Riverstone, Schofields & Districts
Chamber of Commerce & Industry Inc.

Latest News

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  • 15 May 2020 12:35 PM | Sue Hunter Lawrence (Administrator)

    Although the COVID-19 storm may not yet to be over it is now time for the Government to dust of the economy and look towards the future.

    If the economy is to recover there will need to create strong stimulus opportunities.

    NSW Planning, Industry and Environment has released the priority projects criteria to support the recovery of the NSW economy during and after the COVID-19 pandemic.

    The project criteria rely heavily on the delivery of much needed employment, economic stimulus and both physical and social infrastructure.

    Whilst the government scours the country looking to bring forward "Shovel Ready" infrastructure projects to keep the state's economy moving, Riverstone stands out like a beacon ready to answer the call.

    Ticking off all the priority projects criteria the regeneration of Riverstone delivers the opportunity to stimulate the economy while providing much needed benefits for the town all at NO COST TO THE GOVERNMENT.

    Deliver of the Riverstone West Project alone delivers

    • 20,000 Jobs both in construction and ongoing employment
    • $2.5bn of immediate economic stimulus
    • 100 ha of green space for community use
    • Local road infrastructure removing heavy vehicles from Garfield Rd

    The Riverstone West road infrastructure opens Riverstone to allow the development of Blacktown City Councils proposed Masterplan resulting in the creation of addition construction jobs, additional economic stimulus, new retail premises, community facilities and affordable housing for 6,500 people and the revitalisation of the existing Industrial area capable of retooling towards recovery

    Infrastructure investment has an important role to play in our economic recovery however economists are now questioning the appropriate scale of the projects.

     Are we better to deliver large scale projects or smaller projects stimulating the local economy of those areas impacted by social distancing restrictions. Riverstone would create the perfect test case for this theory.

    Sensible planning would create the jobs where the work is needed. Blacktown Councils Website shows, and analysis of the jobs held by the resident population in Riverstone - Vineyard in 2016 shows construction at 14.9% in comparison, to Greater Sydney employment for Construction being 8.2%.

    The announcement of the approval of the Mt Druitt $1.49bil CBD creating 15,000, new homes and new businesses is encouraging to the residents of Riverstone. 

    By comparison based on the Mt Druitt figures the revitalisation of Riverstone would create 30,000 jobs, $4bil economic stimulus, affordable housing for 6500 people, these numbers are too big to ignore.

    This is a real opportunity to improve both employment in the North Western Sydney and to improve the lives of the people of Riverstone.

    Riverstone is ready, the time is now.


  • 18 Apr 2020 11:01 AM | Sue Hunter Lawrence (Administrator)


    COVID 19 may has changed many things in your businesses but there is one thing it doesn't change and that is that we are better together. 

    Join us on ZOOM for an virtual coffee 8am Friday 24 April 2020 to discuss the Impacts of Covid 19 on our business community.

    How is COVID 19 affecting your business ? What can we as a Chamber do to help you ? What can you do to help members of the Chamber ?

    We are in unprecedented times and supporting each other has never been more important.  With this in mind we are now offering free 2020 membership to all new members. For the remaining 3 months of this financial year we are here to support ALL local businesses.

    If you know a local business that is not a member and would like free membership please have them click join from our website home page.  

    Look forward to chatting with you online 



  • 18 Apr 2020 10:43 AM | Sue Hunter Lawrence (Administrator)

     

    This Mothers Day offers us a unique opportunity.

    Kids love to spend their pocket money on school mothers day stall to let their mum know how much they care. Isolation and school closures means the community will be looking for local businesses to help spoil their mums.

    Why not use the opportunity to promote our businesses.  There is an opportunity for every business to bring someone to your door we just need to think outside of the box.

    Promote a new product , team up with a local home business and showcase their products, create a picnic hamper for the backyard , pamper packs or bring in a "Give Mum a break Gift Voucher".

    We will run an online campaign promoting your campaign offering and your business. All you need to do is come up with an idea.

    Invite your friends to be involved , we are all in this together 

    Email riverstoneschofieldschamber@gmail.com to be included


  • 17 Apr 2020 11:50 AM | Sue Hunter Lawrence (Administrator)


    The time is now.  

    Whilst the government looks to bring forward "Shovel Ready" infrastructure projects to keep the state's economy moving, Riverstone stands out like a beacon ready to answer the call.

    The regeneration of Riverstone delivers the opportunity to stimulate the National economy while providing much needed benefits for the town;

    • A traffic solution 
    • New retail and residential in the town centre means construction jobs and a revitalised shopping precinct.
    • Existing Industrial area capable of retooling towards a recovery
    • Riverstone West Precinct offers much needed JOBS both through the employment of 10,000+ people during construction and then up to 15,000 permanent jobs at completion. 

    This is a real opportunity to improve both employment in the North Western Sydney and to improve the lives of the people of Riverstone.

    The Chamber has made proposals outlining the stimulus benefits of Riverstone to ;

    • Treasury
    • NSW Premier Gladys Berejeklian
    • Minister from Planning Rob Stokes
    • Sydney Cities Commission - Greg Woodham
    • Member for Riverstone -Kevin Conolly 
    • Blacktown City Council Mayor -Tony Bleasdale

    We will keep you updated with the responses to our proposals. 


  • 24 Mar 2020 1:15 PM | Sue Hunter Lawrence (Administrator)


    Small Business Blog by Simplly Fin Wiz

    Thank you to Harnath Sithamraju from Simplly Fin Wiz for providing our member update on the Stimulus package for small business announced by the Government to soften Coronavirus pandemic effect.

    We hope you and your loved ones are safe and healthy.

    Over the past week, the Coronavirus crisis went from bad to worse and the worst may be round the corner. Without sounding doom and gloom, we are all aware of the situation facing our country due to this pandemic disease where within a few months , the entire world is staring at a great challenge which requires all of us to unite and respond with great courage to fight against this attack from an unseen challenger.

    These are so very challenging times that may bury our entire civilization as we know it. This will most likely dwarf the Great Depression of 1920s, World War I, World War II and GFC. In the present situation the entire world is affected where being an alarmist is the new norm. This pandemic does not recognize borders nor personages.

    Australia has sealed its borders, individual states are beginning to close theirs and all non-essential services have been shut and majority of the left over employed population working from home.

    Make no mistake, this is an extinction-level event for hundreds of thousands of businesses and many people will lose everything.

    The Government is doing its best to create a stimulus for the economy on a grander scale than the one during GFC to ward of an economic devastation. Apart from the first stimulus package announced a week ago which targeted people on Centrelink payments and pensioners this second one was specifically aimed at small businesses.

    But what is in it for the small businesses and sole traders specifically.

    Boosting Cash Flow For Employers

    Boosting Cash Flow for Employers payments Small and medium sized business entities and NFPs with aggregated annual turnover under $50 million and that employ workers, will be eligible.

    Eligibility will generally be based on prior year turnover.

    ·         The payment will be delivered by the ATO as an automatic credit in the activity statement system from 28 April 2020 upon employers lodging eligible upcoming activity statements.

    ·         Eligible employers that withhold tax to the ATO on their employees’ salary and wages will receive a payment equal to 100 per cent of the amount withheld, up to a maximum payment of $50,000.

    ·         Eligible employers that pay salary and wages will receive a minimum payment of $10,000, even if they are not required to withhold tax.

    ·         The payments will only be available to active eligible employers established prior to 12 March 2020.

    However, charities which are registered with the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission will be eligible regardless of when they were registered, subject to meeting other eligibility requirements. This recognizes that new charities may be established in response to the Coronavirus pandemic.

    Temporary Relief For Financially Distressed Businesses

    The ATO will tailor solutions for owners or directors of business that are currently struggling due to the Coronavirus, including temporary reduction of payments or deferrals, or withholding enforcement actions including Director Penalty Notices and wind-ups.

    The elements of the package are:

    ·         A temporary increase in the threshold at which creditors can issue a statutory demand on a company and the time companies have to respond to statutory demands they receive;

    ·         A temporary increase in the threshold for a creditor to initiate bankruptcy proceedings, an increase in the time period for debtors to respond to a bankruptcy notice, and extending the period of protection a debtor receives after making a declaration of intention to present a debtor’s petition;

    ·         Temporary relief for directors from any personal liability for trading while insolvent; and

    ·         Providing temporary flexibility in the Corporations Act 2001 to provide targeted relief for companies from provisions of the Act to deal with unforeseen events that arise as a result of the Coronavirus health crisis.

    For owners or directors of a business that are currently struggling due to the Coronavirus, the ATO will tailor solutions for their circumstances, including temporary reduction of payments or deferrals, or withholding enforcement actions including Director Penalty Notices and wind-ups.

    Sole traders will be able to access a “coronavirus supplement” of $550 per fortnight for the next six months and if they are currently making less than $1,075 per fortnight will be eligible for the full supplement.

    Sole traders who have had their income reduced by 20 per cent or more as a result of coronavirus will also be able to access up to $10,000 of their superannuation tax free.

    Employers are encouraged to keep their staff. Not for profit and small businesses with turnover under $50 million will receive a tax free cash payment of up to $100,000 to help them retain staff and continue operations. The Government expects 690,000 businesses employing 7.8 million people and 30,000 not for profits will be eligible for the stimulus package.

    It doesn’t mean extra money in the pockets for the employee, but by linking the payments to staff wage tax withholdings, businesses will be given an incentive to hold on to more of their workers.

    The reasoning behind this according to the Prime Minister Scott Morrison is that “whether you are a coffee shop, mechanic or a hairdresser by providing at a minimum of $20,000  and up to $100,000 for small businesses who employ people it gives them a chance to get to the other side.”

    In order to safeguard your wealth and business you should take immediate steps not limited to the following:

    1.      How to stop creditors or the banks from seizing your family home - as the wheels come off the economy.

    2.      How to get the money that’s owed to you fast - so you can buffer your business cash flow and stay afloat during the shutdown.

    3.      How to get breathing space from banks and creditors, so you can support your family in the coming months.

      Over several years I have been working as a Finance Broker. I have had experience of working in 2 of the Big4 Banks viz Westpac Bank and Commonwealth Bank in the Equipment Finance and Mortgages Unit respectively.

      Harnath Sithamraju

      Simplly Fin Wiz

      Mobile: 0430645771

      Email: simplly@outlook.com

      Website: www.simpllyfinwiz.com


    • 24 Mar 2020 1:10 PM | Sue Hunter Lawrence (Administrator)

      Although the COVID-19 storm may not yet to be over it is now time for the Government to dust of the economy and look towards the future.

      If the economy is to recover there will need to create strong stimulus opportunities.

      NSW Planning, Industry and Environment has released the priority projects criteria to support the recovery of the NSW economy during and after the COVID-19 pandemic.

      The project criteria rely heavily on the delivery of much needed employment, economic stimulus and both physical and social infrastructure.

      Whilst the government scours the country looking to bring forward "Shovel Ready" infrastructure projects to keep the state's economy moving, Riverstone stands out like a beacon ready to answer the call.

      Ticking off all the priority projects criteria the regeneration of Riverstone delivers the opportunity to stimulate the economy while providing much needed benefits for the town all at NO COST TO THE GOVERNMENT.

      Deliver of the Riverstone West Project alone delivers

      • 20,000 Jobs both in construction and ongoing employment
      • $2.5bn of immediate economic stimulus
      • 100 ha of green space for community use
      • Local road infrastructure removing heavy vehicles from Garfield Rd

      The Riverstone West road infrastructure opens Riverstone to allow the development of Blacktown City Councils proposed Masterplan resulting in the creation of addition construction jobs, additional economic stimulus, new retail premises, community facilities and affordable housing for 6,500 people and the revitalisation of the existing Industrial area capable of retooling towards recovery

      Infrastructure investment has an important role to play in our economic recovery however economists are now questioning the appropriate scale of the projects.

       Are we better to deliver large scale projects or smaller projects stimulating the local economy of those areas impacted by social distancing restrictions. Riverstone would create the perfect test case for this theory.

      Sensible planning would create the jobs where the work is needed. Blacktown Council Website shows, and analysis of the jobs held by the resident population in Riverstone - Vineyard in 2016 shows construction at 14.9% in comparison, to Greater Sydney employment for Construction being 8.2%.

      The announcement of the approval of the Mt Druitt $1.49bil CBD creating 15,000, new homes and new businesses is encouraging to the residents of Riverstone.  By comparison based on the Mt Druitt figures the revitalisation of Riverstone would create 30,000 jobs, $4bil economic stimulus, affordable housing for 6500 people, these numbers are too big to ignore.

      This is a real opportunity to improve both employment in the North Western Sydney and to improve the lives of the people of Riverstone.

      Riverstone is ready, the time is now.


    • 15 Mar 2020 11:28 AM | Sue Hunter Lawrence (Administrator)

      Start your Engines!

      Drought, bushfires and one heck of a downpour, and a Blacktown City Council Planning Proposal for Riverstone thrown in for good measure! It's been a demanding few weeks for businesses around North West Sydney, helped a bit by our continuing efforts with the Elara markets and donations to our farmers and firefighters over Christmas. Now we're halfway through February and we're engaged with Council on their proposal to rebuild Riverstone into something similar to Castle Towers/Hill, Rouse Hill and Parramatta. It's an exciting vision and has certainly got businesses and residents talking, although the plans avoid tackling the elephant in the room - the dreaded Riverstone traffic! This was the focal point for our February networking breakfast, held for the first time at the Riverstone RSL Sub-Branch, an ironic (and iconic!) location given Council wants to acquire this site for the 'new' Riverstone.

      So what's next?

      Step 1. Download the planning proposal below (hover over it)

      Step 2. See how the Planning Proposal might affect Riverstone via our Facebook site (below right)

      Step 3. Make a submission email via the yellow box below. Quote that reference number and then explain how Council's proposals might affect your business and what else you think Riverstone needs to flourish. As a quick reminder, the Proposal's key headlines are: 

      • A rezoned town centre comprising 20m, 32m and 50m buildings, stretching east from the War Memorial and Riverstone Station towards Piccadilly Street
      • Up to 3,800 new units in 9 storey apartment blocks
      • Riverstone's population doubling with up to 10,000 new residents making Riverstone their home
      • Changed (probably higher) business and land rates
      • No traffic solution
      And remember, your submission will hopefully make a good Council plan a great Council plan!



      Submission Email

      Make sure you quote Reference F14/2532

       council@blacktown.nsw.gov.au



    • 23 Jan 2020 1:47 PM | Sue Hunter Lawrence (Administrator)


    • 6 Jan 2020 1:36 PM | Sue Hunter Lawrence (Administrator)

      Council have advised that the Riverstone Town Centre Masterplan needs to be progressed to meet funding requirements.

      Planning and Transport for NSW have advised there is no funding for either Bandon Road or Garfield Road Central with neither project deliverable in the next 8 years.

      Community Consultation confirms the Riverstone Community requires the removal of heavy traffic from Garfield Rd.

      Transport for NSW has identified some safety improvements for the Riverstone Town Centre but this does not offer a traffic solution.

      The North West Road Strategy identifies the trigger for the delivery of Bandon Road was 25% a figure we are now well beyond.

      Both Blacktown Council and Transport for NSW have acknowledge it is impossible to remove heavy vehicles without Riverstone West .

      The update from Planning indicates that the planning approval for Riverstone West now sits with Blacktown Council.

      This is critical to addressing Riverstone’s traffic congestion, we understand this requires updated information and changes to the State Enviromental Planning Policy.  

      NSW Planning have advise 23 December that funding to to assist with the changes to the SEPP have been received.  

      The Revised Riverstone Town Centre Masterplan will be place on exhibition from 20 Jan for Community Consultation and feedback.

      The Chamber remain convince Riverstone requires a traffic solution before progressing the Masterplan.  Changes to land usage will only increase the traffic on and around Garfield Rd 

      The Chamber will continue to meet with  Planning , RMS and Blacktown Council with our next meeting scheduled for 31 January 2020

    • 11 Dec 2019 11:00 AM | Anonymous

      This Saturday, from 8am on December 14, Riverstone businesses are heading to the Elara estate for the inaugural Riverstone Marketplace. This new event gives Riverstone the opportunity to show it’s new neighbours what’s on offer every day of the week in a town just 5km away.

      The Marketplace will provide a range of goods, from an Indian supermarket, fresh meat and vegetables to services like financial and legal advice. 

      The idea of taking Riverstone on the road began with the need to help struggling retailers in the town centre. 

      The Riverstone, Schofields and Districts Chamber of Commerce and Industry is concerned that despite having thousands of people moving in all around Riverstone our local shops are struggling while at the same time, estates like Elara can’t even buy a loaf of bread. Riverstone is the closest shopping village for the residents of Elara but they avoid the town because of the traffic. President Sue Lawrence thought, ‘if they won’t come to us, why don’t we go to them?’

      The Chamber approached property developers Stockland about the idea and the response was enthusiastic. 

      Stockland immediately saw the benefit to Elara residents and has worked closely with the Chamber to develop the idea, culminating in this weekend’s Riverstone Marketplace @ Elara.

      There are over 7000 residents in the estate and in addition to the residents, New Home World is also attracting thousands more every weekend. Construction is yet to begin on the proposed shopping centre for Elara so having a portable shopping centre is expected to be embraced by the burgeoning new community.

      New residential developments in the area are outpacing necessary infrastructure and the residents of both Riverstone and Elara are suffering the consequences. Riverstone has been ignored by successive Governments failure address traffic issues has created a disincentive for new residents to the local shops while residents of estates like Elara are isolated from basic goods and services.

      Chamber members are encouraged to take advantage of this opportunity and stall space is still available. The Chamber will also have a stall to promote Riverstone businesses.

      Having the Riverstone Marketplace held every Saturday morning means our businesses get a fantastic opportunity to sell to a captive audience while at the same time providing a solution to a genuine need for the residents of Elara. Everybody wins.

      The Riverstone Marketplace will be held each Saturday outside the Elara Sales office on the corner of Elara Blvd and Watkin Cres.

      This is genuinely not an opportunity not to be missed.

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