From Australia News in Brief

New NZ PM Hipkins to visit Australia
New support to make NSW Australia’s EV capital
$253M Tutoring boost for NSW students
Flood evacuation upgrade for Richmond
Curriculum reform generation start school
Doubling down on domestic violence perpetrators
NSW government ready for statewide rollout of single employer model
New service NSW centre coming to the Hills District
Major tourism project lights up outback NSW
EVIVE: Australia's new National Cultural Policy
16 projects shortlisted to drive Electricity Roadmap
A call to arms to make history at australia’s FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023tm opening match
Anzac Memorial Scholarship tours Singapore and Darwin 

New NZ PM Hipkins to visit Australia 
(See translation in Arabic section)
Sydney - Middle East Times Int’l: Prime Minister Anthony Albanese will welcome New Zealand’s new Prime Minister, Chris Hipkins, to Australia on February 7. 
This visit will mark Prime Minister Hipkins’s first international trip as leader. 
In 2023, Australia and New Zealand will mark 40 years of the Closer Economic Relations Free Trade Agreement and 80 years of diplomatic representation. 
Mr Hipkins’s visit comes as New Zealand recovers from serious flooding and death in Auckland.
“I am delighted to welcome Prime Minister Hipkins to Australia. Australia and New Zealand have an extremely close relationship, underpinned by our shared history and generations of personal, business and government links,” Mr Albanese said.
“I offer my condolences to all those affected by the devastating floods and loss of life in Auckland. We stand ready to support our family and friends in New Zealand, if needed.”
“I look forward to welcoming Prime Minister Hipkins to Canberra and discussing ways to build on trans-Tasman co-operation.”
New South Wales EV Bill approved
New support to make NSW Australia’s EV capital
More than 1000 electric vehicles (EVs) are set to hit the road thanks to the second round of the NSW Liberal and Nationals Government’s EV fleets incentive. 
Treasurer and Energy Minister Matt Kean said the first two rounds of Government support to transition NSW fleets are expected to boost EV registrations by more than 10 per cent.
“Round 3 is now open as we fast track the State’s vehicle fleet of the future,” Mr Kean said. 
The NSW Liberal and Nationals Government is investing $105 million to support commercial fleets to purchase new EVs and fuel cell electric vehicles. Across round 1 and 2 about 2,000 EVs have been incentivised through the program.
Mr Kean said Round 2 had strong take up from organisations in the rideshare and vehicle subscription sectors, resulting in bids representing 81.6 per cent of the total vehicles.
“The second round had 20 successful bidders – 17 individual fleets and three fleet aggregators - who will receive a financial incentive to shift to EVs,” Mr Kean said. 
“Successful bidders will also receive financial support to co-fund a total of more than 1,000  smart chargers.”
The incentive is part of the $633 million Electric Vehicle Strategy, which aims to make NSW the easiest and most affordable place to buy an EV in Australia. It is designed to help cover the gap between the cost of a new EV and the equivalent internal combustion engine vehicle that would have been purchased otherwise. 
Mr Kean said in Australia, the transport sector accounts for around 22 per cent of total emissions and this scheme will help NSW reach net zero by 2050.
$253m tutoring boost for NSW students - Liberal Party NSW
$253M Tutoring boost for NSW students
Thousands of students across NSW will benefit from more catch up classes this coming school year thanks to a $253 million funding boost from the NSW Liberal and Nationals Government. 
Premier Dominic Perrottet said the pioneering small group tutoring initiative, started following COVID lockdowns to support school students who fell behind, is being extended to supercharge student learning as education moves beyond the pandemic.  
“Making sure every student has the best possible start in life is a priority for the NSW Liberal and Nationals Government, and small group tutoring has been an important part of student growth these last two years,” said Mr Perrottet. 
“This program has been overwhelmingly positive. It’s a no-brainer to boost the funding for this coming school year, so thousands more students continue to benefit.”
A recent evaluation of the Intensive Learning Support Program (ILSP) looked at the impact of the initiative on student learning and engagement from the teachers’ perspective. It showed student confidence and engagement improved by 80 per cent, and students’ motivation and attitude towards school had improved by 77 per cent and 69 per cent respectively.  
Minister for Education and Early Learning Sarah Mitchell said the NSW Liberal and Nationals Government was seeing benefits for students and early career teachers.   
“We are seeing students' confidence and classroom engagement improve thanks to the support they’re receiving. At the same time, hundreds of pre-service teachers are gaining invaluable hands-on experience that will only strengthen their teaching over the long term,” Ms Mitchell said.  
Flood evacuation upgrade for Richmond - Liberal Party NSW
Flood evacuation upgrade for Richmond
Flood evacuation routes near Richmond will be upgraded as part of a $1 billion Liberal and Nationals Government investment through WestInvest, targeting Western Sydney roads. 
Premier Dominic Perrottet said $15 million has been allocated to upgrade the intersection of The Driftway and Londonderry Road to deliver a new roundabout and an extra lane. 
“After unprecedented rain and consecutive flooding events across Western Sydney, it is more important than ever that we provide the infrastructure needed to protect communities and ensure they have safe evacuation routes,” Mr Perrottet said. 
“This important upgrade will boost capacity on this important evacuation route and support the new Richmond Bridge, which has been designed with increased flood resilience.”
Minister for Metropolitan Roads Natalie Ward said early works will begin shortly, ahead of major construction next year. 
“We want to give the community the assurance that if the last two flood events were to occur again, they would not be cut off from the services they need,” Mrs Ward said.
“As well as improving flood resilience, the two projects will ensure double traffic capacity across the Hawkesbury River and reduce travel times.”
Extra time to jump-start curriculum reform
Curriculum reform generation start school
More than 1.2 million students across NSW will head back to school next week for the new school year, including thousands of Kindy kids who will be the first to experience the once-in-a-generation curriculum reform with the new English and mathematics syllabuses.  
Minister for Education and Early Learning Sarah Mitchell said the start of a new school year was an exciting one for students and families across the public, Catholic, and independent school system in NSW.   
“School is such an important place for our children. It’s a safe space where they learn, play and grow. Our schools shape lives, giving children the skills and knowledge they need to succeed in life. We can’t wait to welcome all students, new and returning, to our schools in 2023,” Ms Mitchell said.   
“With my youngest daughter starting Kindy next week, I know how exciting and nervous this time is – for both the children and the parents! I want to wish all our littlest learners, and those students making the big transition from primary school to high school, the very best for this important milestone in their lives.”  
NSW public schools will welcome 64,782 new Kindergarten students this year, while 53,987 Year 7 students will make the transition to high school.   
The State’s youngest learners will return to school with new Kindergarten to Year 2 English and mathematics syllabuses being taught for the first time this year.  
“These are the first syllabuses of the NSW Curriculum Reform and are key to building strong literacy and numeracy foundations in the early years and beyond,” Ms Mitchell said.  
“The students starting Kindergarten next week will be the first of the ‘curriculum reform generation’, benefitting from these evidence-based, back-to-basic syllabuses from their very first day.” 
 Doubling down on domestic violence perpetrators | The National Tribune
Doubling down on domestic violence perpetrators
A re-elected NSW Liberal and Nationals Government will take a tougher stance on domestic violence by reviewing all sentences for domestic violence related offences and by making sweeping changes to the handling of cases within the judicial system. 
Under this proposal, the Government will commission a full-scale review of all domestic violence related sentences. It will also undertake a feasibility study to establish a dedicated Domestic and Family Violence Court, fund a specialist Domestic and Family Violence List across three local courts and fund a surge of an additional five magistrates to ensure cases are heard earlier.  
Premier Dominic Perrottet said the Government was taking a zero-tolerance stance to domestic violence by holding perpetrators to the highest account.
“We are cracking down on this abhorrent behaviour and sending a clear message to perpetrators that domestic violence will not be tolerated in our state,” Mr Perrottet said.
“This is about putting the safety of our people first, ensuring victim-survivors can get justice and that perpetrators are held to the highest account. 
Attorney General Mark Speakman said the NSW Government would fund a temporary surge of five additional Local Court magistrates to help clear the case backlog.
“This funding will temporarily raise the Local Court bench to a record 154 magistrates to address the backlog of defended matters left following major interruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic,” Mr Speakman said.
Minister for Women’s Safety and the Prevention of Domestic and Sexual Violence Natalie Ward said these reforms complement existing measures, including new and upgraded safe rooms and remote witness rooms in metropolitan and regional courts delivered by the NSW Government.
“Victim-survivors of domestic violence should not fall away from the journey of seeking justice because the process is too hard, drawn-out and complex,” Mrs Ward said.
NSW Government ready for statewide roll-out of Single Employer Model |  Mirage News
NSW government ready for statewide rollout of single employer model
The NSW Liberal and Nationals Government is moving ahead with its plan to rollout the Single Employer Model, first trialled in NSW to attract and retain doctors in the bush, despite Federal Labor refusing to come to the party. 
The Federal Labor Government announced last week it would rollout the program in Tasmania, ignoring multiple requests from the NSW Government to support a full expansion in NSW. 
Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional NSW Paul Toole said the program was originally designed by, built and rolled out in NSW because of this Liberal and Nationals Government’s foresight. 
“Federal Labor knows we are ready to commence a full rollout of this program, based on a successful trial that we had already run over the past three years in the Murrumbidgee,” Mr Toole said. 
“We are ready to work with Federal Labor to help fix doctor shortages in regional primary and acute care now - the time for talking and trials is over.” 
The Federal Government this week proposed a minor expansion of the trial in NSW, supporting two additional areas, however, Minister for Regional Health Bronnie Taylor said this falls well short of what regional NSW needs.
“Today we are announcing plans for a full rollout across regional NSW under an enhanced model that delivers more rural generalists in more locations within an accelerated timetable,” Mrs Taylor said.
News - Liberal Party NSW
New service NSW centre coming to the Hills District
Residents from across Baulkham Hills, Carlingford, Northmead, West Pennant Hills, and surrounding suburbs will soon have access to a new state-of-the-art Service NSW Centre in North Rocks Shopping Centre when it opens in mid-2023. 
Minister for Customer Service and Digital Government Victor Dominello said the new Service Centre would be located at Shop 50-56, North Rocks Shopping Centre, 328-336 North Rocks Road, North Rocks and will offer more than 1000 NSW Government transactions, including up to 180 driving tests per week.
“The North Rocks Service Centre will make it easier for customers to access important NSW Government services and transactions, including vehicle registration, Working with Children Checks, Seniors Card applications, trades licences, driver licences and driver testing,” Mr Dominello said.
“North Rocks will add to our driver testing capacity across the Hills and Parramatta region, making it more convenient for learner drivers and others needing to book in for their practical examination.
“Customers will also be able to sit computer-based driving examinations such as the Driver Knowledge and Hazard Perception tests at this location.”
Major tourism project lights up outback NSW - NSW Nationals
Major tourism project lights up outback NSW
**Vision pack and plans available to download here**
A first-of-its-kind light installation along the Murray River will help attract tens of thousands of visitors and pump tens of millions of dollars into the Far West economy, under the NSW Liberal and Nationals Government’s vision to position outback NSW as a major global tourism destination. 
Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional NSW Paul Toole said the interactive light show, being brought to life by a $4.99 million grant from the NSW Government’s Regional Tourism Activation Fund, would put Wentworth on the ‘must visit’ list for tourists from all over the world.
“Locals had a dream to light up the wide open plains – and we’re excited we can help make that a reality,” Mr Toole said.
“We’ve seen what Vivid does to drive tourism and light up Sydney and now we have a chance to light up this corner of the Far West and help transform it into an internationally renowned tourist destination.”
Mr Toole said the interactive light show, set to music, will give visitors the chance to see the Wentworth area in a whole new light, creating a drawcard for more than 178,000 visitors a year. 
“This is such an exciting project for Wentworth and I can’t wait to come back and see it for myself when it opens in 2024,” Mr Toole said. 
“The light installation will be supported by 15 glamping sites and food stalls and trucks that will be a permanent fixture to be leveraged by the community for decades to come because we’re investing in the tourism of tomorrow.”
Wentworth Shire Council Mayor Tim Elstone said he looks forward to seeing this project come to fruition, not only for its economic value but to experience the translation of this amazing concept into the community.
“By creating a new exciting attraction for all the world to see, it is hoped that this will inspire our creative community and help provide further cultural opportunities into the future,” Cr Elstone said. 
Work on the installation by internationally renowned artist Bruce Munro is expected to start in the second half of 2023. 
Indigenous art at centre of culture policy | The West Australian
EVIVE: Australia's new National Cultural Policy
A new chapter in Australia’s cultural story has begun.
The Albanese Labor Government’s new National Cultural Policy – Revive – has been released today and will set the course for Australia’s arts, entertainment and cultural sector for the next five years.
Revive will empower our talented artists and arts organisations to thrive and grow – unlocking new opportunities, reaching new audiences and telling stories in compelling new ways.
It will bring drive, direction and vision back to the $17 billion industry – which employs an estimated 400,000 Australians – after a lost decade of federal policy drift and funding neglect.
Backed by $286 million in dedicated funding over four years, Revive’s centrepiece is the establishment of Creative Australia.
Creative Australia will be the Government’s new principal arts investment and advisory body.
The governing body of Creative Australia will continue to be known as the Australia Council.
Creative Australia will expand on and modernise the Australia Council’s work with additional funding of $200 million over four years – restoring the money cut by the former Liberal and National Government.
Funding decisions will be made on the basis of artistic merit and at arm’s length from Government.
Within Creative Australia four new bodies will be established: 
A new First Nations-led body that will give First Nations people autonomy over decisions and investments
Music Australia, a dedicated new body to support and invest in the Australian contemporary music industry
Writers Australia, to support writers and illustrators to create new works
A new Centre for Arts and Entertainment Workplaces to ensure creative workers are paid fairly and have safe workplaces free from harassment and discrimination
Revive is built on five pillars but puts First Nations first - recognising and respecting the crucial place of these stories at the heart of our arts and culture.
16 projects shortlisted under the NSW Electricity Infrastructure Roadmap -  Australian Manufacturing
16 projects shortlisted to drive Electricity Roadmap
Sixteen projects capable of powering the equivalent of almost 1.6 million homes have been shortlisted under the inaugural tender of the NSW Electricity Infrastructure Roadmap. 
Competitive bids for more than 4.3GW of generation and long duration storage will now be assessed by AEMO Services for their potential to deliver long-term financial value for NSW households and businesses.
Treasurer and Energy Minister Matt Kean said there has been overwhelming investor interest in the roadmap.  
“This is a promising start to the $32 billion in private capital we expect to see through our 10-year schedule of rolling competitive tenders,” Mr Kean said.
“The state’s nation-leading roadmap will ensure that NSW households and businesses have clean, reliable and more affordable electricity for decades to come.”
Once the projects are assessed, successful applicants will be awarded long-term energy service agreements that will underpin the modernisation of the state’s electricity system.
FIFA Women's World Cup 2023™ | Football Australia
A call to arms to make history at australia’s FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023tm opening match
The goals are wide open for even more green and gold fans to be part of history with Stadium Australia named as the new venue for Australia’s FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023TM opener against Ireland on 20 July. 
Minister for Sport Alister Henskens said hosting the Matildas first group game at Stadium Australia, which has a 80,000 seat capacity for sporting events, would mean even more football fans have the chance to watch their national heroes take flight. 
“I’m issuing a call to arms for football fans to make history and fill the tournament’s largest venue Stadium Australia to the brim when the Matildas kick off their FIFA Women’s World Cup campaign against Ireland on 20 July,” Mr Henskens.  
“This move is going to take Australia’s opening fixture at the FIFA Women’s World Cup to the next level and it will guarantee we will see even more football fans don the green and gold to support the Matildas as they vie for glory.”
The FIFA Women’s World Cup will feature 32 teams competing in 64 matches across Australia and New Zealand during July and August with 11 games in Sydney, including a Semi Final and the Final.
Minister for Tourism Ben Franklin said the major global football event forms part of the NSW Liberal and Nationals Government’s 10 World Cups in 10 Years initiative, which will help grow the State’s visitor economy and create jobs. 
Premier's Anzac Memorial Scholarship (PAMS) · Office for Veterans Affairs
Anzac Memorial Scholarship tours Singapore and Darwin 
Students across NSW will have the opportunity to turn their love of history into first-hand experience with applications now open for the Premier’s Anzac Memorial Scholarship. 
Premier Dominic Perrottet said the annual Premier’s Anzac Memorial Scholarship tour would give young history buffs the opportunity to develop their knowledge and understanding of the history of Australians at war. 
“Twenty students from across NSW will be selected to participate in a two-week study tour of Singapore and Darwin visiting historic sites relating to the Second World War,” Mr Perrottet said.
“The experience the students will take from this study tour will be invaluable as they see the impact of the history of Australians at war.”
Minister for Transport, Veterans and Western Sydney David Elliott said the tour group would first head to Singapore to visit locations such as Fort Canning Park, Fort Siloso and Changi Prison Chapel and Museum, and then on to Darwin to visit a number of sites including the Military and Aviation museums and the USS Peary Memorial. 
“Scholarship recipients will learn about the military history of the Second World War and visit locations that felt the full force of the war. Australians fought abroad in Singapore, and our nation experienced the war on our shores during the bombing of Darwin in 1942,” Mr Elliott said.


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