By NSW Premier Mike Baird @MikeBairdMP
I headed out to Rouse Hill this week to the site of the new skytrain being constructed as part of the new Sydney Metro.
Two massive horizontal cranes are now in place at the site that can build up to 70 metres of skytrain each week. I visited the site to inspect the first section of the skytrain, which has just been completed. The skytrain will eventually stretch four kilometres between Bella Vista and Rouse Hill and will include a new landmark bridge over Windsor Road that will look a lot like the Anzac Bridge.
The skytrain is part of the 36 kilometre Sydney Metro Northwest that is in the process of being delivered on time and on budget. It has led to a jobs boom in Sydney’s north west with about 400 workers on site, and about 900 others working on the country’s longest railway tunnels as part of the $8.3 billion project. Once the skytrain is complete, work will begin on elevated metro stations at Kellyville and Rouse Hill that will become two of eight new stops on the line.
The Sydney Metro Northwest is part of a bigger metro vision for Sydney. In April, we announced Stage 2 will extend the line from Chatswood, under Sydney Harbour, through new underground stations in the CBD and south west to Bankstown.
To other issues, we’re taking a couple of extra measures to ensure public safety following the release of the review into the Martin Place siege.
In February, the NSW Government accepted all 17 recommendations of the Martin Place Siege Review and committed to a number of additional actions in relation to bail and illegal firearms. This week, we announced additional protections for bail applications and further restrictions on illegal guns in response to the events that led to the events that led to the tragic events of last December.
Under the changes, bail will be refused to anyone who has a terrorism control order against them, anyone already on bail for a terrorism offence, and anyone who has ever been charged or convicted of being a member of a terrorist organization. Bail will only be granted under exceptional circumstances.
Along with our changes to bail, we will change our gun laws to create much tougher penalties for illegal gun possession to target criminals using illegal firearms to commit violent crimes.
It’s hoped these measures will help prevent a tragedy like the siege ever happening again. Public safety is the number one priority for this government and we are sending a very clear message that incitement of fear and violence will not be tolerated.
On another matter, South East Asia’s largest bank, Singapore’s DBS Bank, has chosen to open its first Australian branch in Sydney.
The decision reflects the confidence foreign companies have in doing business in NSW and also cements Sydney’s place as a key financial centre in the Asia Pacific region. Singapore is a priority market for the Government and having a DBS Bank branch in Sydney will also better support Australian companies as they expand into Asia.
Finally, there is only one week to go to enter this year’s inaugural Premier’s Prizes for Science and Engineering celebrating the great work of our scientists and engineers.
These awards celebrate the great culture of innovation in this state and I would encourage everyone to consider nominating someone before entries close on 11 September. For more information please visit: http://www.chiefscientist.nsw.gov.au/premiersprizes