Friday, 15 January 2010

Region. Metro Strategy is 'paralyised'

Western Sydney needs to host a net additional 280,000 jobs, by 2031, but paralysis exists in transferring the Metropolitan Strategy's targets into reality, said the director, of the UWS Urban Research Centre, Professor Phillip O'Neill, in an edited article in Fairfax Community Newspapers:

There is scant investment in our regional cities and sub-regional centres. Our regional cities – Parramatta, Penrith and Liverpool – are under equipped with decent transport and communications infrastructure.

Their links to surrounding suburbs are stifled by choked and inaccessible motorways. Their public spaces and amenities need urgent upgrade. Their sites for premium office investments need urgent planning and nurturing.

Then there is the problem of large scale business parks. Norwest and Sydney Olympic Park are pretty much full One prime site, the Western Sydney Employment Hub, in the Metropolitan Strategy, a 1500 hectare site at Erskine Park is targeted for 15 jobs per hectare, which is what you get when you fill up an industrial area with transport and logistics warehouses.

A real business park, like Norwest and Sydney Olympic Park, caters to much higher employment densities and contains a richer variety of jobs, especially those in higher skilled and higher paid industries and occupations.

The idea that all Western Sydney workers wear blue singlets to work and that blue-singlet jobs are what Western Sydney needs has never been true; and never will be.


Parramatta. STC goes 'green' again

The Sydney Turf Club’s carbon neutral Green Day at the Gardens race meeting has become a permanent fixture on STC’s racing calendar and will be held again this year on February 6, at Rosehill Gardens Racecourse. Identifying a need in the Australian market to produce large-scale environmentally friendly sporting events, the Sydney Turf Club Eco Committee was formed in December 2007. It is focused on reducing costs through developing resource efficiency, integrating environmental strategies into business planning and improving environmental performance.


Parramatta. UWS centre wins grant

The UWS Urban Research Centre, based in the Parramatta CBD, has been awarded a prestigious Australian Research Council Discovery Grant for 2010-12. The project, to be led by director, Professor Phillip O’Neill, would evaluate the directions in infrastructure spending in Australian cities with a view to more effective, sustainable outcomes. He said centre aspired to be an international leader in research and teaching initiatives involving cities and urban management.


Region. Toys'R'Us underpaid workers

The FairWork Ombudsman has found national toy retailer Toys'R'Us underpaid more than 700 employees for various periods between 2007 and 2009. Most were casual staff aged under 25 - many teenagers - in its Parramatta, Penrith, Bankstown, Castle Hill, Liverpool and Campbelltown stores in the region, and others elsewhere in NSW. Documents lodged in court said the toy giant failed to back-pay staff in the required time, despite repeated requests, with some employees waiting nine months for their cheques. If found guilty the company faces fines totalling up to $660,000 for more than 20 alleged breaches of workplace laws. Toys'R'Us refused to comment on the case yesterday, according to The Daily Telegraph. The company reimbursed workers a total of $445,000 in March 2009. The case is listed for a directions hearing on February 1.


Penrith. NAB awards two students

The National Australia Bank has awarded Blake Herczey, from Penrith, and James Atie, from St Marys, a two-year school-based trainee program with the bank. They would work towards a Certificate II in Business Studies from TAFE. Up to 40 places were offered to indigenous high school students by the bank as part of its new reconciliation action plan (RAP). NAB's Iqbal Kassam said: `The traineeship provides indigenous high school students with a job in a professional, corporate environment and an employment pathway post-high school.”