta, good news for small businesses, good news for the cafes and hopefully it's the start of more businesses moving out here," Mr Byrne said.

    "We need more jobs out here and it's good that the government has taken the initiative and moved some of the jobs west. It's also a good thing that they are being spread around the rest of western Sydney as well." 

    Source: Parramatta Sun. Original article.

  • 15-Apr-2014 13:31 | Deleted user

    It was first proposed in the ’60s, promised in the ’80s and then killed off in 1996.

    But today a second international airport for Sydney will finally be realised after almost 50 years of political inertia.

    The Daily Telegraph can reveal a final submission to give the go-ahead for an airport at Badgerys Creek will go to a Cabinet meeting in Canberra today undefined with the Prime Minister’s endorsement.

    The approval will be part of an unprecedented $10 billion, 10-year infrastructure plan centred on Western Sydney. But the airport will only be one element of the package for Western Sydney involving federal government, state government and private sector funding expected to be announced later this week, and rolled out concurrently.

    The proposal will also have the strong backing and recommendation of Treasurer Joe Hockey and Deputy Prime Minister Warren Truss, who will present the submission.

    It is believed approval will be given for an initial single runway configuration with a slow build-up of flights. Capacity would be built into the precinct to even expand to a parallel runway operation, if and when needed.

    The first flights in and out of the airport are not expected until the mid-2020s with a 10-year horizon on its construction and a long planning and consultation period before a final configuration is decided upon.

    Lindsay Liberal MP Fiona Scott said it was important the details of the airport were worked out with the community in mind, saying she did support a curfew.

    “What happens with the people in the eastern suburbs should be exactly the same as what happens to the people in the western suburbs,’’ she told Sky News.

    She said her success at the next election would be determined by how well she listened to the community’s concerns.

    Labor frontbencher Brendan O’Connor said the opposition supported the concept but wanted to see the details before giving a fuller response.

    “This is long overdue. It’s something that needs to be done,’’ he told Sky News.

    “It’s not just a Sydney matter, it’s for the nation. It’s our largest airport and therefore it’s critical that we eventually determine this second airport.

    “But we’d like to see the detail. We’d like to see what is in store for Sydneysiders. And I guess we will await the details so we can respond more fully.’’

    Government minister Eric Abetz said he was not going to speculate on what would be announced but that an infrastructure package would have to accompany any airport plans.

    New modelling by the Department of Transport and Infrastructure, which is believed to form part of the submission and revealed to The Daily Telegraph, estimates 4000 jobs will be created in Western Sydney during the initial construction phase.

    By 2035 the employment boom generated by the airport will add 35,000 more jobs through the airport’s operations, businesses and industry.

    This new employment in Western Sydney figure is forecast to rise to 60,000 jobs over time, the new updated modelling has estimated.

    The projections outline an airport that by 2060 could be servicing between 70 and 100 flights a day and more than 600,000 inbound and outbound passengers a year.

    It will be pitched by the federal government as a national economic project which will add another $24 billion in economic activity to the nation’s GDP.

    It is understood Mr Abbott, after extensive consultation with nervous Western Sydney MPs, refused to approve the airport unless it was part of a broader infrastructure plan for western Sydney.

    The initial plan for a $200 million capital works package to upgrade local roads and rail around the airport is believed to have been scrapped for the more significant infrastructure plan for the entire Western Sydney region.

    The airport is expected to generate demand from airlines, through domestic, international and freight air traffic.

    In February, Federal Labor leader Bill Shorten and State Labor leader John Robertson publicly announced in The Daily Telegraph their bipartisan support to build a second airport at Badgerys Creek subject to curfew restrictions.

    NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell also threw his support behind the proposal after having opposed a second airport in the Sydney basin in favour of a fast train link with Canberra Airport. A secret report commissioned by the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet confirmed almost a year ago, on the advice of then infrastructure minister Anthony Albanese, an overwhelming majority wanted a second airport at Badgerys Creek.

    Source: The Daily Telegraph by Simon Benson. Full and original article.

  • 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.

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