Those that I call the permanently outraged professional activist.
It doesn't matter what the issue is, they are a group of individuals who have become professionals at being offended on behalf of others, and have morphed into professional protesters and angry activists.
This group of people attempt to create civil unrest no matter what the issue in order to proclaim their supposed superiority above the quiet Australians.
Decent Australians who go about their own business and private lives, who work hard to earn a living, pay taxes and support their families.
In recent times we have seen these decent, hard-working Australians become the target of the permanently outraged professional activist - who will stop at nothing and use whatever tools and resources they have at their disposal against their fellow citizens.
In speaking today, I do so - looking at how the permanently outraged professional activists have weaponised some arms of government against its own citizens.
They do this in order to intimidate, threaten and in some cases financially victimise people who dare to have a differing point of view to their own.
Let’s look at the Australian Human Rights Commission for a start.
The Commission was established as a statutory agency in 1986 with the purpose of pursuing discrimination injustice.
The problem we now have is that in some instances it is being used as a weapon of choice against Australia’s own citizens who may have a different point of view from the permanently outraged activist.
Furthermore, as the Commission is a statutory office with its commissioner’s statutory office holders with a security of tenor, there is little accountability of their work and the direction of the Commission.
I believe this lack of oversight and accountability has allowed a number of government agencies to be used against its own citizens.
In recent times we have seen the permanently outraged turn to Channel 7 and comments that were made on one of their morning programs.
A panel debate with panelists who dare debate issues of the day, such was the case with Sam Armytage, Prue MacSween and Ben Davis.
According to the professional angry activists, you may only have a debate when all panelists have the same point of view – which must be theirs.
Otherwise – Mr President - you will face the wrath of a deliberate and orchestrated campaign against you.
A campaign that often ends in large financial legal costs to the alleged offending person with a different point of view.
Mr President, we have a proud history is this country and our communities are rightly full of plagues, monuments and statues acknowledging the significant contribution our people have made.
What we must also remember is that so many Australians lost their lives fighting in wars and conflicts to ensure that we remained a free nation, with a free voice and freedom of association.
The same freedoms that allow these permanently outraged professional activists to protest, march and push their minority view.
It is unconscionable for a country like Australia to allow agencies inside of government to be turned into a weapon.
To be used to silence its citizens, with the ultimate aim to discourage and stifle free thought, opinion and speech - just because it is not consistent with the permanently outraged person’s point of view.
When these government agencies were created, they were done, in most cases, in good faith.
Established to protect all Australians against real discrimination, and frankly there is no place for discrimination in a civilised society.
However, what we have seen in recent years, is the permanently outraged professional activist riding roughshod over the majority by using our own agencies under the guise of discrimination.
So what we now have is a situation where these government agencies are being used as a tool by extreme left wing groups to make vexatious claims with the aim to intimidate and harass their intended victim.
Every day Australians – out of fear - are being browbeaten into concealing their opinions.
So I call on agencies like the Australia Human Rights Commission and others like it, that are littered throughout our states to get back to the work they were established to do.
Leave the quite majority of Australians alone whose hard earned taxes pay for these Kangaroo Courts.
I speak on the ReproductiveHealth Care Reform Bill 2019 and note the Premier has authorised a free vote for Liberal Party members of Parliament. For this reason, I believe it is important I outline to the House, but most importantly to my party and the people of New South Wales, my views on this matter and how I will vote. It is incumbent that we all explain our position. We are leaders and we write the laws of our State. I know that some will not agree with my position, but that is not a reason to avoid speaking or expressing my opinion. It is fair to say this is a challenging issue and the bill has exposed deep division in our community. As I have said before, abortion is a matter of great importance; a very personal and sensitive matter. For some it is deeply personal. For others it is a matter of women's rights. For others still, it is about human rights more broadly.
But the fact remains that lawful terminations are allowed currently in New South Wales. This was established in 1971 following a decision by Judge Levine. In New South Wales a termination is defined as lawful if it is conducted by a registered medical practitioner with the consent of the woman and if that medical practitioner believes the procedure is necessary to preserve the woman from serious danger to life, or physical or mental health. The NSW Ministry of Health policy stipulates this and it has developed a framework for terminations. Strict protections have been implemented by the Ministry of Health outlining the need for the termination, the consent of the woman and the responsibility of the health organisation conducting the procedure. Furthermore, the policy outlines the process for a termination under 13 weeks, between 13 and 20 weeks and greater than 20 weeks, including the need to offer counselling and consultation with relevant specialists and, in some cases, multidisciplinary teams of experts in areas of fetal medicine, psychiatry or neonatology.
What is being proposed? The bill is not about decriminalising abortion. If that was the case, we would have before us a bill that codified the existing law in line with community expectations. I cannot support the Reproductive Health Care Reform Bill in its current form. I will outline in my speech the concerns I have and the amendments I intend to move in Committee. Before I do that, I place on the record my frustration around the process for examining the bill. I am concerned the social issues committee was not afforded enough time to consider the complexity of the bill. It was given a week to receive submissions, conduct an inquiry and prepare a report. Despite the short time frame, it received over 14,000 submissions. However, due to the short time frame, the vast majority could not be read. I apologise to those who took the time to write and to those who hoped to appear before the committee as a witness. I say to them, I will endeavour to ensure this does not happen again. As a member of the community, they have every right to express their view and to ensure we as legislators are not only considering their views but are passing legislation in line with their expectations.
In addition to the submissions, I have been inundated with emails, phone calls and messages, over 90 per cent of which have asked me to oppose the bill. Abortion is a very serious matter and any legislation must be considered in a measured and respectful way. No matter where we stand, that is something we should all agree on. When we look at other States and the length of time they had to review their legislation, consult the public and consider amendments, we can see our process has been manifestly inadequate. Tasmania, Victoria and Queensland all held parliamentary inquiries and released consultation papers for up to six to 12 months before reporting the bill to the House for debate. In fact Victoria examined several models before a final bill was introduced. What is evident is that every jurisdiction has taken the time to consider abortion reform before passing legislation. The termination of pregnancy is very serious and personal. We owe it to the people of New South Wales to have extensive consultation and consideration, regardless of one's stance on the bill, to ensure we are providing good legislation for our State with appropriate safeguards.
When I was working as a theatre nurse, I recall a lady in her late forties who was having a dilation and curette. At the time I did not think much of the procedure; maybe I chose to ignore the procedure and focus on the medicine. Maybe I knew above all my job was to provide a duty of care to my patient and not judge. Either way, I could not help but feel for this lady, a mother of eight, who would not survive another pregnancy. Less than a month later I was called over to the maternity wing of the hospital to assist with a caesarean, which was expected to be standard surgery. Devastatingly, we delivered a stillborn baby. We all felt for the mother and family—staff and patients alike. Over the years, I have not thought again about these two cases, nor asked why one medical procedure emotionally affects so many and another is just that—a procedure.
I do not seek to raise the ethical question of when life begins, except to say that having seen the remains of a 10-week-old fetus and a dead 29-week-old baby, it is hard to not do so. From a personal perspective, I have been unfortunate to have had a number of miscarriages. The last was medically difficult and did not come without risk. I understand the loss of a child and feel for a woman who has lost a child, whether it is by choice or by nature. It is difficult for the mother and those around—the father and family. Having seen the ultrasounds of a baby's development, I find it difficult to accept the threshold for "abortion on demand" to be 22 weeks, as determined by the bill. I believe many in the community share this view and it is worth noting that other jurisdictions have lower thresholds.
A survey conducted by Galaxy Research revealed 74 per cent oppose late-term abortions past 23 weeks, with only 6 per cent supporting terminations of up to 23 weeks and only 5 per cent supporting terminations up to birth. A stillborn delivered at 20 weeks or more is registered as a birth and yet, under the bill, an aborted baby at the same gestation will not be acknowledged. Some argue that late-term abortions are rare and will occur only where there is a pressing medical need. If this is the case, then it should be clearly enshrined in the legislation. I accept the vast majority of medical professionals do the right thing and will continue to do so. However, we must protect the community from the ones who may choose to do the wrong thing; that is our responsibility as legislators.
The bill stipulates that after 22 weeks the medical practitioner must consult with another practitioner and both must believe the abortion should be performed. There is no threshold or clearly articulated assessment or checklist for late-term abortions. The bill leaves the power with the second medical practitioner, who is not required to assess the individually personally. Furthermore, evidence shows that an unborn baby can feel pain and yet there is no provision in the bill that a child being terminated is to be anesthetised.
For abortions performed after 22 weeks that are unlawful, doctors face no criminal sanctions, even if they break the proposed law. If a doctor believes, for whatever reason, that the abortion should be performed, but fails to consult a second doctor, they will not face any criminal sanction, with professional reprimand being the only possible penalty. I believe this needs to be explored in the committee debate. There are several cases of premature babies being born at 22 weeks and surviving. The youngest recorded was 20 weeks and five days. In the Legislative Assembly, an amendment was voted down that would have provided a baby born alive after an abortion with the same neonatal care that would be given to any other infant of the same gestation and in the same medical condition. Since Victoria reformed its abortion laws in 2008, more than 300 babies have been born alive after abortions. Denying life-saving treatment for a baby born alive after a termination is, to say the least, inhumane. Secondly, if a child born alive after an abortion survives, who is responsible for the child—the mother or the biological father, or is it a ward of the State or up for adoption?
I also believe we need to clarify in the bill the prohibition of trading in human tissue, which is currently prohibited in New South Wales by the Human Tissue Act 1983. However, section 32 of that Act provides that a person must not sell or supply tissue from any such person's body or from the body of any other person. Because this provision refers to tissue "from the body of any other person" there is a question or doubt as to whether that reference includes the body of a fetus. This doubt arises unfortunately because an unborn child in New South Wales is not recognised as a person.
Under the bill as it stands, there is no protection against prenatal sex discrimination. Sex selective abortion is a well-documented issue worldwide and has resulted in as many as 23 million missing females. The inquiry received evidence that girls are being aborted in New South Wales and Victoria because some communities value boys over girls.
Furthermore, the bill fails to ensure that appropriate support or counselling from specialists will be provided to a woman contemplating having an abortion. Proposed section 7 of the bill merely notes that before performing an abortion, a medical practitioner must determine whether it would be beneficial to discuss counselling with the woman seeking the abortion and, if so, to then provide her with information about counselling. This hardly provides a safeguard for the informed consent of a woman seeking a termination. It is subjective and based entirely on the medical practitioner's judgement. Whether it is in the abortion provider's financial interests to encourage an abortion—or whether there is any conflict of interest, for that matter—they as medical practitioners hold the power to determine whether it is beneficial to provide counselling to that woman.
It is argued that a women has a right to choose to terminate a pregnancy, but she is not given the right to choose to see a counsellor. That decision is made for her. A mandatory offer of counselling should be provided to the woman, with that counselling being conducted by an independent body to eradicate any conflict of interest. A termination of pregnancy is a significant decision with the potential to physically and psychologically impact the woman. Overwhelmingly, but not surprisingly, a report conducted by Galaxy Research revealed that 90 per cent of people surveyed believe that women should have the right to independent counselling.
Under clause 9, Registered health practitioner with conscientious objection, the bill requires the medical professional to refer the client to another health practitioner or health service provider who does not have a similar objection. Does that mean that a public list will be made available of medical practitioners who will or will not perform an abortion? If so, will they and their practice be protected from potential violence? The bill will compel doctors and health professionals, regardless of their beliefs, to facilitate an abortion. It neglects our doctors and health professionals who may hold religious or ethical values that run contrary to pregnancy terminations and will force them to facilitate an abortion through the process of referral.
As if that is not difficult enough for our doctors, the bill also indicates that the failure to refer following a conscientious objection is grounds for complaints and disciplinary procedures under the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law and the Health Care Complaints Act. Respect for conscientious objection is a fundamental principle in Australia. Medical practitioners should expect that their rights will be respected, as would any other citizen in our democratic country. We are giving ourselves a conscience vote but refuse to allow our doctors and health professionals to have the same right.
I find it extraordinary that there is no mention of a woman in this bill, despite all of us referring in this debate to women who are pregnant. As the law stands, only those who are legally female can be pregnant. This should be about them. The use of "person" rather than "woman" in the bill is based on a radical gender ideology that is out of touch with biological realities. Under the Births, Deaths and Marriages Registration Act 1995, a person born female could only apply to change the sex on her birth certificate to male if she first underwent a sex affirmation procedure, defined as "a surgical procedure involving the alteration of a person's reproductive organs". While some members may wish this requirement to be abolished and any person to be entitled to change their registered sex at will, that is not currently the law in New South Wales. It is not appropriate to anticipate any such change. Those who attempt to do so by stealth are attempting to smuggle this terminology into the bill, which purports to be about women's reproductive health care.
Finally, I refer to concerns raised about access to reproductive health services in rural and remote areas. More needs to be done to support women and families, but it is not right to say that because there are challenges with accessing services, we should allow late‑term abortions. That is a simplistic view of a complex issue. Members in this House and in the other place have raised serious concerns about the bill and I welcome the opportunity for our Chamber to reflect over the coming weeks on the amendments being proposed. If this bill is to pass this House, it is imperative that it is in line with community expectations and protects women and unborn children.
This year, the NSW Government created the state’s first Women’s Week. It is a week to not only enable a broader focus, discussion and celebration of women’s achievements, but to also reflect on what lies ahead to achieve gender equality.
The women of NSW have made, and continue to make incredible contributions in all fields of endeavour, including the arts, science, health, sports, social welfare, business and politics, and also in our families, communities and neighbourhoods.
NSW Women’s Week is a time to recognise all the incredible ways women contribute to society, while also coinciding with the NSW Government’s commitment to improve the lives of women across our state.
NSW Women’s Week was established to as part of the NSW Government’s NSW Women’s Strategy (2018-2022). The Women’s Strategy is an action-oriented policy document, which aims to advance social and economic equality between women and men, boys and girls.
The strategy affirms the NSW Government’s commitment to empowering women and girls to have full access to opportunity and choice, be valued for their diversity, recognised for their contribution, and able to participate in all aspects of life freely and safely.
At a time when NSW is one of the strongest, fastest growing economies in the developed world, women are leading the way.
Of the 420,500 jobs created in NSW since April 2015, 260,000 – over 60% – have been taken by women. Women are entering or re-entering the workforce in NSW in record numbers, taking the participation rate to an all-time high of 60.6%.
This is contributing to a stronger NSW economy, and most importantly, it means more choices, greater opportunities and a better quality of life for all families in every community across our state.
As part of the establishment of NSW Women’s Week, the NSW Government launched a grant program for local organisations that reflect these priorities, to increase community engagement and support the organisations who work to celebrate women.
The NSW Women’s Week grants have given local organisations the opportunity to deliver a range of education, mentoring and participatory activities that will benefit women and girls across the state.
Women Chiefs of Enterprises International was one of many successful 2019 NSW Women’s Week grant recipients.
Tonight’s ‘Step into your Power’ event is exactly what NSW Women’s Week is all about, mentoring, supporting and uplifting women to become the best version of them self in every aspect of their lives.
We are all so fortunate tonight to have such high-achieving women in our midst to celebrate the diverse contributions of women and girls in our state. The NSW Government is proud of the achievements we have made to support women so far, and with your support, will continue to accelerate our work towards gender equality.
Firstly, I would like to acknowledge the traditional owners of the land, the Gadigal people of the Eora nation and pay my respect to their elders past and present
It is an honour to be here to represent the NSW Government, particularly my colleague, the Hon Brad Hazzard MP, the NSW Minister for Health and Minister for Medical Research, who unfortunately could not be here tonight, but sends all of you the warmest of wishes.I would like to acknowledge:
We are honoured to be holding this conference in Australia, particularly here in Sydney.
The discussions and collaborations that will be forged from your presence here tonight will help drive forward new ideas and strategies to address inequities in the control of human papillomavirus, or HPV.
This conference could lead to the next big step in achieving global control of HPV disease.
Populations across the world, including here in the Asia-Pacific region, remain vulnerable to HPV infection.
Despite the advances in HPV control, there are a number of social and policy barriers preventing universal and equitable access.
Unfortunately, populations with the largest burden of HPV-related disease have the poorest access to effective prevention including vaccines.
90 per cent of cervical cancers are occurring in middle to low income countries, where there remains poor uptake of the HPV vaccine.
I am proud that Australia was the first country in the world to implement a national HPV vaccination program.
In the decade since its introduction, there has already been a significant reduction in the number of young women with high-grade cervical abnormalities.
Australia’s National Cervical Screening Program came into place in 1991 and has since halved cervical cancer rates.
The NSW Annual Immunisation Coverage Report showed that more than 93 per cent of one-year-olds and five-year-olds are fully immunised across NSW.
Preventive and population health programs are critical to keeping people healthier, fitter and out of hospital.
Health and medical research plays a vital role in delivering better treatments and interventions, improving health services delivery and clinical and population health outcomes.
The NSW Government is committed to working with health and medical research communities, the higher education sector and business to promote growth and innovation in research and development.
We are committed to funding, supporting and fostering innovation to achieve better health, environmental and economic outcomes for the people of NSW.
As my Federal colleague, the Hon Greg Hunt MP, mentioned in his video message, Australia has been at the forefront of HPV research and its application into clinical practice.
A team led by Professor Ian Frazer discovered how to make the vaccine particles which form the basis of the HPV vaccine.
The vaccine was first available in 2006, and only one year later, Australia became the first country in the world to roll out a national vaccination program.
Given this, Australia was well placed to assess the effectiveness of the vaccine in real world settings.
Since this program was introduced, we have seen significant declines in the rates of HPV infection and precancerous abnormalities of the cervix.
Australia led the way in what was a huge step towards the global control of HPV disease.
Australia continues to stand as a world leader in the research and development of HPV prevention.
To support Australia’s leading position, the National Health and Medical Research Council awarded in 2017, $2.5 million over the next five years to set up a Centre for Research Excellence in Cervical Cancer Control.
The Centre is made up of a group of Australian cervical cancer prevention experts led by Cancer Council NSW and the Victorian Cytology Service.
The group will draw together research and evaluation of the HPV vaccination and screening programs - to develop crucial evidence about these new approaches and their impact on cervical cancer and HPV infection rates in Australia.
Last year, the National Cervical Screening Program replaced the traditional Pap test with a HPV-based cervical screening test.
This change is estimated to lower cervical cancer incidence and mortality by at least 20 per cent.
This year, our National Immunisation Program has swapped to the new two-dose Gardasil 9, protecting Australians against an additional five cancer-causing HPV strains.
This vaccine protects against more high-risk HPV types that cause over 90% of cervical cancers in women and also protects against additional HPV types that cause cancers in men.
Due to the progression of our vaccines and programs, Australia continues to be at the forefront of controlling HPV disease.
But we cannot do it alone.
That’s why conferences like this are so important.
While much has been achieved, there is a lot more to be done.
I want to acknowledge all of you here today and thank you for the contribution you and your organisations are making to protect against and control HPV disease.
Congratulations to the International Papillomavirus Society on another successful conference and look forward hearing of the outcomes.
Good morning, it is a pleasure to be here to join you for the IPWEA NSW 2018 Regional Forum,
I would first like to acknowledge Warren Sharpe and John Roydhouse, Uncle Chicka Madden, Cr Linda Scott and other presenters today
Well, Happy Birthday for your 100th anniversary of the forum!
I commend the IPWEA for their work – their effective engagement with all levels of government and your advocacy for your members.
In addition to publishing research into industry improvements, you provide professional development and forums,
Ensuring a robust exchange of ideas and knowledge, ultimately leading to the best outcomes - for our communities.
The fact that we are all here today at the 100th forum, is testament to the IPWEA’s organisational ability,
But also to your membership and your constant drive to learn and grow.
I believe there has never been a better time to be in the infrastructure game in NSW.
The Berejiklian Government understands the importance of investing in the infrastructure needs of our communities
We are making record investments in health, hospitals, schools, road and rail.
And with your help, this government has made our state the infrastructure capital of the southern hemisphere.
Currently there are 350 cranes in operation, representing more than 50% of all cranes in Australian skies.
NSW continues to lead the nation in construction and engineering work, with the sector growing by another 7.5% in the last year.
Our massive infrastructure program has been highlighted as one of Premier’s key priorities.
We have already invested $111 billion dollars in infrastructure projects since 2011 - with another $80 billion to come over the next four years.
Not only will this infrastructure investment create jobs and boost the economy.
It will help businesses to grow.
It will allow our communities to have access to world class facilities, improve living standards while also reducing commuting times.
Meaning that people spend less time in traffic and more time with their families.
But this was not always the case in NSW.
In 2011, NSW was the worst performing state in Australia.
The budget deficit was $3.7 billion dollars and the infrastructure backlog was at least $30 billion.
Billions of dollars were being wasted on false starts and cancelled projects, with nothing to show for it.
Housing supply had dropped to decade-lows, pushing up prices and squeezing would-be first home owners out of the market.
The cost of living was spiralling out of control with no relief.
Jobs growth had been the slowest in Australia for a decade and was half the rate of the rest of the country.
Furthermore businesses and workers had been hit with more than 30 new taxes.
Something had to change – a new approach was needed.
In 2011, we decided not to simply tax and spend, borrow more money and leave a debt for future generations.
Instead, we decided to use our resources and capital more intelligently – and asset recycling was the answer.
Divesting old assets and then reinvesting that money in newer assets - that work for the people of NSW.
It has allowed us to build vital infrastructure while maintaining fiscal management.
Today our state is a completely different place.
Not only has the state budget been restored to surplus.
We have also eliminated government sector debt and enabled the NSW economy to go from strength to strength.
And we are now first in the nation.
Economic growth in NSW is faster than 27 of 35 OECD nations.
Since 2011, we have created 480,000 new jobs.
We have driven unemployment down to the lowest in the nation for 33 consecutive months.
We divest old and expensive social housing stock – and build three times as many houses across the state, providing hope to those currently on the waiting list.
We are transforming NSW and our historic infrastructure program is the envy of the world.
When we came into government in 2011, one of our first commitments was to deliver the North-West Rail link.
Now called the Sydney Metro Northwest - the first fully-automated metro rail system in Australia.
This game changing infrastructure project is delivering 8 new railway stations and 4000 commuter car parking spaces to Sydney’s growing North West region.
Providing for the first time, a reliable public transport service to a region which has the highest car ownership levels per household in NSW.
Customers will be able to enjoy ‘turn up and go’ services with trains running every four minutes in peak hours.
As well as improving transport connectivity, projects such as this present unique engineering opportunities.
An example of this can be seen in the four kilometres of track between Kellyville and Rouse Hill known as Skytrain.
An elevated viaduct with a landmark 270-metre long cable-stayed railway bridge.
Sydney Metro Northwest has been designed to not only deliver for the communities of today, - but also the communities of tomorrow.
Metro Northwest is only the beginning of our plan to transform the rail network in NSW.
Sydney Metro Southwest will extend the Metro Northwest from Chatswood, under Sydney Harbour, through new CBD stations.
Connecting the existing T3 Bankstown which will be converted to support Metro trains.
Sydney Metro West is the third stage of our planned Metro system.
Which will connect the key precincts of Greater Parramatta, Sydney Olympic Park, The Bays Precinct, and the Sydney CBD
This once-in-a-century infrastructure investment will transform Sydney for generations to come.
Doubling rail capacity between Parramatta and the CBD, linking new communities to rail services and unlocking housing supply and employment opportunities between the two CBDs.
Another key public transport projects is the Parramatta Light Rail and is one of ourlatest infrastructure projects being delivered to serve a growing Sydney.
This project will help create and connect new communities, and places - to showcase what the region has to offer.
Stage One will connect Westmead to Carlingford via the Parramatta CBD, with a two-way track spanning 12 kilometres with16 accessible stops.
Services will operate from early morning to late at night, every seven and a half minutes throughout the day.
There’ll also be extra services for special events, with capacity to carry 10,000 people an hour.
Stage One of the new network connects the major health precinct at Westmead to three campuses of Western Sydney University at North Parramatta.
As well as new revitalised places in the Parramatta CBD, upgraded schools, Rosehill Racecourse and the new Western Sydney Stadium.
Stage 2 was announced last October and will connect the Parramatta CBD to Ermington, Melrose Park, Wentworth Point and Sydney Olympic Park along a 9 kilometre route.
The NSW Government is committed to delivering a once-in-a-generation solution to transport.
WestConnex and NorthConnex, are part of extensive plans to meet Sydney’s growing transport needs.
And represents an innovative approach to busting congestion.
WestConnex is central to Sydney’s motorway network.
Providing a long overdue, underground link between the M4 and M5 - creating a seamless motorway without traffic lights.
The project is supporting 10,000 jobs during construction and will get Sydney moving again.
Saving motorists a combined 100,000 hours each day, through reduced traffic congestion, with 45,000 fewer trucks and cars a day on Parramatta Road
NorthConnex delivers a missing link in Sydney’s road network, joining the M2 to the M1 Pacific Motorway.
Due for completion next year, NorthConnex will enable travel uninterrupted from Melbourne to Newcastle without a single set of traffic lights.
And is estimated to take 5,000 trucks per day off Pennant Hills Road.
The new motorways will ensure local residents are able to enjoy less congested local roads.
And helps small business to get their product to market faster.
Across both metropolitan and regional areas, we are delivering an unprecedented program of infrastructure works.
We are combining an innovative approach, the latest technologies, and unparalleled public works, to improve experiences for all.
Our building agenda is much broader than transport and we are looking beyond Sydney to energise the regions.
Last month we transferred of our share in Snowy Hydro to the Federal Government, securing a $4.2 billion investment in infrastructure for rural and regional NSW.
The NSW Government’s investment into regional infrastructure projects has tipped over to $16 billion dollars this financial year.
We are working with community groups and partnering with local government to deliver the amenities and projects that are important to regional New South Wales.
Strong economic leadership has allowed us to invest in our communities, help create jobs and improve lives.
Across the state, we are powering ahead to shape NSW for the next 30 years and beyond.
Over the next four years, record amounts are being invested across NSW to build and upgrade over 90 new schools.
Creating an additional 1,500 classrooms to accommodate growing demand and help our children reach their full potential
We have embarked on the largest health infrastructure spend this state has ever seen, with new and upgraded hospitals across NSW including Blacktown, Concord, Lismore, Nepean and the Northern Beaches.
Furthermore, we are investing in new museums and sporting facilities, both in regional and metropolitan NSW.
We are delivering a modern, global and connected state.
And the State Infrastructure Strategy, the NSW Future Transport Strategy, and the Greater Sydney Region Plan provide a coordinated long-term strategy for a thriving NSW.
The concurrent development of these plans brings together infrastructure investment and land-use planning for our cities and regions, over the next 20 years.
Since 2012, 700 projects have been launched across NSW with more than 430 projects completed.
200 are under construction, and a further 100 are in the planning stage.
In this new phase of the next generation projects, the most exciting is the vision for three cities:
The Metropolis of Three Cities plan provides communities, councils, governments, and industry with certainty.
All cities connected to each other – and to our regional economic centres.
Each area with world-class transport, schools and hospitals.
These are the foundations people need to thrive.
As a government, we can never lose sight of the fact that we have a responsibility to make our state the best place to live, work, raise a family and run a business
This is undoubtedly an incredibly exciting time for infrastructure development across the State.
As someone with a nursing background and no experience in local government or planning.
I have - over the years - developed an appreciation for the importance of planning and good design principles.
The time is right to transform Greater Sydney.
As the Berejiklian Government continues to deliver record investments in infrastructure - to shape the future of NSW for generations to come.
And I want to acknowledge all of you here today and thank you for the contribution you and your organisations are making to build the future of NSW.
It has been a pleasure to be here and provide a snapshot of a few major infrastructure projects underway in the region.
In this time of growth and opportunity for our cities, it will be remarkable to seewhat that snapshot looks like at the 200th IPWEA Regional Forum.