Evelyn Zaragoza

Evelyn Zaragoza

Friday, 30 August 2019 13:08



The NSW Government has reaffirmed its commitment to halving rough sleeping across the state by 2025, injecting funds to help tackle the ambitious target.

Minister for Families, Communities and Disability Services Gareth Ward has announced the latest figures that show the Government’s record investment of $1 billion a year towards reducing homelessness is making a difference.

“Since March 2017, more than 450 people sleeping rough have been helped into long-term permanent accommodation,” Mr Ward said.

“We also know that 92 per cent of people previously sleeping rough in Sydney who were helped into housing in the two years to March 2019 have sustained their tenancies.”

“We have come a long way in breaking the cycle of rough sleeping across our state, but there is still much more to be done to meet the Premier’s priority.”

Mr Ward also announced a $300,000 investment, to help coordinate project delivery with the non-Government sector through the establishment of the End Street Sleeping Collaboration.

The Hon Graham West, who convenes the group of NGO’s and Government organisations under the landmark agreement signed last year, said it was a vital step forward.

“These funds lay the foundation for the Government’s pursuit of the ambitious targets that we have set in relation to homelessness,” Mr West said.

“It will help establish an office, board and working groups which will drive the collaboration of homelessness services and systems and help break the cycle of rough sleeping in NSW.”

The new body will also co-ordinate data on street sleeping and report on progress towards the Premier’s Priority.

The 2019-20 Budget delivered $1 billion towards a range of homelessness and social and affordable housing programs, which contribute to the Premier’s Priority to reduce rough sleeping across NSW by 50 per cent by 2025.


Applications for the NSW Government’s Celebrating Diversity Events Grants are now open.

Minister for Multiculturalism John Sidoti said all eligible community organisations should consider applying for the program.

“NSW is home to hundreds of world class multicultural festivals and events that celebrate our diversity,” Mr Sidoti said.

“This program offers a helping hand of up to $10,000 to the many hardworking community organisations who promote social cohesion in our community.”

Co.As.It. General Manager Thomas Camporeale said the organisation was delighted to receive support from the NSW Government for its Multicultural Moonlight Cinema, held earlier in the year.

“We were able to hold a free event over three nights to share the best of world cinema with all members of our community,” Mr Camporeale said.

“Our open-air cinema featured films representing Italian, Spanish, French languages.”

“The cinema was a huge success, bringing more than a 1000 film lovers from all backgrounds together to enjoy diverse cultures and traditions through film.”

Event grants have previously supported Australia Day and Harmony Day celebrations, sporting, art and interfaith events.

Celebrating Diversity Events Grants are now open and will close 5pm Friday, 20 September 2019. For more information about the Celebrating Diversity Events grants program, visit https://multicultural.nsw.gov.au/grants/


The RISEUP youth employment strategy has seen roaring success in its first year running, with over 140 young people referred into workplace opportunities.

Minister for Police and Emergency Services David Elliott joined NSW Police Commissioner Mick Fuller APM and PCYC NSW CEO Dominic Teakle at Woolloomooloo PCYC to thank employers and businesses for their support of RISEUP.

“This success is testament to the hard work and dedication of police and PCYC to improve the lives of young people across the State and steering them away from a life of crime and disadvantage,” Mr Elliott said.

The strategy, launched in August last year, collaborates with PCYC NSW and business leaders to provide young people with on-the-job training and workshops on relationship building, nutrition and leadership.

Mr Elliott said the initiative was not just about keep young people on the right side of the law, but about boosting their employment prospects.

Mr Fuller said NSW Police, together with PCYC, have shown incredible initiative in reengaging with some of the State’s most vulnerable young people.

“By partnering with a number of commercial and local businesses, we are helping our youth realise their true potential,” Commissioner Fuller said.

Mr Teakle said the suite of programs offered by the PCYC under the RISEUP strategy creates a place of belonging for young people and gives them a sense of purpose.

Since 2011, the NSW Government has invested a record of almost $80 million towards PCYC club infrastructure, programs and staff across NSW.

Friday, 30 August 2019 13:05



A mega tunnel boring machine has broken through a rock wall at North Sydney and entered the biggest underground cavern built so far on the Sydney Metro project.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian and Minister for Transport Andrew Constance today welcomed mega borer Wendy at the new Victoria Cross Station 25 metres below ground.

“It was just over two months ago TBM Wendy broke through at Crows Nest and now she has already made it to the next stop in North Sydney,” Ms Berejiklian said.

“TBM Wendy has tunnelled 4.5 kilometres from Chatswood in eight months and only has another 1.7 kilometres to reach the edge of Sydney Harbour at Blues Point.

“This is incredible progress on the next stage of Sydney Metro which will take the North West Metro, under the harbour, through the CBD and on to Bankstown.”

Mr Constance said Sydney Metro is Australia’s biggest public transport project and will deliver turn-up-and-go Metro train services to 31 stations along a new 66 kilometre railway.

“Wendy is one of five boring machines busy excavating 15.5 kilometre twin railway tunnels to help deliver more metro rail services as quickly as possible,” Mr Constance said.

The huge cavern at Victoria Cross is 40 per cent bigger than both the cavern being built at Barangaroo and the cavern built 25 metres under Castle Hill on the new North West Metro.

TBM Wendy will spend about three weeks undergoing maintenance before being re-launched to complete the last 1.7 kilometre section of the 6.2 kilometre tunnel between Chatswood and the edge of Sydney Harbour.

Thousands of NSW school students will get their hands dirty today as part of Australia’s largest community tree-planting event.
Planning and Public Spaces Minister Rob Stokes said Schools Tree Day was a great opportunity for communities to come together and improve their school grounds, while learning about the environment at the same time. 
“It’s fantastic to see so many kids inspired by Schools Tree Day and actively involved in making their communities greener,” Mr Stokes said.
“The saplings we plant today will be the canopy cover of our future, providing us with vital shade, oxygen and habitats for our animals.”
Mr Stokes encouraged the broader community to get out and celebrate National Tree Day this Sunday.
“The NSW Government set a target to plant one million trees across Greater Sydney by 2022 and five million by 2030, but we can’t do it on our own,” Mr Stokes said.
“Whether at school, home or at your work space, I encourage everyone to get out today or over the weekend and plant a tree or two and register it on the website.”
The NSW Government recently provided more than $5 million in grants to 20 councils across Greater Sydney to help them green their communities by planting new trees and maintaining existing ones, with councils matching the funding dollar for dollar. 
Last year more than 200,000 Australians participated in Planet Ark’s National Tree Day, planting more than 700,000 plants at almost 3000 locations around the country. This brings the initiative’s overall tally to almost 25 million trees planted by almost five million volunteers over 24 years. 
For more information or to register your tree visithttps://5milliontrees.nsw.gov.au/ 
For more information on Schools Tree Day and National Tree Day visit:https://treeday.planetark.org/about/


Extreme climate events are exacerbating the impact of climate change in Australian marine ecosystems causing, in some cases, irreversible change underscoring the importance of adaptation and innovative solutions in the marine environment.

Researchers at CSIRO, Australia’s national science agency, have for the first-time collated published works by leading researchers of climate impacts around the whole of Australia’s coast to reveal that around 45 per cent of our coastal marine ecosystems have suffered from the impact of climate extremes.

The study was published in Frontiers in Marine Science.

Marine heatwaves, heavy rainfall from tropical storms, cyclones and droughts have all played a role in fundamentally changing our coral, kelp, mangrove and seagrass communities.

RIGHT: Some bleached coral on the Great Barrier Reef.

“The length of coast impacted by extreme climate events in the last decade is more than 8000 km, almost four times the length of coastline impacted by the much better known Gulf of Mexico oil spill,” lead author of the study Dr Russ Babcock said.

“Corals, kelp, mangrove and seagrass ecosystems provide important habitat and food for thousands of biodiverse marine creatures, plus make vital contributions to the biotic productivity and resource economy of coastal habitats and nearby towns and cities.

“We’ve already seen major climate events rock these marine food webs and create changes that will take decades to fully recover from.

“Some of them are potentially irreversible.”

The CSIRO Oceans and Atmosphere research team have studied events like the 2011 Western Australian marine heatwave, the 2016 and 2017 back-to-back coral bleaching events and major cyclones like Cyclone Yasi to paint a full picture of the accumulated impact of extreme climate events.

Ecosystem modelling approaches have also been used to reveal the likely scale of these impacts into the future.

They found that ongoing human-induced climate change, such as gradual increases of sea surface temperature, are exacerbated by extreme climate events which leave most marine organisms and habitats unable to acclimatise or adapt in rapidly changing habitats.

CSIRO Senior Researcher and paper co-author Dr Beth Fulton said that if extreme climate events occur more often and are more intense marine habitat recovery is unlikely to occur.

“Our modelling indicates that the average recovery time for major species groups is around 10 to 15 years. If climate shocks happen more often than this, then ecosystems may never fully recover,” Dr Fulton said.

Different types of extreme climate events can also happen concurrently or one after the other, creating additional pressures for marine ecosystems.

“In February 2011 Cyclone Yasi destroyed swathes of seagrass meadows along the north Queensland coast. When the associated flooding reached the sea the turbid and nutrient rich waters blocked sunlight preventing growth of any remaining seagrasses,” Dr Babcock said.

Dr Babcock and colleagues have been working across Australia’s marine ecosystems to understand climate impacts and strategies for effective adaptation.

“Adaptation responses will be required at species and ecosystem scales,” he said.

“Our research, for example in developing new methods for restoring coral reefs, may be one way to help maintain ecosystems.

“We have developed industrial scale methods to harvest coral spawn, grow it out in at-sea aquaculture systems and redistribute across damaged reefs.

“This is one example of a flexible and adaptable strategy that can be used to help reefs recover in the short term.

“But in the long-term adaptation efforts will need to be coupled with efforts to reduce atmospheric greenhouse gases that drive climate change.”

Climate impacts on four major marine ecosystems
Coral Reefs
Coral habitats are home to more than 83,000 animal and plant species, and are susceptible to diminishing water quality, overfishing, construction, warming oceans and ocean acidification.
Between 2011 and 2017 coral reefs along thousands of kilometers of Australia’s west and east coasts were affected by four separate coral bleaching events. Mortality of corals in WA was as high as 90 per cent in some places while in the north of the GBR average coral cover declined by around 50 per cent.
Kelp Forests
Kelp forests are important marine habitats and sources of food, kelps are threatened by overfishing, eutrophication and climate change.
During the 2011 Western Australian marine heatwave several species of kelp became locally extinct depriving important fishery species of habitat, they are unlikely to recover in the foreseeable future
Seagrass meadows
Seagrasses stabilise sediments, store carbon, feed turtles and dugongs and provide habitat for fish, invertebrates and birds, many of which are economically important.
Following the 2011 Queensland floods and seagrass loss there was a marked rise in the number of turtle and dugongs found stranded which has been linked to the decline in food availability.
Mangrove forests
Mangrove ecosystems support fish and fisheries in northern Australia through providing shelter and a stable substrate for plants and animals, as well as protecting low-lying coastlines.
During summer 2015-16 over 1000km of mangrove forest died around the Gulf of Carpentaria, home to one of Australia’s most valuable fisheries, leaving this otherwise pristine ecosystem severely damaged.

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