Tuesday, 6 July 2010

Penrith. Submission on metro strategy

Penrith’s status as a regional city will help ensure that ratepayers enjoy the benefits of Sydney’s growth during the next 25 years, according to Penrith Mayor Kevin Crameri when commenting on council’s submission to the Metropolitan Strategy review. “Under our regional city status there will be a greater diversity and range of quality jobs, commercial, retail, health, cultural, recreation, entertainment, and lifestyle opportunities for ourselves and our children.” Cr Crameri said the strategy review again reinforceed the need for “adequate” infrastructure support from government.


Region. Metcash to expand

The board of food wholesaler Metcash has decided to establish a "mega-distribution centre" in Western Sydney adding to its centres in Silverwater and Blacktown. The company is yet to choose from two locations for the centre. "Over the next 12 to 18 to 24 months, we will slowly, slowly move dry, frozen, chilled, liquor, convenience store distribution onto the mega-distribution centre," Metcash CEO, Andrew Reitzer, said.


Region. Employment of apprentices

This year marks 100 years of training apprentices at EnergyAustralia, with more than 4000 apprentice line workers, electrical mechanics, cable jointers and motor mechanics joining the company since 1910. Executive manager of learning and development, Tom Emeleus, said EnergyAustralia hoped to employ about 160 apprentices next year, adding to the 600 apprentices already in training at Silverwater, Meadowbank, Wallsend and Muswellbrook. The class of 2011 will be the first to begin their training at EnergyAustralia's new state-of-the-art Silverwater Learning Centre to be completed by early next year.


Baulkham Hills. $10.5 million upgrade

Food and beverage group, National Foods, will spend $10.5 million to upgrade its facility, at Baulkham Hills, following plans to close its Wetherill Park plant by March 2012. “We will be transferring volume across to the Baulkham Hills site. The upgrade will be around new equipment and also up-skilling our people to deal with the new equipment and new products,” said a spokeswoman for the Japanese-owned company. An undecided number of additional jobs would be created.


Penrith. ATO office is 20 years old

The Australian Taxation Office, the tallest building in Penrith, has been in the city for 20 years. About 40 per cent of the ATO's customer-service staff work in the Penrith office, making it the largest call centre in the country, according to a spokesperson. Penrith Valley Chamber of Commerce CEO, Jill Woods, said bringing work closer to where people live benefits everyone. A spokesman for Penrith City Council said council hoped to see more government offices in the city.


St Marys. $14 million bus depot

Between 100 and 200 buses are based at St Marys after ComfortDelGro Cabcharge (CDC)unveiled its new $14 million depot in Lee Holm Drive. The 28,000-square-metre facility is a control centre for CDC's Westbus operations, 164 drivers, 19 mechanics and support staff which ensure the operation of 1035 bus services every week day.


South-West. Gas plant not allowed

AGL will not be permitted to construct a gas treatment plant at Varroville in Sydney’s south west, said the Minister for Planning, Tony Kelly, following discussions with the Department of Planning and Campbelltown City Council about the company’s proposed Camden Gas Project. AGL has written to the department confirming it would remove the gas treatment at Varroville from its plans. The processing facility was part of an expansion of AGL’s Camden Gas Project operations.


Region. Special rate variations aproved

The Minister for Local Government, Barbara Perry, has approved special rate variation applications by three local government authorities in Western Sydney, for the 2010-11 financial year. The variations are: Camden 4.5 per cent, Blue Mountains 4.4 per cent and Parramatta 4.9 per cent. Campbelltown withdrew its application. “Applications also had to show a strong business case showing the need for the increase,” the minister said. A special rate variation allows councils to lift their rates above the rate peg of 2.6 per cent in order to fund a specific project.


Region. Councils refuse applications

Blacktown, Camden, The Hills, Hawkesbury, Campbelltown, Holroyd, Liverpool and Penrith councils are among 16 local government authorities which are refusing to process applications for new house and land sub-divisions in protest at the state government's cap on developer levies. The cap means councils must bear any cost above $20,000 for new drainage, roads, lighting and sewerage in new estates. Clr Alison McLaren, president, of the Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC), said some councils had given up trying to talk to government and had started talking directly to developers to try to convince them to pay up. A spokesman for Planning Minister,Tony Kelly, said the department was still discussing the issue with councils.