Thursday, 26 September 2013 11:33

River office closure a backward step, June 28, 2012

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 and with the local community with a common focus – to improve the health of this incredibly valuable river system.

“Relocating its functions back to the NSW Office of Water in Sydney would mean its importance getting lost amongst a whole lot of other issues. It would also see a return to government agencies working in silos instead of taking a co-ordinated multi-agency approach to the river’s management and health.

“We would lose that valuable local knowledge which is so important to understanding the issues affecting the health of the river.

“The management of the river is a complex issue and is vital for protecting our drinking water, tourism, irrigation, recreation, fishing and , of course, the ecosystem of the river itself. Downgrading its management would impact on all these critical areas.

“I can’t believe that in order to save a few dollars the Government would be so short-sighted,” Clr McLaren said.

“The other issue here is the loss of local jobs. Instead of relocating jobs to the city the Government needs to be decentralising – moving jobs to the West where people live. Forcing more people back onto the trains or congested roads to travel to Sydney to work makes no sense at all.”

“WSROC notes that the Government’s Office of Water has indicated that this is only a proposal at this stage. We urge the Government to carefully re-think and scrap this proposal before it goes any further.”

“There is too much at stake here,” Clr McLaren said.

 

 


Contact: Clr Alison McLaren, WSROC President on 0410 441 842

Media Inquiries Karin Bishop, Deputy CEO on 0417 239 539

Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC) Ltd

Suite 2 Level 1 (PO Box 63) Blacktown 2148

© 2011 WSROC Ltd

T 02 9671 4333; F 02 9621 7741


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Last modified on Thursday, 26 September 2013 13:41

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