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APRIL 2021 Edition 120

WESTERN SYDNEY BUSINESS

RETAIL BOUNCES BACK I ’TS no secret times have been the toughest on record for Western Sydney’s ‘bricks and mortar’ retail industry, but this sector has a proud history of bouncing back from the hardest of times.

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Now retailers have revealed the solutions and support measures needed for the industry bounce back this year and beyond. FULL STORY PAGE 5

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World class health care

Westmead Hospital’s new clinical tower oepns: 2

New suburb named Bradfield

Govy officially names high tech city at Aerotropolis: 6

Family business in COVID

How many leveraged patience capital during COVID: 12

How hope really works

Feature on the Salvation Army Red Shield Appeal: 15


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The new hospital facility.

World class health care

Westmead’s new hospital tower opens ORE operating theatres, patient rooms and world-class services, including two new Emergency Departments, are all part of Westmead Hospital’s new 14-storey clinical tower officially unveiled today. Staff and services began relocating to the new hospital building in February, with both the adult and children’s

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Emergency Departments now open to the public. Premier Gladys Berejiklian said the Central Acute Services Building is the centrepiece of the more than $1B Westmead Health Precinct. “This new state-of-the-art health facility will serve Western Sydney’s health needs for generations to come, with world-class research and education capacity embedded on every floor,” Ms Berejiklian said. “The Westmead Health Precinct was fast-tracked under the NSW Government’s COVID-19 response and will include a range of integrated adult and children’s health services for the first time, including separate emergency departments.” Mr Hazzard said the collaboration be-

tween Westmead Hospital, The Children’s Hospital at Westmead and the University of Sydney will mean patients receive cutting edge treatment and care. “Westmead is a shining example of how to attract leading health staff and researchers to provide the very best healthcare to Western Sydney residents,” Mr Hazzard said. Member for Parramatta, Geoff Lee, said: “Western Sydney is expected to have a population of about 1.3 million people by 2031 so this is great news for the local community.” Member for Seven Hills Mark Taylor said: “The Westmead Hospital Upgrade is terrific for the local community. Further refurbishments are on track to be completed WSBA enables readers to appreciate and engage with the physical, community, cultural and business environments of one of Australia's fastest growing regions, Greater Western Sydney.

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in 2022, delivering even more world-class healthcare facilities for Western Sydney residents.” Key features of the new Central Acute Services Building include: • Two new emergency departments — one for adults and one for children; • 25 digital operating theatres; • More than 300 patient rooms; and • 1.5 floors for the University of Sydney to further integrate education, research and health services. In March 2019, the NSW Government announced an additional $619M for Stage 2 of The Children’s Hospital at Westmead. This includes a new Paediatric Services Building and car parking.

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Retail has a proud history of bouncing back from the hardest of times. Western Sydney shops are seeing a growth in sales. Full story page 5.

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Revolution is coming for commuters

Train every two minutes on Metro West  DALLAS SHERRINGHAM HEN Sydney’s long-promised Metro West rail project is completed in 2030, a train will leave Parramatta station every two minutes in peak

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hour. It will be a quick journey of just 20 minutes from Parra to the Sydney CBD through twin tunnels bored through the Inner West’s ideal sandstone rock foundation. The train will link Westmead and Parra with stations at Sydney Olympic Park, North Strathfield, Burwood North, Five Dock, The Bays at Glebe, Pyrmont and the CBD. It will greatly reduce overcrowding on the infamous Western Line which has been the rail gateway to Parramatta for almost two centuries.

Not without its controversies

The Metro West will deliver faster travel times.

The rapid transit system is a far cry from the large steam locomotives and the later ‘Red Rattler” single deck electric sets that served the Western Line for so many years. And the Metro West recently received two major planning approvals. State Planning Minister Rob Stokes granted approval for the project at concept level, from Westmead to the Sydney CBD and the project’s first stage, which includes station excavation and tunnelling between Westmead and The Bays. The project’s concept approval does not allow for construction or operation at this early stage. The planning approval process for Sydney Metro West is being done in stages due

to the project’s size and has been declared a State Significant Infrastructure project. Despite its obvious advantages for millions of commuters, the Metro West is not without its controversies with compulsory land acquisitions necessary. Stage One would have “social and economic impacts” including property acquisitions required. However, acquisition of property has been minimised by locating the majority of the project underground and acquisition would be undertaken in accordance with relevant land acquisition policy and with support services for affected parties, the proposal noted.

Rob Stokes.

In December last year, the NSW government announced that a metro station would be constructed at Pyrmont. The metro station location is under investigation and is subject to a separate assessment and approval. Sydney Metro is still expected to lodge future applications for the construction and operation of the project, with the first of three tunnelling contracts expected to be awarded mid-year. When complete, Sydney Metro West will service a large, heavily populated area of Greater Sydney. Key components include 24km of twin tunnels between Westmead and Sydney

CBD, along with the new metro stations confirmed at Westmead, Parramatta, Sydney Olympic Park, North Strathfield, Burwood North, Five Dock, The Bays, Pyrmont and Sydney CBD. Mr Stokes said the project was expected to create about 10,000 direct and 70,000 indirect jobs during construction. The project is touted to provide a fast and frequent connection between Parramatta and Sydney CBD, and aims to run a metro train every two minutes in each direction. Sources: State Govt release, Urban Developer Newsletter, Wikipedia

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Resilient retailers reveal solutions

Shopping industry to bounce back in 2021  DALLAS SHERRINGHAM ’TS no secret times have been the toughest on record for Western Sydney’s ‘bricks and mortar’ retail industry, but this sector has a proud history of bouncing back from the hardest of times. Now retailers have revealed the solutions and support measures needed for the industry bounce back this year and beyond. New research from a leading parcel delivery service reveals the solutions retailers believe will help the entire retail industry consolidate this year. The findings come from an independent survey of 172 Australian retailers, commissioned by CouriersPlease (CP). Paul Roper, Chief Commercial Officer at CP Paul Roper said the survey showed the retail industry had a long way to go to recovery, but the opportunity to get involved in online sales was an ideal way for a business to survive. When CP asked retailers about their own recovery, a third said they would be able to recover to pre-pandemic levels between July and December this year. Just a quarter revealed their recovery could be in July. A further 13% said their recovery would depend on restrictions lifting completely and 8% said recovery would take place after 2021.

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Most believe the vaccine is effective

Paul Roper.

CP then presented retailers with a list of potential solutions that could help the retail industry recover faster – including an extension of the JobKeeper scheme and tax incentives from the Government. CP asked retailers to choose what they think the industry needed to bounce back once social restrictions were removed. Respondents could choose multiple answers.

The majority of retailers at 42% believe an effective treatment or vaccine was needed, 34% said further Government assistance to help them pay employee salaries, such as an extension of the JobKeeper scheme; 27%t said tax incentives from the Government; and 17% believe further cashback incentives from the Government were necessary for the industry’s recovery. One fifth of retailers said a recovery would require more cash for consumers to help boost their confidence. Consumer confidence fell by 27% when social restrictions were enforced last year. “The retail industry certainly has a long way to go to recovery,” Mr Roper said. “While eCommerce has remained strong, many bricks and mortar retailers were forced to close their doors last year.

The end of JobKeeper in March, a slow rollout of the NSW Government’s Dine and Discovery voucher scheme and continuing COVID cases across the country, including the recent spike in cases in Melbourne, are just a few of the factors that could lead to cautious consumer spending this year. “I encourage these retailers to consider shifting to, or growing, their online or omnichannel offering as more Australians become comfortable with online shopping. A number of support measures remain at retailers’ disposal, including the SME Guarantee Scheme and the instant asset write-off scheme,” he said. The full survey results, including breakdowns across organisation size and industries, can be found here: couriersplease.com.au/Portals/0/CP_ Retail_Industry_White_Paper_230221.pdf

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Engineer who shaped Sydney

New Aeroptroplis city named Bradfield

Artist impressions of the Aerotropolis.

 DALLAS SHERRINGHAM HE State Government plans to call Sydney’s new ‘hi-tech’ city at Bringelly ‘Bradfield’, in honor of the engineer who helped shape Sydney and designed the Harbor Bridge. While the name will be considered ‘underwhelming’ by many, it was selected after an extensive community consultation. Aerotropolis will be built on the doorstep of the Western Sydney International Airport. It will grow into Sydney’s third city, to take its place alongside the other great city centres of Sydney and Parramatta. The name was selected after the community was asked to have a say, with a panel settling on the final decision to honor John Bradfield’s enduring city-shaping impact on Sydney, including his major contribution the Sydney Harbor Bridge. Other possible names included Brad-

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man, Brabham, Thorpe and Benaud or an indigenous name. Premier Gladys Berejiklian said Bradfield would define Australia’s first ‘22nd Century City’, which will be a key driver of economic growth and deliver up to 200,000 jobs across the Western Parkland City.

Transformed into a thriving city “Bradfield was a renowned engineer who designed and oversaw the construction of both the Sydney Harbor Bridge and Sydney’s original railway network,” Ms Berejiklian said. “The name Bradfield is synonymous with delivering game-changing infrastructure and it sets the right tone for the area we have referred to as the ‘Aerotropolis Core’ until now. “This area will be transformed into a thriving city centre, home to advanced manufacturing, research, science and education and we want Bradfield to be as

iconic as the existing major city centres of Sydney and Parramatta. “What are paddocks now will be a thriving, bustling city centre offering the best job opportunities anywhere in Australia.” Minister for Western Sydney Stuart Ayres said the area to be named Bradfield is more than 100ha and sits north of the existing suburb of Bringelly. It is at the heart of the Western Sydney Aerotropolis and will eventually lend its name to surrounding areas. “The number of suggestions the community put forward to ‘Name the Place’ was overwhelming and we are thrilled with the level of participation and interest this project attracted,” Mr Ayres said. “We thank everyone for having their say and want to assure the community the remaining suggestions will be considered as names for streets, parks and other landmarks in the new city centre. “I look forward to Bradfield being

the first name that people think of when starting a new job, creating a new business, learning a new skill and investing in NSW.” John Bradfield’s Grandson Jim Bradfield has welcomed the announcement. “It is a great honor that my grandfather’s name continues to be associated with major infrastructure developments in and around Sydney,” Mr Bradfield said. “We hope his achievements will inspire generations to come, and help shape the future of our urban landscape.” The name Bradfield was a popular community suggestion in the ‘Name the Place’ process and will now be put to the Geographical Names Board of NSW. The NSW Government has 18 Foundation Partner commitments, including with Suez, Siemens, Hitachi, Sydney Water and Northrup Grumman, and continues to formalise relationships with a number of other partners, including FedEx, Romar Engineering and Quickstep in the creation of the innovative ecosystem at the Aerotropolis.

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Big win for Macarthur

New milestone for Campbelltown Hospital HE $632M Campbelltown Hospital redevelopment has reached a major construction milestone, with the 12-storey Clinical Services Building reaching its highest point. Premier Gladys Berejiklian and Health Minister Brad Hazzard visited the new building and met with nursing graduates who are among 264 nursing and midwife graduates starting at hospitals across Sydney’s south-west next month. “The new Clinical Services Building will be the centrepiece of the Campbelltown Hospital Redevelopment and will boost bed capacity across the hospital by more than 50 per cent,” Ms Berejiklian said. “Construction of the redevelopment is supporting around 700 direct jobs helping stimulate the economy, a key part of the State’s COVID-19 Recovery Plan.” Health Minister Brad Hazzard said the redevelopment will also deliver a new maternity unit almost double in capacity, as well as significantly expanded cancer and mental health services. “The NSW Government’s record investment in south-west and western Sydney public hospitals will ensure people living in the fastest growing region in our state will have access to state-of-the-art health services closer to home,” Mr Hazzard said. “I’m also so pleased to welcome a total of 264 nurses and midwives to the South Western Sydney Local Health District in coming days and weeks, 51 of which will work at Campbelltown and Camden hospitals.”

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The new hospital and below, Premier Gladys Berejiklian.

The $632M Stage 2 Campbelltown Hospital will include: • New state-of-the-art digital operating theatres and procedure rooms; • Dental and oral health department for the first time; • Double the ICU bed capacity; • Expanded cancer therapy centre; • Almost double the number of maternity beds; • New and expanded surgical services including interventional radiology; and • Expanded specialist mental health services.

Member for Camden Peter Sidgreaves said the new hospital reflects the NSW Government’s commitment to meet the needs of the growing south-western Sydney community. “This $632M investment is a tremendous boost for health services in the region, ensuring we are well placed to welcome the 133,000-plus new residents expected to call our south-western community home in the next 12 years,” Mr Sidgreaves said. Member for Wollondilly Nathaniel Smith said the Campbelltown Hospital redevelopment is a huge win for the Macarthur Region.

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The boom South West suburb

Massive development for Edmonson Park  DALLAS SHERRINGHAM ONCE quiet area of scattered farms named after a World War 2 hero has become the ‘boom’ suburb of South Western Sydney. Edmonson Park gained its name from Corporal John Edmonson who was posthumously awarded the VC at Tobruk in 1941. He led a charge against a large group of German aggressors at night suffering wounds in the neck and stomach but continuing on saving the life of a fellow soldier. He died shortly after and is buried at Tobruk. His medal, the first VC of World War 2, is on display at the War Memorial in Canberra. Flash forward to 2021, and a massive unit development planned to compliment the new Ed.Square Town Square Shopping Centre will continue the rise of Edmonson Park into a ‘boom’ centre in South Western Sydney The suburb, just west of the Hume Motorway and southern end of the M7, is within a short drive of the new Western Sydney Aerotropolis. Edmonson Park railway station opened in 2015. According to Urban Developer web site, a developer has submitted a $216.8m concept plan to build eight residential buildings near the under construction Shopping Centre. Ed.Square features more than 100 stores, cinemas, a tavern, Coles and Liquor land.

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Artict impressions of the development.

Four distinct precincts he development application, lodged by Super Star Holdings Group, plans four distinctive precincts with 676 apartments, 35 ground floor retail spaces, a childcare centre as well as basement car parking at 164-170 Croatia Ave, Edmondson Park. If successful, the mixed-use development near Liverpool will be built on 4.3ha hectare site close to two major developments by Landcom and Frasers Property. Frasers Property’s under-construction Ed.Square precinct includes residential properties and the major retail centre with

the next stage to be launched this year. Atop the shopping centre will be a landmark 68m high residential tower. Landcom is delivering another portion of development on the northern side of Edmondson Park train station including up to 3286 dwellings. The developer is using these applications to increase the height limit of its own development from 24m to 30.8m to allow for buildings up to eight storeys high. There will also be a street network to connect the developments as well as a share-way road measuring 16.2m with “generous provision for street tree planting and pedestrian movements”.

The development, designed by Tony Owen Partners, will be built in four stages starting with the site closest to the train station with 109 dwellings. Each of the four stages will have a different building façade to represent a new precinct from white masonry and metal louvers to two-tone brick buildings with pitched roofs. The next stages are warm brick buildings with a zig zag façade and finally curvaceous buildings with precast concrete and metal panels. Source: Ed.Square News, Urban Developer, Wikipedia

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Vital youth service faces closure

Business steps in after Govt closes the door

Youth officers Natalie and Alison.

Young people turning their lives around at BYSA.

 DI BARTOK OCAL businesses have stepped in to support a vital Western Sydney youth support service after it missed out on important State Government funding. The Blacktown Youth Support Association’s Youth HQ program helps young people at risk–those who have been in trouble with the law or those who may be headed that way. But the service was told at the end of last year by the Department of Communities and Justice that they had missed out on funding, in favour of more “targeted” youth programs. A letter from the Minister for Families and Communities Gareth Ward suggested that the BYSA seeks funding from other government departments such as education and sport. State Labor MP for Blacktown, Stephen Bali, has also appealed to Mr Ward without success.

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BYSA is surviving on support from private businesses but Mr Bali said “BYSA cannot survive on private philanthropy or charge fee for service to the most vulnerable people in our society”. Mr Bali sent the letter to Mr Ward in early March and, at the time of publication, had not heard back from the Minister.

We are getting desperate “We are getting quite desperate,” Mr Bali told the Blacktown News. “Other youth services may offer support in finding employment for young people but BYSA is more activity-based, where people can hang out and be themselves but also get guidance,” Mr Bali said. “These are young people who may be struggling with life, escaping domestic violence, or who need support in the criminal justice system.” Mr Bali said the cost of diverting young people from trouble was less than trying to get them out of trouble.

“This centre cannot close, for all those kids who want to make a difference in their lives,” Mr Bali said. He and the centre’s management are hoping to get more business support as well as a government grant that will enable the service to carry on. BYSA Youth Officer Alison Becroft told the News that the service would close, or at least struggle, when the $10,000 received from the Blacktown Workers Club ran out. “We are just buying time until we receive more helpfrom the government or Blacktown businesses,” Ms Becroft said. “We are the only youth service offering help that engages young people the way we do. These are at-risk young people who are facing the justice system. “The cost of running our service is small compared to the cost of locking up young people.” Any businesses or organisatons interested in helping BYSA can check out their website for more details–www.bysa.org.au

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Family Business

With David Pring

Welcome How Family Businesses leveraged their patience capital during COVID

Welcome to KPMG Family Business feature articles. If you would like to discuss these articles or how KPMG can help with your business please feel free to contact me on 9455 9996 or davidpring@kpmg.com.au

 ROBYN LANGSFORD AMILY business with their long-term mindset and resilient family members places them in a key role to lead Australia’s economic recovery. Crucially, during the pandemic their unique structure meant families could draw on support from multiple generations, leveraging past experiences of older generations to manage critical challenges while using the insights of younger members to drive modernisation. These are some of the insights from our latest report co-authored with the STEP Project Global Consortium, Mastering a comeback: How family businesses are triumphing over COVID-19 Globally, three strategies to maintain business continuity stood out. Social responsibility, a commitment to business transformation and patience. During COVID-19, family businesses took steps to address the impact not only on operations but on the welfare of society as a whole and the needs of all their stakeholders including employees, customers, suppliers and local communities. On a scale more closely aligned with Australia, the pandemic saw just 7.95 percent reduction of employees in family businesses across Asia-Pacific. The willingness to quickly change direction in response to the volatile business environment stood out among family businesses; businesses with multiple generations were 45 percent more likely to implement a business transformation strategy than single-generation family firms. Successful restructuring in Asia-Pacific businesses resulted in 87 percent seeing their revenue increase or remain on par with pre-COVID times. Domestically, results showed business transformation played a large part in Australian family businesses successfully dealing with the fall out of the pandemic. Rather than a reactive short-term approach to the pandemic family businesses leveraged their ‘patience capital’; taking time to fully understand the impact of COVID-19 both on their business and others in their industry.

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Families maintained their R&D focus There was also renewed focus on protecting succession plans and a long-term future for the next generation. Overall, they focused on building plans for the long term, rather than just mitigating the short-term impact of the pandemic. Locally, family members drew on intergenerational knowledge and, in turn, 70 percent of families reported they maintained their R&D investments and continued to launch new products and services throughout the pandemic. The pandemic opened up opportunities for young, tech-savvy family members to introduce digital technology solutions that streamlined their business operations and

launched a host of new products into the market. As we look at a post-COVID future, maintaining a focus on governance and implementing meaningful KPIs, to track performance and productivity, is vital for the future success of Australian family businesses. Unregulated private companies such as Family Businesses are not subject to the same regulatory and legislative direction as ASX-listed companies and therefore can act with a higher level of autonomy and flexibility. However, this means that they may not necessarily capture the benefit of diversity by having independent directors on board. Typically, these entities may appoint friends as board members and resist the unfamiliar. Rethinking the composition of

their board can benefit the whole sector. Overall, there are many lessons for family businesses from the COVID-19 experience. What is clear is they have shown resilience, risen to the challenge and applied the learnings from the pandemic. Continued application of these and implementing the changes which saw the sector strive through the pandemic will be the key to family businesses continuing to lead the way in Australia’s ongoing economic recovery. To read the full report, Mastering a comeback: How family businesses are triumphing over COVID-19 please visit KPMG.com.au First published Robyn Langsford, Partner In Charge Family and Private Clients, KPMG Australia on KPMG Newsroom on 25 March, 2021

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Faster global rollout of COVID -19 vaccine a $17bn boost to Australia

 BRENDAN RYNNE N our latest Quarterly Economic Outlook, KPMG forecasts a global rise of 4.4 percent in GDP this year. But there is a big caveat. So much is dependent on the speed and success of international vaccine distribution. So much so, that we modelled two scenarios for the global roll-out of vaccines – firstly, an efficient, equitable distribution, which will lead to all countries opening their borders to international travellers by the start of 2022. In this ‘upside’ scenario we assess a 2.8 percent boost to the world economy, compared to our base forecast. But in a downside scenario, failure to deliver a comprehensive and timely program for low and lower-middle income countries will see thwarted mobility and global services trade being hit. In this downside scenario we assess a 1.2 percent drop in the world economy. GDP would be weaker in all countries – especially, but only, those who have been unable to secure sufficient doses of the vaccine. This would have a meaningful impact on the Australian economy. The smooth international roll-out of vaccines this year envisaged in the upside scenario would boost the Australian economy by $17bn and generate nearly 40,000 jobs. On the downside, continued international travel restrictions until the end of 2021, resulting in global services trade remaining depressed, would result in lower Australian GDP of $4bn and 13,100 fewer jobs. Our economy is particularly vulnerable to a drop in service exports. These scenarios come just after a year since the COVID virus turned the world upside down. From an economic perspective thankfully prospects of recovery from the low point of mid-2020 – when world GDP had declined by seven percent (compared to 2 percent in the GFC in 2009) – looks brighter each day as vaccines get rolled out and new vaccines come on-line.

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Some policy support has involved guaranteeing loans to businesses to maintain their viability; therefore the fiscal cost of responding to the coronavirus crisis will rise for those jurisdictions adopting this policy only if the supported businesses eventually fail.” But a return to full capacity will take some time. All economies are poorer than they would have otherwise been if not for the pandemic. The global economic recovery is likely to be uneven, driven by vaccine distribution but with lockdowns still affecting much of the Northern hemisphere. The covid recovery will be consistent with the history of how the world economy has recovered from previous global events – where the maturity and robustness of industrial and institutional structures and policy responses are critically important. The recovery is also going to be driven by how monetary and fiscal policy has been utilised by individual countries. Only some countries have cut interest rates to their lowest levels (or beyond) and/or employed Quanti-

WESTERN SYDNEY BUSINESS ACCESS APRIL 2021

tative Easing, while some have used government spending more sparingly than others. For example, some policy support has involved guaranteeing loans to businesses to maintain their viability; therefore the fiscal cost of responding to the coronavirus crisis will rise for those jurisdictions adopting this policy only if the supported businesses eventually fail. Importantly, there is an understanding that the monetary and fiscal policy response associated with combating the economic fallout of the pandemic is not free.

Rapid increase in deficits We have seen a rapid increase in deficits and government debt; so far the increase has been about 15 percentage points on pre-pandemic levels for advanced economies and around 10 percentage points for emerging economies. Such an increase would usually raise concerns for global institutions like the IMF and World Bank, but given the unique circumstances they have tacitly endorsed the conclusion that “doing nothing” is not an acceptable option. Globally, while the final quarter of 2020 saw a return to lockdowns in the northern hemisphere, industrial activity appeared to be returning to pre-pandemic levels. However, the personal services, travel, accommodation, food, and entertainment sectors, remains severely impacted by the government policy interventions aimed at limiting the spread of the coronavirus. Job losses have also tended to be concentrated in these sectors, and, given these sectors tend to employ low-wage workers, the coronavirus pandemic has exacerbated income and wealth distribution problems in society. The economic performance of individual countries during 2020 was heavily influenced by consumption spending. Household spending over the past year has necessarily focused on the purchase of goods (as opposed to services), which has meant those countries producing manufac-

tured output have (generally) seen a sharper recovery than countries that have an industrial structure biased towards services.

Our high resilience rating Australia has weathered the global coronavirus pandemic better than most other countries. A mix of good management and good luck has meant that the spread of COVID-19 within the Australian population has been limited, and as a consequence of that (and also due to the high-quality health system that exists in Australia) the fatality rate associated with the disease has been very low. Australia is ranked No.2 in the world behind New Zealand in Bloomberg’s COVID Resilience Ranking, reflecting not only the strong health response that has been undertaken to date but also due to the fact we have secured enough doses of the AstraZeneca / Oxford University vaccine to inoculate the whole population. So what of the near future? In terms of outlook this year will see a strong performance in the Australian economy, with GDP boosted by the pent-up demand from a lockdown-affected 2020 being met, but this will start to taper off in 2022. Our forecasts on inflation (rising) and unemployment (falling) mean that by next year the RBA will come under pressure to review its pledge to keep ultra-low interest rates until 2024. The inflation genie is still in the bottle, but can definitely be seen edging up the sides. Real wage growth will continue to be minimal and reflects Australia’s need to implement measures to boost productivity, coming out of the covid era. KPMG analysis has shown a clear link historically between increased capital/technology investment and higher wages. Capex is still a worry, despite recent improved figures. To read our Quarterly Economic Outlook, please visit KPMG.com.au First published by Brendan Rynne, Chief Economist, KPMG Australia on KPMG Newsroom on 23 March 2021.

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WESTERN SYDNEY BUSINESS ACCESS APRIL 2021


Salvation Army Red Shield Appeal 2021

www.accessnews.com.au

Message from Divisional Commander ear friend, Australians have been through a testing time recently, and while progress has been made, we still find ourselves in unfamiliar territory. The collective impact of the drought, bushfires and the COVID-19 pandemic has only exacerbated existing social issues like homelessness and financial hardship. Countless Australians – some for the first time – have found themselves reaching out to The Salvation Army for support, and for many, the phrase “it can happen to anyone” has taken on new significance. With unemployment, financial instability and serious impacts on mental and physical health being major issues, The Salvation Army is particularly concerned that more people are at risk of becoming homeless. We are now needed more than ever to ensure the harmful impacts of the pandemic will not have a long-lasting effect on the most vulnerable.

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While we continue to provide essential COVID-safe services to people at risk of, or experiencing homelessness, we know that the need has been steadily increasing. Between April and December 2020, The Salvation Army’s Homelessness services assisted more than 27,000 people. For every one person you see homeless and sleeping rough, there are 13 more you don’t, making homelessness an ever-growing issue in Australia – one we are passionate about addressing. This year we are asking the people of NSW to support the Red Shield Appeal and help those without a home find stability and security. Please join us as together we can make a difference in the lives of Australians experiencing homelessness and leave no one in need. Thank you and God bless, Lieutenant Colonel Miriam Gluyas NSW/ACT Divisional Commander The Salvation Army Australia

It’s raw: How hope really happens  ELIZABETH FRIAS VERY day at the new Parramatta Salvation Army, Major Kylie Collinson is stunned by raw stories of hardship faced by a section of people that is growing in her community. “I need help to pay bills, I lost my job, I cannot afford to pay rent, I am sick and couldn’t work, my children need school uniform and shoes,” she said. Most of us may not have experienced any of these predicaments. These are some of the reasons we mustn’t look the other way when volunteers are in our community in the month of May for the annual Red Shield Appeal. In Western Sydney, Major Collinson says they hope to raise more than $310k to expand the Salvos’ community support programs to support people in times of crisis. “While we are seeing disadvantaged families that regularly come for help, we also expect new people who have been put off work since the JobKeeper payment has been stopped to visit our centre at 426 Church Street,” Major Collinson said. Based on the latest treasury data on JobKeeper recipients by postcode, the suburbs of Parramatta, Wentworthville, Granville and Westmead had 3,235 individuals on JobKeeper who ceased receiving income support from April. Those currently receiving JobSeeker and youth allowance in the Parramatta electorate has increased to 15,488, according to the Australian Council on Social Services which is proposing an increase in the rate of unemployment benefits. The Salvos are assisting stranded foreign

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Each day, foreign students such as these ones pictured arrive to seek help at the Salvos on 426 Church St.

students who had no way of going home since the pandemic and lost jobs by providing vouchers for food and groceries. Woolworths has provided the Salvos with vouchers that can only be used for purchasing food and other grocery items, except alcohol and tobacco. It varies from week to week but on average, as many as 60 come through the door daily to pick up Woolworths vouchers while the Salvo Assessment Line handles the bulk of phone calls for other types of help, Major Collinson said. Those who have lost jobs are referred to the Salvos’ employment program, Employment Plus, to get the jobless back into the workforce or receive training to reskill for industries needing workforce.

Salvo community member Henry Laferla, 68, and Major Kylie Collinson reflect on the history of the Salvation Army depicted in the huge photo collage displayed in the foyer for all to see. WESTERN SYDNEY BUSINESS ACCESS APRIL 2021

It’s a dramatic increase The Salvos Moneycare offers a free financial counselling service for individuals and families. This is available in 17 centres across Sydney. In Western Sydney, at least 600 individual cases since last year are ongoing and are receiving support by ensuring they are being reconnected to work opportunities, receiving emergency relief and Centrelink entitlements, and learning skills how to repay their debts and manage their money for the longer term. “We look closely at the person’s expenses and provide tips and options on reducing expenses where possible, and work on these priorities,” says Mita Mitra, Moneycare regional manager.

Those receiving JobSeeker or youth allowance of just over $44 a day under the new JobSeeker rate of $620 a fortnight would be finding it very hard to budget their money because housing rental alone takes up bulk of their weekly expenses. The $250 a fortnight coronavirus supplement included in the JobSeeker allowance also ended in March. “Much [of JobSeeker’s weekly budget] depend on rent which is the biggest cost so it will be very hard,” says Ms Mitra. The Moneycare service does not provide loans but provide people experiencing financial hurdles with emergency assistance such as relief on paying energy and phone bills, Ms Mitra says. To be able to assist more people, the Salvos’ new facilities at Parramatta are being re-purposed to raise funds from renting the spaces such as its community hall with commercial kitchen, conference room and office spaces. “The monies we raise from renting these facilities within the new building will be used to give it back straight into helping the community and expand our services,” Major Collinson said. “To be able to pass it onto services for the people in the community we are open to partnering with businesses and organisations in the area.” To find out more about the Salvation Army in Parramatta, click on to https://www.salvationarmy.org.au/parramatta/ For opportunities to volunteer for the Red Shield Appeal in May please go to: https://www.salvationarmy.org.au/get-involved/ red-shield-weekend/.

Major Kylie Collinson (right) and Salvo volunteer Jan Roberts (left) who has been a helping hand for decades serving up hot coffee and sweets to visitors at the new Salvo Café.

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Salvation Army Red Shield Appeal 2021

www.accessnews.com.au

The Salvation Army Red Shield Appeal 2021– Case for support HE Red Shield Appeal is The Salvation Army’s signature fundraising campaign and raises crucial funds for our vast network of social and community services. The appeal is run over the months of April, May and June each year, with the Red Shield Doorknock traditionally being held on the last weekend in May (29-30 May 2021). Vulnerable Australians rely on these programs every day. Our services range from providing shelter for the homeless, assisting families in crisis through practical support and financial counselling, to guiding people with addictions through to a clean, healthy lifestyle. The Red Shield Appeal 2021 is seeking to raise funds and awareness around the many faces of homelessness who are often overlooked – those sleeping in cars, couch surfing or in unstable accommodation.

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Years of experience responding to crisis HE Salvation Army is a movement dedicated to walking alongside people experiencing hardship and injustice and we have been doing this in Australia for over 140 years. Whether it is a large-scale crisis, like natural disaster, or an individual crisis, such as poor health, job loss, or addiction – we are there on the frontline providing

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financial, practical and spiritual support. Through simple actions like assisting someone with a roof over their head, or a warm meal and listening ear, we make a difference in people’s lives and we do this every day – right around Australia. Without a home, a person’s ability to access and maintain employment, education, social networks and personal well-

being is severely tested. But as Australia’s largest provider of homelessness services, The Salvation Army is well-placed and experienced in addressing the needs of those at risk. Our comprehensive wrap-around suite of services include accommodation, case management, advocacy, financial assistance, counselling, and meals, as well as

connection and referral to other specialist services. Our goal is to raise $32M for this year’s Red Shield Appeal so we can continue to serve the most vulnerable in our communities. No matter how much you give, you will be helping fellow Australians facing hardship. Will you join us to give hope to those who need it most?

Homelessness services in Australia HE Salvation Army actively works to see an end to homelessness. To do this, we not only help those already experiencing homelessness, we also provide a support network that seeks to prevent people at risk from becoming homeless. We deliver a vast range of services and programs throughout Australia that address the root causes of homelessness such as financial hardship, unemployment or underemployment, addiction, family and domestic violence, disasters and emergencies, and youth disengagement. For those already experiencing homelessness, The Salvation Army offers secure accommodation and support services right across the country at over 1400 properties. We provide crisis, transitional and long-term accommodation, refuges for women and their children, rooming houses and community housing. Our services and programs provide the wrap-around support necessary for people undergoing hardship to end the cycle of homelessness and disadvantage –but the need is great.

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The current social and economic climate has led to a steady increase in demand for homelessness services nationwide. According to government data: In the 2019-2020 financial year: • 290,500 people were assisted by homelessness services across the sector. • 6 in 10 were at risk of homelessness. • 4 in 10 were homeless. • 100% increase in people seeking service in multiple sites.

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Salvation Army Red Shield Appeal 2021

On the frontline  ST. KILDA CRISIS SUPPORT SERVICES, MELBOURNE person can be in crisis at any time – not just during business hours – and when that happens, having access to a service that can provide safety and immediate care is vital. The Salvation Army Crisis Support Services in St. Kilda incorporate the Crisis Contact Centre (CCC) – the only 24/7 statewide facility – and the Interim Support and Linkage Program (ISLP). This service acts as a “safety net” within the current homelessness system, assisting and advocating for people in immediate crisis and who fall through the service gaps. This includes providing emergency

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accommodation assistance to people experiencing health and mental health issues and who have been discharged from hospital into homelessness; family violence risk assessment, safety planning, crisis accommodation and referral to family violence services; emergency accommodation assistance to young people; and travel assistance to safe accommodation. “I wouldn’t wish this [homelessness] upon anyone, it’s been an absolute struggle… But I’m proud of what I’ve achieved with a bit of help. I have my place, I feel happier and I have a future now.” - Lisa*, a 52-year-old woman supported out of homelessness and into stable accommodation through Crisis Support Services. *Names changed for privacy

www.accessnews.com.au

Over the past 10 years, there has been a sharp rise in calls for help as well as costs in providing crisis accommodation.

• 5000 – Total incoming calls for assistance (FY19/20) • 4752 – People provided after-hours emergency accommodation (FY19/20) • 88% ^ – Increase in people needing emergency accommodation since 2010 • 32.4% ^ – Increase in total cost of providing emergency accommodation since 2010 • 266% ^ – Increase in emergency accommodation cost in FY 19/20 • $34,000 – Spent on emergency accommodation during FY19/20 • 165% ^ – Increase in crisis calls from single women with single men remaining the largest group accessing the service • 19% – Of after-hours care provided in FY19/20 was due to family violence

Stories of homelessness  STREET2HOME, TASMANIA any people experiencing homelessness are living with significant trauma, which can lead to issues in trusting support and service providers. The Salvation Army’s Street2Home (S2H) in Hobart addresses that need. The program helps people within the greater Hobart area who are experiencing primary homelessness. It provides swags, tents, sleeping bags, blankets, clothing and food for those who have nowhere to go. It also actively advocates to local and state governments to highlight the plight of those who are slipping through the gaps, this has resulted in an increase in the capacity of shelter accommodation across Tasmania. Over the last few years, S2H has seen more single females and mothers with children escaping domestic violence. They are

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also seeing a younger cohort of people under eighteen who have not been seen previously. Once a successful sheep farmer, 60-yearold Fred* became homeless due to illness and a succession of tragedies. When first contacted by the Salvos, Fred was living in his car. He had not been receiving any support for both his physical and emotional issues and in his own words, was at a “low ebb”.

FRED’S STORY Through continual engagement, Fred acknowledged he needed help. S2H linked him with a GP, a psychologist, and a room in private boarding. Although he has come a long way, Fred still has a long journey ahead. And that is why we need your support – to ensure Fred and many others experiencing hardship like him can get the help they need to continue moving forward. *Name changed for privacy

At a glance, Street2Home: • 43% ^ – Helped 267 clients in 2019-2020 compared to 186 clients in 2018-2019 • 61% ^ – Received 6835 calls for help in 2019-2020 compared to 4230 in 2018-2019 • 18 – Actively managed approximately 18 cases each day in 2019-2020 • 23% ^ – Recorded an increase from 290 to 358 people sleeping rough in the last 12 months WESTERN SYDNEY BUSINESS ACCESS APRIL 2021

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Salvation Army Red Shield Appeal 2021

www.accessnews.com.au

What is in need? OUSING security has continually been on the decline across Australia. Increasing house prices, long waiting lists for public housing and a lack of affordable rental properties have pushed many individuals and families – especially those on low incomes – to the brink. Right now, for every person you can see who is homeless, there are 13 more that you can’t see. And this issue is only predicted to worsen due to the COVID-19 crisis. As the country adapts to a new normal, with widespread job losses and financial instability, many Australians are facing hardship in ways no one could have foreseen. The lifting of the moratorium on evictions and decreasing government payments is set to put undue financial pressure on the vulnerable and place them at greater risk of homelessness. And for many who were homeless before COVID-19 measures placed them in motel accommodation, a return to rough sleeping is inevitable.

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How you can help There are people hurting in every community across Australia, and the need for support is very real and extremely urgent. In times like these, when the need is great, your support of the Red Shield Appeal can help us make a difference and give precious hope to the countless Australians doing it extremely tough. With the pandemic clearly exposing and intensifying so many of these social issues, we have a great opportunity to see significant and long-lasting change around housing security. But there is a lot of work to be done in order to build on this momentum to end homelessness.

Your support provides the necessary resources to continue meeting vulnerable people at their point of need. Whether

through crisis accommodation or preventative programs and services, your support can help fill the gaps so that no one slips

through. The contribution you make has the power to transform countless lives for the better.

An end to homelessness is achievable, and the Salvos will continue to live and breathe this mission in our work with individuals and families experiencing hardship and crisis in communities across Australia. We are strongly committed to walking alongside people in need, providing vital support to overcome crisis and see a pathway to life transformation. By contributing to the Red Shield Appeal, you can support the ongoing work of The Salvation Army in the face of this crisis. Together, we can help end homelessness.

COMMITMENT TO RECONCILIATION The Salvation Army acknowledges the Traditional Owners of country throughout Australia and recognises their continuing connection to land, waters and community. We pay our respects to them and their cultures; and to elders both past and present. Our vision for reconciliation is to be a faith movement committed to equity, freedom and the righting of injustice. SALVATIONARMY.ORG.AU To find out more please contact Major David Collinson - PR Secretary or Greg Donovan – Relationship Manager or email PRNSWACT@salvationarmy.org.au 18

WESTERN SYDNEY BUSINESS ACCESS APRIL 2021


News

www.accessnews.com.au

“ I NEVER THOUGHT I’D BE HOMELESS.” Like many of us, Megan* never thought it would happen to her – she never imagined she would need to escape a violent relationship; she never imagined her own family would turn their backs on her; she never imagined she and her daughter would become homeless and have to live out of their car. Right now, there are thousands of Australians like Megan* experiencing homelessness but going unnoticed. Couch surfing, living out of cars, staying in refuges or transitional housing and sleeping rough – they are often not represented in official statistics. In fact, for every person experiencing homelessness you can see, there are 13 more that you can’t see. Together we can help stop the rise in homelessness.

Visit salvationarmy.org.au or scan the QR code *Name changed for privacy

WESTERN SYDNEY BUSINESS ACCESS APRIL 2021

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Business in Profile - BRRED AUSTRALIA

www.accessnews.com.au

BREED Australia is rebuilding small businesses REED Australia, Western Sydney’s only non-for-profit business incubator, is about to launch new small business mentoring and community-focused social impact programs under a new leadership team’s guidance. The majority of the new BREED Australia board will initially consist of independent directors who have a wealth of knowledge, experience and passion in shaping the organisation’s strategies to help Australia rebuild as a result of the economic and social impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. BREED Australia’s chairman Nathan Burbridge is a senior government policy advisor and economic development professional and has been part of the not for profit and charity sector for over 15 years. “After being part of the board of this great organisation over several years, I am very excited about the experience, passion and commitment that this new board brings to the table in helping BREED Australia achieve its mission and objectives,” Mr Burbridge said. BREED Australia was formed in 1994 to stimulate economic and employment growth in the Blacktown regional area. Subsequently, the BREED Business Centre was established in 1996 after receiving a grant to refurbish an unused TAFE building into 34 modern offices, reception and administration. Since then, the BREED Business Centre, based at Quakers Hill, has been providing office rentals for small businesses with shared facilities, administration support and networking events for its tenants and the local community

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Looking to launch a new business incubator According to General Manager Emmanuel Martin, the catastrophic economic and social impact of COVID-19 has given extra impetus to expand BREED’s offering to Australian Small Businesses and their communities. “We are looking to launch new BREED Business Incubator Programs later in the year that will provide Australian early-stage business start-ups with skills and mentoring to establish commercially viable business models. These businesses will grow and create more jobs and social impact within our communities,” Mr Martin added Yasmine Shah, an independent director of BREED Australia, believes that the organisation can create meaningful change through education and community engagement. “We are on a mission to ensure the Breed community of talented entrepreneurs secure many opportunities to succeed with their business and life goals by empowering each other through shared peer to peer support, networking and learning,” Yasmine ssaid. Emmanuel Martin said BREED Australia is a representation of its tenants. “Our tenants at the Nirimba Business Centre will play an active part in building BREED Australia. For example, the new website was designed by Mindsite Web Services, while at the same we support tenants through free mentoring programs and meaningful networking opportunities.” Anne Denham, BREED Australia’s treasurer, is a school principal with the Department of Education whose purpose

From left: Yasmine Shah (independent director), Emmanuel Martin (general manager), Nathan Burbridge (chairman) .

is to help provide access to resources and support through stepping into the community and listening to their stories, needs and hopes. Her strong connections to disadvantaged communities will be instrumental in driving the success of BREED’s future social impact-focused projects. The shape of BREED Australia’s future business incubator programs will also rely on independent director Thais Oso, who has proven experience in the Business Startup and global incubator space. BREED Australia’s past achievements include the Featherdale Work Experience Program, BREED Transitioning Youth Program, Young Entrepreneurs Program, and

in 2009 it was awarded the ‘Incubator of the Year’ by Business Innovation and Incubation Australia (BIIA) Matthew Pearce, BREED Australia’s company secretary, works for Redman Solutions that provides systems solutions to assist local councils. With a background in consulting, he wants to help businesses thrive and reach their full potential. He aims to help BREED Australia nurture businesses to work smarter, not harder, through technology. For information on BREED Australia, please visit www.breedaustralia.com.au or contact via phone on 02-98533200

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CROSSWORD ACROSS 1. Point on the earth's surface directly above the focus of an earthquake 6. The man who invented the cube that became a world hit, Hungarian designer, Erno ... 9. First person to circumnavigate the world in a balloon, ... Fossett 10. New York World Series baseball team 11. China's ... Zedong 12. West African republic with Conakry as its capital and chief Atlantic port 13. Sweet sparkling wine from the Piedmont area of northern Italy 15. Soviet statesman, ... Gorbachev 16. Wave-riding 18. Geothermal springs 20. Moving ice mass (Aletsch is Europe's largest) 21. US president's country home, ... David 23. London monument that stands close to the site of the Tyburn gallows, ... Arch 24. Flightless Australian bird 27. An ancient Greek one would have competed naked! 28. UAE sheikhdom, Abu ... 29. Tennis champion, Monica ... 30. Jazz legend, Duke ... DOWN 1. English racing town or sort of salts used as a purgative 2. Fast and furious sport involving a puck (3,6) 3. Florida swamp region 4. World champion ice dancers, Jayne ... and Christopher Dean 5. Paris boulevard leading to the Arc de Triomphe, Champs ... 6. Cricket scores 7. Dutch word for 'farmers' used to denote Afrikaans-speaking South Africans 8. American statesman noted for his efforts in establishing a cease-fire in Vietnam in 1973, Henry ... 14. Final battle at the end of the world or the movie starring Liv Tyler and Bruce Willis 15. CS Lewis Narnia tale, The ... Nephew (8'1) 17. Door-to-door (hawker) 19. Term for conjoined twins first used to describe Chang and Eng Bunker 20. Archangel generally depicted in art blowing the trumpet that will announce the second coming 22. Mausoleum Shah Jahan built to commemorate his wife, the Taj ... 25. Workers' body formed to safeguard salaries and conditions 26. Followers of Judaism

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CMRC

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Why diversity needs to be celebrated  PRISCELLA MABOR ICTOR Dominello, Customer Service Minister for NSW, has spoken of diversity and inclusion. “Diversity shouldn’t just be tolerated, it needs to be celebrated. I am proud to celebrate the diversity of our great NSW state, it is arguably one of our greatest assets,” he said. With that sentiment, it was fitting that Minister Dominello officially launched the Community Migrant Resource Centres’ new outreach office at Top Ryde Shopping Centre on March 25, a one stop shop to service the needs of multicultural and refugee communities throughout the Ryde LGA. The City of Ryde declared itself a Refugee Welcome Zone in April 2013 and CMRC broadened its geographical footprint soon after. “CMRC opened its first office in the area in 2014 and multicultural communities have been knocking on our door ever since”, says Melissa Monteiro CEO of CMRC. We have all emerged touched by events of 2020, the year where migration has become one of the first casualties of the global pandemic. For over 300, 000 years humans have migrated thanks to a diversity of impulses (some desperate for resources, others inquiring intellectuals, while for others it was our sheer imperialist drive to conquer other territories and cultures ). Today globalization is viewed more temperately, as feeding our need to share and learn from each other. And the digital revolution has afforded us the opportunity to share innovation at a speed never before seen. While our migration story has been effectively in the deep freeze for over a year, it has allowed us a time of reflection to look around at our neighbours and conduct a more nuanced gaze at those who have enriched our communities over the years, and those who are newly arrived in search of opportunities for resettlement, acceptance and inclusion. Ryde is a perfect place to track the migration wave of Sydney, and our state’s record on diversity, inclusion and entrepreneurship. It started as the third oldest European settlement in Australia after Sydney and Parramatta. Fertile soil saw the region grow into a fruit-growing mecca. Apple orchards, were soon followed by orange, apricot and strawberry farms. Who saw the potential for this market? Migrants from Italy and Greece who had settled in the area in the 1920s.

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We have all emerged touched by events of 2020, the year where migration has become one of the first casualties of the global pandemic.” – Melissa Monteriro. The Italian story tells the story of many migrants. An early exodus of educated literati and professionals was spurred by persecution from Austria, suppressing free speech and curbing insurrection. While later migration, saw more economic levers at play. Victor Dominello’s paternal grandparents actually settled in Ryde in the 1930s, where they established a market garden and opened a fruit shop in Eastwood. Over the last seven years, CMRC has been supporting established Chinese and Korean communities, whilst welcoming newcomers to the area from Sri Lanka, Afghanistan and Iran. Hundreds of families and young people (many orphaned ) settled locally, after

being forced to flee their homelands due to armed conflict and persecution. CMRC staff provided that critical case work support during those all important first five years of arrival. Since late 2016, it is now Armenian Syrian families who have settled in the area, as recipients of the special humanitarian allocation of 12, 000 visas for those fleeing the conflict in Syria and Iraq. The stories of Ryde migration has been captured in a number of CMRC Photographic Exhibitions and Storytelling Projects held over the years. Restoration of dignity, sharing cultural intelligence and understanding diverse arts practices as a cornerstone to resettlement, is a hallmark

of the work that CMRC has undertaken in the social inclusion space. While 2021 has underscored our basic human need for connectivity, it has also shone a light on systemic inequities for those such as refugees and asylum seekers. Inclusion is about reducing inequality and calling out those who choose to create division and fuel prejudice. CMRC’s Northern Region Program Manager Chrissie Ianssen and her team, are happy to share their plans for the next chapter in Ryde’s migration story. Priscella Mabor is the Inclusion Strategy & Innovations Manager Community Migrant Resource Centre

Community Migrant Resource Centre (CMRC) is a not-for-profit, charitable organisation established in 1996. CMRC is a leader in the provision of specialised support services to newly arrived migrants, refugees and humanitarian entrants. CMRC works within a community capacity building framework to encourage individuals and multicultural communities to identify and address their own issues. It works in collaborative partnerships with a great number of agencies to provide services which have both an immediate and long term benefit for the community. CMRC employs over 60 full time, part-time and casual multi-lingual staff. Paramatta office Level 4, 1 Horwood Place Parramatta, NSW 2150 Ph: (02) 9687 9901 Monday – Friday: 9AM – 5PM

The Hills office 24

Community Hub Castle Towers Level 3, 6-14 Castle Street, Castle Hill, NSW 2154 Northern Region office

Shop 3030 Top Ryde City CNR Devlin And Blaxland Rd RYDE NSW 2112

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Floods

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PROPERTY SHOWCASE WESTERN SYDNEY

Published in Western Sydney Business Access | Parramatta Times | Blacktown News | www.westernpropertyguide.com.au

Parramatta CBD.

Spoilt for choice at Parramatta Swap Sydney harbor views for city river views  DALLAS SHERRINGHAM UYERS who once longed for a property with harbor views are now turning their aspirations to Parramatta and its outstanding choice of apartment living. You can swap a harbor view for a river view and save yourself literally millions of dollars. Recent auctions this year show everything from one bedroom “starters” to luxury penthouses and even a three storey ‘mansion in the sky’ have been available to cashed up bidders in the Parramatta area. I reckon you can still find a bargain, although the market is constantly changing as Sydney undergoes another property boom. A two-bedroom apartment in O’Reilly St recently sold for $452,000 while a two bedder in Harold St went for $570,000. In Cowper St a two bed, two bath went

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for $465,000 and a similar property in Charles St fetched $620,000. So, if you can manage $500,00 to $600,000 you will buy yourself a nice apartment in a good building with at least one car space.

A good option Three-bedroom properties are available around the $770,000 plus mark. In North Parra’s Albert St one went for $740,000 with two bedrooms and two carparks and another very well-presented apartment in Bellevue St went for $705,000. North Parramatta is a good option, being within walking distance of the CBD, restaurants, the footy stadium and light rail. One of the positive features of newer apartments in Parramatta compared to older areas of the inner city are the generous balconies which provide the opportunity for quality outdoor living. I discovered

plenty of properties with great balconies in my research. If you are an outdoors type person but love privacy, look for an apartment with views to the north or east if possible to avoid southerlies or the western sun. However, if a free-standing cottage is more your idea of a great home, expect to pay a lot more. Even quite basic three bedders are going for around the $1.5m mark. However, if you are spending that sort of money, get your bank to extend another $100,000 plus for a quality reno. As free-standing cottages become rarer, their value will increase more in the long run, especially they are a heritage style design. If you are new to the auction game, may I recommend that you attend a few auctions beforehand. It will give you an idea what you can buy in your price range at this exact moment in time. While there are still agents who frame auction price expectations way lower than

North Parramatta is a good option, being within walking distance ofthe CBD, restaurants, the footy stadium and light rail.” what the property eventually sells for, authorities are cracking down on this unscrupulous process. There have been a number of infringement fines for underquoting in NSW this year. Inspectors attended 33 auctions and issued 14 infringement notices, so hopefully some agents will start to do the right thing and quote realistically.

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100 BED WELLBEING HOTEL AT WESTMEAD

This could be the healthiest stay in Australia  DALLAS SHERRINGHAM ESTMEAD is gaining a new Travelodge Hotel which could prove to be the healthiest hotel in Australia. The $100M health and wellbeing Travelodge Hotel at West Grove will have 100 rooms and will be closed to Westmead’s medical facilities. It will be managed by Drill Pty Ltd Hotel at West Grove after signing a long-term management agreement with TFE Hotels. The Travelodge will be located on the current Westmead Shopping Centre site at the gateway to Westmead’s Health and Innovation Precinct. Drill chief executive Mark Hovey told leading web site Urban Developer the revised development application for the 2150sq m site would ensure West Grove provided the accommodation, infrastructure, retail and food and beverage services needed into the future. “The hotel accommodation is a key component of West Grove. Drill are the first to introduce this option within the Westmead Health Precinct, so it fills an important gap within the overall district offering,” Mr Hovey said. “At the moment, if you are family living outside of greater Sydney and your child or other family member is transferred to Westmead, your only options for hotel accommodation are 15 minutes away. At West

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Travelodge Hotel Westmead - Exterior Day.

Travelodge Hotel Westmead - Precinct Courtyard at Night.

Grove you will be just metres away.” The Travelodge also features commercial space for healthcare businesses, specialists and co-working providers. These include a Woolworths metro-style fresh food supermarket, a hawker style food court, a tavern, courtyard cafes, and specialist retail.

Electric car charging It will include 126 car spaces, along with end-of-trip facilities and electric vehicle charging stations. Mr Hovey said West Grove would be a thoughtfully designed “oasis” for people

with loved ones receiving medical treatment. Drill recently received approval for its revised plans for the 100-room health and wellbeing hotel, scaling back from a residential apartment component. TFE Hotels’ chief executive Antony Ritch said TFE was proud to partner with Drill and introduce the Travelodge Hotels brand into Australia’s largest health and innovation precinct. “Not only will the Travelodge Westmead debut a fresh new interior design with warm timber and earthy tones,” he said.

“But, in partnership with the West Grove development, it will deliver longterm benefits as the thriving Westmead community continues to grow.” Mr Ritch said the hotel would feature simple, stylish interiors throughout including the rooms, sixth level lobby, eatery and bar. One of West Grove’s central design features is a lush, landscaped courtyard space activated with restaurants, cafes and bars. “West Grove is the future heart of the Westmead Health and Innovation Precinct for healthcare professionals as well as local and regional visitors,” Mr Hovey said. Drill has started leasing West Grove’s healthcare space including a day surgery, large general practice and independent health consulting suites with Healthcare Property Group. Construction of the multi-storey complex at West Grove is expected to start this year. The opening of West Grove is scheduled for Christmas 2022, with Travelodge Westmead opening early 2023. Sources: The Urban Developer, Westmead Shopping Centre

Shop 1035A Westpoint Blacktown 17 Patrick St Blacktown NSW 2148 and the phone number: 02 8814 9387. WESTERN SYDNEY BUSINESS ACCESS APRIL 2021

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Travel

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WANDERING THE WARRUMBUNGLES

App for little-known national treasure  DALLAS SHEWRRINGHAM HAVE always wondered why the Warrumbungle Ranges are not more famous. They vault up out of the endless plains in north western NSW, providing an amazing sight from a distance and are even more amazing up close. And when you are sitting in amongst them with dozens of kangaroos grazing away without a care in the world, it takes your breath away. The trails within this park are outstanding. Shady walks along lazy creeks bubbling along followed by sudden vistas of dramatic landforms like the Breadknife and Belougery Split Rock. I guess the lack of coverage is the fact that we have a nation with outstanding rock features like Uluru with modern five-star resorts, live shows, unique dining and an airport. The Warrumbungles have none of that…and that’s what makes it so special. Pitch your tent or pull up your caravan and you become part of a landscape of whispering trees and brilliant nights. In fact, the nights are so clear that the Warrumbungles is the home of an international observatory which is used by ‘star experts’ from around the world. But it is the stunning landform that is the real star attraction. Now visitors can now journey into an ancient volcano in Warrumbungle National Park with the help of a digital geotrail that provides a first-hand look at the molten lava, fire fountains and mud flows which once covered a large part of north west

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The picturesque Warrumbungles.

NSW up to 18 million years ago. Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional NSW John Barilaro said the Warrumbungle geotrail included fascinating findings from a new scientific paper prepared by the Geological Survey of NSW and revealed for the first time, a detailed history of the region’s violent volcanic past. Mr Barilaro said the trail could be

easily downloaded through a user-friendly mobile app and was one of five in a network of digital geotrails allowing visitors to experience some of the most spectacular landscapes regional NSW had to offer. “Our geological scientists have uncovered the shape, size and lava flows of what we can determine was a shield volcano that existed after the dinosaurs became extinct and before humans walked the

earth and now people can experience it first-hand,” Mr Barilaro said. “Thousands of visitors come to Warrumbungle each year to enjoy the site’s natural beauty and star gazing opportunities and through this new geotrail, we can now explore the remains of the huge volcano that gave rise to the local landscape. Continued on page 29

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Continued from page 28

Each trail is unique “There are trail options suited to a range of abilities including a self-drive tour, a leisurely stroll around what used to be the volcano’s main crater and an adventurous hike around the Grand High Tops Circuit with breathtaking views created by the volcano’s unique geology.” Mr Barilaro said the NSW Government’s growing geotrail network would lift the lid on hundreds of millions of years of geological history behind the Warrumbungle Volcano, Newcastle and Port Macquarie coastlines, Mutawinji National Park and the Central Darling region in the west. “We use handheld audio and visual guides in the world’s most famous museums and art galleries, and geotrails provide a similar experience accompanied by fresh air and unearthing facts about the rocks beneath our feet,” Mr Barilaro said. “Each trail is unique, covering local geological highlights and historic and cultural facts that will intrigue families, encourage them to stay longer and spend with local businesses.”

Visitors can install the GeoTours NSW app on iOS or Android phones and tablets to download the Warrumbungle Volcano, Newcastle and Port Macquarie geotrails. About the NSW Geotrail network: • Port Macquarie Coastline Geotrail, (launched in 2018) – shows rocks made by volcanoes, by microscopic marine creatures and by underwater gravity currents. • Warrumbungle Volcano Geotrail – journey into an ancient volcano in Warrumbungle National Park where there is evidence of magma and what used to be the volcano’s main crater. • Newcastle Coastline Geotrail – showcases how the Newcastle coastline has changed across 250 million years and includes facts about volcanoes, a fossilised ancient forest, as well as Australia’s split from New Zealand • Coming soon (within 12 months): • Central Darling Geotrail – includes Mungo, Kinchega and Paroo-Darling National Parks, taking visitors through geological history including an-

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cient dry lakebeds and fish fossils and details about Aboriginal culture • Mutawintji National Park Geotrail – journey through a 400 million-year-old seabed, learn about fossils and explore evidence of thousands of years of continuous Aboriginal occupancy and use of this rugged desert landscape.

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Penrith Business

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Rowing championships come to Penrith ESTERN Sydney’s visitor economy is set for another boost, with the NSW Government securing the Australian Rowing Championships for 2022 and 2024. The Australian Rowing Championships will see the nation’s best rowers and the country’s largest annual rowing event return to Sydney International Regatta Centre in Penrith as part of the NSW Government’s continued investment in Western Sydney. Minister for Jobs, Investment, Tourism and Western Sydney and Member for Penrith said the NSW Government is committed to building a world-class calendar of events as part of the recently announced Visitor Economy Strategy, which is set to rejuvenate NSW’s visitor tourism and events industry in the wake of COVID-19. “This is a win for the people of Western Sydney and I am thrilled Australia’s premier rowing regatta will remain at the home of adrenaline and outdoor adventure in Penrith by hosting the Australian Rowing Championships in 2022 and 2024.

The Australian Rowing Championships (previously known as the Sydney International Rowing Regatta when last held in Penrith) is the largest rowing event in Australia and the pinnacle of domestic competition. The event comprises of the Australian Open Rowing Championships, Australian Open Schools Rowing Championships and the King’s and Queen’s Cups Interstate Regatta, which brings competitors from across Australia, as well as internationally. The 2022 Australian Rowing Championships will be held at the Sydney International Regatta Centre from 21 – 27 March 2022, with the 2024 event also set to be held in March at the same venue. Athletes will compete in the 2024 Australian Rowing Championships to secure their position on the Australian Rowing Team in preparation for the Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

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“Events such as the Australian Rowing Championships play a pivotal role in NSW’s Visitor Economy Strategy, which sees participants and spectators flock to Sydney,

injecting an economic boost into our city, furthermore, enhancing our city’s reputation as Australia’s premier sporting destination,” Mr Ayres said.

For more information on the Australian Rowing Championships and to plan your trip, go to www. Sydney.com

Council calls for much-needed evacuation route ENRITH City Council is calling on the Government to prioritise the Castlereagh Connection in the wake of the flood emergency in the Hawkesbury-Nepean Valley. Once constructed, the 22km corridor would function as a much-needed evacuation route in the event of emergencies providing a swifter and safer route for the community. The flooding events which have devastated parts of Penrith and the Hawkesbury regions over the past week should be “a wake-up call”, prompting urgent funding from the State and Federal Governments ahead of future disasters. Penrith Mayor Karen McKeown OAM said since the Castlereagh corridor was identified in 1951 it has sat dormant,

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despite the desperate need for improved infrastructure during times of crisis and various calls for action from Council and industry bodies. “This corridor, which is 90% Government-owned, has sat idle for over half a century while we continue to wait for action,” Cr McKeown said. “The flood crisis this week has wreaked havoc and surprisingly it is only a 1 in 20-year flood event for Penrith and a 1 in 50-year event for the Hawkesbury. We cannot sit and wait for a 1 in 100-year flood disaster that has the potential to reach and obliterate arterial roads – we need to act immediately,” she said. “As the SES continues to free our neighbours from flood waters in the

Hawkesbury, the government has a prime piece of untapped land which could have evacuated thousands of people had it been developed in time,” Cr McKeown said. “We know that the Castlereagh Connection would intersect with four of the current evacuation routes and provide much-needed relief during times of crisis, including floods and bushfires; connecting the corridor will help move up to 24,000 vehicles (particularly many of the highly flood-prone Richmond-Windsor SA3) to the M7 and keep residents out of harm’s way. “Infrastructure Australia identified this as a high priority project and just last month the Insurance Council of Australia acknowledged the Hawkesbury-Nepean

Valley’s flood risks and desperate need for alternative evacuation routes to be explored to mitigate safety risks – so why are we still waiting on Government funding?” “Our ask is simple: we need a commitment from the government to develop a business case for the project to determine the true benefit this will bring to our local communities,” she said. Penrith’s footprint continues to spread as new infrastructure and earmarked road and rail upgrades link the City to the Western Sydney Airport and the surrounding aerotropolis. Such a development boom spurs population growth and, with more people choosing to live in Penrith, it is critical that adequate safety measures are put in place.

Winner of redevelopment project announced ENRITH City Council has announced the winner of its design excellence competition to reinvigorate the former Council Chambers at 129-133 Henry Street, into a new commercial building set to revitalise the Penrith CBD. Global architecture firm, Woods Bagot, produced the winning design for the redevelopment, known as 131 Henry Street, following a rigorous Design Excellence Competition and assessment from the judging panel of independent industry experts. Penrith Mayor Karen McKeown OAM said the winning design offered an innovative architectural solution that responded to the competition brief, and future urban character of the Penrith CBD. “We are thrilled to start working with award-winning architects Woods Bagot to deliver a highly advanced workplace at 131 Henry Street, which will feature a sustainable design, and activated public and retail spaces for the community,” Cr McKeown said. “The redevelopment of 131 Henry Street will set the benchmark for future city developments and be the catalyst for the revitalisation of the Penrith CBD, alongside Council’s investment in a new City Park and transformation of Soper Place. As a key city within Western Sydney, Penrith will be the first to connect to the new Nancy-Bird International Airport at Badgerys Creek and surrounding aerotropolis by metro rail from day one of operations.

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Artist impression of the completed project.

“Penrith is well positioned to become a new commercial centre for growth and innovation, with a number of other projects in the pipeline including commercial space at Soper Place, a new City Park and the $24M upgrade of Regatta Park.” The proposed design, featuring approximately 8,000 sqm of flexible commercial space, ground floor retail, on-site parking

and a building façade that activates both street frontages, incorporates best practice principles of environmentally sustainable design and is targeting a minimum of 5 Star Green Star rating in line with Council’s ‘Cooling the City Strategy’. Woods Bagot principal Jason Fraser said the scheme for 131 Henry Street was uniquely focused on both community and

workplace to create a building that benefits the public whilst delivering a workplace of the future. Building on the wellness and sustainability tenets of the development, the key to its longevity is to design the building with flexibility, capable of adapting to changing user needs. “Reinforcing its place in civic life by providing a multitude of public uses, green space will flow through the site and connect it with the future City park, creating a heart to the civic and education precinct,” Fraser said. Well-positioned in the heart of Penrith’s CBD, this commercial building will offer future occupants the ease and convenience of retail, restaurants and major public transport links on their doorstep, while also being adjacent to the future City Park. 131 Henry Street was the former home of Council from 1958 until the relocation of Council in 1993 to its current premises. The history of the site will be celebrated through a robust heritage interpretation strategy which includes the reuse of building elements and high-quality public domain features. The winning design will undergo further design development and refinement with the development application to be lodged by the end of 2021. For more information on 131 Henry Street visit https://www.yoursaypenrith.com.au/131henrystreet

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Penrith Business

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Lights shine on Penrith opportunity  STACEY RANDELL HE inaugural Lights on Penrith 2021 Growth Summit, held on March 26 at the Joan Sutherland Performing Arts Centre in Penrith, was a huge success, gathering delegates from business, government, and the local community together to discuss the significant growth and development planned for the region in the next few years. Kate Rafton, President of the Penrith Valley Chamber of Commerce and the driving force behind the Summit was delighted with the outcome. “We had some amazing feedback from participants on the day. This was our first event under the Lights on Penrith banner and we are planning to run a series, each one focusing on a different aspect of growth and opportunity in our region. What really struck me, was how much the participants appreciated the chance to come together and focus on some of the most important issues relevant to Western Sydney and in particular, the Penrith region,” she said. The key focus of the Summit was to highlight business growth opportunities and how major infrastructure and development projects, such as the Western Sydney Airport, Nepean Business Park, St Mary’s Freight Hub and Sydney Science Park, will create more local jobs and improve sustainability in the Nepean. Bruce Baudinet, Chairman of Precinct Capital–the developers behind Nepean Business Park and Flagship Sponsors of the Summit – enjoyed the chance to contribute to the discussion on the day. “We love the concept of the “30-minute city”. Providing opportunities for people to work within an easy 30-min-

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Scenes from the Lights on Penrith event.

ute commute is critical when building sustainable communities. The Summit allowed us to meet with local businesses, share our vision of the 30-minute city, and demonstrate how an enlightened planning framework can support small business and thereby improve local employment opportunities. This will allow facilities like the Nepean Business Park to attract and retain small to medium enterprises in the region and create local jobs for local people,”” he said. According to Andrew Grima, Principal of Coleman Greig Lawyers and Flagship Sponsor of Lights on Penrith:

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“The Lights on Penrith Growth Summit was exactly what the Penrith community needed. It was a fantastic opportunity to not only showcase future development in the region, but also to connect key stakeholders, and give businesses solid ideas on how they can leverage the growth opportunities. “ Sponsors and supporters of the event included Nepean Business Park (NBP) and Coleman Greig Lawyers, Penrith City Council, Celestino (developers of the Sydney Science Park), KPMG, NAB, Macquarie Commercial, Hix Group, Optus Business Centre Western Sydney, St Mary’s

Freight Hub, Complete Recruitment Solutions, Raine & Horne Commercial Penrith, Uphire Equipment Specialists and Business Western Sydney. Western Sydney Business Access was the regional media partner for the event. With planning already underway, the next Lights on Penrith event will have a focus on tourism and hospitality in the region and take place in July. Stacey Randell is Engagement Manager at Penrith Valley Chamber of Commerce. Contact her on 0435 457 849

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Films

French Exit – 5 Stars

Odd, charming and immensely lovable, French Exit is a triumph

rances Price (Michelle Pfeiffer) is a Manhattan socialite known as much for her acerbic wit and unusual antics as she is for the rumor that she murdered her late husband. Her expensive taste is challenged, however, when her inheritance dwindles to almost nothing. Faced with the prospect of poverty, Frances sells what she can and ups and leaves the city, travelling with her son Malcolm (Lucas Hedges) and her cat to a friend’s apartment in Paris. There, she seems intent on whiling away what’s left of her inheritance before eventually killing herself when the money runs out. Directed by Azazel Jacobs, French Exit is undoubtedly a polarising film. There’s no question this movie won’t be for everyone, with it’s slow pace, it’s ad hoc indulgence in the surreal and strange, and it’s Wes Anderson-esque humor. At the same time, however, for every viewer who can’t stand it’s style, they’ll be another so in love with it as to forgive the storytelling flaws in favour of what is a cohesive and engaging vibe. The most impressive thing about this film is without a doubt Pfeiffer’s perfor-

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mance. Acerbic, antagonistic, utterly classy, and truly aloof, Pfeiffer’s Frances Price is a blend of drug-addled swaying a la Jack Sparrow, Miranda Priestly-esque one liners, and a wardrobe that screams colour blocked French Fashion Week haul. It’s a character one could be utterly obsessed with, and it is elevated by a performance from Pfeiffer that screams her talent from the rooftop–one that makes the Oscar snub a truly abhorrent occurrence. Hedges performs admirably too, bringing an disquieting strangeness, stillness and acceptance to his character that counterbalances Frances’ wilder impulses. The rest of the cast then starts to take on less complex, more one-dimensional characters–Madame Reynard (Valerie Mahaffey) is the overbearing, lonely widower, Madeleine (Danielle Macdonald) is the strange, street urchin medium, and Susan (Imogen Poots) is the commitment-seeking adorer of Malcolm. Alas, all of their performances are entirely outstripped and overshadowed by Pfeiffer’s, for better or worse. There’s a peculiar and intriguing colouring to the picture, and sense of

cinematography, that almost begins to mimic some of Wes Anderson’s pieces. That’s not a bad thing, because while the first 40 minutes of the film are relatively standard storywise, the back half of the picture truly takes on an absurdist lens–a talking cat, and odd bunch dynamic in the flat, and the final stroll from Frances, all have Anderson-esque overtones. It is also an engagingly funny film, and there are genuine laugh out loud moments strewn throughout.

This isn’t a movie for everyone, but for those with the taste for great scriptwriting, a showstopping performance from Michelle Pfeiffer, and slightly absurdist and witty comedy, this could be the movie of the year. French Exit is unapologetically niche, but undeniably a gorgeous, hilarious and engaging piece of cinema. Reviews by Jacob Richardson Creative Director | Film Focus www.filmfocusau.com

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Films

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Godzilla Vs Kong – 2 Stars Giant monsters fighting each other is let down by the hamfisted human stories interspersed throughout lene Andrews (Rebecca Hall) is a scientist in charge of working with King Kong. They have him trapped on his island for his own safety, afraid that when Godzilla discovers there is another Titan on Earth, he will rip Kong to shreds. Nathan Lind (Alexander Skarsgard), at the behest of an evil conglomerate led by Walter Simmons (Demian Bichir), convinces Ilene to bring Kong to Antarctica in pursuit of the Hollow Earth–a cavernous, monster-filled space in the middle of our Earth where Kong came from. Their movement attracts the wrong kind of attention however, and it puts Godzilla on their tails. As Godzilla and Kong duke it out in the ocean, Madison Russell (Millie Bobby Brown), Bernie Hayes (Brian Tyree Henry) and Josh Valentine ( Julian Dennison) are hot on the trail of a tech creation in Hong Kong–Mecha Godzilla is here, and draws the ire and rampage of both Titans. The easiest thing to cover off about Godzilla vs Kong is what it does well–which is exactly what it says on the cover. The handful of fights between Godzilla and Kong in this film are great; giant spectacles that feel bodily, destructive and brutal.

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There’s a lot of fun to be had despite the shaky physics, the ridiculous workarounds to make Kong remotely a match for Godzilla, and the seemingly constantly shifting size. When these guys duke it out, it feels visceral, and you’re sitting up in your seat loving every second. It’s a shame, then, that this movie takes 40 minutes to get to any of that. The craziest thing about this film is how insistent they are on slogging through the most laborious plotting and workarounds to get these two Titans to fight one another.

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It feels like someone should have sat down with them at the start and just said “No one cares–make the monkey fight the lizard”. Instead, we get endless exposition about another evil tech company, massive logic leaps, a ridiculous C-plot around the Hollow Earth theory, and ever more garbage dumped on us. You’re slogging for most of the movie through something that, without the monster fights, would be unwatchable. Then you’ve got the people. This franchise has always struggled with the human element of these stories–ever since the 2014

Godzilla. This film is another level though. We don’t care one ounce about any of the characters here. Dennison is unwatchable, Tyree Henry is laden with one of the shittiest characters ever written (by someone who maybe once heard at a great distance what a podcast is). Millie Bobby Brown eviscerates any acting bonafides her time on Stranger Things gave her, Eiza Gonzalez does nothing with the most cliche character of the film, and even Alexander Skarsgaard is phoning it in here. Only Rebecca Hall brings any credibility to her role, but then again it could just be that she seems competent when compared to an entire cast that seems to be coasting through in the lowest gear just for the paycheck. Nothing can save this actioner from the bland betrayal of its human elements–not even these two Titans ripping each other apart. Godzilla Vs Kong is a disappointing romp. Reviews by Jacob Richardson Creative Director | Film Focus www.filmfocusau.com

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Auto

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Coming in for its mid-life update SsangYong gives Rexton generous power bump  CALLUM HUNTER ESPITE the ongoing uncertainty of the brand’s future, SsangYong Australia has launched its updated Rexton large SUV with the seven-seat family hauler being gifted new styling, more power and torque and increased standard equipment while the base EX trim has been dropped from the range. As one would expect, dropping the previous range opener has driven the Rexton’s starting price up significantly from $39,990 driveaway to $47,990 with the now entry-level ELX rising in price by $1000 as part of the facelift – the flagship Ultimate has risen $2000 to now start from $54,990. The most obvious change to the Rexton is its new aggressive front fascia with the whole arrangement centred around a completely redesigned grille and front apron. New LED headlights and tweaked daytime running lights flank the grille in the top corners of the fascia with plenty of angles and sharp contours filling the rest of the space. Changes have also been made at the rear with redesigned tail-lights and bumper which is now largely free of the typical black cladding found on SUVs with a set of integrated chrome exhaust tips poking through. The rest of the Rexton’s body has been left untouched save for some updated alloy wheel designs on both the ELX and Ultimate while the interior has scored a new 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, overhead console and a redesigned gear lever. Still powered by the familiar 2.2-litre turbo-diesel four-cylinder engine, SsangYong has bumped the Rexton’s peak power and torque figures by 15kW and 21Nm respectively with the mill now churning out a healthier 148kW/441Nm, putting it well and truly on par with its Japanese rivals.

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Made no impact To extract the most out of the updated engine, engineers have paired it with a new eight-speed automatic transmission – still featuring high and low-range – driving all four wheels via a selectable 4x4 system. Fuel consumption has increased as a result of the extra grunt and new transmission combination, rising from a claimed 8.3 to 8.9 litres per 100km. The extra shove has made no impact on the Rexton’s already class-leading braked towing capacity of 3500kg, however trailer sway control has been added to its list of standard equipment and safety gear. On the ELX, customers score the aforementioned digital instrument cluster and redesigned gear lever as well as 18-inch alloy wheels, LED head-, fog- and taillights, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, multi-device Bluetooth connectivity, TPU leather upholstery, heated and ventilated front seats with power adjustment, heated rear seats, a leather steering wheel and cruise control. The Ultimate steps things up considerably with 20-inch alloys, sunroof, powered tailgate, 360-degree camera, premium leather seats, heated leather steering wheel, wireless phone charging, rear zone air condi-

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tioning, interior mood lighting, front touch sensing door handles and memory function for the driver’s seat and wing mirrors. Standard safety gear on both variants consists of autonomous emergency braking with forward collision warning, blind spot detection, lane change assist, rear cross-traffic alert, trailer sway control, driver’s knee airbag, tyre pressure monitoring and parking sensors front and rear while the range topper also picks up speed-sensitive steering. The automatic locking rear differential has also been carried over on both variants. Given it shares its ladder-frame chassis and the vast majority of its running gear with the Musso/Musso XLV pick-up, it should only be a matter of time before an updated version of the workhorse emerges brandishing a similar face and matching power outputs at the very least.

SsangYong has undergone something of a resurgence so far this year ending February with sales up 98.9 per compared to the same period last year (368 vs 185) with the Musso/Musso XLV doing the bulk of the heavy lifting (279). The Rexton meanwhile has had a far more conservative start to the year with just 37 units sold (+5.7%).

2021 SsangYong Rexton driveaway pricing ELX (a) Ultimate (a)

$47,990 $54,990

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News Auto

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Alpina aims for the top as it debut its new 8 Series-based B8 Gran Coupe

 CALLUM HUNTER MW tuning specialist Alpina has turned its hand to the 8 Series Gran Coupe and come up with one of its most powerful models to date in the form of the new B8 Gran Coupe; a high-performance four-door coupe for those who want something a bit different to the established German heavyweights. In classic Alpina style, the relation between the B8 and the M8 are clear for all to see with the bespoke tuning house only making the subtlest of styling changes to the elongated coupe with the biggest difference being its metallic green paint – Alpina Blue is also available. As with all Alpina models, the brand has made some changes and applied its own unique engine mapping to the BMW powerplant, which in this case is the same twin-turbocharged 4.4-litre V8 as found under the bonnet of both the B5 and XB7. In M8 guise the bent-eight develops 460kW/750Nm; marginally more power than in the B8 (460kW vs 457kW) but far

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less torque with the latter developing an extra 50Nm (750Nm vs 800Nm). As with its donor car, drive is sent to all four wheels via an eight-speed automatic transmission. Performance-wise, the Alpina will sprint from 0-100km/h in 3.4 seconds and push on to a top speed of 324km/h.

Mass of power Despite the mass of power and performance on hand, Alpina says the B8 will sip 11.9 litres of fuel per 100km on the combined cycle while emitting 270 grams of CO2. Under the skin, the B8 Gran Coupe rides on Alpina’s tried and tested adaptive suspension system with the brand also adding its usual Comfort+ drive mode to the package to gift the B8 a more compliant ride than its BMW M counterpart. Speed-sensitive four-wheel steering ensures a greater level of slow speed manoeuvrability with the rear axle counter-steering by up to 2.3 degrees before switching to provide enhanced stability at higher speeds by turning in the same direction as the front wheels.

Pirelli-sourced rubber encompasses the bespoke 21-inch alloy wheels, behind which peek out blue four-piston brake callipers courtesy of Brembo. The four-pot grabbers act on Alpina’s own 395mm drilled front rotors and 398mm rear discs with the pads also coming from in-house. Matching the exterior design, the cabin is also decidedly BMW save for a few Alpina touches here and there like the illuminated door sills, crystal glass iDrive Controller and the now familiar Walnut Anthracite high-gloss accents. Standard equipment on the B8 is as expansive as it is on the M8 with highlights including heated multifunction sport seats, heated steering wheel, BMW Individual extended Merino leather upholstery, Harman Kardon surround sound system, BMW iDrive infotainment system and BMW Driving Assistant Professional. According to Alpina, the first European deliveries of the B8 Gran Coupe will commence in July with the car flaunting a €161,200 ($A250,605) asking price. GoAuto has contacted Alpina Australia for confirmation on the B8’s local timing.

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Is love passing you by? The bad habits that may be ruining your love life  DALLAS SHERRINGHAM F you worry about love passing you by or your relationship has gone down the drain, the answer may be your own bad habits. A million songs have been written about lost loves, broken hearts and cheating, but the three minutes of self-pity never explain why it all happened in the first place. You see, negative self-talk and low self-esteem are two of the most common challenges people face when it comes to finding and holding on to love. Never fear, help is here–renowned hypnotherapist Mark Stephens could be the answer to your ‘tragic’ love life. He has developed practical techniques to help anyone, single or in a couple, break the bad habits of the past and attract healthy love into their lives. By harnessing the power of the subconscious and changing deeply entrenched thought patterns, Mark’s hypnosis treatments can help: 1. Heal a broken heart. 2. Have a healthy, baggage-free relationship. 3. Attract the perfect partner.

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Heal your own broken heart: “Having your heart broken can trigger a range of negative emotions, sometimes years later, that affect every part of your day-to-day life, including feelings of worthlessness, despair, self-blame, loneliness, insomnia, lack of appetite and binge eating,” Mark said. “By accessing your subconscious, you can process your heartbreak, break those negative thoughts and behaviors and move on to live your best life.” Mark’s top five tips for healing a broken heart are: 1. Crying: Do not underestimate the power of crying – it can be a powerful tool to help you process and move on from pain. 2. Gratitude: Practicing gratitude helps you appreciate what you have rather than focusing on what you don’t have. 3. Self-love: Create positive experiences for yourself by changing the story running through your mind. Tell yourself – ‘I am enough, I am worthy and I am loveable’. 4. Acceptance: Accepting the situation will help you let go of the pain attached to it.

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Mindfulness: After a breakup, many people will continually replay events over and again in their minds. Practicing mindfulness can help break this pattern, bringing your attention back to where you are and what you are doing in the present moment.

Leave your baggage at the door “Many people will unconsciously bring baggage from their last relationship into their new one, eroding it before it’s even properly begun. The key is to face the issues from your past, rather than fear them, look at them clearly and objectively and learn from them,” he said. Mark’s top five tips for leaving your baggage at the door are: 1. Stop comparing: Break the habit of comparing your new relationship with your past one. 2. Clear emotional baggage: Learn to

let go of your past so you can create healthy space for your future. 3. Reset your thought patterns: Replace negative self-talk with positive self-reinforcement. 4. Invest in the relationship: Do this with acceptance, compassion and mutual support. Meditate: Learn to think away the stress that causes those everyday conflicts.

Attract the right partner “The most important relationship is the one you have with yourself. Getting that relationship right first and not relying on others for your happiness is key to attracting the perfect partner”, Mark said. Mark’s top three tips to attracting the right partner are: 1. Release the past: Through meditation and self-hypnosis, learn to let go of the negative emotions and

pain of previous relationships in order to create space for a healthy new one. 2. Positive self-talk: Be open to attracting a wonderful new partner and know that you deserve it. 3. Learn from past lessons: Rather than turning away from past relationship pain, look back objectively and consider what went wrong. Use these insights to inform your choices about what you want in your next relationship and what don’t you want. Mark has created a meditation and self-hypnosis app titled MindFree with hundreds of sessions to help users change negative thinking patterns, feel happier and make healthier choices. For more information on Mark’s hypnosis and meditation sessions visit www.mindfreeapp.com.

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