Welcome to this edition of the MACROC Newsletter.
Development Forum Planned for the South West
Planning has commenced for the South West Sydney Development Forum being held on 21 October at the Campbelltown Arts Centre. The key feature of this Forum is collaboration, achieved by involving planners, Councils, state government agencies and financiers. The focus is South West Sydney incorporating the Macarthur region as well as Liverpool Local Government Area.
MACROC believes that the Forum will result in an improved understanding of the current trends and future outlook for property and land development in the South West region; improved spatial planning policies and development services as a result of feedback from relevant stakeholders; increased awareness of development opportunities in South West Sydney and an enhanced regional collaboration to further the development needs of the South West region.
Campbelltown Arts Centre: venue for Development Forum
MACROC CEO Breakfast Forum, Menangle, 11 August 2009
The first MACROC CEO Breakfast Forum for 2009 attracted an audience of over 100 business leaders and we expect similar interest in the second Forum of the year being held on 11 August. Our host venue is Durham Green in Menangle.
Guest speakers The Hon Craig Knowles and Steven Gal (the NSW Department of Ageing Disability and Home Care) will talk about the ageing population, the aged care industry and the implications for business in the region.
Please call Pamela at MACROC on 4645 4937 if you would like to register.
And remember large, medium or sole proprietor businesses are all welcome at the Breakfast Forums! The Forums provide a great opportunity to network and exchange information.
Guests at the Camden Forum
Open Space Forum 5 August
MACROC is working with the Minister for Western Sydney to host an Urban Parks and Open Space Forum in Campbelltown. The forum follows on from a successful forum held in Parramatta in April and will look at common issues that were raised by all councils regarding open space: the provision of easy access, clean facilities, good visibility into parks and the introduction of thoroughfares to attract more use of space and reduce isolation.
Submission on Managing Climate Impacts on Biodiversity
In response to the call for submissions to the Legislative Assembly Standing Committee on Natural Resource Management (Climate Change): Managing Climate Impacts on Biodiversity MACROC focussed on the issue of climate change at a local level and suggested that for a large-scale strategy to be successful it needed relevant local and regional initiatives to feed into the larger strategy.
The submission also highlighted that climate change was not the only threat to biodiversity and that other direct activities such as unsustainable agriculture, large-scale irrigation, land use planning and depletion of wetlands presented significant threats to biodiversity.
In summary the submission stressed the need for policy integration and clarification of the role of the three tiers of government, as well as adequate and sustainable funding to implement strategies to manage impact on biodiversity.
$3 Million for Maldon Dombarton Feasibility Study
Earlier this year consultants Connell Hatch and Strategic Design and Development were appointed to conduct a Pre-Feasibility Study on the completion of the Maldon Dombarton Rail Link. The study was to incorporate detailed analysis of existing rail networks in the context of both current and future freight markets. The study also reviewed the engineering and economic requirements of the Line.
The Pre-feasibility Study, released on 8 July found that completing the rail line between Maldon and Port Kembla via Dombarton has long-term economic merit. The study found the line had the potential to provide a strategic alternative to the current Moss Vale-Unanderra and Illawarra line for freight trains; to support the Port Kembla’s rapidly expanding commercial activities; and generate considerable employment within the local construction industry. The report also found that new intermodal freight corridors serving South West Sydney industrial areas may be required by 2020 due to rail and road congestion and that an improved rail linkage to South West Sydney would represent a freight opportunity for the port of Port Kembla. The Maldon Dombarton Rail Line conclude the consultants “could become the critical link in a Port Kembla-base container supply chain to handle forecast growth in demand for the Greater Sydney region”.
In order to further access the feasibility of the line the Federal Government has committed $3 million to fund detailed planning and engineering work needed to obtain firm costings and to determine the viability of the project.
A copy of the Pre-feasibility Study can be downloaded from: www.nationbuildingprogram.gov.au/publications/reports/index.aspx
Senate Inquiry into Public Transport
The President of MACROC Cr Chanthivong gave evidence to the Senate Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport Committee Inquiry into Public Transport on 6 March, 2009. Also invited to give evidence were Ms Sharon Fingland, Assistant Director, WSROC; Mr Pat Reilly, President, Northern Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils; Mr Nick Tobin, General Manager, Willoughby City Council and Ms Leta Webb, Executive Officer, Shore Regional Organisation of Councils.
Both the evidence given by MACROC and WSROC stressed the important contribution that Greater Western Sydney makes to the Australian economy, the size of it’s area and population and the inequity that exists between public transport services provided to residents in the Greater West compared to services provided to other parts of Sydney.
The President MACROC highlighted the findings of the MACROC commissioned report “Employment Prospects for South West Sydney” which identified that approximately 92,600 residents travel outside the region to work and a large majority do not use public transport. Current public transport infrastructure is inadequate and given that the area is about to experience significant population growth greater expenditure is needed on public transport.
A copy of the Transcript of Evidence can be found at www.aph.gov.au/senate_rrat
Wollondilly Transport Forum
MACROC participated in this one-day Transport Forum organised by Wollondilly Shire Council and held in Picton on 11 June 2009. The purpose of the forum was to stimulate and encourage solution focussed ideas relating to transport issues identified by the community of Wollondilly.
About 80 people attended the forum with representatives from community groups, government agencies, business organisations, Councillors, Council staff and members of public.
Among the issues raised at the forum were the adequacy of the physical infrastructure, the reliability, costs and frequency of public transport services and the need for greater stakeholder collaboration. These ideas will be used by Wollondilly Shire Council to inform future strategic planning and improve transport services to and within the Shire and MACROC will support specific initiatives that may come out of the forum.
Symmetry is a unique sustainability enhancement program designed to improve the environmental practices of small businesses in our area. It helps businesses to look at their business and identify ways to reduce costs and become more efficient by improving social and environmental performance.
Since the launch of the program in February 2008 434 local businesses have attended the information sessions that have been held at various locations across Macarthur. Seventy-three Macarthur businesses have been mentored and 60 companies have achieved Bronze Accreditation. Bronze is the first level in an accreditation that can see businesses progress from Bronze to Silver and finally to Gold Level.
MACROC is managing the $322,080 project, working with the Macarthur Business Enterprise Centre who provide mentoring to the businesses participating in the program, as well as with the University of Western Sydney who provided the toolkit and Macarthur Centre for Sustainable Living who undertake business audits.
The Symmetry Project will finish in December 2009 in accordance with the AusIndustry Funding Agreement. In the remaining months, the project will continue to be marketed aggressively to achieve the targets in the Agreement. The focus will be on small business in the Liverpool LGA.
To date 60 businesses have graduated with Symmetry Bronze and 38 have enrolled for Symmetry Silver.
A Symmetry page has been developed on www.makeitinmacarthur.com.au and a regular Symmetry newsletter called Symmetry NewsLink has been created. If you would like more information about Symmetry you can contact the MACROC Economic Development Officer, Imam Ali, on 4645 4965.
Macarthur Future Food Forum
MACROC is one of the sponsors of a regional workshop being held in Campbelltown on 15 September 2009. Together with the NSW Department of Agriculture, the South West Sydney Area Health Service, Sector Connect and Macarthur Diversity Services MACROC is supporting this forum that has been organised to explore local issues around food access and food supply. There will be guest speakers talking about planning for food production, accessing affordable food and health and the importance of market gardens in the Sydney Basin. Following the guest speakers there will be an open discussion on food issues that affect Macarthur as well as Greater Sydney.
Organised by the Sydney Food Fairness Alliance The Macarthur Future Food Forum is being held on 15 September at the Campbelltown Civic Centre between 10.30am and 2.30 pm. More information on the Sydney Food Fairness Alliance can be found at www.sydneyfoodfairness.org.au and you can rsvp for the Forum to Kim Caines on 4640 3586.
MACROC Dates for 2009
MACROC CEO Breakfast Forum 11 August 2009
South West Sydney Development Forum 21 October 2009
MACROC CEO Breakfast Forum 17 November 2009
If you are Interested in finding out more about MACROC and the Macarthur Region please go to - www.macroc.nsw.gov.au and www.makeitinmacarthur.nsw.gov.au
This newsletter is purely for information. MACROC takes no responsibility and provides no guarantees, warranties or representations, implied or otherwise, for the content and accuracy of the newsletter, featured products and links.