ADJOURNMENT NOTES- 24 JULY 2020

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Welcome to Adjournment Notes. 

One of the exciting initiatives of the NSW Government after the State election was the creation of a Minister for Public Spaces.

This is the first time NSW has had a Minister for Public Spaces who will identify and protect publicly owned land for use as parks or public spaces.

This portfolio is held by Minister Rob Stokes who is a dedicated champion for public spaces and who also oversees the Planning portfolio.  

My career has been very much focused on providing and maximising public space much of this during my time on the City of Sydney Council.

Danish urbanist Jan Ghel and his seminal works in 2010 ‘Cities are for People’ and way back in 1971 ‘Between Buildings - Public Spaces’  has always been the guide to my thinking on reimagined public parks and spaces.

The City of Sydney commissioned Ghel to do a study to bring greater life to our city. One of his key recommendations was the pedestrianisation of George Street. That vision seemed impractical but we are seeing its benefits unfold today.

I was excited to hear about the competition that Minister Stokes is holding in conjunction with Committee for Sydney and their media partner the SMH. Details of the competition are below. 

Unfortunately, we are still in the grip of the COVID-19 pandemic and the Government is adjusting policies and regulations daily to respond to the fast moving challenges.

More details are below but as usual we should all minimise social engagement, practice social distancing, good hand hygiene and get tested if you have the mildest symptoms. 

State Parliament and Committee work resumes next week after the winter recess and you can watch on Parliament's website at any time.  

As always, if I can ever be of any assistance please do not hesitate to contact me. 

Sincerely, 

The Public Spaces ideas competition is an exciting opportunity to reimagine, inspire, create, include, and bring awareness to great public spaces across Greater Sydney.

The Committee for Sydney and NSW Government want to see your ideas, as ambitious, wild and bold as possible. Think as big or as small as you like without limitations, don’t hold back.

This is a competition to stretch our thinking about public spaces and create ideas and new ways of thinking in an evolving city.

Brought to you by the Committee for Sydney and the NSW Government, submit your idea for new or reimagined public space.

Winning ideas will be profiled at an awards event and with the Committee for Sydney's media partner the SMH. With an incredible jury, five award categories, and four additional awards, this is your opportunity to help shape a new conversation about public space in Sydney.

To find out more information about the Public Spaces competition and how to enter please click here

COMPLETION OF UPGRADES TO THE BLUE MOUNTAINS LINE
I welcome the completion of the upgrades to the Blue Mountains train line.

Blue Mountains commuters are to be congratulated for working cooperatively as the rail line and some stations have been upgraded to meet the same rail standards as the remaining Sydney network.

The rail upgrade project upgraded the Blue Mountains line infrastructure from Springwood to Lithgow for the arrival of the new Intercity Fleet of trains.

Contrary to the fake news spread by Labor’s local member, it should be remembered that the existing trains are over 30 years old and destined for the rail museums.

Labor failed to upgrade the trains during their 16 wasted years in office, whilst they did partially upgrade the trains to Wollongong and Newcastle. Sadly putting the Blue Mountains commuters in the too hard basket.

Only the NSW Liberal government has invested millions in upgrading the lines, tunnels and stations to allow the new state of art Intercity fleet to service our community and the whole intercity network.

The new intercity fleet has already started testing and training on the Sydney network and is expected to be testing the lines to Katoomba in the coming months and Lithgow not long after.

To watch a video of the upgrades to the Blue Mountains line please click here
COVID-19 RESTRICTIONS TO BE TIGHTENED

The NSW Government will tighten COVID-19 restrictions around “higher risk” activities as the pandemic enters a new phase of community transmission.

From 12:01am Friday, 24 July the following rules will be in force as NSW enters a state of ‘COVID normal’.

 Compliance measures introduced to pubs will be extended to restaurants, bars cafés and clubs. This includes:
  • Limiting group bookings to a maximum of 10 people;
  • Mandatory COVID-Safe plans and registration as a COVID-Safe business; and
  • A digital record must be created within 24 hours.
Weddings and corporate events will be limited to 150 people subject to the four square metre rule and registration as a COVID-Safe business. Strict COVID-Safe plans must be in place and high-risk activities including choirs and dancing must not occur; 

 Funerals and places of worship will be limited to 100 people, subject to the one person per four square metre rule and a COVID-Safe business registration.

The rules on gatherings remain the same: 20 guests inside the home and 20 for gatherings in a public place.

However, as the home is a high transmission area, the NSW Chief Health Officer strongly recommends a COVID-Safe precautionary approach of limiting visitors to the home to 10 people as a general principle.

Premier Berejiklian has said this tightening was to reduce the risk of uncontrollable break-outs and ensure NSW stays open for business.

“Unfortunately we must live with COVID-19 and the way it has changed our lives... These rules will give businesses and the community a degree of certainty into the foreseeable future, and help NSW avoid uncontrolled virus spread.”

For the latest information and for the locations of testing clinics please visit the NSW Government website. 
COVID-19 RECOVERY PLAN 
Our outstanding Premier Gladys Berejiklian has outlined the NSW Governments COVID-19 Recovery Plan in a keynote address.
  • A $100 billion infrastructure pipeline;
  •  Improving planning to fast-track new projects and precincts;
  • Investing in schools and TAFE;
  •  Going digital to streamline government and make your life easier;
  • Investing in advanced manufacturing and local supply chains here in NSW;
  • Cutting red tape so local businesses can recover and grow.
To read more about the COVID-19 recovery plan please click here
 
TOUGH NEW COMPLIANCE MEASURES FOR PUBS

 New rules will be introduced to pubs across NSW that will limit group bookings to a maximum of 10 people and cap the number of customers inside a venue to 300 people following a concerning rise in COVID-19 cases.

Tough new compliance measures will also see dedicated Hygiene Marshalls patrol venues to keep customers safe and ensure the mandatory implementation of a COVID-Safe plan.

Under the new measures, pubs across NSW will be required to implement the following:

  • The number of people per booking or table will be reduced from 20 people to 10;
     
  •  A cap of 300 people in a venue at any one time;
  •  Compulsory COVID-Safe registration through Service NSW;
     
  •  A dedicated COVID Safe Hygiene Marshall in distinctive clothing must oversee social distancing, cleaning and hygiene at the venue;
     
  • Large hotels with a capacity of greater than 250 people are to have a COVID Safe Hygiene Marshall on duty whenever the hotel is open.
     
  • Smaller hotels with a capacity of less than 250 are to have a COVID Safe Hygiene Marshall employed in peak periods (lunch 12pm to 3pm and dinner 5pm to 9pm).
     
  • Paper sign-in will still be permitted, but hotels must create a digital record of patron names and phone numbers (excel or word) to be submitted within 24 hours;
     
  •  Ensure all patrons provide their name and contact details accurately; and
     
  • Encouraged to strongly promote QR code sign-in.


Any business found in breach of the public health orders will be held to account and could face a penalty of up to $55,000 and a further $27,500 penalty may apply for each day an offence continues. On the spot fines can also be issued.

Liquor and Gaming NSW also have the power to enforce the following penalties:

 FIRST OFFENCE: $5,500 fine or relevant penalty for breach of the Public Health Order.

SECOND OFFENCE: Business will be closed for one week.

THIRD OFFENCE (repeated and willful non-compliance): Shutdown for up to one month.

REPORT INTO KOALA POPULATIONS AND HABITAT
 
 

The Upper House report on ‘Koala populations and habitat in NSW’ which I worked on over the past 12 months has been released.

The report makes many findings and recommendations some focused on local issues and others policy considerations for the government.

The headline is the alarming dramatic decline in koala numbers must be strongly addressed by government or extinction is a real threat by 2050.

The key issue is protecting the core koala habitat in NSW.

To read the report, please click here