Media releases - WSROC
Thursday, 06 July 2017 12:33

Tell us what you think: M4 toll

Media release, 6 July 2017 WSROC will monitor the performance of the widened M4 over the coming month to ensure commuters feel they will get value for money from the $4.56 toll. WSROC President Cr Bali said “Both the Australian and NSW Governments have promised Western Sydney commuters significant time savings from WestConnex, and as paying customers we expect to see results. “Premier Berejiklian has promised that the benefits of the widened M4 will outweigh the cost of using it. I sincerely hope so, but will be relying on user feedback to determine whether this is the case,” he said.…
Wednesday, 21 June 2017 17:08

NSW Budget 2017: Western Sydney

Media release, 20 June 2017 The Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC) said the 2017-18 NSW Budget offered few surprises for infrastructure investment, however there were some great wins for health services and young people. WSROC President Cr Stephen Bali said “There were few surprises with regards to Western Sydney’s infrastructure program. Roads supporting Western Sydney Airport and the region’s North West, scoping for Western Sydney rail, and planning for Parramatta Light Rail have all become firm features on the state agenda. “While these upgrades are certainly welcomed, we must not rest on our laurels. Much more will be…
Thursday, 15 June 2017 11:39

WestConnex sale must fund West

Media release, 15 June, 2017 Any revenue made from the sale of WestConnex should be reinvested in public transport for Western Sydney says the Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC). WSROC President, Cr Stephen Bali said “The Government tells us that Western Sydney residents will be paying for WestConnex. It only makes sense that they should benefit from the proceeds if it is sold. “WSROC wants to see this money invested in a public transport network that will allow the soon-to-be 3 million Western Sydney residents get around our city without needing to pay expensive road use charges,” said…
Monday, 29 May 2017 10:02

Code Warm needed across the board

Media release, 29 May, 2017 The Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC) has congratulated Minister for Energy and Utilities Don Harwin MP for his strong action following February’s heat wave and is calling on Ministers for other portfolios to do the same. WSROC President Cr Stephen Bali said “We congratulate Minister Harwin for taking decisive action to reduce the impacts of extreme heat on NSW communities. “However securing energy supply is just one part of the solution. Extreme heat also has critical impacts on other essential infrastructure, as well as community health, emergency services and the ­­natural environment,” said…
Wednesday, 10 May 2017 14:30

Missing links in Federal Budget: WSROC

Media release, 10 May 2017 The Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC) has welcomed the Federal Budget’s focus on Western Sydney Airport but is concerned by the lack of funding for supporting infrastructure and transport links. WSROC President Cr Stephen Bali said “As expected, the Government has announced $5.3 billion for the construction of Western Sydney Airport, but has left significant uncertainty around funds for supporting infrastructure. “This is a significant concern for Western Sydney. It has taken 200 years to develop the region’s current public infrastructure, including a transport network that struggles to serve 2 million residents. “We…
Media release 16 May, 2017 The Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC) has welcomed the NSW Government’s promise to build more liveable neighbourhoods in Sydney’s North West Priority Growth Area. WSROC President Cr Stephen Bali said “WSROC has long advocated for a coordinated approach to planning – one that considers liveability as much as affordability. “If we are going to build housing we must also build the essential infrastructure and services our communities need, It’s an approach that simply makes sense,” he said. “We hope the Government’s commitment to whole-of-precinct planning will achieve the right balance of housing, transport,…
Media release, 12 May, 2017   The Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC) has called out the NSW Government for tokenism following its announcement of a one month toll free period on the widened M4. WSROC President, Cr Stephen Bali said “WSROC has long been a supporter of WestConnex, but a one month toll-free period for the M4 is completely tokenistic – a one off, $200 discount. “Drivers should not pay before they benefit, and until the M4 East is completed two years from now, traffic chaos will continue,” he said. “No matter how many lanes the M4 has,…
Media release, 2 May, 2017   It does not matter who develops Western Sydney Airport, but how they go about it said the Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC) following Sydney Airport’s decision to opt out of the project. WSROC President Cr Stephen Bali said “Regardless of who develops Western Sydney Airport, our priority is to ensure positive outcomes for both the economy and the people of Western Sydney – we can do both. “Whether developed by the Australian Government or another party, Western Sydney’s economy and its people must see a practical plan for the airport’s development –…
Wednesday, 26 April 2017 16:06

Connecting airport to communities essential

Media release, 26 April, 2017   The Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC) has welcomed Labor’s announcement that it would build a rail network connecting Western Sydney to Badgerys Creek by the time the airport opens. WSROC President, Cr Stephen Bali, said “WSROC has said from day one that if an airport is to be built in Western Sydney, for Western Sydney, it must connect with the region’s communities. “Labor’s announcement recognises that for Western Sydney Airport to be a success it must be supported by an appropriate infrastructure network – a network ready to cater for an additional…
Tuesday, 28 February 2017 17:30

Innovative partnership tackles roadside litter

Media release February, 2017   Roads and Maritime Services, NSW Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) and 10 Western Sydney councils will join forces to reduce and prevent roadside litter in Sydney’s West this month. The first-of-its-kind partnership was formed through the Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC) regional waste strategy following ongoing discussions with state government agencies. WSROC President Cr Stephen Bali said “Last year Western Sydney councils collectively spent $14 million on litter management, making it a major impost for councils and their communities. “This isn’t just a public amenity issue, roadside litter can increase risks other road users,…
Monday, 10 April 2017 17:19

Spot a tosser this Easter road trip

Media release, 10 April, 2017   Families from across Sydney will hit the road this Easter holiday period. While enjoying winding roads, rolling hills, and beautiful beaches, spare a moment to join the fight against roadside litter. Recent research by the Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC) found Western Sydney councils spend around $14 million picking up litter every year; making it a huge cost to the community. WSROC President Cr Stephen Bali said “Not only is litter unpleasant, it can increase risk to other road users and, in the case of cigarette butts, cause dangerous grass fires. “As…
Media release, April 2017 The Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC) has expressed disappointment at the Minister for Urban Infrastructure’s decision to exclude the organisation from a forum informing flight paths for Western Sydney Airport. WSROC President Cr Stephen Bali said “As the collective voice of local government in Western Sydney WSROC deserves a seat at the table; particularly when many potentially affected communities are not represented. “I have confidence those appointed to the forum will voice the needs of their communities, but I am concerned by glaring gaps in representation from a number of local government areas under…
  Media release, 21 March 2017 The Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC) has welcomed a parliamentary inquiry into road tolls following its call for a review of charging inequities across the Sydney motorway network1. WSROC President Cr Stephen Bali said “This review is sorely needed. There is no reason why motorists travelling along the M2 should pay three or four times more than someone travelling the same distance along the M5. “However, WSROC would like to see the focus of the inquiry consider more than just the transparency of road use charges,” said Cr Bali. “This inquiry is…
Friday, 03 March 2017 14:54

West turning down the heat together

Media release, March 2, 2017 Over 90 stakeholders from across Western Sydney attended Turn down the heat forum to address one of the region’s burning issues – extreme heat. Specialists from across the health, infrastructure, planning, environment, community, university and private sectors gathered to discuss how urban heat can be mitigated in the rapidly developing region. Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC) CEO, Charles Casuscelli said the response to the forum had been overwhelming. “This year’s record-breaking summer really emphasised the pressure heat places on our health, environment, urban infrastructure and economy,” he said. “We saw the impact heat had…
Media release, 9 January, 2017 Western Sydney has a long and proud history of welcoming refugees into its communities. For decades the region has benefited from the diverse skills and vibrant cuisines of hardworking migrants; grateful for their chance at a better life in Australia. Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC) President Cr Stephen Bali said “I am proud of the work Western Sydney councils are doing to welcome refugees arriving in Australia, and it is critical that they have the right resources to continue doing so. “The Commonwealth Government plays a key role in refugee processing and placement[2],…
Western Sydney summers are hot, and are set to get hotter if a strategic approach to heat mitigation isn’t developed says the Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC). WSROC President, Cr Stephen Bali, said “It is no secret that Western Sydney summers are hot, but urbanisation is contributing to this heat due to what scientists call the urban heat island effect.” “Urban surfaces such as concrete and bitumen absorb and hold heat well past the heat of the day. Other activities such as vehicle use, industrial activity and air-conditioning contribute to this heat,” said Cr Bali. “According to the…
Media release, 12 December, 2016 The Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC) has reaffirmed its concerns regarding the final approval conditions for the Western Sydney Airport (WSA) following the project’s sign-off by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull today. WSROC President Cr Stephen Bali said “If an airport is to be built in Western Sydney, for Western Sydney, then we must ensure quality of life is maintained. Currently, we do not have enough certainty that this will be the case. “Equity is a key concern for WSROC and unlike Kingsford Smith, Western Sydney Airport has no specific operating limitations, no noise…
Media release, 8 December, 2016 The Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC) has slammed the NSW Government’s decision to impose harsh limits on council rates at a time when local government is being asked to increase its financial sustainability and strategic capacity. WSROC President Cr Stephen Bali said “The government’s decision to impose a 1.5 per cent rate peg stands at complete odds with its call for councils to raise the bar on infrastructure and service provision,” he said. “For many years the government has limited councils’ ability to attract funds through rates, causing chronic infrastructure backlogs and severely…
  Media release, 6 December, 2016 The Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC) has called for the Australian Government to review the way local roads are funded as part of its infrastructure funding reform. WSROC President Cr Stephen Bali said “While motorways are very important, we should not forget that the major transport task in Sydney, and particularly car-dependent regions like Western Sydney, is carried by the local road network.” “From private cars, to taxis, buses and trucks, council-maintained roads see it all and are falling into a greater state of disrepair due to a growing funding backlog,” he…
  Media release, 30 November, 2016 The Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC) has welcomed the Greater Sydney Commission’s focus on affordable housing for new land releases in Sydney. WSROC President Cr Stephen Bali said “With property values rising, housing is becoming unaffordable for many, even in the outer-most suburbs of Western Sydney where rent can be as much as $500 per week for a modest family home[1]. “If housing affordability is not addressed we will see growing numbers of working homeless in our city,” he said. “We need to ensure that people on low to moderate incomes can…
Monday, 21 November 2016 09:49

WSROC welcomes holistic plan for Sydney

Media release, 21 November, 2016   The Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC) has welcomed the release of the Greater Sydney Commission (GSC) District Plans as the first holistic approach to planning Greater Sydney. WSROC President Cr Stephen Bali said “The GSC, led by Chief Commissioner Lucy Turnbull, have taken the pieces of our patchwork city and worked it into a coordinated blueprint for our future. “This is the first time we have had a comprehensive plan for Sydney, and the Commission should be congratulated on bringing it together in such a short period of time,” said Cr Bali.…
Wednesday, 16 November 2016 10:47

Metro West welcomed but won’t solve deficit

Media release, 16 November, 2016 The Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC) has commended the NSW Government for its announcement of the Metro West rail line, but has stressed that it must not come at the expense of further investment in a Western Sydney transport network. WSROC President Cr Stephen Bali said “All investment in public transport should be welcomed, however the announcement of the Metro West seems premature given the Government has not yet completed its investigation into the rail needs of Western Sydney.” “WSROC and its councils have consistently called for a stronger focus on improving rail…
Monday, 14 November 2016 09:51

Airport approved with little detail

Media release, 14 November, 2016 The Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC) has indicated its concern regarding the final approval conditions of the Western Sydney Airport EIS. WSROC President Cr Stephen Bali said “While there were a number of amendments to the final EIS, there is still little certainty around the details of the project. “This is an airport being approved without flight paths, without commitment to a rail line and without a solid plan for jobs,” he said. “WSROC has previously called for the Government to secure a solid infrastructure plan for the airport, including a heavy rail…
Wednesday, 09 November 2016 11:51

Regional strategy needed for buses

Media release, 9 November, 2016   The Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC) has called for a NSW Government-led review of Sydney’s bus network to improve public transport access and efficiency especially for Western Sydney. WSROC President Cr Stephen Bali said “A recent study commissioned by WSROC found that around three quarters of Western Sydney residents will not live within a walkable distance of a train station by the year 2036. “If this is going to be the case, we need to look at how these residents can be better served via other modes of public transport,” said Cr Bali.…
Media release, 3 November, 2016 The Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC) has called on the NSW Government to deliver a transport network for Greater Western Sydney before it spends money on ‘on-demand’ technologies. WSROC President Cr Stephen Bali said “The Government’s announcement about trialling buses and trains on demand is just another distraction from delivering a transport network for Western Sydney.  “Minister Constance has said that transport should be on-demand, just like Netflix. But as many Australians will be aware, there is no point having Netflix without a connection to the NBN network,” said Cr Bali. “Likewise, there…
Monday, 24 October 2016 15:36

New WSROC Executive to lead Western Sydney

Media release, 24 October, 2016 Blacktown Mayor Cr Stephen Bali was unanimously elected as the new President of WSROC at its Annual General Meeting at Fairfield City Council on Thursday night. Cr Bali said “It is an honour to be elected President of WSROC, an organisation with a proud history of achieving results for the people of Western Sydney. “WSROC was established in over 43 years ago by Prime Minister Gough Whitlam to promote stronger collaboration between councils for the betterment of the Western Sydney region and I look forward to building on that legacy,” he said. “I would like…
Tuesday, 20 September 2016 09:42

WSROC response to Western Sydney Airport EIS

Media release, September 19, 2016 WSROC has been advocating strongly for equitable outcomes for the Western Sydney community with the proposed development of the Western Sydney Airport. In particular, this included the need for the Federal Government to ensure flight paths are designed to avoid residential areas as much as possible. WSROC CEO, Mr. Charles Casuscelli said, "It is pleasing to note that the Government has taken this on board and has committed to designing flight paths so as to minimise noise over populated areas and to share the burden of additional noise across all communities. We welcome the Government’s commitment…
Media release, 4 August 2016 The Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC) has called for more train stations in Sydney’s West following a report that identified a transport black hole in the region’s centre. WSROC President Cllr Tony Hadchiti said “Around 20 per cent of Greater Western Sydney residents currently live within a walkable distance (800m) of a rail station1,” said Cllr Hadchiti. “Surprisingly, access is lowest in the centre of the region, with fewer than 10 per cent of Penrith and Liverpool residents living within a walkable distance of a rail station. “A railway void runs right through…
Media release, 1 August, 2016   The Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC) has welcomed today’s Deloitte Access Economics study into liveability, saying it confirms what the West has known for some time. WSROC President Cllr Tony Hadchiti said “This report reaffirms that there is a very real difference between the overall liveability of East and West in Sydney.” “Western Sydney councils have long called for greater investment in the West, specifically relating to some of the services outlined in this report – employment, public transport, green space, arts and education,” he said. “We are glad to see CBD…
Web editor's note: This article was updated on September 28, 2016 to align with an amended report that takes into account the new LGA boundaries following council amalgamations. The new area for analysis includes the former Canterbury City Council which is now included as part of the City of Canterbury-Bankstown LGA. Media release, 18 July, 2016   A report commissioned by the Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC) has revealed that the region can only expect a two three per cent increase in rail access over the next 20 years. WSROC President Cllr Tony Hadchiti said Western Sydney’s rail deficit is well…
Media release, 21 June, 2016 The 2016 NSW Budget has offered a consistently strong commitment for key infrastructure programs, targeted action on skills shortages, but falls short on health funding according to the Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC). WSROC President Cllr Tony Hadchiti said “There were few surprises in this year’s NSW Budget, however WSROC is pleased to see an ongoing commitment to funding key infrastructure projects in Western Sydney such as the Sydney Metro, Parramatta Light Rail and road upgrades. “Councils also welcome continuation of the Infrastructure Acceleration Fund for Western Sydney’s Priority Growth Areas. “Providing key…
Media release, 21 June, 2016 The Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC) has called for a national approach to tackling preventable lifestyle diseases in order to reduce Australia’s health care bill. WSROC President Cllr Tony Hadchiti said despite ongoing debates about Australia’s rapidly rising health care costs, neither of our federal leaders have offered a strategy for treating the cause of this rise. “Chronic disease is the single greatest burden on Australia’s healthcare system, and it is particularly prevalent in Western Sydney,” said Cllr Hadchiti. “Diabetes alone costs Australia as much as $14.6 billion each year according to the…
Media release, 20 June, 2016 The Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC) has welcomed the NSW and federal governments’ announcement of a targeted and comprehensive plan to tackle housing, employment and transport in Sydney’s West. WSROC President Cllr Tony Hadchiti said after strong campaigning, we are finally seeing a holistic approach to building Western Sydney, one that is supported by both state and federal governments, and works in partnership with local councils.” “Our region is growing so rapidly that we simply must have a plan for its development,” he said. “It seems like a simple thing, but a coordinated…
Media release, 20 June, 2016 The Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC) has called for Australia’s leaders to focus on addressing skills shortages when proposing changes to the vocational education sector. WSROC President Cllr Tony Hadchiti said our vocational education sector needs urgent attention, but the focus of this attention should be on ensuring that courses servicing areas of skills shortage such as construction, hospitality and aged care are affordable, accessible and well integrated with real workplace experience. “VET courses produce the essential industries that keep our economy turning and our cities growing. If we can’t encourage more young people into these…
Media release, 16 June, 2016 The Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC) have called for greater federal investment Western Sydney arts in order help the region tackle its rising jobs deficit. WSROC President Cllr Tony Hadchiti said our federal leaders have recognised the importance of addressing Western Sydney’s jobs deficit, however there has been no commitment to building the West’s cultural and creative industries. “Western Sydney’s overall jobs deficit currently sits at 200,000. Of those who leave the region for work each day, 30,000 are employed in the creative and cultural industries,” said Cllr Hadchiti. “If our federal leaders…
Thursday, 09 June 2016 16:10

West demands a plan for Badgerys

Media release, 6 June, 2016 The Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC) has called on federal leaders to outline their plan for the proposed Western Sydney Airport, following ongoing uncertainty around the project. WSROC President Councillor Tony Hadchiti said WSROC has been very clear from the beginning. If there is to be an airport built at Badgerys Creek it needs to be more than an unregulated runway in a sheep paddock. “An infrastructure plan for a game-changing airport should include more than just roads. It should include public transport connectivity as well as hotels, conference facilities, shopping centres, and…
Media Release, 6 June 2016 Transport leaders from across Western Sydney gathered in Blacktown last Thursday to discuss what a transport strategy should look like for the growing region. Run by the Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC), the WSROC Transport Forum brought together a range of experts from local councils, state government and private agencies. WSROC President Cllr Tony Hadchiti said “There is such great transport need in Western Sydney that it is important we think about the region as a whole. What would an ideal system look like? How can we work towards getting there? “Discussions on…
  Media release, 18 May, 2016 The Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC) has called on our federal leaders to outline how they will increase accessibility to jobs in Western Sydney after a report from SGS Economicsi revealed that fewer than 20 per cent of Sydney’s jobs can be accessed via a 30 minute car tripii if you live west of Parramatta. WSROC President Cllr Tony Hadchiti said considering half of Sydney’s population lives in the West, this is a very poor result. “74.2 per cent of Western Sydney workers use their car as the main means of getting to…
Wednesday, 18 May 2016 15:06

Road backlog shows funding review overdue

Media release, 18 May, 2016 The Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC) has called for a more innovative approach to the way local government is funded following the release of NRMA’s Funding Local Roads Report. WSROC President Cllr Tony Hadchiti said in order to build the sustainable councils our state government seeks, we need to look seriously at how local government is funded in the short and long term. “This week’s NRMA Funding Local Roads Report is just one example of what happens when we chronically underfund our local councils,” he said. “NSW councils carry a collective $1.73 billion…
Media release, 6 May, 2016 The Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC) has welcomed today’s announcement that the Turnbull government will re-consider proposed flight paths for the proposed Badgerys Creek airport. WSROC President Cllr Tony Hadchiti said WSROC has previously outlined its severe disappointment in the draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) and Airport Plan for the Western Sydney Airport and particularly its concentration of flight paths over a single community. “Today’s announcement is significant because it means both major parties have acknowledged the very real impact of this airport on Western Sydney residents and particularly the Blue Mountains,” said…
Media release, 4 May, 2016 The Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC) has applauded the federal government’s commitment to infrastructure investment in Western Sydney but has cautioned against a passive approach to job creation. WSROC President Cllr Tony Hadchiti said overall Western Sydney has been well catered for in the federal budget through key infrastructure investments in the Parramatta Light Rail, WestConnex and scoping of a rail link to the Western Sydney Airport. “This investment is completely warranted, and we would argue, well overdue,” said Cllr Hadchiti. “Western Sydney is Australia’s fastest growing region and is expected to double…
MEDIA RELEASE29 APRIL, 2016 Smart Cities: What’s the deal for local government? The Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils has welcomed the federal government’s Smart Cities Plan, but acknowledges much work must be done to achieve the 30 minute city vision. WSROC President Cllr Tony Hadchiti said Western Sydney councils welcome today’s announcement that the federal government will be increasing its investment in economy-building projects across Australia. “Western Sydney councils have a long history of providing well-costed, well-scoped project proposals to the state and federal government; many embracing the concept of value-capture as lauded in the Smart Cities Plan,” he…
The biggest LED street light replacement project in NSW, Light Years Ahead, has come to an end with the last light installed in March. Crews installed 13,951 LED street lights across Western Sydney – 951 extra lights than originally forecasted. Final reporting is underway and Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC), who is coordinating the project, is investigating options for additional lights. Nine Western Sydney councils have been working on this collaborative street lighting project since 2014. Councils involved in the project are Blacktown, Blue Mountains, Fairfield, Hawkesbury, Hills Shire, Holroyd, Liverpool, Parramatta and Penrith. The project is estimated…
Media release, 11 April, 2016 Today’s announcement of a preferred site for the Parramatta Powerhouse has been welcomed by the Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC). WSROC President Cllr Tony Hadchiti said “We are pleased to see the Government’s plan to re-locate one of Sydney’s major cultural institutions to Western Sydney move into its next phase.” “This relocation will be significant, not just because the Powerhouse Museum is such an iconic state institution, but because it is the first major cultural institution to be located in Western Sydney,” said Cllr Hadchiti.  “Almost half of Sydney’s population live west of Strathfield,…
Monday, 04 April 2016 17:07

Beat diabetes this World Health Day

Media release, 4 April, 2016   Western Sydney councils are calling on residents to get active this World Health Day (April 7) and beat diabetes. Established by the World Health Organisation (WHO) World Health Day 2016 seeks to put a stop to the rapid rise of type 2 diabetes worldwide. The number of Australians diagnosed with diabetes has tripled over the last 25 years and Western Sydney is a key hotspot. President of the Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC), Cllr Tony Hadchiti, said “Compared to the national average, Western Sydney residents suffer much higher rates of lifestyle-related diseases…
Media release, 4 April, 2016   The Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC) is concerned that councils are still in the dark regarding details of a state Emergency Services Property Levy (ESPL) due to be released in the coming months. WSROC President Cllr Tony Hadchiti said “In December last year, the NSW Government stated it would be consulting councils on the implementation of an ESPL due to be released in the first half of 2016. This has not happened.” The ESPL aims to spread the load of funding NSW’s emergency services, through a state levy for all NSW landowners.…
Monday, 07 March 2016 16:56

Clean up Western Sydney all year round

Media release, 7 March, 2016 The Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC) are urging residents to keep cleanliness up following an enthusiastic turn out at local Clean up Australia Day events on the weekend. WSROC President Cllr Tony Hadchiti said “Western Sydney residents put in a first-class effort on the weekend and we want to see this momentum continue throughout the rest of the year.” “Clean Up Australia Day is a great reminder that we can all contribute to keeping our communities clean and that everyone has a role in litter prevention; not just on Clean Up Australia Day,…
Media release, 11 March, 2016   The Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC) has welcomed Infrastructure Australia’s recognition that solid Western Sydney infrastructure networks are key to both Sydney and Australia’s economic success, but has expressed concern regarding the timeframe for rail projects. In its February report Australian Infrastructure Plan: Priorities and reforms for our nations future, Infrastructure Australia identified access to transport, especially public transport as a critical economic and social equity considerations for the outer suburbs of Australia’s cities. WSROC President Cllr Tony Hadchiti welcomed this recognition but highlighted that the sentiment is not reflected in the…
Media release, 11 March, 2016 The Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC) has indicated its severe disappointment following the NSW Parliament’s passing of amendments to the Transport Administration Act 1988 yesterday. The 2016 amendment will allow the NSW Minister for Transport and Infrastructure to authorise the closure of any railway line in the greater Sydney, Newcastle, Central Coast or Wollongong metropolitan region in connection to the development of state significant infrastructure. WSROC President Cllr Tony Hadchiti said, “While we appreciate the motivation for this amendment was to fast-track infrastructure projects – many of which will benefit Western Sydney –…
Thursday, 18 February 2016 17:00

NSW Government on track with more jobs for West

Media release, 18 February, 2016 The Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC) have welcomed today's announcement that 1,800 Department of Education staff will be moved to Western Sydney. WSROC President Cllr Tony Hadchiti commended the NSW Government for keeping its pledge to decentralise public sector jobs from the Sydney CBD. "This is the third announcement we have had in as many months, that the government will be relocating more jobs to Western Sydney," he said. "This is fantastic news not only for Western Sydney, but for our city as a whole," said Cllr Hadchiti. "Around 80,000 Western Sydney residents…
Thursday, 18 February 2016 15:09

Powerhouse Museum will move west

Media release, 18 February, 2016 The Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC) have criticised a petition calling for the Powerhouse Museum to remain at Ultimo. WSROC President Councillor Tony Hadchiti said suggestions that the integrity of the Powerhouse Museum as a key cultural institution would be undermined by a move to Parramatta are ridiculous. “Western Sydney is not some culturally-barren outpost. Parramatta is the geographical centre of Sydney, and just half an hour down the road from Ultimo,” he said. “This really shows the strong regional bias that still exists in the minds of some inner-city residents, and I…
Wednesday, 10 February 2016 13:58

Fast airport link needs more consideration

The Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC) has welcomed the discussion generated by Parramatta City Council’s report into rail connectivity but cautions against another CBD - centric route. WSROC President Cllr Tony Hadchiti said, “WSROC supports the scoping of a rail link to the Badgerys Creek precinct, however we need to carefully consider a number of options before choosing a proposed route.” “The most important thing to consider is the potential for increased economic stimulus and commuter benefits along any proposed rail line,” said Cllr Hadchiti. “A very fast train from Parramatta to Badgerys Creek is a great concept,…
Tuesday, 09 February 2016 13:57

Hubs must be supported by rail

Media release, 9 February 2016 The Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC) has welcomed today’s announcement of new employment hubs in Sydney’s West but insists that rail connections are essential for attracting and retaining key investors. WSROC President Cllr Tony Hadchiti said “We need to make the most of these opportunities by ensuring that the north-south rail line is built sooner rather than later.” “West Hoxton and Wetherill Park are just the latest investments along the corridor of opportunity stretching from the Hawkesbury to Campbelltown in the South,” he said. “Rail, supporting both freight and commuter transit would have a…
Media release, 8 February 2016 The job market is ripe for skilled hands with Western Sydney’s infrastructure boom set to increase demand for trades over the coming decades.  President of the Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC), Cllr Tony Hadchiti, said “There is already a skills shortage for many key trades, partly because of the rapidly growing demand from construction, but also due to an increased focus on the importance of university-level education and a high dropout rate for new apprentices (around 47 per cent).” “This skills shortage is set to worsen as Western Sydney’s thriving growth centres and…
Media release, 1 February 2016 IPART’s proposed changes to the Opal fee system will encourage more Western Sydney residents to drive, according to the Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC). WSROC President Cllr Tony Hadchiti said “The proposed changes to the Opal system unfairly burden long-distance commuters; exactly the people we want to entice away from road travel.” “When the Opal card was introduced the cap on distances, and in particular, the free journey bonus was distinctly celebrated as an incentive for commuters to use public transport,” he said. “Removing these incentives leaves little enticement for regular travellers to make…
Wednesday, 27 January 2016 10:41

WSROC welcomes coroner's move to Lidcombe

Media release, 27 January 2016 The Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC) has welcomed today’s announcement of the relocation of the State Coroner’s Court and morgue to Sydney’s western suburbs. WSROC President Cllr Tony Hadchiti applauded the move, particularly following the loss of so many jobs from Parramatta and Sydney Olympic Park by the Commonwealth Bank (CBA) late last year. “The move to a modern, expanded facility in Lidcombe offers fantastic opportunities for western Sydney professionals, particularly in the science, legal and social assistance professions,” he said. “Western Sydney’s economy has long been dominated by manufacturing, construction and retail…
Friday, 22 January 2016 10:55

WSROC welcomes federal action on urban heat

Media release, 19 January 2016 The Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC) has welcomed the Federal Government’s plan to tackle urban heat in Australia’s cities and invites the government to work with councils to develop a multi-tiered approach. President of the (WSROC) Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils, Cllr Tony Hadchiti, said “Urban heat is a major issue for all cities, but Western Sydney is particularly affected due to its unique geography and rapid rate of development.” “On a hot day, the West suffers much higher temperatures than the Sydney CBD,” he said. “A number of Western Sydney councils…
Thursday, 14 January 2016 10:14

Concrete jungle brings sizzle to suburbs

Media release, 14 January, 2016 Western Sydney is hot and is set to get hotter as green fields make way for new housing developments; exacerbating what scientists call the urban heat island effect.  According to recent research from the Office of Environment and Heritage, sprawling greenfield developments will see western Sydney experience between five and 10 additional hot days by 20301. Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC) President, Cllr Tony Hadchiti said “When the hot summer sun beats directly onto urban surfaces such as roads, footpaths and roofs they heat up. These materials absorb and hold heat well past…
Friday, 04 December 2015 01:00

WSROC seeks review of Sydney toll inequity

Media release, 4 December 2015   The Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC) has called for a review of tolling arrangements for the WestConnex and M5 East because of increased toll charging inequities across Sydney’s motorway network. WSROC President, Cllr Tony Hadchiti suggested the introduction of the new motorways is the perfect opportunity to conduct a review of charges throughout Sydney’s entire motorway network. “The current pricing regimes across the network ensures that motorists using different sections of the network pay vastly different sums for similar journey benefits,” Cllr Hadchiti said. “In 2011, Minister Gay said he would like…
Wednesday, 16 December 2015 17:14

WSROC votes for airport equality

Media release, December 16, 2015 At its last board meeting for the year, the Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC) resolved its official position on the proposed Western Sydney Airport. WSROC President, Cllr Tony Hadchiti, said “There are a range of views amongst WSROC’s 10 member councils, but all agree that a Western Sydney airport must offer a more equal spread of opportunity and burden than is currently presented in the draft EIS.” The WSROC Board resolved that the Western Sydney Airport must: be supported by state of the art infrastructure and public transport from the outset of airport…
Tuesday, 08 December 2015 13:48

WSROC welcomes jobs for West

Media release, December 8, 2015 The Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC) has welcomed the announcement of 1,800 public sector jobs for Sydney’s western suburbs. WSROC President Cllr Tony Hadchiti applauded the initiative, particularly following the loss of so many jobs from Parramatta and Sydney Olympic Park by the Commonwealth Bank (CBA) last month. “The CBA’s decision to move east has created a travel burden for many its staff who reside west of Sydney Olympic Park and we know that over time the jobs will be lost from Western Sydney workers,” said Cllr Hadchiti. “The Government has thrown us…
Tuesday, 08 December 2015 13:38

WSROC welcomes light links for second CBD

Media release, December 8, 2015 The Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC) has welcomed the NSW Government’s confirmation of the first two legs of the Western Sydney Light Rail network. WSROC President Cllr Tony Hadchiti said “It is exciting to learn that the government has committed to two light rail routes in the first stage of this project.” “This sends a clear message that the region is finally attracting the sort of transport investment that will pay dividends for all of Sydney while making living around Parramatta so much more attractive,” he said. “Public transport links are one of…
Media release, 4 December, 2015 In a letter to federal Ministers Hunt, Truss and Fletcher, Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC) President, Cllr Tony Hadchiti, points out that the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the proposed Western Sydney Airport fails to meet the Australian Government’s own guidelines for the project. “These guidelines were developed specifically for the Western Sydney Airport less than a year ago and the government has scrapped them at the first check point. This is both unacceptable and irresponsible,” said Cllr Hadchiti. “WSROC conditionally supports the government’s plan to build an airport at Badgerys Creek,…
Thursday, 19 November 2015 01:00

Around 40% unsure how to deal with asbestos

Media release, 19 November, 2015   A survey conducted across eight Western Sydney councils has found that almost 40 per cent of residents are either unaware asbestos poses a significant health risk, or are unsure how to dispose of it safely. President of the Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC) Cllr Tony Hadchiti said “Asbestos-containing products are especially prevalent in Western Sydney homes, so it is concerning to learn that many residents don’t know how to properly manage asbestos.” “That is why this National Asbestos Awareness Month, Western Sydney councils want ensure residents have the knowledge they need keep themselves,…
Thursday, 26 November 2015 09:56

Badgerys EIS gaps must be addressed

Media release, November 26, 2015 An independent review of the Western Sydney Airport Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) by 11 Western Sydney councils has found several shortcomings which need to be addressed. President of the Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC), Cllr Tony Hadchiti indicated his disappointment at the lack of certainty offered by the EIS on key issues such as aircraft noise, flight paths, traffic, transport, and the environment. “WSROC has previously offered conditional support for the airport, pending a comprehensive Airport Plan and a rigorous EIS that ensures the best possible outcomes for residents and the environment while…
Monday, 23 November 2015 01:00

LED street lighting halfway mark

A major LED street lighting replacement project involving nine Western Sydney councils has passed the halfway point. The Western Sydney Councils participating in the project are Blacktown, Blue Mountains, Fairfield, Hawkesbury, Hills Shire, Holroyd, Liverpool, Parramatta and Penrith. At the end of October, crews had installed 8,188 LED street lights, approximately 63% of the 13,000 earmarked for replacement on the Light Years Ahead website project. Six of the nine councils involved in the project have already installed half of their allocation of LEDs. The project is estimated to save participating councils $20 million and 74,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions over…
Media release, November 16, 2015 The Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC) has welcomed the State Government’s commitment to a scoping study for rail options surrounding the proposed Badgerys Creek airport. WSROC President Cllr Tony Hadchiti described the move as key to both the Sydney and NSW economy. “This is about more than just an airport, these rail links will act as catalysts for job creation in Western Sydney, which is good for residents, good for business and good for the NSW economy,” he said. “In particular, recent announcements such as the Campbelltown Integrated Health Hub, the South West…
Media release, November 13, 2015 The Commonwealth Bank’s decision to move jobs from Western Sydney to Redfern is a sign of much broader economic and planning issues according to the Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC). WSROC President, Cllr Tony Hadchiti, said “This is not an arbitrary decision by the Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA). They made a ‘commercial’ decision which included concerns about accessibility and public transport; arguably one of the major factors working against efforts to grow jobs in Western Sydney.” “This is just one example of how state-level planning decisions can have tremendous impact on local economies,”…
Media release, October 29, 2015 Our future cities will be designed to make you healthier if nine Western Sydney councils have their way. Key experts in the fields of health, planning, transport and community development gathered in Blacktown for the Planning an Active Western Sydney forum yesterday to discuss how urban planning can improve liveability, and by extension, better health outcomes for the region. Over 90 participants attended the forum, which was a partnership between the Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC), the Premier’s Council for Active Living (PCAL) and three Local Health Districts in the Western Sydney region.…
Media release, October 8, 2015 WSROC has welcomed the NSW Government’s decision to create a Priority Growth Area around Badgerys Creek but advised that infrastructure and jobs come before housing. “This announcement further cements the need for a rail link to Badgerys Creek Airport and the Western Sydney Employment Lands that surround it,” said Cllr Hadchiti. “Local government is focused on building liveable and workable communities, and to do this we need to plan infrastructure and jobs first; housing will follow naturally,” he said. “In particular a rail link to Badgerys Creek, will be an enabler for the creation of…
Media release September 22, 2015 The Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils has called on the NSW Government to ensure its Parramatta Road Strategy is considered as part of an integrated Western Transport Corridor[i]. The group’s president Cllr Tony Hadchiti said “After 50 years of neglect, Parramatta Road is in desperate need of revitalisation both functionally and aesthetically, however it is crucial to recognise its importance as a component in Sydney’s wider transport network.” “This means maintaining Parramatta Road’s capacity to act as a major arterial road within the Western Transport Corridor – to complement the WestConnex, M4, Western Rail…
Media release, 21 September, 2015 The Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC) has praised the NSW Government’s collaborative approach to planning the mixed-use Camellia precinct, but stressed the need to prioritise infrastructure in all its forms. “Camellia represents one of the most significant opportunities to create the next generation of liveable and sustainable communities in Western Sydney,” said WSROC President Cllr Tony Hadchiti. “As we move towards higher-density living outside the Sydney CBD, it is more important than ever to ensure new communities are sustainable, beautiful places to live and work,” he said. “This means communities that offer high-quality…
Media release, 17 September, 2015 The Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC), has called on the State and Federal Governments to increase funding to Western Sydney’s migrant support organisations to assist with the influx of Syrian refugees expected to settle in the region. WSROC President Cllr Tony Hadchiti said “Western Sydney is ready, willing and able to help support these people as long as the resources are provided for us to undertake this task.” “Western Sydney region is home to Australia’s largest Syrian communities[i] and we expect that new migrants will feel most at home where they can access…
Media release, September 15, 2015 President of the Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC), Cllr Tony Hadchiti, has announced the appointment of the group’s new Chief Executive Officer, Charles Casuscelli RDF. Mr Casuscelli’s appointment was unanimously endorsed by the WSROC Board on Thursday following an extensive independent recruitment process. Cllr Hadchiti said “Western Sydney is currently experiencing a period of unprecedented change, and we are excited by the opportunities that lie ahead for WSROC and its member councils under Mr Casuscelli.” “Mr Casuscelli has strong experience working with various levels of Government, including service as the previous State Member…
Friday, 04 September 2015 11:56

WSROC welcomes stadia for both work and play

Media release, September 4, 2015 The Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC) has welcomed the NSW Government’s promise of two new stadia in Western Sydney. WSROC President Cllr Tony Hadchiti said “This is an exciting announcement for those who work and play in the booming Western Sydney region.” “Half of Sydney’s population lives in the western suburbs, and these residents deserve equal access to quality arenas for sport and entertainment,” he said. “We also welcome the local employment opportunities these new projects will generate in both the construction and operational phases,” said Cllr Hadchiti. “Parramatta is home to world…
Monday, 24 August 2015 17:07

Holroyd City Council sees the (LED) light

Nine Western Sydney councils, including Holroyd City Council (opens external site), have joined forces to reduce energy costs and consumption by replacing old and inefficient street lights in many of their suburbs. The Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils’ (WSROC) Light Years Ahead project will replace approximately 13,000 street lights in nine Western Sydney local government areas – Holroyd, Blacktown, Blue Mountains, Fairfield, Hawkesbury, The Hills, Liverpool, Parramatta and Penrith. Installation of new lights have begun and will continue to March 2016, with the roll out staggered across the nine councils. Old, inefficient mercury vapour lights will be replaced with energy…
Premier Mike Baird met with the Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC) on Thursday August 20, to discuss the state’s most rapidly growing region. Representatives from across 10 Western Sydney councils gathered to discuss topics ranging from Fit for the Future reforms to local infrastructure projects, affordable housing and youth unemployment. WSROC President, Cllr Tony Hadchiti congratulated the Premier on his collaborative approach to governing. “This wasn’t just a ‘tick the box’ meeting, this was a meeting where issues were raised and taken on board. We had good, constructive discussion on a range of topics and I believe we…
Liverpool City Council (opens external site) will replace old, inefficient street lights in 23 suburbs, as part of WSROC’s Light Years Ahead (open external site) project, saving more than $5million and 19,640 tonnes of carbon emissions annually over 20 years. [Correction on 25.08.15 - see footnote.] “Liverpool is one of nine Western Sydney councils which have joined forces to reduce energy costs and consumption by replacing old and inefficient street lights,” Mayor Ned Mannoun said. “Mercury vapour lights will be replaced with energy efficient LED lights, which are cheaper and more sustainable. We’ll replace more than 3,700 lights (over 23% of the…
Hawkesbury City Council (opens external site) has joined forces with eight other Western Sydney councils to reduce energy costs and consumption by replacing old and inefficient street lights as part of the largest street lighting replacement project ever conducted in NSW. The Light Years Ahead project is coordinated by the Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC) which has brought together nine of their member councils to participate. Approximately 13,000 street lights replaced with LED lighting in the nine local government areas of Hawkesbury, Parramatta, Blacktown, Blue Mountains, Fairfield, The Hills, Holroyd, Liverpool and Penrith. Inefficient, old mercury vapour lights will…
Fairfield City Council (opens external site), with eight other Western Sydney councils, has joined forces to reduce energy costs and consumption by replacing old and inefficient street lights in many of their suburbs. WSROC’s Light Years Ahead project (opens external site) will replace about 13,000 street lights in nine Western Sydney local government areas – Blacktown, Blue Mountains, Fairfield, Hawkesbury, The Hills, Holroyd, Liverpool, Parramatta and Penrith. Installations of new lights have begun and will continue to March 2016, with the rollout staggered across the nine councils. Old, inefficient mercury vapour lights will be replaced with energy efficient LED lights, which are…
Monday, 13 July 2015 14:47

LED lighting saves millions

A changeover to LED street lighting is underway across Blacktown; a move that will shed a “greener” light on the streets and save the community millions of dollars in electricity bills. “Changing over 2,250 older and less efficient street lights will save $4.3 million over the next 20 years,” said the Mayor of Blacktown City, Councillor Stephen Bali. “Old, inefficient mercury vapour lights will be replaced with energy efficient LED lights, which are cheaper and more sustainable to run. “The changeover will not happen overnight, the old lights will be changed as they reach the end of their useful life.…
Nine Western Sydney councils, including Parramatta City Council, have joined forces to reduce energy costs and consumption by replacing old and inefficient street lights as part of the biggest street lighting replacement project in NSW. The Light Years Ahead project is the brainchild of the Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC) which have brought together nine of their member councils to participate. The project will see approximately 13,000 street lights replaced with LED lighting in nine local government areas: Parramatta, Blacktown, Blue Mountains, Fairfield, Hawkesbury, The Hills, Holroyd, Liverpool, and Penrith. Inefficient, old mercury vapour lights will be removed…
Media release, June 17, 2015 The Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC) has called for increased funding for English as a Second Language (ESL) programs in NSW public schools in the forthcoming state budget. WSROC President Cllr Tony Hadchiti said chronic underfunding of ESL programs is letting down our newest Australians, particularly in areas of high migrant and refugee settlement such as Western Sydney. “A good grasp of the English language is essential for children to excel in the NSW school system, and gives them the best chance of success as they enter higher education or employment,” he said.…
Media release, June 18, 2015 The Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC) has called on the NSW Government to help ease housing affordability by fast-tracking key infrastructure in Sydney’s West. WSROC President, Cllr Tony Hadchiti said the North West and South West Growth Centres have capacity for around 200,000 extra dwellings, but councils can’t approve development until these areas have access to basic services such as water, electricity and sewerage. “According to Regional Development Australia, Sydney needs to build at least 45,000 new homes per year to keep up with Western Sydney’s booming population. Currently we are only building…
  Media release, June 23, 2015 The Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC) has welcomed increased funding for the region’s infrastructure, transport and health in the NSW Budget released today. “Today we saw a Government who has listened to the needs of Western Sydney residents,” said WSROC President Cllr Tony Hadchiti. “There are significant investments in store for Western Sydney’s roads, rail, health and schools, and this is directly aligned with the rapid growth the region is experiencing,” he said. “WSROC is particularly happy to see a $54.9 million increase in grant funding to help local councils deliver essential…
Media release, June 10, 2015 The Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC) has urged the NSW Government to consider the needs of residents over the voice of investors when deciding on a route for the first stage of the Western Sydney Light Rail Network. WSROC President Cllr Tony Hadchiti said that while a Westmead to Strathfield route would be welcomed by many commuters, public transport options servicing the north-south corridor should be the priority. “We have a backlog of public transport need in Western Sydney, and catering for potential future development rather than existing commuter need is irresponsible,” he said.…
Media release, May 14, 2014 Western Sydney is set to benefit from the Federal Budget as tax cuts for small businesses boost employment opportunities in the region. President of the Western Sydney Organisation of Councils (WSROC), Cllr Tony Hadchiti said small businesses are the heart and soul of Western Sydney’s $95 billion economy, making up around 96% of all businesses in the region . “The 2015 budget offers the lowest tax rates small business sector has seen since the 1960s. “Anything that is going to make life easier for small business owners will have a positive impact on the region’s…
Media Release, May 18, 2015   Nine Western Sydney councils have joined forces to reduce energy costs and consumption by replacing old and inefficient street lights in many of their suburbs. WSROC’s Light Years Ahead project will replace approximately 13,000 street lights in nine Western Sydney local government areas. Old, inefficient mercury vapour lights will be replaced with energy efficient LED lights, which are cheaper and more sustainable to run. Councils will save an estimated $21 million over 20 years at current electricity prices. This project received funding from the Australian Government. Installation of new lights will begin from June…
Thursday, 07 May 2015 14:53

Putting the 'west' back in WestConnex

Media release, May 7, 2015   Western Sydney councils have invited the Government to work with them on the design for WestConnex on and off ramps to ensure that the new tollway caters for as many trips, destinations and regional commuters as possible. President of the Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC), Cllr Tony Hadchiti said that Western Sydney councils strongly support the project, but want to ensure that this major investment secures the best outcome for local commuters. “There has been a strong media focus on how this project will affect the inner-west and Sydney CBD, but little…
Media release, April 30, 2015   Ten Western Sydney councils have joined forces to reduce waste, increase recycling and combat illegal dumping across the region. The collectively developed Western Sydney Regional Waste Avoidance and Resource Recovery Strategy, launched this week, takes a regional approach to waste management to foster collaboration and knowledge sharing. President of the Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC) Councillor Tony Hadchiti said that while unappealing, waste management is a very real issue in the rapidly growing area. “Without intervention, Western Sydney’s waste generation will hit well over 1 million tonnes per year by 2021,” said…
Media release, March 28, 2015 The Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC) congratulates the Liberal Party on a successful election campaign and looks forward to working closely with the Baird Government over the next four years. WSROC President Cllr Tony Hadchiti said “Western Sydney has been promised an unprecedented level of investment by the re-elected State Government and we are keen to ensure these investments deliver the best possible outcomes for our region and NSW more broadly.” “Infrastructure projects such as the Western Sydney Light Rail, the Badgery’s Creek airport precinct and ‘pinch point’ road upgrades* are sorely needed…
Friday, 20 March 2015 17:05

Western Sydney wants cash for cans

Media release, March 16, 2015   The Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC) has thrown its support behind the NSW Government’s plan to introduce a drink container deposit scheme and has called on all stakeholders, including the drinks companies, to start discussions on how to implement the scheme. WSROC President Cllr Tony Hadchiti said “A container deposit scheme has been on the radar for over ten years now. It is great to see the NSW Government getting behind a program that the community has shown great interest in.” “The container deposit scheme has our unanimous support, and we applaud…
Media release, March 2, 2015   The Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC) welcomes the State Government’s announcement that it will increase arts funding in Western Sydney. WSROC President Cllr Tony Hadchiti said “WSROC has long campaigned for increased arts funding and it is great to see the State Government has heard our appeal.” “In the past, arts funding in NSW has been grossly skewed towards the CBD, with only 5.5 percent of state funding, and one percent of Commonwealth funding being allocated to Western Sydney projects,” he said. “The Premier’s promise to relocate the one of Sydney’s iconic…
Tuesday, 23 December 2014 10:24

Stop the waste bin overflowing this Christmas

Media release, December 2014   Christmas can be a hard time on the environment. End-of-year festivities often mean mountains of discarded packaging, left-over food, as well as out-dated toys and electrical goods. President of the Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils Cllr Tony Hadchiti, is calling on Western Sydney residents to be mindful of waste over the holiday season. “There are many ways to reduce household waste during the festive season such as using recycled wrap, sending e-cards, and choosing gifts made from natural materials,” said Cllr Hadchiti. “Despite best efforts we will all end up with some post-Christmas waste,…
Friday, 12 December 2014 14:46

Jobs for Western Sydney

Media release, December 12, 2014   Western Sydney Councils have welcomed increased interest in the region after a number of large organisations confirmed they will be setting up shop next year. “This is great news for the people of Western Sydney who are currently experiencing job shortages,” said President of the Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils, Cllr Tony Hadchiti. “We are seeing burgeoning interest in Western Sydney, demonstrating that businesses recognise the opportunities our $95 billion economy has to offer.” “Masters Home Improvement has announced that it will build four new stores in Western Sydney next year, resulting 2000…
Tuesday, 09 December 2014 01:00

Tackling youth unemployment in Western Sydney

Media release, December 9, 2014   The State Government needs to address youth unemployment in Western Sydney or risk a disconnected welfare generation warns President of the Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC) Cllr Tony Hadchiti. “Employment is a critical part of young people’s personal development. It allows financial independence, builds positive social engagement and feelings of self-worth.”   “If unable to find work, young people can lose a sense of hope and purpose. This can result in exclusion from mainstream society and long-term reliance on welfare ,” he said.   “Western Sydney has some of the highest youth…
Media release, December 3, 2014   Western Sydney Councils have invited Australian Financial Review columnist Joe Aston to be courageous, leave his secure office in Pyrmont and travel past Annandale to see what the rest of the world actually looks like. President of the Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils, Cllr Tony Hadchiti said it was clear that Mr Aston had no idea what he was talking about when he used the privilege of his column to claim Western Sydney did not deserve any arts facilities. “Ok, we get it was probably a slow news day and he was short…
Media release, November 3, 2014   The Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC) is calling on local businesses to register for the NSW Government’s new ‘Get Healthy at Work’ scheme to combat lifestyle-related illness. WSROC President Cllr Tony Hadchiti said “Lifestyle-related illnesses are a huge problem for Western Sydney. Around 60% of adults are overweight or obese and the number of people in Blacktown with type 2 diabetes is now well in excess of 6%.” The Get Healthy at Work initiative is designed to tackle these preventable conditions by helping employers and employees make healthier choices. The program is…
Wednesday, 29 October 2014 13:54

Powerhouse for the west

Media release, October 29, 2014   Western Sydney Councils have welcomed Infrastructure NSW’s suggestion to move Powerhouse Museum exhibits to Sydney’s west. President of the Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC) Cllr Tony Hadchiti said “This would be a fantastic asset for the people of Western Sydney.” “WSROC have long advocated for increased arts and cultural investment for Sydney’s west and this is exactly the kind of institution that our residents want and need,” he said. “The Powerhouse Museum would provide a fantastic complement to school science programs, as well as create learning and employment opportunities in this growing…
Media release, October 28, 2014   Western Sydney councils have slammed comments by the NSW Greens that allowing their Regional Organisations to undertake contracts and tenders could potentially lead to corruption. "Exactly what are they saying here?” asked WSROC president Cllr Tony Hadchiti. ‘’Are they implying that our ROCs - which are themselves owned and run by delegated councillors from our member councils - are open to corrupt practices?’’ “This simply displays an extraordinary ignorance, even for the Greens, of how a Regional Organisation of Councils functions and what the intention of the legislation is. “The reforms proposed in the…
 Media release, October 27, 2014 The President of the Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC), Cllr Tony Hadchiti has applauded the NSW Government for recognising Western Sydney’s congested north-south corridor as a key priority in announcing the priority routes for the proposed Western Sydney Light Rail. “The four routes shortlisted today show the Government recognises the need to improve travel along the north-south corridor which currently experiences bottlenecks due to limited public transport and traffic congestion”, Cllr Hadchiti said. “Western Sydney will see approximately 1 million new residents in the next 20 years, meaning the increased demand for transport…
Media release, October 21, 2014   Liverpool Councillor Tony Hadchiti has been elected for his third term as President of the Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils at its AGM last week. “I’m very honoured to be elected President for the third year running and I look forward to continuing the important work of WSROC,” Cllr Hadchiti said. “WSROC has had some great successes in achieving recognition and resources for our region in the last twelve months. This includes $5.3 million in funding for an energy saving street lighting program, development of a regional waste management strategy, and the execution…
Media Release, September 25, 2014   The Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils is calling on Planning Minister Pru Goward to review the decision of the Planning Assessment Commission to allow a second major freight terminal to be built at the Moorebank site. The proposal put forward by the Sydney Intermodal Terminal Alliance (SIMTA) would transport up to 1 million containers by rail from Port Botany to the site, and includes warehousing and a road transport distribution facility to allow the delivery of rail freight throughout the South West. The SIMTA proposal is in addition to the proposal by the…
Media Release September 25, 2014 The President of the Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC) has welcomed the NSW Energy Minister’s decision to extend the freeze on new coal seam gas operations. The extension means that applications for gas exploration licences and prospecting authority applications will remain on hold until September 2015, until after the next NSW state election. WSROC President, Cllr Tony Hadchiti said WSROC was keen to ensure that proper controls were in place to prevent potential environmental damage resulting from coal seam gas exploration and mining. “Many of these coal seam gas proposals are located in…
Monday, 08 September 2014 16:22

More to reform than just amalgamations - WSROC

Media Release September 8, 2014 The Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils has urged the government to undertake proper detailed surveys of council finances before forcing amalgamations to ensure genuine benefits and not rely on outdated and discredited Treasury Corp figures. WSROC President Tony Hadchiti said the re-issue of the Treasury Corp figures, which were widely discredited when they were first released in April 2013, shows the Government is likely to push ahead with amalgamations as part of their response to the Independent local Government Review Panel. “WSROC believes that the issue of amalgamations should be up to the individual…
Media Release 23 June 2014 Western Sydney councils are joining forces to tackle wood smoke pollution and help clear the air in the region. The Western Sydney wood smoke Project, run by the Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC), aims to raise awareness of the proper operation of wood heaters which will ultimately save residents money, reduce nuisance smoke and improve regional air quality. WSROC President Clr Tony Hadchiti today asked residents with wood heaters to check their chimneys for excessive smoke. Clr Hadchiti said smoky chimneys could be a real problem in Western Sydney during the winter months,…
Media Release May 14, 2014 The Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils has expressed concern that the working families and disadvantaged groups in the region will carry an unfairly large burden of the increased taxes and charges announced in the Budget last night. WSROC President Clr Tony Hadchiti said, although they strongly supported the commitment to fund urgently needed infrastructure in the region, many western Sydney families were already doing it tough, and many of the changes announced in the Budget would have serious impacts. “We appreciate the need to reduce the budget deficit and get the country back to…
Media Release April 15, 2014 Badgery’s Creek airport must form the basis of a whole new redevelopment of Western Sydney if the full economic and employment benefits for the region are to be realised, the Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils have said. WSROC President Clr Tony Hadchiti said airport infrastructure needed to encompass more than just road and rail links. “We also need to build the hotels, conference facilities, shopping centres, and entertainment and exhibition facilities around the airport so that people don’t need to travel once they get here. “This is an opportunity to make Badgery’s Creek a…
Media Release January 8, 2014The Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils has welcomed the release of the final report of the Local Government Reform Panel but stressed that many of the recommendations will need further consideration. “We are pleased to see the final report and applaud the great transparency and consultation which has characterised the work of the Panel and the review process,” WSROC president Clr Tony Hadchiti said. “WSROC has worked closely with the Panel and we are pleased to see many of our concerns and suggestions have been acknowledged. “However, there is no doubt that some of these…
Thursday, 05 December 2013 22:12

Tony Hadchiti re-elected as President

Media Release October 19, 2013 Liverpool Councillor Tony Hadchiti has been returned for a second year as President of the Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils at the AGM held last night. Clr Hadchiti was elected unanimously to continue his leadership of the role of the region’s premier advocacy organisation, which is celebrating its 40th year. “I’m very honoured to be elected President for the second year running and I look forward to continue the important work of WSROC,” Clr Hadchiti said. “The past twelve months has not been without its challenges but we have also had some great successes…
Thursday, 05 December 2013 22:08

WSROC welcomes abolition of asbestos waste levy

Media Release November 7, 2013 The Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils has welcomed the State Government’s announcement to abolish the waste levy imposed on asbestos as a key step in the fight against illegal dumping. WSROC President, Clr Tony Hadchiti said the waste levy meant that many homeowners, small businesses and unscrupulous tradespeople were deterred from disposing of asbestos through safe and proper channels because of the additional cost. “While the idea of a levy is not bad, in practice it has seen a large increase in the amount of illegal dumping we see in our bushland and even…
Thursday, 26 September 2013 12:10

Get the Balance Right, urges WSROC

Media Release September 25, 2013 President of the Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils Ltd (WSROC), Clr Tony Hadchiti, has cautiously welcomed the Government’s decision to reconsider its proposed planning laws but has cautioned against going too far in the opposite direction.“Most councils are relieved that some proposals which would have reduced their control over local planning may be removed,” Clr Hadchiti said. “But we have to be careful that we don’t throw out the baby with the bathwater. We all have to be willing to step back and look at the longer term strategic picture.”“The fact is, there will…
Media release, September 12, 2013 In response to the latest rise in official unemployment, President of the Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils Ltd (WSROC) urged governments and policy makers to delve more deeply into the figures. “The headline rise to 5.8% for last month is bad enough, but a more detailed analysis is even greater cause for concern,” said Councillor Hadchiti.“To start with, the figures seriously underestimate the extent of hidden unemployment. Anyone who works as little as one hour a week is counted by the ABS as employed, even if they want a full time job. This has…
Thursday, 26 September 2013 12:08

Boost for Western Sydney Jobs

Media Release August 13, 2013 The Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils Ltd (WSROC) has welcomed an announcement by the Prime Minister that the government will establish a network of high-tech industry hubs under its $1billion national jobs plan. “The Prime Minister’s commitment to establishing one of these hubs in Western Sydney is welcome news for the region,” said WSROC President Clr Tony Hadchiti.“Western Sydney currently has a job deficit of around 180,000. That is, every day 180,000 workers in Western Sydney are forced to leave the area every day for work. Apart from the frustration and the cost of…
Thursday, 26 September 2013 12:07

WSROC welcomes Coalition’s environment plan

Media Release August 8, 2013 The Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils has welcomed the Coalition’s promise of $15 million to protect endangered western Sydney bushland. WSROC President Clr Tony Hadchiti said the generous offer was double that promised by Labor and showed that the Opposition recognised the urgency of the need to protect the last remnants of the region’s Cumberland Plain Woodlands.“These woodlands are unique – there is nowhere else like them on earth,” he said. “However they are under constant threat from the expansion of housing and land development.“The Coalition’s promise to establish a Cumberland Conservation Corridor in…
Thursday, 26 September 2013 12:06

Don’t let local government fall off the agenda

Media Release August 5, 2013 The Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils has urged both sides of politics to continue the push for constitutional recognition of local government, despite the cancellation of the planned referendum. WSROC president Clr Tony Hadchiti said while the new timing of the election made the referendum unachievable this year, it was important that the matter was not deferred indefinitely.“This is still a very important issue for our councils and their residents,” he said. “Having almost got this far, we do not want to see the issue fall off the agenda in the next term of…
Media Release June 19, 2013 The Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils has welcomed the Government’s commitment to investing in infrastructure as the key platform of this year’s budget. WSROC President, Clr Tony Hadchiti said the Government had recognised the need for urgent infrastructure spending and had at last started moving in the right direction.“We welcome the substantial spending on major transport infrastructure projects in the Budget, including the ongoing funds for the North West and South West Rail link,” he said.“We are also pleased the Government has decided to take the lead in building the first stages of the…
Media Release May 15, 2013 The Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils has welcomed the investment in infrastructure outlined by the Federal Government in their Budget last night but warned that the working families of Western Sydney will carry the brunt of the Budget cuts. “This budget will have a very mixed impact on our region,” WSROC President Clr Tony Hadchiti said. “On the one hand, it will bring much needed infrastructure to Western Sydney but plans to remove tax cuts and medical deductions and the cut to the baby bonus will hit struggling families hard. “The commitment of $1.8…
Thursday, 26 September 2013 12:03

F3 link will help grow Western Sydney - WSROC

Media Release May 9, 2013 The Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils has welcomed the announcement that the State and Federal governments have committed to building the F3-M2 link. WSROC president Clr Tony Hadchiti said the link would make it easier for Western Sydney residents to get to and from the Central Coast, and attract more Central Coast workers to jobs in the West.“This is a critical piece of infrastructure which has the potential to open up new work regions around Greater Sydney and provide access to new jobs and amenities for residents in both Western Sydney and the Central…
Thursday, 26 September 2013 12:02

WSROC welcomes release of ILGRP report

Media Release April 24, 2013 WSROC has welcomed the release of the NSW Government’s preliminary report into its Independent Review of Local Government, which puts forward a range of suggestions for a major overhaul of the sector. WSROC president Clr Tony Hadchiti said the proposals to relax rate pegging and the recommendation against forced amalgamations were welcome news to councillors who had made their views clear in numerous meeting with the Review Panel.“The report contains a number of interesting – and quite radical – proposals which indicates the government is clearly looking at a major restructure of the local government…
Media Release April 16, 2013 The Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils has backed calls from NSW Unions and the business sector for a new Environmental Impact Statement to be prepared on the Badgerys Creek airport site. WSROC President Tony Hadchiti said aircraft technology had changed significantly since the last EIS in 1997 and it was likely the noise impact of a proposed airport would be different to that previously determined.“The Federal Government needs to talk to the people of Western Sydney as matter of urgency before they make any decision on a second airport,” he said.“WSROC has already announced…
Media Release March 20, 2013 The Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils has welcomed the release today of the NSW Government’s long-awaited review of the Metropolitan Strategy and called on the Government to work closely with local councils in achieving its goals. WSROC President, Clr Tony Hadchiti, said the key details outlined in the high-level strategy, such as jobs and housing targets were challenging and would require all levels of Government to work together if they were to be achieved."This report shows that we have already underestimated the expected the population growth for Sydney, which has been increased from 5.3…
Media Release March 18, 2013 The President of the Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils, Clr Tony Hadchiti, today issued an invitation to the Premier, Barry O’Farrell to work with local councils in talking to Western Sydney residents about a second airport at Badgery’s Creek. “The Premier must seek the views of Western Sydney before ruling out a second airport at Badgery’s Creek,” Clr Hadchiti said.“WSROC has already committed to undertaking a major review of community attitudes towards the airport and we invite the premier and the NSW Government to work with us on this project,” he said. Clr Hadchiti…
Thursday, 26 September 2013 11:59

WSROC applauds Federal Govt dam commitment

Media Release February 28, 2013 The Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils has warmly welcomed the Federal Government’s announcement to allocate $50 million to begin work on raising the wall of Warragamba dam. WSROC Vice President Clr Tiffany Tree said the decision was a significant win for Western Sydney residents who will benefit from cheaper insurance premiums as a result.“Residents and businesses along the Hawkesbury Nepean valley have been living under the shadow of a potential flood for decades and it is only due to luck that we have not suffered a catastrophic flood in that time,” she said.“A flood…
Thursday, 26 September 2013 11:57

West to have its say on Badgery's Creek

Media Release February 21, 2013 The Board of the Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Council’s has called for a major community consultation campaign to determine the views of Western Sydney residents towards building a second airport at Badgery’s Creek. Speaking at the meeting tonight, President Tony Hadchiti said Western Sydney needed to have an important voice in the decision making process, as their residents would be the most affected.“There is no doubt that the issue needs to be widely canvassed among the people who will be most affected by any decision regarding a second airport for Western Sydney,” Clr Hadchiti…
Thursday, 26 September 2013 11:56

AGL decision a victory for common sense - WSROC

Media Release February 8, 2013 The Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils has welcomed AGL’s decision to suspend its application for more coal seam gas wells in the southwest of the city, as a “victory for common sense.” We are very pleased that AGL has listened to the concerns of our residents in the Liverpool and Camden, and Campbelltown areas who have voiced serious concerns about the potential impacts of these wells,” WSROC President Tony Hadchiti said yesterday.“There is simply not enough information about the potential health and environmental impacts of these wells, and the fracking extraction method used,” he…
Thursday, 26 September 2013 11:55

Cautious welcome for new casino college

Media Release February 8, 2013 The Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils has offered conditional approval of the announcement that James Packer plans to build a new hospitality training college in Penrith to provide staff for his Barangaroo hotel and casino complex. ”We welcome any new training and education initiatives in our region and Mr Packer’s decision to source his new staff from Western Sydney shows a real vote of confidence in the potential of our young people,” WSROC President Tony Hadchiti said.“Hospitality is a major industry and employer and it is great that this new college will open a…
Thursday, 26 September 2013 11:53

West is ready for the election - WSROC

Media Release Jan 31, 2013 The Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils has welcomed the announcement of the date of the Federal election and looks forward to talking with both parties to ensure the needs of the region are met, WSROC president Tony Hadchiti said today. “As everyone knows, the marginal seats of Western Sydney will be critical in determining who will win government,” Clr Hadchiti said. “We are very pleased that now have an agreed deadline to work towards and sufficient time to meet with both sides to discuss our issues,” he said.Among the most important issues for Western…
Thursday, 26 September 2013 11:52

WSROC welcomes flooding review

Media Release Jan 25, 2013 The Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils has welcomed the State Government’s announcement of a strategic review of flood mitigation options for the Hawkesbury Nepean Valley. WSROC President, Clr Tony Hadchiti said the move showed the Government was listening to the concerns of Western Sydney councils and residents and had recognised the potential damage that could be caused by a major flood.“Our councils have been calling for action on this issue for years,” he said. “I am pleased to say I have now received a letter from the Premier to say the Government has begun…
Thursday, 26 September 2013 11:50

WSROC welcomes flood review

Media Release Jan 25, 2013 The Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils has welcomed the State Government’s announcement of a strategic review of flood mitigation options for the Hawkesbury Nepean Valley. WSROC President, Clr Tony Hadchiti said the move showed the Government was listening to the concerns of Western Sydney councils and residents and had recognised the potential damage that could be caused by a major flood.“Our councils have been calling for action on this issue for years,” he said. “I am pleased to say I have now received a letter from the Premier to say the Government has begun…
Thursday, 26 September 2013 11:48

M2 Toll rise breaks promise

Media Release December 18, 2012 Western Sydney councils have slammed the operators of the Hills M2 tollway who have announced plans to raise some tolls despite a promise earlier this year to keep them frozen until lengthy and disruptive roadworks are complete and the new motorway open. Transurban announced plans to raise the tolls for trucks, buses and the new Windsor Road ramp from January 1, 2013.The President of the Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils, Clr Tony Hadchiti said the increase would hit Western Sydney small businesses who were already doing it tough.“This is a sneaky and underhanded decision…
Media Release December 14, 2012 The final version of the NSW Government’s Transport Master Plan has not gone far enough to address the urgent transport needs of the Western Sydney region, The Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils said today. The President of WSROC, Clr Tony Hadchiti said while there were undoubtedly some good initiatives in the report, it still failed to provide adequate public transport to the Western Sydney region.“We welcome the announcement that the Westconnex motorway project linking the M4 with the airport and Botany Bay will go ahead,” he said.“We also welcome the continued commitment to the…
Thursday, 26 September 2013 11:46

Move the jobs to the people - WSROC

Media Release December 4, 2012 The Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils has called on both State and Federal Governments to act urgently to ensure more new jobs are created in Western Sydney, as the State of Australian Cities report reveals that long commuting times are harming productivity. WSROC President Clr Tony Hadchiti said many people in Western Sydney had to travel over an hour – sometimes two – each way to and from their place of work and this was unsustainable.“Already congestion costs our economy $4.6 billion a year and this is expected to rise to $8 billion by…
Thursday, 26 September 2013 11:45

Time to act on flood threat to Hawkesbury

Media Release November 2, 2012 The Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils has called on the State Government to urgently address threats of potential floods around the Hawkesbury Nepean. WSROC President Clr Tony Hadchiti said the flooding was a serious concern for key western Sydney Councils including Liverpool, Penrith, Blacktown and Hawkesbury and that an urgent study was needed to determine appropriate mitigation measures.“Our councils have been calling for action on this issue for years,” he said.“Now Infrastructure NSW has backed our calls and listed implementation of Hawkesbury Nepean Flood Plain mitigation measures as a key recommendation of their First…
Thursday, 26 September 2013 11:44

New WSROC Executive

Media Release, 26 October, 2012 Liverpool Councillor Tony Hadchiti has been elected as the new President of the Western Sydney Regional Organisations of Councils at the Annual General Meeting last night.   Clr Hadchiti replaced Alison McLaren, who led the influential advocacy organisation for a record four years, helping to highlight regional issues and gain recognition for Western Sydney at the highest level of government.“I am looking forward to continuing the great work of WSROC and working together with the Board to promote the best interest of Western Sydney”, Clr Hadchiti said.The key issues for the region would be increased employment,…
Thursday, 26 September 2013 11:43

Health cuts a sick joke - WSROC

Media Release September 14, 2012 Plans to cut $3 billion from the health budget will effectively cripple the health of NSW for years to come, the Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils said today. WSROC President, Alison McLaren said the Government had lost sight of its core function – which was to provide health services and education to the people of NSW.“It seems this Government can’t see beyond the next budget day,” Ms McLaren said.“First we see education spending slashed, leaving schools and TAFE colleges struggling to teach, now our hospitals and vital health services are targeted. “Clearly the Government…
Thursday, 26 September 2013 11:42

Education cuts will hit Western Sydney

Media Release September 12, 2012 Major cuts to the NSW education budget will hit Western Sydney families hard, and deepen the education divide between East and West, WSROC President, Alison McLaren said today. Ms McLaren said the Government’s plan to cut funding to public schools by more than $200 million over the next four years would have a devastating effect on education standards for the region which are already below average.“Our figures show overall retention rates for Years 7 to 12 are the lowest in the Sydney metropolitan area, recording just 69.5% against 74.6% in South West Sydney, 88% in…
Thursday, 26 September 2013 11:41

Councils must be able to trade in carbon credits

Media Release September 11, 2012 Local councils must be allowed to trade in carbon credits to offset the higher costs of managing waste landfills and other essential activities, the Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils said today. WSROC President Alison McLaren said the State Government was unfairly penalising councils by banning them from participating in the carbon trading scheme.“Council are already stretched beyond their financial capacity in delivering services because of the State Government imposed rate caps,” Ms McLaren said.“Now they want councils to bear the cost of the carbon tax without having any recourse to the system which has…
Thursday, 26 September 2013 11:39

CBD-centric transport plan fails the West - WSROC

Media Release September 4, 2012 CBD-centric transport plan ignores the West– WSROCThe Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils has slammed the NSW Government’s Transport Master Plan as short-sighted and CBD-focussed, and says it totally fails to recognise the transport needs of half the city’s population. “This plan appears to be little more than a grab bag of unfunded dreams, with no overall strategy or sense of integration with the rest of the city,” WSROC President Clr Alison McLaren said.“I can’t believe that after two years of thinking they have come up with this.”“The emphasis of this plan needed to be…
Media Release August 20, 2012 The Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils is calling on the Government to overhaul the distribution of health services across Sydney after new figures revealed a major inequity in the services available to the Western Sydney residents compared with other areas of the city. “These figures show what Western Sydney residents have known for a long time – they are getting a raw deal when it comes to health,” Clr Alison McLaren said.“We have far fewer hospital beds than the rest of Sydney and our waiting times for critical surgery are far longer.“There is no…
Thursday, 26 September 2013 11:37

Western Sydney needs its own RDA - WSROC

Media Release 7 August 2012 Western Sydney must have its own separate Regional Development Authority to oversee the regeneration and promotion of the region into the nation’s leading economic powerhouse, according to a report commissioned by the Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils. The Western Sydney region is the most vibrant and versatile region in our city and is the area of greatest potential for growth and opportunity,” Clr McLaren said. “It is time it was recognised in its own right and on its own merits.”“Our region’s economy is already worth $85 billion a year – making it the nation’s…
Media Release July 4, 2012 Plans by the NSW Government to cut language and literacy services by half will severely impact the most vulnerable members of society, the Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils said yesterday. Responding to reports that leaked Treasury document showed the State Government was planning to cut 2400 education jobs, WSROC President Alison McLaren said this decision showed the Government was out of touch with the needs of those less fortunate.“These services are vital for many of our residents who need assistance in managing day to day communications,” she said.“Whether it is because they are not…
Media Release June 28 2012 The State Government must ensure that community views remain paramount in the planning process under any new system that is implemented, the Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils said today. WSROC President Clr Alison McLaren said that achieving a balance between community, planning and personal interest was always a challenge when it came to local developments, but it was important that the right of the community to have their say be enshrined as a fundamental pillar of any new planning system.“For too long we have seen the planning and development process held hostage by NIMBYs…
Media Release June 28 2012 The President of the Western Sydney regional Organisation of Councils, Clr Alison McLaren has slammed the proposal to close the state Government’s Office of the Hawkesbury Nepean. “This would be a backward step which would be bad for the river and bad for the local community”, Clr McLaren said.“The whole idea of the Office of the Hawkesbury-Nepean (OHN) was to ensure a co-ordinated approach to improving the health of the Hawkesbury-Nepean River System. Instead of a distant agency located in Sydney we had a local authority in Penrith which could work across various government departments…
Thursday, 26 September 2013 11:32

NSW Budget a mixed bag - WSROC, June 12, 2012

Media Release 12th June, 2012 President of the Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils Ltd (WSROC), Clr Alison McLaren, has labelled the NSW Government’s second budget a “mixed bag” for Western Sydney. “There are parts of this budget that are good for people in Western Sydney, but there are also serious shortcomings,” Clr McLaren said.“Measures to increase the supply of housing are welcome since one of the key factors making housing so expensive has been the shortage of supply. Measures to accelerate housing infrastructure are also good news.”“However, the decision to replace the $7,000 first home buyers’ incentive by a…
Media Release May 18, 2012 The Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils has welcomed the State Government’s decision to overturn its long standing policy of refusing to commit to taking office space in buildings still at the development stage. “This is a major step forward in encouraging development and investment in Western Sydney,” WSROC President, Clr Alison McLaren said.“It will provide certainty for developers, and make it easier for them to raise the funds to invest in major office developments in our regional centres.”Clr Mclaren was responding to an announcement by NSW Treasurer Mike Baird, that the Government had rescinded…
Media Release May 9, 2012 New increases to family tax payments will come as a welcome relief for struggling Western Sydney families, the Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils said today. WSROC President Alison Mclaren said many of the regions low to middle income families have been doing it tough over the past couple of years, faced with rising housing and energy costs.“We are pleased the Government has recognised that many of our residents need a break – they are working as hard as they can and this additional funding will help to make ends meet,” she said.“We are particularly…
Thursday, 26 September 2013 11:26

WSROC President to step down, April 2, 2012

Media Release April 2, 2012 Blue Mountains councillor Alison McLaren has announced she will step down as WSROC president when her term expires in October this year. The announcement follows her decision not to stand for a third term as the councillor representing Ward 3, at the local government election in September.At age 23, Clr McLaren was the youngest-ever person to be elected to Blue Mountains City Council (BMCC) when she took up her position in 2004, and she is now the longest-serving president of the Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Council after four years at the helm."It was a…
Media Release March 28, 2012 The Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils has called on the State Government to immediately reveal the number of expected job losses in Western Sydney resulting from their proposed merger of the electricity distribution suppliers. WSROC president Clr Alison McLaren said Mr O’Farrell’s recent comments that none of the jobs would be shed from regional NSW or Port Macquarie meant that the Western Sydney’s Huntingwood site near Blacktown would carry the brunt of the job cuts.“As both the Premier, Mr O’Farrell and the Deputy Premier and Regional Infrastructure and Services Minister Mr Stoner have given…
Media Release, March 23, 2011 Senior politicians, key policy makers and leading academics will gather in Sydney’s South West today (Monday, March 26, 2012) for a major Housing Affordability Summit to tackle the seemingly insurmountable problems facing many Australian families who are struggling to keep a roof over their heads. Hosted by the Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils, the Summit will discuss a range of factors which are contributing to the overall issue.WSROC President Alison McLaren said the problem was not confined to a low income earners or welfare recipients but in fact stretched right through the fabric of…
Media Release 30th January 2012 Western Sydney councils have vowed to fight back over NSW Government plans to allow developers to decide where and what they build, branding it an insult to local residents and the government’s own planning department. The President of the Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils, Clr Alison McLaren said yesterday that the Government was effectively marginalising the entire community from having any say in the growth and development of their neighbourhoods.“Random and unplanned development that is driven solely by developer greed is a recipe for disaster,” Clr McLaren said.“This is a short-sighted and ill-conceived response…
Media Release 27 January 2012 Increased revenue raised through the poker machine tax must be fairly distributed and not favour rich and powerful clubs at the expense of needy communities, the Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils Ltd (WSROC) said today. WSROC President, Clr Alison McLaren, said she was concerned that the Government was only consulting ClubsNSW in deciding how to manage almost $10 million a year in community funds obtained through a new category of poker machine tax rebate, which could see the money going straight to big and powerful clubs at the expense of smaller community groups.“We need…
Thursday, 26 September 2013 11:18

M5 West expansion only half the story – WSROC

Media Release, December 21, 2011 Plans to increase the traffic capacity on the M5 West are a short term solution which will not provide a permanent solution to the transport needs of South West Sydney, the Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils said today. WSROC President Alison McLaren said that the decision to widen the M5 West would also have flow on effects for the M5 East which is already choked beyond capacity. She also said that keeping tolls in place for an extra three years to pay for the expansion would add an extra financial burden on families whose…
Thursday, 26 September 2013 11:17

Water monsters invade Pendle Hill Public School

Media Release 12 December 2011 Sixty lucky students from Pendle Hill Public School were among the first Western Sydney students to meet Sharpie, Snog, Narley and the terrifying Oiler, on Monday 12 December when they received Holroyd Council’s Water Wise Tool Kit; a set of seriously cool trading cards based on marine life monsters who have come to spread the message about water pollution and sustainability. The Water Wise cards are an initiative of Holroyd City Council and are designed to educate children on water management and sustainability issues and to develop further discussion within the school playground around the…
Media Release 6 December 2011 Tuesday 6 December, 5:30 - 7pm, Floribunda Community Centre, Glenmore ParkGlenmore Park youth will celebrate the environment this evening when the winners of the multimedia competition Our Water Our Future: It’s Up To You! will be announced at the Floribunda Community Centre. Over the last months, over thirty 12 – 17 year olds were asked to stand up and have their say on major environmental issues in their area through this Penrith based multimedia competition.This unique competition had been put together by the Nepean Community and Neighbourhood Services (NCNS) for Western Sydney Regional Organisation of…
Thursday, 26 September 2013 11:14

“Borrow to Build” WSROC urges

Media Release, December 1, 2011 The Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils has welcomed calls by leading economists to review the Government's apparent fear of debt at the expense of the State's infrastructure needs. "WSROC has been calling for a review of this policy since the release of our report "Getting Western Sydney Growing" in November 2010," WSROC President Alison McLaren said."That report, prepared by leading economist Nick Gruen of Lateral Economics found that if the Government had borrowed to fund the cost of building all the tollways since the Sydney Harbour Tunnel, they would be at least $4.6 billion…
Thursday, 26 September 2013 11:13

Next generation takes the lead on the environment

Media Release November 29, 2011 Young environmental activists from Western Sydney will join forces with their compatriots in Australia and colleagues around the world for the third annual YOUth LEADing the World congress to be held in Quakers hill from November 29 – December 1. Over 2,000 high school, university and TAFE students will take part in the three-day forum which will discuss ways of participating and taking action on social and environmental issues.The conferences will be held in over 25 locations simultaneously – including Australian capital cities, regional centres and in countries as diverse as Columbia, Pakistan, the Philippines…
Media Release, November 2011 Bankstown Arts Centre between 6:00 and 8:00 PM on Tuesday 15th November 2011Thirst is the world’s first online collaborative documentary and it was made by Western Sydney community members. Thirst will premier at a red carpet event held at 6pm on Tuesday 15th November 2011 at Bankstown Art Centre. This visually stunning documentary explores the role and meaning of water for a variety of cultures in Western Sydney. The documentary was created online by Western Sydneysiders and directed by AFI award winning documentary maker, Sascha Ettinger Epstein. The concept behind Thirst was an experiment to see…
Media Release 4 November 2011 Cutting the number of parks and green spaces required in new housing areas will not solve the housing affordability crisis, the Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils said yesterday. WSROC President, Clr Alison McLaren, said reports that the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal were considering reducing the provision of green space in a bid to reduce the costs to developers showed the pricing regulator was ignoring the needs of the people who were expected to buy into the new estates.“What IPART needs to remember is that we are not talking about creating cut-price housing estates,…
Thursday, 26 September 2013 11:09

School kids have a field day with the environment

Media Release - 25 October 2011 Plumpton Park between 10am – 2pm, Wednesday October 26, 2011.More than 180 primary school children from Blacktown and Penrith will be let loose in Plumpton Park tomorrow (Wed October 26) to learn about managing water and taking care of the environment. The event is the second annual Regional Catchment Field day, co-hosted by Blacktown and Penrith Councils and this year organised as part of the Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Council’s Water in the Landscape Program.Student will be taking part in a wide range of fun and interactive activities including a life-sized environmental board…
Media Release 10th October 2011 The Federal Government must look urgently at introducing higher childcare rebates for low income families to offset a predicted $110 weekly rise in the cost of private childcare, the Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils said yesterday. Responding to a report which found that new staffing levels due to come into force in January would most likely result in private centres increasing fees to cover the costs, WSROC President Alison McLaren said many families in Western Sydney would find it difficult to pay.“A chronic shortage of affordable childcare places means that many families have no…
Media Release 4th October 2011 Western Sydney Councils have welcomed the announcement of new off-peak bus and trains services for their region, but warned that they should not be introduced at the expense of regular peak services. The president of the Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils, Clr Alison McLaren said the new services would provide more options for residents as they travel to and from work and improve their access to entertainment and weekend activities.“In the past our residents have been restricted in their work and entertainment options by the timetables of the available public transport services,” Clr McLaren…
Thursday, 26 September 2013 11:05

WSROC Calls On Federal Government to Back NSW

Media Release 26th September 2011 Responding to reports that the NSW Premier is ready to take a fully costed, high priority Sydney transport plan to Canberra for federal funding, Western Sydney councils have urged the Prime Minister’s support. The President of the Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils, Clr Alison McLaren expressed support for the inclusion of two key Western Sydney projects on the NSW priority list.“The North west Rail Link and the M5 duplication are both essential pieces of infrastructure that are vital to support the growing population of Western Sydney,” Clr McLaren said.“However, without financial support from the…
Thursday, 26 September 2013 11:04

WSROC welcomes budget spending in the West

Media Release September 7, 2011 Western Sydney councils have welcomed the State Government’s financial commitment to the North West and South West Rail links as outlined in the NSW Budget announced yesterday but expressed concern about cuts to roads funding and infrastructure for schools. The President of the Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils, Clr Alison McLaren said these announcements would bring great benefits to the residents of Western Sydney.“We are pleased the O’Farrell Government has followed through on their promise to deliver for the people of Western Sydney and have locked in funding for some of the key transport…
Thursday, 26 September 2013 11:01

Manufacturing inquiry vital for Western Sydney

Media Release 30 August 2011 Western Sydney councils have thrown their support behind calls for a major inquiry into the manufacturing industry with WSROC President Clr Alison McLaren calling for urgent intervention to save the struggling sector. “Manufacturing is the traditional lifeblood of Western Sydney,” Clr McLaren said. “It contributes $13.2 billion of our region’s $85 billion economy and employs more than 102,000 people.“Sixty per cent of the all the manufacturing jobs in Sydney are located in Western Sydney and the associated transport and logistics sector accounts for a further 36,000 jobs.“But these numbers have dropping steadily over the past…
Media Release 13 July 2011 The Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils has welcomed the Premier’s announcement that more Sydney festival events will be held in Parramatta as a good start in recognising the people of Western Sydney. However, WSROC President Clr Alison McLaren urged Mr O’Farrell to look beyond Parramatta when it came to hosting events.“There is no doubt that Mr O’Farrells announcement of $500,000 to fund Sydney Festival events based at the Riverside Theatre in Parramatta is very welcome,” Clr McLaren said.“WSROC has long argued that the 1.9 million people in the Greater Western region should not have…
Media Release 8th July 2011 Transport planning in Western Sydney is too important to become a source of political point scoring, the President of the Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils said yesterday. Clr Alison McLaren said the latest negotiations between the state and Federal Governments about who would fund which rail link made a mockery of the seriousness of the infrastructure shortage in the region.“The people of Western Sydney, who spend hours of their lives each day commuting in traffic jams or waiting for limited and overcrowded train services do not care who pays for which rail link.“The fact…
Thursday, 26 September 2013 10:53

World’s first virtual collaborative documentary

Media Release 27 June 2011 Aspiring documentary makers will have a chance to take their art into a new virtual world with Water Stories: the first ever online collaborative documentary making project. This unique online film development process has been put together in partnership by the Institute for Sustainable Futures, at University of Technology Sydney and Australian Documentaries for WSROC’s Water in the Landscape program.Water Stories which is hosted on the “Crowd TV” website invites western Sydney-siders to submit and workshop ideas online, with professional producers to produce a powerful story about water in the landscape.The documentary will be directed…
Thursday, 26 September 2013 10:51

AAA question rears again in NW Rail link funding

Media Release 8 June 2011 The Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils has urged the NSW Government to consider all options for funding the North West Railway link, including public sector borrowing. WSROC President Alison McLaren said she welcomed the O’Farrell Government’s commitment to building vital infrastructure in Western Sydney. “WSROC is delighted that the Premier is honouring his commitment to Western Sydney and making good on his promise to build this critical piece of infrastructure,” she said. “However we would urge Mr O’Farrell to consider all the options for funding this project.” “NSW has a chequered past when it…
Thursday, 26 September 2013 10:47

48 Green Hours Film winner to be announced

Media Release June 2011 The wait is almost over for our aspiring eco-film makers as the winner of the Inaugural 48 Green Hours film competition will be announced at a gala red-carpet event this Friday 10 June, at the Parramatta Riverside Theatre. The national film making marathon that took place over the weekend of May 13 – 15, sets competitors two major challenges – making an award winning short film and generating environmental awareness - and they have only 48 hours to do it. But the rewards will be great with $20,000 worth of prizes up for grabs along with…
Thursday, 26 September 2013 10:41

Councils welcome return of planning powers

Media Release 13th May 2011 Western Sydney Councils have welcomed the NSW Government’s decision to restore planning decisions over key projects to their local communities by scrapping Part 3A exemptions for 70 of Sydney’s biggest developments. The President of the Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils, Clr Alison McLaren said the move showed the O’Farrell Government was serious about increasing the role of councils in local planning decisions.“This is an important step in ensuring that residents have a say in the kind of developments that take place in their neighbourhoods,” Clr Mclaren said.“In the past few years we have seen…
Media Release 13th May 2011 Western Sydney Councils have welcomed the Federal Government’s new Population Strategy which places local communities at the centre of future population management. The president of the Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils, Clr Alison McLaren said the report had identified the important role that local councils and their constituents had to play in creating sustainable and liveable environments.“WSROC has campaigned hard to raise awareness of the issues surrounding population growth and welcomes the Government’s initiative in developing this policy,” Clr McLaren said.“WSROC brought the issue to national focus last year when we held the inaugural…
Media Release 12th May 2011 People returning to the workforce need assistance with childcare, transport and other support services, the Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils said today.Speaking in response to the Federal Budget, WSROC President Alison McLaren said the Federal Government had provided lots of incentives to go back to work, but very few enabling mechanisms. We strongly support the Government’s policy of getting people back to work,“ Clr McLaren said.“There are many families in Western Sydney who are keen to get jobs or increase their work hours and who will benefit from these initiatives.“However we would like to…
Media Release 18th April 2011 Many of Sydney’s best kept secrets are about to be revealed following the NSW’s Government’s plan to bring more events and festivals to the region.The Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils Ltd (WSROC) has welcomed the announcement by Premier Barry O’Farrell as a major step forward in promoting the region and encouraging Sydney-siders to take a “whole-of-city” approach.The President of WSROC, Clr Alison McLaren, said the move will bring major benefits to the region by boosting employment and investment opportunities and at the same time would open the doors to local, interstate and international visitors…

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