US visit to showcase Australia’s climate ambition and renewable energy potential
(See translation in Arabic section)
Sydney - Middle East Times Int’l: Climate Change and Energy Minister Chris Bowen will visit the United States to participate in climate week at the United Nations General Assembly and represent Australia at the important Clean Energy Ministerial meeting in Pittsburgh.
This will be an opportunity to re-enforce the message that under the Albanese Government, Australia is open for business for renewable energy investment. With a legislated commitment to reduce emissions by 43 per cent by 2030 and net zero by 2050, Australia can now provide the certainty that international investors seek for clean energy projects and supply chains.
This visit will promote Australia as a partner in the clean energy transformation and our potential to be a renewable energy superpower, especially in the Indo-Pacific region.
During his 5-day visit, Minister Bowen will deliver speeches and attend bilateral and multilateral meetings in New York, Pittsburgh and Washington DC.
While in New York, Minister Bowen will deliver a keynote address to the American Australian Association Business Council, with an audience of business leaders.
In Pittsburgh, he will attend the Global Clean Energy Action Forum and help launch the Net Zero Industries Mission with Austria.
Minister Bowen will also deliver a keynote address to the Centre for Strategic and International Studies in Washington DC.
The speech will be an opportunity to highlight how Australia and the US will work together to advance our climate objectives in the Indo Pacific region.
Macquarie Street East to commemorate Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and Premier Dominic Perrottet have announced a plan to commemorate Her Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II with a public square named in her honour in the heart of Sydney’s historic Macquarie Street.
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said he was pleased that the new public square would be named in honour of Her Majesty.
“Her Majesty The Queen held a very special place in the hearts of many Australians and I am pleased we can continue to commemorate and remember her magnificent life by naming this new plaza in her honour,” he said.
“The Queen dedicated her life to public service and it is appropriate that this new plaza will bear her name and can be enjoyed by Australians for many years to come.”
Mr Perrottet said it was fitting for the tribute to be included in the Macquarie Street East Precinct revitalisation plans, which celebrates the precinct’s different histories.
“We’re realizing a 20-year vision to celebrate this unique section of Sydney ensuring the heritage assets along Macquarie Street are more accessible and attractive for visitors in the 21st Century,” Mr Perrottet said.
“The precinct is already of national cultural significance, which is why we have chosen it to commemorate our late Head of State, by naming the new public square Queen Elizabeth II Place. We’ll also erect a monument in her likeness.”
Australia will not sanction Russian tourists, Ukraine military assistance to continue for the 'long haul'
Australia will not ban Russian tourists from entering the country as part of sanctions on Russia over the war in Ukraine, Defence Minister Richard Marles has said.
Since the start of the conflict, Australia has sanctioned hundreds of Russian individuals and entities, including most of Russia's banking sector and all organisations responsible for the country's sovereign debt.
It has also supplied defence equipment and humanitarian supplies to Ukraine, while outlawing exports of alumina and aluminium ores, including bauxite, to Russia.
Asked if Australia would also ban Russian tourists, Mr Marles said sanctions were aimed at Russia's government, "not the Russian people themselves".
"This is not something we are considering at the moment," he told the ABC's Insiders program.
Last month, Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy asked Western nations to ban Russian citizens from entering their countries.
State Opposition vows to fund 500 new paramedics in rural New South Wales
NSW Labor says hundreds of paramedics will be dispatched to take pressure off rural and regional hospitals if it wins next year's state election.
The Opposition has unveiled the first tranche of a $500 million health package which involves hiring an extra 500 paramedics and placing them in communities most in need.
Opposition leader Chris Minns said his party wanted to make sure paramedics had the skills to do more work in the field to take pressure off the public hospital system.
"If we can get paramedics doing more clinical work in the region, on site, it means that there is less of a pressure for transporting those people to an emergency department in a NSW public hospital," Mr Minns said.
He said the exact locations of the new recruits would be decided after consultation with health professionals.
Labor health spokesman Ryan Park said there was a critical shortage, particularly in the area of extended care and intensive care paramedics.
Schools check-in on HSC students
With 67,327 HSC students entering their very last week of school, NSW public schools are encouraging conversations around student wellbeing.
Minister for Education and Early Learning Sarah Mitchell said Check-in Week, a new initiative under the Stay Healthy HSC program, is an opportunity for teachers and families to connect with and support students.
“I know this week is filled with mixed emotions for our HSC students – they are looking forward at what is to come and that can be exciting for some and daunting for others,” Ms Mitchell said.
“The last week of school is a great time for students to connect with others and ensure they have the support networks they need in place before they leave the school gates.
“We want the HSC Class of 2022 to know there are friends, teachers, classmates, family members and professional support services who want the best for them and are available to talk.”
Chief Executive Officer of ReachOut Ashley De Silva said the mental health and wellbeing of young people, particularly HSC students, remained as important as ever.
“To support students feeling their best while they work towards the finish line, we have some great online resources available that are useful for students, as well as their parents and carers,” Mr De Silva said.
Prevent, test and treat to reduce STI rates IN NSW
NSW Health has released a new long-term roadmap to encourage prevention, regular testing and to enable better access to timely treatment for those affected by Sexually Transmissible Infections (STIs).
NSW Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant said the NSW Sexually Transmissible Infections Strategy 2022-2026 aims to bring down STI rates across the state and help reduce their impacts.
“One in six people are likely to have an STI at some point in their lives. If you are sexually active, it’s important to use preventative measures such as condoms, get tested regularly, and seek treatment early so you can stay healthy and protect the wider community from infection,” Dr Chant said.
“Sexual health is an important part of health and wellbeing. If left untreated, STIs pose a significant risk to reproductive health and could lead to harmful outcomes for mother and baby, neonatal infections, cancer, and increased risk of other infections.”
While NSW remains a world leader in responding to STIs, with HIV notifications having dropped to their lowest levels on record, data shows some STI rates have increased. Rates of infectious syphilis have doubled since 2016 from 11.2 notifications per 100,000 people, to 21.2 per 100,000 people in 2021.
The strategy sets out four key focus areas to achieve ambitious targets, which include the elimination of congenital syphilis and reduction of syphilis and gonorrhoea notification rates by five per cent by 2026.
More young people empowered to stand against hate
The NSW Government’s flagship program helping empower young people to fight racism and hate has nearly doubled in size, with ten new partnership projects joining the initiative.
Each of the new partnership projects have been awarded a share in $1.6 million through the Community Partnership Action (COMPACT) program, to run projects specifically designed to help young people combat hate, racism, and divisive attitudes.
Minister for Multiculturalism Mark Coure said each partnership is made up of a collection of community groups and organisations wanting to work together in their local area to help young people fight hate and division.
“We now have 24 COMPACT partnership projects involving over 80 organisations who are willing to stand up and stand united as champions for community harmony,” Mr Coure said.
“There will always be individuals who want to threaten and divide our society by inciting fear and hatred along racial or religious lines.
“COMPACT is all about denying these negative forces what they want, and we see young people as the key to achieving this. We do this by working with grassroots organisations to draw on the strength of our unity and foster a sense of connectedness among young people.”
Mr Coure said many of the new partnerships are in regional NSW, including Goulburn, Queanbeyan, Shoalhaven, and Wagga Wagga.
“Our multicultural society is not confined to one area or city, it extends right across NSW,” Mr Coure said.
“It is really promising that we have so many community organisations rallying together to create projects that will benefit young people in their local areas.”
Securing supply of diesel exhaust fluid to keep Australia moving
The Albanese Government is moving to build a stockpile of Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF) and build Australia’s manufacturing capacity to ensure the resilience of Australia’s trucking industry.
The market for DEF including Adblue, has seen extreme volatility over recent times. The Albanese Government is planning ahead so the Australian transport sector can better weather volatility in the future.
DEF is critical to the operation of trucking and other diesel vehicles, and it lowers noxious emissions which are harmful to people and the environment.
The $49.5 million investment over four years is a comprehensive package that will enhance resilience of the market. The funding will establish an emergency stockpile of Technical Grade Urea (TGU) which is the critical component of DEF.
It will also support sovereign manufacturing capability and increase transparency in the market.
Minister for Climate Change and Energy Chris Bowen said the Australian Government was taking action to ensure ongoing reliable supplies of DEF.
“Diesel exhaust fluid is crucial to our transport sector and the Albanese Government is taking action to ensure supply and strengthen the market,” Minister Bowen said.
“While the market is currently well-supplied, we need to put in place measures to deliver certainty and provide back-up in case of disruption.
“We are also monitoring and engaging with industry to ensure the market is functioning properly and the supply chains are delivering.”
The majority of DEF in Australia is used in trucks, large passenger buses, diesel passenger vehicles, and some agricultural, mining and other off-road equipment.
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Safety improvements at Highfields and Adamstown heights
Motorists in Highfields and Adamstown Heights are now experiencing safer and quicker journeys on City Road following the early completion of two intersection upgrades.
Minister for Metropolitan Roads Natalie Ward said these projects have significantly eased congestion and increased safety across the intersections at Kahibah Road Highfields and Northcott Drive Adamstown Heights across City Road.
“We are busting congestion so you spend less time in traffic and have more time to do the things that are important to you,” Mrs Ward said.
“The completion of these major intersection upgrades has increased the traffic flow capacity and improved safety.
“The Northcott Drive intersection includes new safety barriers, improved drainage, repaired existing walls, upgraded electrical components and relocated services.”
Minister for Regional Roads Sam Farraway said the intersection upgrades, funded through $13.5 million from the Hunter Pinch Points Program, involved extending right turn lanes, building new left turn lanes on City Road, adding an extra right turn lane out of Kahibah Road and widening sections of the road to improve traffic flows.
“The upgraded intersections are now open to traffic, and we can now complete work on a new crossing connecting to a new ramp and existing footpath across Northcott Drive, and complete improvements to the existing City Road pedestrian crossing,” Mr Farraway said.
Panel explores creating better economic outcomes for aboriginal people
The economic state of indigenous communities will be explored next week as part of a public event hosted by NSW Parliament.
President of the NSW Legislative Council, Matthew Mason-Cox, said a panel of Aboriginal leaders and members of Parliament will discuss the economic sustainability and support for Aboriginal communities and businesses.
“This is an important and fitting topic for our third event in the thought-provoking Leaders in Conversation series, as Parliament continues to engage with and discuss matters of importance to Aboriginal people,” Mr Mason-Cox said.
Members of the public are invited to join the discussion with registrations now open to join a Leaders in Conversation online panel discussion around the theme ‘Economic development and prosperity. Empowering social change.’
The ‘Leaders in Conversation’ event will be held online from 1-2pm on Tuesday 20 September.
The panel includes NSW Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, Benjamin Franklin, NSW Shadow Minister for Aboriginal Affairs and Treaty, David Harris, together with Gamilaroi woman and NSW Indigenous Chamber of Commerce CEO Deb Barwick and Yorta Yorta woman and Executive Director Claire Beattie from the NSW Department of Education.
Speaker of the NSW Legislative Assembly, Jonathan O’Dea, said members of the public are invited to engage with the panellists and add their own questions to the discussion.
“This is a unique opportunity to hear directly from advocates for Aboriginal communities as they discuss what can be done to support and empower Aboriginal communities in NSW to reach their economic potential,” Mr O’Dea said.
Australian pandemic leave payment to remain in place
National Cabinet met virtually to discuss the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and receive an update from Chief Medical Officer Professor Paul Kelly.
First Ministers agreed to extend the Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment (PLDP) at current rates beyond 30 September 2022.
The payment will remain available for as long as mandatory isolation periods are applied by all States and Territories.
First Ministers agreed to cap the maximum number of PLDP claims an individual can make in a six month period to three.
National Cabinet agreed the Commonwealth and States and Territories would continue 50:50 cost-sharing arrangements for the payment.
First Ministers also agreed to a National Cabinet Statement on the National Day of Mourning to honour the life and service of Queen Elizabeth II on 22 September 2022. A copy of the statement is available on federation.gov.au.
The National Cabinet remains committed to working together on national priorities and will meet again in Canberra at the end of the month.
Three new appointments to the Climate Change Authority
The Albanese Government has appointed three new members of the Climate Change Authority to bolster its role in providing independent advice to Government on the reduction of the nation’s emissions and climate change policy.
With the passage of the Government’s landmark Climate Change Bills, the Authority will be responsible for advising the Climate Change Minister on an annual climate change statement to Parliament, providing a new accountability mechanism for delivering climate change policy. The Authority must also provide advice on Australia’s future targets under the Paris Agreement.
The new members Dr Virginia Marshall Professor Lesley Hughes and Ms Sam Mostyn AO with the Authority’s membership expanding from 6 to 9.
All three new members are extremely well credentialed and bring a breadth of expertise and experience to the Board.
Minister for Climate Change and Energy Chris Bowen congratulated the incoming Authority members.
“The Climate Change Authority has a crucial role to play and these three additional members will bring vital skills and experience,” Minister Bowen said.
“With this expanded membership, the Authority is better placed to oversee emissions reduction efforts and provide government with expert advice.”
Dr Marshall is known for her work on Indigenous water rights, which includes national water policy and law reform, climate change, human rights and Indigenous perspectives on the rights to nature/legal personhood.
Professor Hughes has had distinguished academic career and has provided independent expert advice to government on a range of scientific and policy issues, including at the federal Climate Commission.
Ms Mostyn is a businesswoman and sustainability adviser with a long history of executive and governance roles, and has served on boards for The Climate Council and the Centre for Policy Development.
The Climate Change Authority provides expert advice to the government and plays an important role in the governance of Australia's mitigation policies. It was established in 2012 under the previous Labor Government.
Bengaluru route takes off thanks to aviation attraction fund
A new Qantas route between Sydney and Bengaluru has taken to the skies today thanks to the NSW Government’s Aviation Attraction Fund, marking the first direct connection between Australia and Southern India by any airline.
Treasurer Matt Kean said the new service will deliver more than 44,000 inbound international seats to Sydney up to 30 June 2023.
“This is the second international service announced through our $60 million airline war chest, which is aimed at turbocharging the State’s tourism pandemic recovery,” Mr Kean said.
“As a direct flight to India, there is potential to support more than 100 jobs and generate more than $19 million in overnight spending for the NSW visitor economy.”
Minister for Tourism Ben Franklin said that India is a significant trade partner for NSW with huge potential for future growth.
“In 2019 India was the fastest growing market to NSW. We welcomed 175,000 visitors, with travellers spending an estimated $444 million. In July 2022, India was the third largest source of visitors to NSW, with those numbers expected to surge in the coming months due to pent-up demand.
Minister for Multiculturalism Mark Coure said this new direct flight route solidifies Sydney’s standing as a global city.
“This direct route will be a benefit to our rich multicultural society, particularly the Indian Diaspora, which represents Australia’s second-largest country of birth,” Mr Coure said.
Qantas Domestic and International CEO Andrew David said this new route would provide greater connectivity between the two nations with both the outbound and inbound inaugural flights between Sydney and Bengaluru sold out in all cabins.
Epic street festival returns as Parramatta Lanes marks 10 years
A smorgasbord of street food, live music, outdoor karaoke, and free desserts are just some of the treats on offer at this year’s epic Parramatta Lanes as the flagship event celebrates a decade of fun.
This year marks the festival’s 10th anniversary, with a jam-packed and free four-day program of eats, beats, and art, from Wednesday 12 October to Saturday 15 October.
“Our much-loved Parramatta Lanes event was created to highlight the diversity and vibrancy of our city and tempt people who work in the CBD to stay after dark. It has truly achieved its goal,” City of Parramatta Lord Mayor Cr Donna Davis said.
“Lanes has grown year-on-year and is now our flagship event bringing together amazing food, music and art in the heart of Western Sydney. This year’s program features some of the best bits of the past ten years with some added extras to mark this wonderful milestone. If you’ve never been to this incredible event, this is the year to lose yourself in Parramatta Lanes.”
Over four nights, local restaurants, food trucks and pop-up stalls will offer some of Sydney’s most delicious and Instagrammable dishes across ten sites. Newcomers Tokyo Lamington, Firepop, The Pharoah BBQ, Pocket Rocketz, Satay Bros, Burger Head and Hyderabad House will join old favourites including Butter Parramatta, Lilymu, Koi Dessert Bar and Mrs Wang’s Dumplings.
There will be a mix of music on show, including Parramatta Lanes regulars and locals DJ Levins, Bodega Collective and Planet Trip & Beat Kitchen Records. Some of Western Sydney’s best talent will take to the stage including rapper Mung Mung, Mike Champion, Nicole Issa, Liyah Knight, Good Pash, Rainbow Chan, Boy Soda, Jade Kenji, and DJ Fried Pork Chop.
Visitors can make their own musical contributions with an outdoor karaoke stage set up in Parramatta Square – complete with disco ball and multilingual song selection. If singing isn’t your thing, over in Centenary Square, you can join a drumming circle playing beats as the sun sinks each night.
Across the City, it will be hard to miss Fantastic Planet by Parer Studio’s larger-than-life glowing ‘humanoid’ inflatables, as they loom over crowds and peek around corners. Visitors can also interact with 3D-printed model avatars known as ‘Flower People’ created by Parramatta Artists’ Studios alumnus Kalanjay Dhir.
You can’t have a birthday without cake, and Parramatta Lanes will be sure to satisfy any sweet tooth. A dessert giveaway in Centenary Square will offer mouth-watering baked treats from a different vendor each night.
Archie Rose is toasting the occasion with two bespoke Parramatta Lanes cocktails – ‘Red Centre Negroni’ and ‘Espresso Martinique’ – incorporating native ingredients like riberry and strawberry gum. Renowned multidisciplinary artist and Parramatta Artists’ Studios alumna Rosie Deacon has created bright and cheerful street banners marking a decade of Parramatta Lanes.
On Friday 14 October, a special Diwali event will take over Centenary Square to mark the Festival of Light. International Bollywood actress and model Kangan Sharma will emcee the night which will include local dance groups and entertainment.
There will be a stage dedicated to featuring Western Sydney artists at Parramatta Lanes. This is proudly funded by the NSW Government’s CBD Recovery Grants in association with City of Parramatta Council.
Parramatta Lanes was recently awarded the RH Dougherty Award for Innovation in Special Events at the Local Government Week Awards, recognising its creative approach to adapting the event post lockdown.
Parramatta Lanes is a free event. To find out more information, visit atparramatta.com/lanes
$5 Million to activate NSW heritage
Applications are open for innovative ideas that boost public access to the state’s most significant heritage places and stimulate local economies across NSW.
Minister for Heritage James Griffin said $5 million in funding support is available through the 2023-2025 NSW Heritage Grants program.
“Our NSW Heritage Grants program is now in its 44th year and has helped deliver fantastic heritage renewal projects right around the state,” Mr Griffin said.
“For the first time ever, we’re also trialling a $1 million matched funding grant, which is designed to protect and promote our heritage by incentivising owners and custodians to revitalise state heritage listed sites and bring them back to life.
“We want to see applications that engage communities in our rich heritage, contribute to community wellbeing, and support economic activity within local areas.
“The Heritage Grants are all about revitalising some of our most meaningful places in NSW, and preserving them for our future generations.”