By NSW Premier Mike Baird @MikeBairdMP
Complex investigative work on the George Street CBD and South East Light Rail project along George Street will get underway early to minimise disruption and create more space for shoppers and businesses in the lead up to Christmas.
We have consulted with businesses that will be impacted and have made the decision to bring forward the complex initial investigative work, to get it out of the way first.
As a result, some existing bus lanes on George Street, between Market and King Streets, will be partially closed on October 5 to ensure construction is minimised during the peak festive shopping season near Myer and Westfield.
Getting the early works out of the way early will allow low impact works to be undertaken before Christmas, while still allowing the project to stay on schedule.
We’re making access to the shops easier, improving pedestrian safety and ensuring the Christmas boom for businesses, all while the work on each section, which is expected to take about nine months, is underway.
George Street will close to cars between Market and King Streets from October 23 and from Market to Park Street from December 3. George Street will remain open to traffic around the construction areas, but we’re asking drivers to be careful and take note of the traffic diversions that will be in place.
We are urging everyone to consider using public transport and new trip planning options will be added to the website, MySydney.nsw.gov.au to help you navigate your way around the city during the construction.
Once complete, the light rail line will transform the way people move around the city. George Street will be a different place, but until then we are reminding everyone it will still be open for business.
To other news, ID scanners are helping NSW Police tackle crime in Sydney’s most notorious night spot.
The ID scanners were introduced last year by the Liberals & Nationals Government in all high-risk venues within the Kings Cross entertainment precinct, and just 12 months on we are seeing some positive results.
More than 1.5 million IDs have been scanned since the tough liquor laws were introduced and we have seen a 32 per cent reduction in alcohol related assaults.
The scanners are a deterrent for known troublemakers and the information they collect is being used to identify offenders for crimes committed inside and outside licensed venues, which has had a flow on effect on crime rates in the area.
And finally, nominations are open for the inaugural Premier’s Prizes for Science & Engineering to highlight cutting-edge research that has generated economic, environmental, health, social and technological benefits for NSW.
A total prize pool of $100,000 will be up for grabs in 2015 – including $55,000 for the NSW Scientist of the Year.
Nominations close on Friday 11 September 2015. For more information visit: www.chiefscientist.nsw.gov.au/premiersprizes