Calling all MEN: be part of The solution to end violence against women

IN Australia, one woman a week is murdered by an intimate partner, with 247 lives lost to violence in the four years from 2017–2020 and a further 38 as of 8 November,2021*. It’s a national tragedy and it needs to stop now.

On White Ribbon Day, November 19, White Ribbon Australia is asking men to think about the changes they can make in their communities and workplaces to be part of the solution, not just on one day, but every day.

White Ribbon Australia Executive Director Brad Chilcott said turning this national tragedy around would require real, long-term social and cultural transformation. “And it will need men to stand up and be willing to reflect on their role in making this essential change a reality,” Mr Chilcott said.

“White Ribbon Day events aren’t the cure-all solution, but people, communities and workplaces who take what they learn and put it into practice in the days, months and years ahead can transform the future we share,” he added.

The theme this year is “How Can Men Make Change?”, calling on communities to “Learn, Give, Take Action”.

The call to action will also be front and centre at events across NSW, including a joint activation with White Lady Funerals to raise awareness of the impact of family domestic violence as witnessed by those dealing with the aftermath of these tragic deaths.

As dawn breaks over Martin Place on White Ribbon Day, 52 white chairs, a white rose placed on each–will be arranged in rows, with each empty chair representing the heartbreaking average number of women killed by domestic violence in Australia each year.

On the morning of White Ribbon Day, Rosie Batty, 2015 Australian of the Year and Co-Chair of the White Ribbon Australia Advisory Council, will also be appearing live on Channel Seven’s Sunrise. Seven West Media is an official Media Partner of White Ribbon Day 2021.

Major landmarks across the country will also be lighting up in white, or sharing our messages, in solidarity with our campaign’s focus on the action men can take to end violence against women.

“White Ribbon Day is an opportunity for you to tell us about your community-led approaches to changing the attitudes and social norms that excuse or condone disrespect, sexual harassment and abuse-to put in place the actions needed to bring about that change, with our support,” Mr Chilcott said.

“We have the resources to help you understand the drivers of men’s violence, harassment and abuse, along with the tools you need to stand up and be part of the change. We’ve just launched our new

Resource Dashboard, ‘Learn: How Can Men Make Change’, so that all Australians can be equipped for meaningful action in our communities and workplaces.”

To find out more about hosting a White Ribbon Day event, making a donation to support community-led change initiatives, or to access the comprehensive resource library, visit

Council moves forward with plan to transform Parramatta CBD

CITY of Parramatta’s bold vision to grow the shape and size of its CBD is closer to becoming a reality after Council endorsed an ambitious plan to revitalise the Central River City.

First proposed in 2013, the Parramatta CBD Planning Proposal will see the boundaries of the Parramatta CBD expanded and the heights of buildings soar to cater for the estimated 46,000 new jobs and 14,000 new dwellings over the next 40 years.

“Parramatta is going through a period of unprecedented change and growth, and this plan will help bring our aspirations for our City to life,” City of Parramatta Lord Mayor Cr Bob Dwyer said.

“As the centre of global Sydney and beating heart of Western Sydney, Parramatta must continue to evolve into a world-class metropolis while maintaining its unique identity and preserving all-important cultural and public spaces for generations to come.”

By increasing building heights in the CBD, the proposal maximises opportunities for commercial and high-density residential development through changes to planning controls. It also seeks to protect key elements that make the City liveable, such as natural light and accessible public spaces, and encourages sustainable design and revitalised streets.

“We are building a Smart City, and part of that includes considered design that will meet the needs of our community for years to come,” Cr Dwyer said.

“To ensure we are setting our City up for a promising future, the proposal features higher building performance requirements, which encourage developers to incorporate simple but important environmentally sustainable elements to reduce water and energy use in new buildings.”

The Planning Proposal will support the NSW Government’s investment in new infrastructure, including Parramatta Light Rail and Metro.

The CBD Planning Proposal also aims to:

  • Protect key public spaces, including the river foreshore, from overshadowing.
  • Introduce new controls that ensure a development demonstrates an appropriate relationship to the City’s heritage; and
  • Include new parking provisions to facilitate improved traffic management and active transport.

The CBD Planning Proposal, which incorporated feedback received during public consultation in 2020, will now be sent to the NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment for final approval.

New Tech Making Train Travel Easier


A new Google Maps feature will make train travel easier, with more than 130 stations in Sydney added to Street View imagery.

Minister for Transport and Roads Andrew Constance said the new technology is especially important in assisting customers navigate unfamiliar or complex journeys, and for those with accessibility needs.

“This new Google Maps tool provides commuters with an interactive, panoramic, indoor tour of the stations, helping people plan their journeys and familiarise themselves with station layouts across most of the Sydney Trains and Sydney Metro network ahead of their commute.”

Google has also developed detailed navigation instructions for accessible routes across 70 complex train and metro stations across Sydney.

“This initiative is fantastic news for commuters. Finding your way around a busy station can be stressful, especially when you are pressed for time. It is great to see Google rolling out these helpful navigation tools today to help commuters plan and navigate their journeys – both in advance and when they are inside the station,” Mr Constance said.

“These tools allow commuters to find accessible entrances, exits, signage and paths within the station and better anticipate in-transit travel times along these accessible routes.”

Mr Ramesh Nagarajan, The Director of Product Management at Google Australia, said; “whether you’re traveling with a wheelchair, pram, and luggage or navigating an unfamiliar or complex journey, we hope these rich, accessible navigation tools help people plan and travel with more ease and confidence.”

In an Australian/world first, Google has shared the data with Transport for NSW to make available for the transport industry and app developers to access via the Open Data Portal.

Westmead to Sydney CBD to 20 minutes: Sydney’s newest metro stations confirmed

TWO new metro stations have been confirmed at Pyrmont and Hunter Street for the Sydney Metro West project, which will connect Parramatta to the CBD in around 20 minutes.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian said the Hunter Street station will have one entrance on the corner of Hunter and George Streets, and another on the corner of Bligh and O’Connell Streets, connecting customers to suburban rail lines as well as light rail.

“The city-shaping Sydney Metro West project will revitalise the western gateway to the Sydney CBD, while creating 10,000 direct and 70,000 indirect jobs,” Ms Berejiklian said.

“The new Hunter Street station is strategically located in the heart of Sydney, allowing commuters to easily connect to Sydney Trains at Wynyard and Martin Place, and Sydney Metro at Martin Place.

“Commuters at Martin Place will be able to connect to the new Hunter Street station via proposed underground walkways, making it easier and quicker for people to change lines and travel right across our city.”

Minister for Transport and Roads Andrew Constance said the future Pyrmont Station will be located between Pyrmont Bridge Road and Union Street, providing easy access to Pyrmont Bridge.

“From Pyrmont, commuters will be able to travel to Hunter Street in just two minutes – giving them back valuable time with their families and doing things they enjoy, while also encouraging investment in the Pyrmont area,” Mr Constance said.

Hunter Street will become the fourth metro station in the Sydney CBD, with the Transport Minister today inspecting the progress at the new Martin Place station on the Sydney Metro City & Southwest project.

“Construction is moving quickly at Martin Place station with work underway to install the platforms, the new pedestrian tunnel 60 per cent excavated and the final design of the station recently approved,” Mr Constance said.

Sydney Metro Chief Executive Peter Regan said Sydney Metro West will double rail capacity between Greater Parramatta and the Sydney CBD.

“There will be massive and game-changing travel time savings across Sydney. For example, sports fans will be able to get from Bondi Junction to the new metro station at Sydney Olympic Park in just 27 minutes (interchanging at Martin Place) compared to 56 minutes now,” Mr Regan said.

Other faster journeys include:

  • 12 minutes faster from Burwood North to North Sydney (Victoria Cross metro station) return – about 20 minutes (with interchange) using Sydney Metro, compared to about 32 minutes now (with interchange);
  • Save 32 minutes a day from Castle Hill to Pyrmont – about 42 minutes (with interchange) using Sydney Metro compared to about 58 minutes now (with interchange);
  •  14 minutes faster from Blacktown to Sydney Olympic Park – about 20 minutes (with interchange) using Sydney Trains and Sydney Metro compared to about 34 minutes now (with interchange).

Sydney Metro is liaising with the impacted owners and tenants of 11 commercial buildings in the CBD and another two commercial buildings in Pyrmont.

Pyrmont and Hunter Street now join the other station locations which have been confirmed for Sydney Metro West – Westmead, Parramatta, Sydney Olympic Park, North Strathfield, Burwood North, Five Dock and The Bays.

Sydney Metro expects to award the first major tunnelling contract for the Sydney Metro West project in the middle of this year, ensuring that tunnel boring machines can be in the ground by the end of next year.

Lights Shine On Penrith Opportunity

THE inaugural Lights on Penrith 2021 Growth Summit, held in March at the Joan Sutherland Performing Arts Centre in Penrith, was a huge success, gathering delegates from business, government, and the local community together to discuss the significant growth and development planned for the region in the next few years.

Kate Rafton, President of the Penrith Valley Chamber of Commerce and the driving force behind the Summit was delighted with the outcome.

“We had some amazing feedback from participants on the day. This was our first event under the Lights on Penrith banner and we are planning to run a series, each one focusing on a different aspect of growth and opportunity in our region. What really struck me, was how much the participants appreciated the chance to come together and focus on some of the most important issues relevant to Western Sydney and in particular, the Penrith region,” she said.

The key focus of the Summit was to highlight business growth opportunities and how major infrastructure and development projects, such as the Western Sydney Airport, Nepean Business Park, St Mary’s Freight Hub and Sydney Science Park, will create more local jobs and improve sustainability in the Nepean.

Bruce Baudinet, Chairman of Precinct Capital – the developers behind Nepean Business Park and Flagship Sponsors of the Summit – enjoyed the chance to contribute to the discussion on the day.

“We love the concept of the “30-minute city”. Providing opportunities for people to work within an easy 30-minute commute is critical when building sustainable communities. The Summit allowed us to meet with local businesses, share our vision of the 30-minute city, and demonstrate how an enlightened planning framework can support small businesses and thereby improve local employment opportunities. his will allow facilities like the Nepean Business Park to attract and retain small to medium enterprises in the region and create local jobs for local people,” he said.

According to Andrew Grima, Principal of Coleman Greig Lawyers and Flagship Sponsor of Lights on Penrith:

“The Lights on Penrith Growth Summit was exactly what the Penrith community needed. It was a fantastic opportunity to not only showcase future development in the region, but also to connect key stakeholders, and give businesses solid ideas on how they can leverage the growth opportunities. “

Sponsors and supporters of the event included Nepean Business Park (NBP) and Coleman Greig Lawyers, Penrith City Council, Celestino (developers of the Sydney Science Park), KPMG, NAB, Macquarie Commercial, Hix Group, Optus Business Centre Western Sydney, St Mary’s Freight Hub, Complete Recruitment Solutions, Raine & Horne Commercial Penrith, Uphire Equipment Specialists and Business Western Sydney.

Western Sydney Business Access was the regional media partner for the event.

With planning already underway, the next Lights on Penrith event will have a focus on tourism and hospitality in the region and take place in July.

By Stacey Randell – Engagement Manager at Penrith Valley Chamber of Commerce. Contact her on 0435 457 849


Bells Line Of Road To Reopen This Week

One lane is set to reopen on Bells Line of Road this week allowing drivers to travel in both directions at a reduced speed limit of 40 km/h.

Minister for Transport and Roads Andrew Constance said Transport for NSW crews assessed the road after it was damaged by last month’s severe weather event, and are patching significant potholes between Bell and Mount Tomah.

“Drivers will be able to travel all the way from Windsor to Lithgow on Bells Line of Road without any closure points, but there could still be traffic delays in the area due to the changed conditions” Mr Constance said

“Crews are currently carrying out patching work and they anticipate the road will be able to be opened under traffic control within the next 48 hours, but the full reopen will still require a lot more time and technical investigations.

“Yesterday’s geotechnical investigation revealed the affected areas are drying out and there’s been no further damage to Bells Line of Road since last week.

“I am encouraging drivers to visit cafes, pie shops, apple orchards and other businesses along Bells Line of Road, because they are still open and need your support these school holidays.”

Minister for Regional Transport and Roads Paul Toole said ground penetrating radar had been used to assess ground conditions beneath the road surface and help Transport develop strategies to restore access as quickly as possible.

“We know how important this road is both to locals and as a connection between Sydney and the Central West and we’ve been working hard to ensure it is safe to reopen,” Mr Toole said.

“While there’s still a lot of work to do to restore it to full capacity, we’ll be working hard to keep communities up to date and connected.”

March’s flooding event damaged the ground underneath Bells Line of Road and caused nearby slopes to slip, leading to the road being closed between Bell and Mount Tomah for the safety of the community.

Further heavy rain could impact the stability of the slopes on either side of the road, requiring Transport for NSW to close sections of the road again to keep everyone safe. If this occurs, Transport will communicate all of these changes to the community.

Transport for NSW Acting Deputy Secretary Howard Collins said the current traffic control point will be moved from Berambing up to the Blue Mountains Botanical Gardens this week.

“This is good timing for the Blue Mountains Botanical Gardens as it means the Gardens will be able to open to the public after finishing off their own flood clean-up operation,” Mr Collins said.

“We are encouraging the community to visit the Bells Line of Road local businesses but make sure you add plenty of extra travel time because the road will be down to just one lane between Bell and Mount Tomah.”

For more information, visit

Green lights for Sydney Metro west


The Sydney Metro West project has received two major planning approvals, creating thousands of jobs and paving the way for mega tunnel boring machines to be in the ground by the end of next year.

Planning approval has been granted for the Sydney Metro West Project Concept, from Westmead to the Sydney CBD, as well as station excavation and tunnelling between Westmead and The Bays.

Minister for Transport and Roads Andrew Constance today visited the site of two future factories at Eastern Creek, which separately received planning approval.

“We are ready to hit the ground running with work on the new Sydney Metro West tunnels and station excavations, between Westmead and The Bays,” Mr Constance said.

“The NSW Government is creating local jobs through local manufacturing, with the benefits of the Sydney Metro West project reaching further into the community than just at the station locations.

“These two new factories at Eastern Creek will support 240 local jobs and manufacture 148,000 precast concrete segments for the 24 kilometre twin tunnels that stretch from Westmead to the Sydney CBD.”

Minister for Planning and Public Spaces Rob Stokes said the approvals are a huge step forward for Sydney Metro West, which will transform the way we travel across Greater Sydney for generations to come.

“This city-shaping project will have a target travel time of about 20 minutes between Parramatta and the CBD, cut crowding on three major train lines and take tens of thousands of cars off the road every day,” Mr Stokes said.

“It will create more than 10,000 direct jobs and around 70,000 indirect jobs, while delivering a vital boost to the local economy.”

The project will link new suburbs to rail for the first time, with stations confirmed at Westmead, Parramatta, Sydney Olympic Park, North Strathfield, Burwood North, Five Dock, The Bays, Pyrmont and the Sydney CBD.

The planning approvals process for Sydney Metro West is being done in stages because of the size of the project.

Future planning stages will seek approval for major civil construction works including station excavation and tunnelling between The Bays to Sydney CBD, as well as tunnel

fit-out, station building and operation of the line between Westmead and the CBD. The community will be able to have its say at each stage of the planning process.

Construction started on the Sydney Metro West project in late 2020, with tens of billions of dollars being invested by the NSW Government to deliver a new Metro network across Greater Sydney.

The first of three tunnelling contracts is expected to be awarded in the middle of this year.

NSW Seniors festival gets back to nature

A garden tour, seedling workshop and bush tucker walk are among almost 80 initiatives connecting older people through the NSW Government’s Seniors Festival Grants Program.

Each year the NSW Seniors Festival provides a diverse range of programs and activities to seniors across the State enabling them to remain active, healthy and engaged.

Minister for Seniors Geoff Lee said the festival provides a chance for seniors to socialise, enjoy new experiences and continue learning.

“This year’s theme ‘In Our Nature’ provides a great opportunity for seniors to connect with the great outdoors, promote healthy living and maybe even try a new activity like chair yoga,” Mr Lee said.

Grow Together – a social network focused on combatting social isolation for seniors through sharing photos and stories about gardening – will be one of many stall holders at the NSW Seniors Festival exhibition.

Research shows the most effective way to learn about technology is through a hobby or subject you enjoy, and a love of gardening is something many seniors share,” Grow Together CEO and Founder Judy Friedlander said.

“As part of the NSW Government’s Combatting Social Isolation for Seniors grant program, 300 smartphones were distributed to seniors in Western Sydney who can now join our thriving social network.”

The NSW Government’s Seniors Festival grant recipients include a range of organisations, ensuring the festival has a diverse line-up. Activities include a comedy show, art exhibitions, high tea, drum circles and intergenerational dances.

The rose of the NSW Seniors Festival will be the Premier’s Gala Concert with internationally acclaimed Motown performers, Human Nature, headlining.

Events and initiatives will run across the State, kicking off on 13 April and continuing until 24 April.
For more information and dates visit:

$20M boost for disadvantaged driver program

$20M will be spent over the next five years helping more people get behind the wheel with the expansion of the Driver Licensing Access Program (DLAP).
Minister for Transport and Roads Andrew Constance said the program’s investment had been doubled and is aimed at increasing opportunities for 10,000 individuals including people from Aboriginal communities, vulnerable youth and refugees.
“Getting a driver’s licence is life-changing. It brings new opportunities for employment, education, training and medical treatment,” Mr Constance said.
“The program works by partnering volunteers with some of our more vulnerable members of the community, giving them access to licensing, safe and legal driving.
“Since the program started in 2015, more than 4,500 participants have gained their Learner Licence and over 3,000 have achieved their Provisional Licence.”
The program helps participants to navigate the Graduated Licensing Scheme (GLS). It includes preparing for the driver knowledge test to gain their Learner’s Licence, assistance accumulating 120 hours on road supervised driving experience as well as the costs in getting a licence.
Mr Constance said the statistics show unauthorised drivers are four times more likely to be involved in a fatal crash and twice as likely to be in a crash causing injury.
Ensuring we get more people inside the licensing system greatly reduces the risks on our roads. The deaths of young drivers have more than halved since the current licensing scheme began in 2000, but we still see young drivers over-represented in road crashes,” Mr Constance said.
“Last year’s road toll was 297. This toll isn’t just a number – it’s people, a loved one,a family member or a colleague.”
Transport for NSW has worked with Multicultural NSW to identify communities that would benefit from the expanded driver assistance program. These will include Fairfield, Liverpool, Bankstown, Parramatta, Holroyd, Bankstown, Wollongong, Newcastle, Coffs Harbour, Armidale, the Riverina and Murray.

First Light Rail tracks laid along Eat St


THE revitalization of Parramatta’s ‘Eat Street’ is well underway with the first tracks laid for Parramatta Light Rail in the dining precinct.

Minister for Transport and Roads Andrew Constance said major light rail construction on Church Street, from Lennox Bridge to George Street, is being fast-tracked for completion in mid-2021.

“It’s exciting to see a city-shaping project like the Parramatta Light Rail make significant progress over the past few weeks,” Mr Constance said.

“Up to 500 people per day and 300 each night worked through the Christmas and New Year period to connect utilities and lay tracks for the new light rail network, which will connect Westmead to Carlingford via the Parramatta CBD and Camellia.

“Construction crews are working a combined 8,500 hours a day right across the whole 12-kilometer alignment to deliver this project as quickly as possible, so everyone can enjoy the benefits.”

Member for Parramatta Geoff Lee said amending the construction schedule for ‘Eat Street’ in response to COVID-19 saw work continue through a planned three-month construction break, bringing forward the completion of major works in the dining precinct.

“We thank our local businesses for their patience and understanding during what has been a tough period for many. Seeing the first light rail tracks on ‘Eat Street’ is a positive sign of what’s to come,” Dr. Lee said.

“A celebration is planned from August, with a Transport for NSW activation known as ‘Eat Street Uncovered’ to take place before the installation of light rail stops and the commencement of network testing and commissioning.”

166 metres of track have now been installed along Eat Street.

The Parramatta Light Rail is expected to open in 2023. For more information, visit

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