More than 33,000 COVID-19 fines withdrawn in NSW after legal challenge
The Supreme Court heard two test cases where it was argued the offence descriptions on the fines were too vague and therefore invalid.The NSW Supreme Court today heard two test cases brought by Redfern Legal Centre arguing the offence descriptions provided on the fine notices were too vague and therefore were legally invalid.
Up to 70,000 new homes could be built in NSW as parts of the state are rezoned, with the premier saying he's "throwing everything at getting more houses built" as the cost of living continues to bite. © Dan Himbrechts/AAP PHOTOS NSW premier Dominic Perrottet says "we can't have an Australia that can't house its children."
"Working with councils, rezoning is one important lever that we are pulling to get the ball rolling on more housing supply across our state," Premier Dominic Perrottet said on Monday.
"We are throwing everything at getting more houses built so more people get keys in doors and can realise their dream of owning a home."
COVID fines worth millions are withdrawn
Fines worth millions of dollars issued for breaching COVID-19 restrictions will be scrapped, following a landmark decision by the NSW Supreme Court.NSW Revenue says 33,121 fines will be scrapped following a landmark decision in the Supreme Court on Tuesday that found details of the offences were insufficient.
Through the $73.5 million Rezoning Pathways Program, ten areas will be rezoned, including five in western Sydney, at Riverstone, Camellia-Rosehill, Macquarie Park, two sites in Parramatta, plus one site in Eveleigh in central Sydney, and one site in Broadmeadow in Newcastle.
No new developments would be built in flood-prone areas and environmental risks would be considered, Mr Perrottet added.
"I've made it very clear we shouldn't be building on floodplains," he said.
"At the same time, we need to get the balance right.
"We need to keep building homes. We can't have an Australia that can't house its children."
Planning and Homes Minister Anthony Roberts said accelerating the rezoning program would get more areas to the point of being shovel ready.
Labor’s plan to stop social services worker exodus
A NSW Labor government would extend funding arrangements for the state’s community service providers in a bid to address an exodus from the sector due to short-term and sporadic financial support. Labor leader Chris Minns will on Thursday announce the key election policy aimed at stabilising the community service sector and improving job security for women, who make up a large majority of workers in aged care and domestic violence services. © Dean Sewell NSW Labor leader Chris Minns addresses the party’s state conference.
"We're creating a pipeline for tens of thousands more homes, giving more people in NSW the opportunity to put a roof over their heads," he said.
Labor Leader Chris Minns said major jumps in population in western Sydney were not cause for celebration, as the area struggled to cope with a lack of services.
"The huge increase in populations to communities west of Parramatta is nowhere near matched with the infrastructure that those communities need," he said.
"There's not enough infrastructure today, let alone prospective or target population increases."
The program is part of the state government's $2.8 billion housing package announced in the budget, which included stamp duty reform for first home buyers.
It comes on the back of the latest Rental Affordability Index, which shows renting has become more expensive in Sydney over the last year, and has been rising since the COVID-19 pandemic.
Earlier this month the government announced it would assume responsibility for three planning proposals across the Macarthur Region, saying their approval could lead to the construction of 19,000 new homes as well as providing koala corridors.
While planning proposals are usually assessed by local councils, this program gives the government the ability to make assessments and lead rezoning work on planning proposals it deems significant.
A pilot is underway for developers proposing projects offering more than 1000 homes in metropolitan areas, and more than 300 homes in regional areas.
Years late, NSW’s new trains to finally start carrying passengers .
The intercity trains have been at the centre of a protracted dispute with unions, but a recent breakthrough has cleared the way for them to begin carrying passengers.Transport Minister David Elliott confirmed on Wednesday that the first of the Korean-built intercity trains, which have been mothballed on the Central Coast, were about to enter passenger service.