Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Blacktown. $125 million hospital upgrade

The $125 million upgrade of Blacktown-Mt Druitt Hospital will start late next year. Blacktown Labor MP and opposition leader John Robertson said the upgrade was half of what a Labor government would have delivered. Senior staff are concerned it still doesn’t meet the requirements of a two-stage $550 million upgrade to help the hospital cope with rising demand.


Liverpool. $5.7 million grant

The Ingham Institute for Applied Medical Research has received a $5.7 million program grant from the National Health and Medical Research Council for a new cancer project that uses an MRI coupled linear accelerator (MRI-Linac). The MRI-Linac is a revolutionary piece of technology that is set to redefine cancer treatment by accurately locating tumours during a radiation therapy treatment session in real time. The MRI-Linac will be housed in a research bunker as part of the institute's new research premises within Liverpool Hospital and is set for launch in July.


Fairfield. $6 million grandstand

Fairfield City Council has allowed Mounties to lodge a development application to build a new $6 million grandstand.. The development involves building a grandstand with covered seating for 1000 spectators on the council-owned Mt Pritchard Oval, and a media room, function rooms, change rooms and a canteen on the western boundary. Council is negotiating with Mounties to develop a new plan of management as the current one does not allow a development of the proposed size.


The Hills. Bulky goods proposal

The Hills Shire Council has approved a planning proposal to enable construction of bulky-goods premises, landscape supply establishments and office warehouses at Commercial Road, Rouse Hill. Mayor, Greg Burnett, said the proposal would benefit the local economy through new job creation and meet expected demand for bulky-goods retailing. The proposal will be forwarded to the Department of Planning and Infrastructure for finalisation.


Liverpool. Rates could rise

Liverpool City Council rates could rise because of development in Austral and Leppington North. Liverpool ratepayers may have to cover a $63 million shortfall for community and major recreation facilities in the precincts. At the end of last year the state government announced more than 50,000 new residents, 16,000 houses, 10 schools, 89 hectares of parks, and 59 hectares of sporting fields were planned for the new release site. Council may have to pay an estimated $105 million from its pocket too because state legislation limits section 94 developer contributions to $30,000 a lot.


Liverpool. TAFE head honoured

Damien Prentice, director, learning environment, of South Western Sydney TAFE Institute’s nine campuses, including sites at Liverpool and Miller. has been given a Director-General’s award for excellent service to public education. Mr Prentice is a former teacher, who has been with TAFE for 28 years. He was instrumental in a customer service review aimed at improving the overall studying experience for students.


Penrith. First woman to hold position

Rita Mallia, of Penrith, and recently elected NSW president of CFMEU’s construction division, is the first woman to hold a senior position within the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU) in NSW. The main trade union in construction, forestry and forest products, mining and energy products has had women hold senior positions before, but never in NSW, until now. After studying law and economics at Sydney University, Ms Mallia worked in immigration law and then arrived at the CFMEU as a legal officer 15 years ago.


Parramatta. Festival off to a great start

The Sydney Festival's ambitious push into the western suburbs is off to a solid start, with thousands braving the rain to attend opening night of the inaugural Sydney Festival Parramatta, according to The Sydney Morning Herald.

Parramatta Lord Mayor, Lorraine Wearne, said arts audiences in the west had been neglected, lacking the facilities and events available in central Sydney. ''There has been a perception about the socio-economic dynamic that lives in the west and there has been an element of elitism in all that, especially in eastern Sydney “

It's elitist to assume [arts facilities and cultural events] are only there for the centre of Sydney and that the many millions who live further out to the west don't have the same right to that kind of enjoyment,”she said.

Cr Wearne said the festival's Parramatta programming would prove that ''people in the west will support good, worthwhile entertainment in their own area. There is an enormous arts and cultural base in Parramatta.''

Festival director, Lindy Hume, said: ''It was very successful, both artistically and in terms of community interest,'' Hume said. ''If we are genuine about reflecting Sydney as it is rather than as it is perceived, we need to look to the growth areas of Sydney … In terms of this deepening of engagement [with the west], the time has come for everyone to step up to the plate.''


Fairfield. Call for admendment

Fairfield City Council is to “strongly advocate” to Premier Barry O’Farrell to amend a proposal that could see millions of dollars in community funding stripped from the area and spent elsewhere. Last year Fairfield community groups and sporting organisations received $1.89 million, the highest amount of community funding in NSW.