Monday, 8 March 2010

Parramatta. Draft visitor strategy presented

Almost 100 local tourism industry professionals attended the presentation of a draft Parramatta Visitor Strategy to attract more visitors to the city. The presentation outlined a series of recommendations to be considered for implementation over the next five years and covered areas such as product development, infrastructure, marketing and governance of the local tourism offer. The federal Minister for Tourism, Martin Ferguson, presented Parramatta City Council with a $500,000 federal government grant in 2009/10 towards Parramatta becoming a visitor hub


Region. Vegetable farms v housing

About 2025 hectares across Sydney is devoted to professional vegetable gardening. Just 1050 properties grow vegetables, each averaging about two hectares, according to the NSW Department of Primary Industries report, Ground Truthing of the Sydney Vegetable Industry in 2008. It contradicted previous studies that put the numbers at double these levels and noted that more than half the farms were in the southern and north-western districts earmarked for housing subdivision. About 85 per cent of Sydney's vegetables are supplied from outside the region, according to the ABS. Of some varieties – especially chinese cabbage, sprouts, mushrooms, spring onions and shallots – about 80 per cent came from within the Sydney basin. Aaron Gadiel, of the Urban Taskforce, hopes Sydneysiders saw the logic in creating more suburbs rather than keeping vegetable farms. The lobby group maintains it is not a choice between vegetable farms and subdivision. "It is between rural retreats for the wealthy or subdivided housing lots for ordinary homebuyers," he said inThe Sydney Morning Herald


Region. MOU on water security

An important step towards securing the future sustainability of Western Sydney has been taken with agreement for collaborative water research between local councils, the Cooperative Research Centre for Irrigation Futures (CRC IF) and the University of Western Sydney. Blacktown, Hawkesbury, Liverpool and Penrith City Council mayors have signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the CRC IF and UWS which will advance much needed peri-urban water research and assist the planning, management and delivery of water for agricultural, commercial, environmental and domestic uses in Western Sydney. Associate Professor Basant Maheshwari, from the UWS School of Natural Sciences and CRC IF, said Western Sydney was facing multiple challenges in the 21st century including climate change, water scarcity, increasing population and increasing demand for water.