Media releases - WSROC
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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