Minister for Skills John Barilaro is calling on the next generation to consider an apprentice or traineeship as a long-term career option and take advantage of this unprecedented period of investment in NSW.

  Mr Barilaro said the NSW Government is delivering the certainty and business confidence that has produced over 250,000 jobs since 2011 and slashed red tape by over $815 million.

  “What industry employers need now are more skilled workers placed in jobs to meet their high levels of business confidence,” Mr Barilaro said.

  “The students today are not just the tradespeople of tomorrow - they are our future entrepreneurs and our future business leaders.

  “Electricians, carpenters and business services are the trades and traineeships the next generation should be thinking about as a career or business venture, as these are the jobs that industry needs to place skilled workers in,” Mr Barilaro said.

  Initiatives to encourage more apprentices and trainees include:

*         Investing $2.3 billion in vocation education and training, including a $122 million increase for TAFE compared to last year;

*         Delivering over 450,000 places for students to become mechanics, electricians, bricklayers;

*         Providing the $25 million Jobs of Tomorrow Scholarship fund to deliver 25,000 scholarships for students to complete qualifications in technology;

*         Investing $48 million to create 200, 000 fee free scholarships over 4 years; and,

*         Giving employers greater flexibility to choose the training organisation they want to deliver apprentices and trainees to support over 47,000 training places.

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    NSW Labor has welcomed the successful passage of its Bill to ban single-use plastic bags in the Legislative Council this afternoon – in a shock defeat and humiliating rebuff for the Berejiklian Government.

    Labor’s Bill passed 18 votes to 16 and must now come down to the Legislative Assembly in two weeks time.

    Shadow Minister for Environment Kate Washington said she was overjoyed at the result.

    “Under Gladys Berejiklian, NSW is the only state to not ban single use plastic bags,” Ms Washington said.

    “The only people that are now standing in the way of a ban on single-use plastic bags in NSW are Gladys Berejiklian and John Barilaro.

    “This is the third time this Bill has been introduced by Labor. We are hoping it will be a case of third time lucky.

    “Labor will be campaigning around the clock with environmental groups across this state to make it happen.”

    Ms Washington noted that a week ago Environment Minister Matt Kean told Question Time that he supported banning single use plastic bags.

    “Some 50 million plastic bags end up in our oceans and waterways every year, so we have to ban the bag. But we also need to encourage people to reuse and recycle the bag.”
    Environment Minister Matt Kean, Hansard 18 September 2019

    “So far Matt Kean has been all talk – now we need to see action,” Ms Washington said.

    “It’s clear Matt Kean knows this has to be done – his job now is to deliver the votes of Gladys Berejiklian and John Barilaro who have blocked progress at every turn.”

    A legislative ban on single use plastic bags is supported by the National Retailers Association as well as NGOs such as the Boomerang Alliance.

    Globally it is estimated that 1 million seabirds and over 100,000 mammals die every year as a result of plastic ingestion or entanglement.

    About 180 million bags enter the Australian environment every year, including 50 million plastic bags entering our waterways and oceans.


    Housing approvals across the state continue to soar with over 70,000 home approvals granted in 2017, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). 

Minister for Planning and Housing, Anthony Roberts, said this was the third consecutive calendar year that NSW recorded more than 70,000 building approvals.
    “The rate of building approvals and completions in NSW is continuing to power the NSW economy and provide vital employment opportunities across the building and construction industry,” Mr Roberts said.

Mr Roberts said almost twice as many homes were approved December 2017 compared to 2010, when, under Labor, only 36,828 homes were approved. 

“NSW is the number one state in the nation for housing approvals and continues to far exceed the Premier’s Priority Housing Target of 50,000 approvals per year which improves housing supply and helps to support housing affordability.
    “The NSW Government is getting on with the job of delivering the homes for tomorrow to cater for our state’s growing population.”
    The latest figures released by the Department of Planning and Environment show that Western Sydney remains the epicenter of the state’s housing construction with 27,540 new homes approved in the year to November 2017.
“Along with our record transport infrastructure investment, these strong levels of housing approvals are vital to improving affordability and ensuring NSW remains number one.
    “And we are also ensuring that new housing is matched by more schools, hospitals, and green space”.
    Acting Treasurer, Victor Dominello said: “One of our Government’s priorities is to get more homes built and make it easier for first home buyers to enter the market and own their own home.
    “Thousands of people have taken advantage of the stamp duty exemptions and reductions to buy their first home, in the first quarter since the reforms came into effect”.
    The housing affordability package announced as part of the June Budget removes stamp duty for first home buyers for both new and existing homes for properties up to $650,000 and reduces duty for first homes between $650,000 and $800,000.
    “It is essential we prepare for the future by ensuring our children and grandchildren will have the opportunity to own their own home,” Mr Dominello said.


    The NSW Government has proposed tough new Code of Conduct requirements for local NSW councils.

    Local Government Minister Gabrielle Upton said the updated Model Code of Conduct for Councils in NSW – which would apply to 1,500 councillors and almost 50,000 council staff across NSW – was now on public exhibition for comment.

    “While most councillors do the right thing for a small minority it is all about them instead of what is in the community’s best interests. We are determined to weed out councillors misusing their public office,” Ms Upton said.

    “Breaches of the new Code of Conduct by councillors can result in suspension and even disqualification from office and these new proposed requirements will put an even greater onus on councillors to behave appropriately or face the consequences if they don’t serve their ratepayers.”

    The new Model Code of Conduct proposes a range of new rules for all councillors and staff, including:

    • Banning accepting gifts or benefits greater than $50 and introducing mandatory reporting of all gifts or benefits regardless of value;
    • Disclosing records of meetings and other communications with applicants and objectors to planning applications;
    • Banning access to council information when councillors have a pecuniary or a significant non-pecuniary conflict of interest;
    • Requiring the declaration of new interests by councillors and staff more regularly in official returns of interest;
    • Declaring being a property developer or a close associate of a property developer more regularly in official returns of interest;
    • Publishing information in councillor and general manager official returns of interest on council’s website;
    • Tough new standards against bullying, discrimination and harassment, work health and safety, on behaviour at meetings and use of social media;
    • Clarifying that councillors must not use council information for personal purposes or undertake personal dealings with council during work time.

    The draft Model Code of Conduct is on public exhibition for six weeks.

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