ADJOURNMENT NOTES- 8 MAY 2020

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Welcome to this week’s Adjournment Notes.

I’ve been asked ‘what’s in the name?’ Adjournment is the debate that concludes the daily sitting of the House. Its a traditional debate that allows Members on all sides to venture into pet interests or issues that concern them. The Minister will rise and move a motion ‘that the House do now adjourn’ after which six speakers can address any issues they like for a maximum five minutes. At the conclusion the motion is put and the House rises to the next scheduled sitting day.
By tradition the adjournment speeches are an opportunity for members to express personal views and acknowledge issues and people in the community. Adjournment Notes seeks to emulate that Westminster tradition which in NSW is unique to the Legislative Council.

This week Parliament resumes for an expected one day sitting on Tuesday to pass a raft of amendments relating to the COVID-19 pandemic. Laws will be amended to provide practical adjustments in the areas of Health, Attorney General, Treasury, Premiers, Local Government and Planning.

Most law changes have sunset provisions in that they will expire in six months after the pandemic crisis is abated. But the number of changes required raises the question of whether we need to have a stand aside Act that can be activated during any crisis whether a natural disaster or virus attack.

During the lockdown I've been doing a lot of reading and have been enjoying former Liberal Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s memoir. As a first I purchased the ‘talking book’ as well as the hard copy for my library. It is quite different to sit back and listen as Malcolm himself reads you his book. It’s no secret that I’m a supporter and worked hard on his various Wentworth campaigns. The book brings back many fond memories of those election times and a good Prime Minister.

I note that Malcolm made news today with what I thought was a valid comparison between the response to COVID-19 science and the science of Climate Change. The NSW Government accepts that the planet is undergoing climate change and that human activity is a major contributor to it. Hopefully the deniers will see the parallels and join us in taking action. You can read the article here

Finally there are green shoots of recovery from this pandemic. Slightly and very cautiously our amazing Premier is relaxing some of the restrictions that have worked so well in largely (though not totally) containing this deadly disease.

Today the National Cabinet agreed to states at their own determination allowing restaurants, bars and cafes to reopen. It’s tragic to see business actually closing for good in many neighbourhoods. The loss of income was the final nail for many.

Let’s hope that on the other side we all get out there to support small businesses in their recovery. We all look forward to that day soon.

 

RECENT COVID-19 GOVERNMENT ANNOUNCEMENTS 

In response to a number of enquiries from individuals and businesses about the various support packages announced by the Government, Treasury has produced Supporting NSW, providing a comprehensive summary of the support the Government is providing to across the state.

This document is an important resource to help members of the community understand what support measures are available to them, and how they can be accessed. I encourage you to read this document so that we can achieve our common goal of keeping people in jobs and businesses in business.

The Supporting NSW document can be accessed here. 

TWO ADULTS AND ANY DEPENDENT CHILDREN MAY VISIT ANOTHER HOUSEHOLD
 Two adults and any dependent children may now visit another household. 

As the number of new cases of COVID-19 has reduced markedly, we are easing restrictions to reduce social isolation and improve mental health. When visiting another household, social distancing and good personal hygiene must be practised, including thoroughly washing your hands with soap when you arrive.

Remember: Do not visit if you are showing any symptoms. 

A Fact sheet with frequently asked questions regarding this announcement can be found here
THANK YOU TO LOCAL NSW INDUSTRY

Businesses from across NSW have answered the NSW Governments call for locals to fill the medical supply chain, helping stabilise stocks of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) urgently needed in the fight against COVID-19.

The online portal has received over 1800 registrations from industry to build parts or supply eight urgently needed items during the COVID-19 crisis. The urgently needed supplies are:

✅1. Hand sanitiser
✅2. Examination gloves
✅3. Disinfectant and cleaning products
✅4. Handwash and soap
✅5. Masks
✅6. Eyewear
✅7. Gowns and protective overalls
✅8. Paper products, including toilet and tissue paper

To ensure businesses also have access to these critical products, the Government is helping industry connect with these suppliers through the launch of a new, public PPE Supplies Portal for Industry and the Community.

If you or a business you know are interested in sourcing any of the urgently needed products please click here. 

13 NEW FEE-FREE TAFE NSW ONLINE SHORT COURSES ANNOUNCED

13 new fee-free TAFE NSW online short courses to assist anyone across the State who wants to upskill during the COVID-19 pandemic, following an overwhelming response to the initial suite of 21 courses announced earlier this month.

These 13 new courses replace 13 courses from the initial suite that have reached enrolment capacity, thereby ensuring that people that want to train continue to have the opportunity to do so. 21 courses remain online for the people of NSW to undertake.

The 13 new short courses include:

✅Leading Teams;
✅Digital Security Basics;
✅Build your Digital Literacy with Coding;
✅Create a Brand Presentation; and
✅Undertaking Projects and Managing Risk.

More information, including a full list of courses, is available at https://www.tafensw.edu.au/or by calling 131 601.

 
EMERGENCY SERVICES LEVY FUNDING BOOSTS LOCAL COUNCILS AND COMMUNITIES
I'm pictured here in 2019 recognising service awards for Blue Mountains RFS volunteers and the incredible work they do.

Councils across NSW will be able to direct extra funding into frontline COVID-19 response efforts and core community services thanks to the NSW Liberal Government fully funding the local government increase in the emergency services levy (ESL) for 2020-21.

The Berejiklian Government’s recent $395 million local government economic stimulus package includes $32.76 million to fund this year’s ESL increase.

While we all acknowledge the importance of supporting our emergency services workers, local councils simply cannot afford this cost in the wake of COVID-19, bushfires and drought.

NEW BLUE MOUNTAINS INTERCITY TRAINS RAMP UP TESTING

The new intercity trains set to service the Blue Mountains, Central Coast, Newcastle and the South Coast.

Testing is ramping up on the New Intercity Fleet with the first two new trains now travelling on the network under their own power.

Upgrade work is also continuing on sections of the Blue Mountains Line, which will enable customers living between Springwood and Lithgow to experience a new train for the first time since the last of the V-Sets were introduced.

Whilst Labor continue to spread fake news about the new trains, I’m pleased to see the planned multimillion dollar track and station upgrades nearing completion so that Blue Mountains commuters can enjoy the new state of art trains equally with the rest of metropolitan Sydney.

It should not be forgotten that Labor after 16 wasted years in government failed to deliver new trains for the Blue Mountains community.  Only  the Berejiklian government is delivering new trains for the Blue Mountains.

The New Intercity Fleet is comprised of 55 10-car trains, which will service customers across the Central Coast, Newcastle, South Coast and Blue Mountains.


To read the Blue Mountain Gazettes article on this announcement please click here.