Penrith Chamber of Commerce chief executive Jill Woods has called on business networks to work together for 2013.
She stressed that she was speaking for herself and not the chamber, but hoped people would take notice.
"We have about 14 networking-style groups around the place and more likely to spring up," Mrs Woods said.
"I see so many of these activities fragmenting people's time and budgets."
She said business networks should not just concentrate on short-term commercial return for their members.
"I feel it is time all business support groups get the picture," she said.
"We need to embrace the common goals of growth and prosperity for our region."
Mrs Woods said that, individually, businesses "cannot be all things to all people all the time".
"It is simply foolish to keep people isolated through fear of losing members to groups not badged our own," she said.
"Help make Penrith/St Marys the first NSW region to demonstrate to others we are a truly united business support city," Mrs Woods said.
Smokers are lighting up in fewer places as state laws come into effect banning smoking in many public areas.
Smoking is illegal at public transport stops and stations, swimming pools, children's playgrounds and sports fields.
Fines of up to $550 apply.
Commercial outdoor dining areas in restaurants, licensed premises and cafes will not be included in the ban until 2015.
Mount Druitt Hospital has welcomed 27 interns this week, among them Rex Chun Yeung (pictured) who will the 924 other new doctors across the state who will gain experience in metropolitan or rural hospitals.
Duties include covering medicine, surgery and emergency work.