Young opinions matter, National Youth Week 2017

‘Get involved, be heard, make a difference,’  that’s the motto from NSW Youth Week, running from 31 March –  9 April. Camden will be offering a lot of fun activities, aimed at getting the young involved and having a great time as well.

The voices and opinions of our local youth matter. “It is through their insights and thoughts, that the community can engage with them about what they want to see happen in Camden,” said the local council.

Kathy Foden, of Mount Annan, said “I went to the Positive Partnership program run by the council and Aspect. It was very useful and gave me lots of resources,” she said.

Video: YouTube, National Youth Week 2017

The Camden Youth Council, actively assists Camden Council with decisions and initiatives, regarding younger people in our local community, and how best to reach them, and get them actively involved.

According to the Camden Council website, “The Camden Youth Council is for young people aged 15 to 25 years who are interested in discussing issues, expressing views and contributing to the development of the local Camden community.”

In a report titled ‘Mental Health of Young People,’ The Australian Bureau of Statistics reveals, “Interaction with other people is vital to human development. Social relationships and networks can act as protective factors against the onset or recurrence of mental illness and enhance recovery from mental disorders.”

Young people need interaction with peers, and to foster healthy connections with other young people. Youth Week is one government initiative working towards achieving just that.

Activities such as, Skateboard clinics, barefoot lawn bowls, $5 youth week movie-night, yoga and chocolate making, are all part of the fun and inclusive programs on offer in our local area. Last year over 1,500 young locals took part, and with so many activities to choose from, council are hoping for even bigger numbers, at this year’s events. See the official flyer here.

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Photos: Camden Youth Council Facebook page

Article by: Helen Megalokonomos

Resources:

Australian Bureau of Statistics Mental Health Report

Ongoing growth in South-West Sydney cannot be sustained.

According to statistics provided by Camden council, record growth in the local area and increases to the population, raises the question of sustainability in Camden.

In a recent press release, Minister for Planning and Housing, Anthony Roberts, said “new housing completions in Sydney hit the highest level for 45 years last year and look set to reach an all-time record later this year.”

Last year Camden had 2, 144 new homes built, and the projected figures from the Department of Planning and Environment for dwelling requirements for 2021, are 38,850 (all types of dwellings included), along with population growth estimates at 109,400 for the same year.

camden graph 1

Image from Camden Council website

According to Keith Steer, Principal at Yellow Brick Road Campbelltown, infrastructure such as roads and public transport upgrades, as well as the building of new schools, parks and shopping centres, are needed to keep up with the population growth, and make the community functional and viable.

“Growth can’t be sustained,” said Steer. “There eventually will be a large stabilization – I won’t call it a decline…but it has to slow down,” he said.

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Keith Steer, Principal at YBR. Photo: Helen Megalokonomos

“While home prices are going up, it’s attributed to a shortage of housing right now, a seller’s market, however, we will reach a time where there will be no further growth, with all land sold to developers both local and foreign,” said Mr Steer.

Harrington Grove, Kirkham Rise and Oran Park, are three of the newly developed estates, commanding premium prices, and changing the look of our landscape from semi-rural to developing towns, particularly in the case of Oran Park, set to accommodate over 25,000 residents.

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The changing face of Oran Park development. Photo: Helen Megalokonomos

In a media release this month, APRA, the government body overseeing banks and financial institutions, revealed “reforms have been undertaken in response to deficiencies in the management of traded market risk that were identified during the financial crisis of 2008. The Basel Committee timetable anticipates domestic implementation of these reforms by January 2019.”

The government has been putting pressure on lending institutions, to slow the amount of investor loans being approved, trying to free-up home purchases to owner-occupiers. Smaller, lesser known lenders have already raised their investor loan rates, and then two of the ‘big four’, NAB and Westpac followed suit.

“We’ve got the Blue Mountains on one side, we’ve got Wollongong, we’ve got Newcastle and then the ocean. Eventually there’s not going to be any land, and the problem is, we’re taking out our farmland too in the area, so what’s going to be left for us to eat?” Steer said.

Local fruit grower Ed Biel, told the ABC News this month, that agricultural land is being sold to developers for millions of dollars, as fellow growers decide to pack-up and go.

He claimed the number of farms growing our food, are shrinking.

“I can pick my fruit in the morning and deliver it to Flemington markets tonight and you can purchase it tomorrow, but it’s not only the freshness, it’s the connection the city will lose to its agrarian beginnings,” he said.

Article by: Helen Megalokonomos

Resources:   APRA Report

Camden Local Area Command set to receive 10 extra police.

Local police are set to receive a boost of ten extra officers, after a decision was reached on March 6,  for the rapidly expanding Camden local area.

Sgt. Phil Gornall of Narellan police station,  said the extra officers would offer more police presence. “More police presence is a big thing in policing these days,” he said.

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Narellan/Camden police and officials. Photo: Kayla Osborne

Sgt. Gornall said the extra officers will help with the massive growth that has seen our suburbs increase in population. “The extra officers will help with custody issues, and offer more supervision and guidance to other officers,” he said.

Last year police dealt with 1600 extra calls for assistance within the Camden LAC, whilst being short-staffed, and with continual growth in the area, extra police numbers are needed to assist with policing duties.

Police Association of NSW president Scott Weber, told The Daily Telegraph last week, that the newly placed  police will help with ‘first response’ positions.

October 2014 to September 2016 
Assault – non-domestic violence related, Camden Local Government Area

No statistically significant upward or downward trend over the 24-month period.

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Graph: NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research

Sgt. Gornall said the local police have a crime coordinator who deals with local issues such as, youth liaison, crime prevention, and domestic violence prevention.

“We go to local shopping centres, we have a display at The Camden Show, and we’re teaming up with the West Tigers rugby league team, to ensure community engagement,” he said.

Police have witnessed the increase of public engagement on social media platforms, and have  reached out to their local community via social media. It is via their Facebook page, that the police encourage community feedback on local issues, and ask the community to take part of their surveys. (Take the survey here).

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Narellan Police Station. Photo: Helen Megalokonomos

The police work in partnership with the community, and want people to feel comfortable and that they can approach them with ease. “The public message police want to give, is I’m your friend,” said Sgt. Gornall.

Article by: Helen Megalokonomos

Resources:

NSW Police Force Facebook page.