By NSW Premier Mike Baird @MikeBairdMP
For the past 10 years the Manly community has come together to help raise money for poor children and families in the Indonesian town of Manado. I am proud to be taking part in this year’s Manly-Manado Walk organised by local churches in my electorate as Australia’s humanitarian efforts abroad are debated at the national level.
I was thrilled to hear that 12,000 Syrian refugees will soon be able to find safety on our shores, after the Prime Minister announced a special increase on top of our normal annual refugee intake. We are eager do more than our fair share to assist the Commonwealth Government as it responds to this crisis.
What we’ve seen across our nation, and indeed the globe, over the past week really does inspire hope in our humanity and as Australia increases its response to the Syrian refugee crisis initiatives such as the Manly-Manado Walk, and other charity drives taking place right across the state, should remind us that we can all play an important part in helping the vulnerable.
To other news, the revitalization of Darling Harbour has reached an important milestone with the topping off of the new International Convention Centre.
I joined those working on the project on the roof of the new ICC as part of a Scandinavian construction tradition where a tree is lifted to the top of a structure to celebrate the project reaching its tallest point.
This major infrastructure project will be the focus of the new Darling Harbour precinct and is another example of how we are building tomorrow’s Sydney. By the end of next year, we’ll have a state-of-the-art convention centre that truly benefits a global city and cements Sydney as the number one place to do business.
The striking new convention centre will reinvent the way business events are delivered in Australia, and I’m pleased to report international interest is already strong with more than 20 global events locked in once it opens in December 2016.
In other good news this week, TAFE NSW students and more than 80,000 eligible apprentices and trainees can now apply online for a Concession Opal card.
Apprentices and trainees are currently able to access concession fares only when travelling between their home and workplace or place of training. We’re lifting those restrictions and they can now apply for a Concession Opal card that will give them access the concession fare for travel at any time on our public transport system.
TAFE students will have to be enrolled full-time for a minimum of 20 face-to-face contact hours a week to be eligible, and must be Australian citizens or permanent resident. Other students, including some with disabilities and those on certain scholarships, may also be eligible. The full eligibility criteria can be found at transportnsw.info.
Finally, this Multicultural Health Week we’re educating health staff to risks, such as using patient’s family or friends to interpret in health care situations.
The NSW Government respects the right of every citizen to access healthcare services and information in their language or in a way they understand so NSW Health Care Interpreter Services has produced a new DVD that aims to educate staff to the health risks, and encourage them to use professional interpreters to improve health outcomes and reduce the risk of harm to patients.
Print advertisements featuring key simple messages highlighting the rights and responsibilities relevant to patients will be produced in Chinese, Tamil and Vietnamese and a short video has also been produced in Korean and Arabic that can be shown in medical surgeries.
More details about Multicultural Health Week can be found at multiculturalhealthweek.com.