Western Sydney received a lot of attention in this year’s NSW Budget. Whether for our city, or Western Sydney specifically, here is a summary of budget items that will impact the region over the next 12 months.   Transport $658.1 million (2017-18) for increased and improved rail services including…
The 2017-18 NSW Budget offered few surprises for infrastructure investment, however there were some great wins for health services and young people. 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…
Tuesday, 04 July 2017 09:39

Building liveable cities

Want to learn more about how we can build liveable cities of the future? These free events explore the latest research on urban heat, air quality, urban biodiversity and city living.   University of Sydney: Festival of Urbanism (31 July - 12 August, 2017) Cities are more than their physical and spatial…
A recent survey conducted by NFP Youth Action has asked 18 – 25 year olds across Greater Western Sydney what makes them smile about living in the region. The results are in and the final report shows that Western Sydney is more than just its stereotypes, it is a region…
Monday, 03 July 2017 14:34

Focus on: Parramatta R3 program

Introduction The City of Parramatta R3 program sought to prevent waste and maximise resource recovery and reuse during the relocation of Council’s administration building and library in late 2015.   Background In 2015 City of Parramatta Council announced it would be relocating its main office building and library to make…
Monday, 03 July 2017 14:25

Energy from waste part of bigger issue

Energy from waste technology is currently taking centre stage on the political agenda however, from a regional perspective, it is just a small part of a much bigger issue. With a growing population, Western Sydney’s waste and recycling infrastructure is quickly reaching capacity. Despite being one of society’s most basic…
The results are in. Western Sydney’s roadside litter campaign has successfully driven down litter across the region’s main roads. Working in partnership with Roads and Maritime Services and the NSW Environmental Protection Authority (EPA), Western Sydney councils delivered a program of coordinated enforcement, roadside litter pick-ups, and marketing activities targeting…
Save the date: Overturning perceptions: migration, renewal and the new Western City Monday 6th June 3.00pm to 5.30pm Blacktown City Council, Flushcombe Rd, Blacktown. Western Sydney is renowned for its multi-cultural social character and as home to the most diverse mix of communities in Australia.  This long-standing diversity has brought…
Monday, 29 May 2017 11:32

Chutes, sharps and solar compactors

The Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC) has completed a review of the latest litter infrastructure for public spaces as part of the Western Sydney Regional Waste Strategy. From mobile garbage bins, to self-emptying chute networks all options were weighed and considered. WSROC President Cr Stephen Bali said “Councils…
The Federal Budget identified key projects for Western Sydney, but there is still uncertainty regarding exactly how much money is available for the diverse range of projects our region urgently needs – and an implementation strategy. Most notably, $5.3 billion has been promised for establishing a Western Sydney Airport Corporation…
Monday, 29 May 2017 10:29

Minister Ayres meets WSROC Board

Minister for Western Sydney and WestConnex, the Hon. Stuart Ayres MP, met with Western Sydney councils at the WSROC Board Meeting during May. WSROC President Cr Stephen Bali said “Having a chance to sit down collectively with the Minister for our region was a great opportunity. The group discussed a…
Friday, 28 April 2017 12:08

WSROC supports healthy EP&A review

WSROC has supported the inclusion of a health and community resilience element as part of the review of the NSW Government’s Environmental Planning and Assessment Act. As part of the consultation process for the EP&A Amendment Bill 2017, WSROC’s submission requested that health and community resilience be a central part…
As we come to the end of the first quarter of 2017, it is a good time to look back on the significant amount of activity within Western Sydney, and the programs WSROC is conducting in partnership with its members. Two parliamentary inquiries are currently underway: one into road toll…
Friday, 28 April 2017 09:58

Councils unite before tolling inquiry

The Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC) and Mayors of Penrith and Blacktown were asked to give evidence at a Parliamentary Inquiry into road tolling this month. WSROC has been calling for a review of Sydney’s toll roads since 2015, but in a recent submission, criticised the current Parliamentary…
Friday, 28 April 2017 09:15

Local Government Awards now open

Have you been involved in an outstanding project over the last 12 months? Entries for a number of Local Government Award categories are now open. WSROC President Cr Stephen Bali said “Western Sydney councils have a great history of innovation in a range of areas. I have heard about some…
Wednesday, 29 March 2017 12:53

West to put people back in planning

Over 100 stakeholders from across Western Sydney turned out to plan a more liveable future for Western Sydney this month. A joint initiative of the Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC) and the Western Sydney Community Forum, Planning a liveable Western Sydney sought to gather feedback from Western Sydney’s…
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…
Wednesday, 29 March 2017 12:25

Commissioning a greater Sydney

The end of March signals the end of consultation on the Greater Sydney Commission’s draft District Plans, and hopefully, a step towards a more holistic approach to planning Greater Sydney. WSROC commends the Greater Sydney Commission (GSC) on its work bringing together the draft Plans. However, more work is needed…
The Australian and NSW Governments have frequently touted the significant potential a Western Sydney Airport creates for the development of the region’s economy and infrastructure, with flow-on effects for the entire Sydney basin. However good outcomes – jobs, economic development and infrastructure – will not just fall into our laps.…
Tuesday, 28 February 2017 14:16

Asbestos collections back by popular demand

One of the greatest challenges facing Western Sydney is the safe management and disposal of asbestos waste. Asbestos building products were used widely across Western Sydney during the post-war housing boom creating what is now known as Sydney’s ‘fibro belt’. By the 1980s almost one third of Western Sydney homes…
Tuesday, 28 February 2017 14:11

Western Sydney planning for people

Sydney’s future is being planned right now, and it is no secret that Western Sydney will be central to the city’s success. But what does this mean for the people of Western Sydney? And how do we ensure that this future is one that improves quality of life for local…
Tuesday, 28 February 2017 14:07

Turning down the heat together

With another month of record heat in February, the Western Sydney Turn down the heat forum could not come soon enough. Turn down the heat will bring together key stakeholders from across Western Sydney to discuss how we can collectively prevent and mitigate urban heat in our rapidly growing region.…
Tuesday, 28 February 2017 12:18

Protecting our precious waste lands

Waste managers, strategic planners and sustainability officers from across 14 Western Sydney councils gathered to hear the Greater Sydney Commission’s (GSC) plans to future proof Sydney’s waste and recycling needs this month. GSC Environment Commissioner, Roderick Simpson, presented his team’s work mapping existing waste infrastructure and future opportunities in Western…
Tolls have been on the agenda this month with submissions for a Parliamentary Inquiry into tolls closing on February 28th. WSROC is certainly welcoming of the inquiry, following our calls for a review into Sydney’s toll network last year, however WSROC would like to see the inquiry consider more than…
Wednesday, 01 February 2017 14:32

Scorching summer calls for heat-safe planning

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…
We have seen one of the hottest Januarys on record, both in weather and politics. We now have the fourth NSW Premier since 2011. NSW Premier, The Hon. Gladys Berejiklian, has already emphasised her intention to ramp up infrastructure delivery for projects such as hospitals, schools, sports fields and transport…
One of the most diverse local government areas (LGA) in Sydney, Cumberland Council is a popular landing spot for migrants from all over the world.  To ensure that its diverse community is aware of the services Council provides, Cumberland ran a series of multi-lingual workshops.   Background Located on the…
Monday, 30 January 2017 15:28

Cash for cans a step closer

A NSW Container Deposit Scheme (CDS) is another step closer with consultation on the draft regulation closing in December. WSROC has been heavily involved in the design and implementation of the Scheme since consultation began in 2015; participating in a number of State Government working groups, and reviewing draft regulation in…
Monday, 19 December 2016 09:25

Focus on: Cool Streets Blacktown

Blacktown City Council’s latest award-winning project, Cool Streets, has seen it move to tackle the Urban Heat Island Effect (UHI) with street trees. The Council is ahead of the pack on a range of sustainability issues, including water-sensitive urban design and energy efficiency, but Cool Streets is one of those…
Western Sydney is one of the most culturally and linguistically diverse areas in Australia. Consequently, many councils find that engaging with CALD communities is a key element of their communications mix, and a task that is dispersed across a number of departments within council. In recognition of the need to…
Friday, 16 December 2016 11:33

Can an airport be healthy?

  While airports are often thought of as harmful to community health, South West Sydney Local Health District (SWSLHD) have asked the question ‘How can we ensure that Western Sydney Airport is a world exemplar for supporting healthy communities?’ The first of its kind study, hopes to produce a vision…
Friday, 16 December 2016 11:28

West recognised for environmental excellence

Western Sydney councils picked up 10 awards at the Local Government NSW Excellence in the Environment Awards this month. Projects spanned a range of categories including asbestos management, climate change action, invasive species management, natural environment protection and waste avoidance and reuse. WSROC President Cr Stephen Bali said “I am…
2016 has been a jam-packed year from start to finish. We saw council amalgamations, federal and local government elections, announcements for museums, hospitals, stadiums and universities, as well as the formation of the Greater Sydney Commission and release of its vision for Sydney. The new year will bring a fresh…
Wednesday, 23 November 2016 16:34

Shop. Cook. Save. wraps up in the West

  WSROC’s popular Shop.Cook.Save. program wrapped up this month with rave reviews from the community. Over the last month, the Shop.Cook.Save. roadshow travelled to events and festivals in throughout the Hawkesbury, Penrith and Blue Mountains. WSROC President Cr Stephen Bali said “These events were very well received by young and…
  WSROC’s President and CEO met with NSW Coordinator General for Refugee Settlement, Professor Peter Shergold, in November to discuss challenges surrounding refugee settlement in Western Sydney. In response to the humanitarian crises in Syria and Iraq, the Australian Government has committed to make an extra 12,000 Humanitarian Program places[1]…
Wednesday, 23 November 2016 16:05

NSW Planning talks waste for medium density

  This month the Department of Planning addressed WSROC’s Waste Planning professional group regarding its draft Medium Density Design Guide and planned changes to the EP&A Act (both of which are currently out for consultation). Western Sydney’s rapid development and increasing residential density has made guidelines surrounding multi-unit dwellings such…
  This month we saw our first glimpse of the Greater Sydney Commission’s (GSC) draft District Plans for Greater Sydney. Led by Chief Commissioner Lucy Turnbull, the GSC have taken the pieces of our patchwork city – infrastructure, transport, culture, environment and housing – and worked it into a coordinated…
Thursday, 27 October 2016 15:19

Message from WSROC President; Cr Stephen Bali

It is an honour to have been elected President of WSROC, an organisation with a proud history of achieving results for the people of Western Sydney. In all of WSROC’s 43 years of advocacy, now is undoubtedly one of the most exciting times to be representing the West. All eyes…
Thursday, 27 October 2016 15:06

WSROC councils recognised for excellence

WSROC and its councils have been recognised for some outstanding and innovative programs this month. WSROC President Cr Stephen Bali congratulated Western Sydney councils who have collectively received 10 nominations for prestigious awards in a number of sectors. “Western Sydney councils are deservedly being recognised for their outstanding and innovative…
WSROC attended a community consultation regarding street tree trimming run by energy provider Ausgrid this month. The consultation is part of a wider effort by WSROC to work with councils, energy providers and the federal government to look at how tree trimming practices can be improved across the region. The…
Thursday, 27 October 2016 14:42

Shop.Cook.Save. cooks up a storm in Cumberland

WSROC’s Shop. Cook. Save. program cooked up a sustainable storm at the Wentworthville Community Gardens Open Day on October 15. Cumberland residents turned out to see former Masterchef contestant and Western Sydney restaurant owner, Jay Huxley, whip up healthy, low-cost recipes that help minimise food waste in the kitchen. Following…
Thursday, 27 October 2016 14:27

Funding continued for a cleaner NSW

WSROC has welcomed the NSW Government announcement that it will continue funding its Waste Less Recycle More initiative for another four years. WSROC President Cr Stephen Bali said “We welcome the government’s continuation of funding for another four years and look forward to hearing more detail on the second stage…
Thursday, 27 October 2016 14:09

WSROC welcomes new Board

Blacktown Mayor Cr Stephen Bali was unanimously elected as the new President of WSROC at its Annual General Meeting (AGM) at Fairfield City Council on Thursday night. The AGM was the first meeting of the Board since the September 10 local government elections, which saw ten new Directors appointed by…
Monday, 26 September 2016 09:37

Step it up - Walktober is coming

Spring has arrived and there’s never been a better time to get walking during the month of October. October is Australia’s walking month. With Western Sydney being recognised as a diabetes and obesity hot-spot, our councils are working hard to promote active transport and exercise. Walking is a great and…
WSROC responded to the NSW Government’s draft Container Deposit Bill 2016 and the accompanying regulatory framework. The submission outlines, among other points, the importance of having the right arrangements in place for the kerbside component of the scheme to ensure that the benefits are passed on to the community. WSROC…
Friday, 23 September 2016 16:58

Jobs report gives insight

The Greater Western Sydney jobs deficit report has confirmed the need for a dedicated, strategic approach to jobs and economic development in the region says the Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC). Commissioned by WSROC, the report identifies jobs deficits and surpluses across the region by comparing the resident…
Caring for the environment is high on the agenda at Fairfield City Council. Fairfield City Council’s Sustainable Resource Centre was recently named as a finalist in the NSW Government’s Green Globe Awards this month. The Centre’s entry in the resource efficiency section of the awards outlined its work in recycling…
Friday, 23 September 2016 16:37

WSROC’s leadership on litter recognised

The outstanding work of Western Sydney councils in tackling litter has been recognised with WSROC invited to represent Sydney metropolitan councils at the recent Tidy Roads Summit hosted by Roads and Maritime Services (RMS). Following WSROCs valuable contribution at the Summit, WSROC was also selected to represent local councils on…
Friday, 19 August 2016 14:41

Focus on: Cumberland Council Petfest

PetFest is sure to see animal lovers rushing to the stunning Holroyd Gardens on Sunday 11 September 2016, between 10am and 2pm. Compared by popular television personality and renowned dog trainer, Steve Austin, this year’s event will feature high energy Jack Russell racing, a spectacular musical reptile show, fabulous working…
As warmer weather approaches, WSROC’s Shop.Cook.Save. program is ramping up with two cooking demonstrations in September. Delivered by Western Sydney councils, the events will see former Masterchef contestant Jay Huxley deliver free cooking demonstrations to teach residents the benefits of shopping to a list and meal planning for cooking at…
Friday, 19 August 2016 14:18

Luke Foley addresses WSROC Board

Leader of the Opposition and Member for Auburn, the Hon. Luke Foley met with Western Sydney councils at the WSROC Board meeting at Windsor this month to discuss topics ranging from local government reform, to local infrastructure projects, affordable housing and skills shortages. WSROC President Cllr Tony Hadchiti said “It…
Do you have a passion for your community? Do you want to make a difference in your local area? If so, you may be interested in becoming a councillor. The 2016 Local Government Election will be held on 10th September 2016*. Nominations open on Monday 1st August and close on…
Friday, 29 July 2016 14:52

Lighting the way

The Light Years Ahead project has officially wrapped up. The case study Bringing Energy Efficient Street Lighting to Western Sydney (link below) provides a brief overview of the project, which was one of Western Sydney’s largest energy efficiency programs. WSROC hopes this will inspire similar projects across Australia.   The…
 

Introduction

Blue Mountains City Council wanted to go a step further when reviewing its Strategic Waste Action Plan (2005).

In addition to a traditional waste options review, Council sought community input through an extensive consultation and engagement program to ensure the revised strategy met both community and council expectations.

Background

Blue Mountains City Council is a city within a World Heritage Area. The community lives in close proximity to the natural environment and for this reason environmental sustainability is a high priority for Council and its residents.

In 2013, the Blue Mountains sought to revise its Strategic Waste Action Plan (2005) in order meet the future needs of the community, and to align with the City’s 2025 Vision to build a more sustainable Blue Mountains.

A key objective of the revision process was to reduce waste going to the near-capacity landfill site at Blaxland (expected to close by 2030).

Opening a new landfill within the Blue Mountains local government area (LGA) is not possible nor desirable due to the area’s World Heritage status.

Blue Mountains City Council was aware that improved waste practices would require innovative thinking and an increased investment from Council.

It was also apparent that behavioural change from residents would be essential to reducing the amount of waste going to landfill.

In the first instance, Blue Mountains City Council undertook a technical waste options review to identify the most appropriate suite of actions and investment to reduce waste being buried at Blaxland and improve the cost effectiveness of waste management for the community.

To compliment the outcomes of the technical review, Council also decided to embark on a community consultation program to gauge resident expectations regarding a new waste service and increase community understanding of local waste management and sustainability issues.

The program: Weigh in on Waste

Blue Mountains City Council contracted a specialist consultant to develop an engagement and consultation program called ‘Weigh in on Waste’.

The aim of this program was to achieve informed involvement from the Blue Mountains community in order to credibly advise the development of Council’s long term waste strategy.

The Weigh in on Waste engagement program had two main objectives:



Community education

•             Educate residents about the need to think strategically about waste and the options available.

•             Inform the community about the operational issues associated with waste management including cost and finite resources.

•             Highlight residents’ individual capacity to reduce waste through behavioural change.

 

Community feedback

•             Establish which aspects of waste management were most important to the community.

•             Gauge respondents’ willingness to deal with certain changes, given that Blaxland landfill will be full by 2030.

•             Gather an indication of how long residents would be willing to wait for a new waste management response, and how much they would be prepared to pay.

 

The consultation was conducted through three key engagement touch points:

•             Survey - online and hard copy offered

•             Three face-to-face workshops

•             Face-to-face at the Springwood Festival


Each of these three touch-points included an educational component, such as a talk or information booklet, followed by an opportunity for participant feedback.

Where face to face engagement was not feasible, a 10 page Weigh in on Waste booklet offered residents information on the need for a long term waste strategy and some of the options available.

Whether completing a workshop or online survey, all Weigh in on Waste participants were asked a number of questions to identify which of the following criteria they considered most important:

•             Technical risk, does the waste management technology have a successful track record?

•             Market risk, is there a viable end market for products produced?

•             Planning risk, is there a suitable site and lead times for approvals?

•             Integration with current waste systems

•             Community convenience

•             Local jobs

•             Long term solution

•             Landfill space saved

 

The Weigh in on Waste consultation was supported by a suite of awareness-raising initiatives, such as flyers, media articles, targeted invitations and a schools awareness program, which encouraged residents to complete the survey or sign up for a workshop.

Following this initial consultation period, Blue Mountains City Council offered residents a further opportunity for feedback in the form of a public exhibition of the draft waste strategy.

Informing the strategy

Following the consultation, data from residents was collated to identify which of the criteria addressed in the consultation were most important to the community.

This community feedback data was then overlaid on the original waste management options review in order to give the raw technical scores for each potential waste option a qualitative weighting.

Using community feedback to weight technical scores allowed waste officers to analyse a range of waste management options and asses their capacity to meet both council and community needs.

The community consultation added weight to the possible introduction of a ‘green bin’ service for garden waste, and reaffirmed the need to continue community education on resource recovery and reuse. 

The community’s preference for long-term solutions and open-mindedness towards cutting-edge waste management methods has also given council staff freedom to explore new partnerships and technologies for the future.

Finally, the community’s willingness to accept a modest fee increase for improved services helped determine which three specific services were put forward as final options to choose from in further communications with every ratepayer and resident.

Learnings from the project

Blue Mountains City Council offers the following advice to others wishing to conduct their own consultation.


Mix it up

Having a variety of engagement options was important for ensuring that all members of the community could participate in the consultation.

As indicated by the chart below, the online survey was by far the most popular option for residents, however it is important to offer other opportunities for engagement in order to capture a good demographic spread of participants.

Future engagement programs in the Blue Mountains will look to adopt a range of engagement methods to suit different members of the community.



Structure is important for results

The Weigh in on Waste workshops were quite structured to ensure that council was able to gather the information it needed on each of the key waste management issues.

A tight structure ensured that discussions stayed on topic and that qualitative data could be easily overlaid on existing quantitative data.


Engaging younger residents can be difficult

73 per cent of residents who participated in the engagement survey were over 46 years of age.

This was not overly surprising as it was expected that waste management would be of higher interest to home owners; a higher proportion of whom are in this age bracket.

Fortunately Blue Mountains City Council’s Youth Council was available to offer feedback on behalf of younger residents.


Incentives may be necessary

In order to ensure responses were received from a wide cross section of the community, Council offered incentives to appeal to ‘unengaged’ members of the community who have less interest in sustainability or waste management issues.

A tablet and shopping gift vouchers were chosen as prizes for this purpose. 

Some criticism was received from more sustainably-minded community members due to the ‘consumerist’ nature of these prizes, however compost bins or native plants would not have been an effective incentive for the target group.


Engaging builds understanding and appreciation

The Weigh in on Waste consultation was a valuable opportunity to engage with the community.

Asking residents to consider what they wanted from council waste services and the real-world cost of this, increased the level of understanding and appreciation of council services.
  The Blue Mountains weigh in on waste - pdf
Thursday, 30 June 2016 09:43

Shop Cook Save kicks off in Parramatta

The first of many Shop Cook Save events kicked off in Parramatta this month. Delivered by Western Sydney councils, the program will see former Masterchef contestant Jay Huxley deliver free cooking demonstrations to teach residents the benefits of shopping to a list and meal planning for cooking at home. President…
Thursday, 30 June 2016 09:33

West throwing away $14 million each year

Western Sydney residents are throwing away $14 million each year the Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC) has found. “That is the amount of money local councils spend managing litter in parks, road sides and other public spaces across Western Sydney,” said WSROC President Cllr Tony Hadchiti. The finding…
6 June, 2016 Our federal leaders have talked a lot this election campaign about the need to build Western Sydney’s economy, to spur innovation and attract investment, but Friday was the first time the arts has been raised as an election issue. WSROC welcomes this focus. Currently, the Australian Government…
Thursday, 09 June 2016 17:11

Federal Election 2016: Health

The health of Western Sydney is in a parlous state. Compared to the national average, the region suffers much higher rates of lifestyle-related chronic diseases such as diabetes; a condition that is two to three times more prevalent in Western Sydney than the Sydney CBD. Chronic disease is often difficult…
Creating new and diverse employment opportunities is one of the biggest challenges facing Western Sydney in 2016. Western Sydney is Australia’s third largest economy, however this booming region has been unable to keep up with rapid population growth. The ratio of jobs to residents has fallen consistently since the turn…
By WSROC President, Cllr Tony Hadchiti Our federal leaders have talked a lot this election campaign about the need to build western Sydney’s economy, spur innovation and attract investment. But Friday was the first time the arts has been raised as an election issue. WSROC welcomes this focus. Currently, the…
Further details on the NSW Government's Container Deposit Scheme (CDS) have been announced, confirming that both councils and consumers will be eligible to claim a refund on eligible containers. The Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC) has been in consultation with the NSW EPA regarding this scheme since August…
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…
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 this month. WSROC President Cllr Tony Hadchiti said we are now at the tail end of the Fit for…
This month our federal leaders took a significant step in acknowledging the impact a Western Sydney Airport will have on local residents. WSROC President Cllr Tony Hadchiti said WSROC previously outlined its severe disappointment in the draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) and Airport Plan for the Western Sydney Airport; particularly…
Tuesday, 31 May 2016 11:28

Welcome to our new member councils

Following the final stage of Fit for the Future this month, WSROC welcomes its three new member councils; Canterbury-Bankstown, Cumberland and City of Parramatta. While WSROC’s geographical area has only increased marginally, the region has seen a significant realignment of its local government boundaries. Former councils Auburn and Holroyd have…
Wednesday, 25 May 2016 17:22

Federal Election 2016: Transport

Western Sydney’s rapid growth has forced transport and infrastructure planning onto the state and federal agenda and into the public domain. The last 12 months has been an infrastructure bonanza with the Western Sydney Airport, Sydney Metro, Western Sydney Light Rail and the WestConnex attracting significant funds. While many of…
Wednesday, 11 May 2016 09:37

Federal Election 2016: Arts and culture

  Western Sydney has long been a producer of quality artists and cultrual content, including sophisticated engagement with Pacific-Asian arts. Existing cultural events such as Parramasala, Cabramatta Moon Festival and the Blacktown City Arts Prize all celebrate the diversity of Western Sydney and offer insight into the great potential for…
The Australian Federal Election 2016 is here. Western Sydney is always a focus of state and federal election campaigns. Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC) represents nine Western Sydney local councils - Blacktown, Blue Mountains, Canterbury-Bankstown, Cumberland, Fairfield, Hawkesbury, Liverpool, Parramatta and Penrith.  During the election campaign period WSROC…
Like many parts of Western Sydney, the Penrith local government area is rapidly changing. Unprecedented population growth, new development and shifting community needs are presenting a number of challenges as well as new opportunities for the region and its council. Faced with the question ‘What must we do to make…
Thursday, 28 April 2016 16:59

Joint waste initiative hits the road

Three Western Sydney councils came together last week to launch NSW’s first mobile collection service. Auburn, Holroyd and Parramatta City Councils launched the service which will make it easier and more convenient for residents to dispose of problem wastes. The free service collects common hazardous items including paints, oils, gas…
Thursday, 28 April 2016 16:49

WSROC awarded for CALD asbestos campaign

WSROC has received an Asbestos Education Committee Betty Award for its work promoting asbestos safety during Asbestos Awareness Month, November 2015. This year, WSROC’s campaign focused on engaging culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) communities via a social media awareness campaign. WSROC President Cllr Tony Hadchiti said “Western Sydney is one…
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…
Auburn, Holroyd and Parramatta City Councils will be launching their joint Mobile Community Recycling Service this month. The new Mobile Community Recycling Service will provide residents with a free and easy way to recycle household problem wastes including gas bottles, fire extinguishers, paint, batteries, oils, fluoro lights and smoke detectors.…
Friday, 01 April 2016 06:45

Getting Western Sydney walking

WSROC and the Western Sydney Local Health District co-presented at the Fit NSW conference this month. Fit NSW is run by the Premier’s Council for Active Living (PCAL), and brings together delegates from across multiple levels and sectors of government to look at how we can create supportive environments for active living and…
A new anti-bullying toolkit has been put together by Hawkesbury City Council with support from The Hawkesbury Youth Interagency and The Schools Partnership Group. Bullying has always been a concern for young people, however 21st century technologies have seen the rise of new issues such as cyber-bullying. Bullying, and cyber-bulling in particular,…
Friday, 01 April 2016 06:26

Building a resilient Western Sydney

The Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC) attended the Resilient Sydney forum at North Parramatta this month. 100 Resilient Cities is an initiative of the Rockefeller Foundation that aims to increase the capacity of cities to adapt to the physical, social and economic stresses that are a growingpart of the 21st…
Friday, 01 April 2016 06:17

Hawkesbury Show lights up

The Hawkesbury District Agricultural Association is celebrating the 130th Hawkesbury Show this April. This much-loved annual event is the second largest agricultural show in NSW behind the Sydney Royal Easter Show. The Light Years Ahead project team will be at the show at the Hawkesbury City Council’s booth located in…
Friday, 01 April 2016 06:08

Western Sydney loves food, hates waste

Western Sydney councils are set to help residents cook more, waste less and save money thanks to a Love Food Hate Waste grant secured by the Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC) this month. The grant will be used to run a regional food waste education program called Shop. Cook. Save.…
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…
Monday, 07 March 2016 05:09

Airport link must galvanise the West

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…
Monday, 29 February 2016 09:54

Badgerys Creek EIS before Senate

The Western Sydney Airport Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) was put before the Senate Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport Legislation Committee this month Both the Department of Infrastructure and Airservices Australia came before the committee to answer questions relating to the draft EIS and draft Airport Plan. During the discussion,…
Thursday, 25 February 2016 11:10

Sydney growing greener from the roots up

Around 80 environmental educators from across Sydney’s councils gathered last week to collaborate and share ideas at the Sydney Environmental Educators Network forum in Drummoyne. Environment Minister Mark Speakman opened the forum, acknowledging the contributions of NSW’s local government environmental educators for their vital role in helping communities meet the…
Friday, 19 February 2016 12:02

Powerhouse Museum will move west

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.…
Thursday, 04 February 2016 12:48

Light Years Ahead Jan roll-out update

The Light Years Ahead LED street light project, which received funding from the Australian Government, continues to pass milestones. At the end of January 2016 Endeavour Energy crews had installed 11,344 LEDs across the nine participant councils – 754 lights since November 2015. This milestone means 87% have been completed…
Wednesday, 03 February 2016 15:15

Light Years Ahead on Australia Day

The Light Years Ahead event booth travelled to the Australia Day celebrations in Parramatta Park on 26 January. The project is changing approximately 13,000 mercury vapour street lights to LED street lights across nine Western Sydney Councils. The LED upgrade is accompanied by a community information campaign discussing energy-efficiency in…
Friday, 22 January 2016 12:48

WSROC seeks review of toll inequity

  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…
Wednesday, 20 January 2016 17:32

Light Years Ahead - The final count down

Light Years Ahead, the Western Sydney LED street lighting project, is entering the final phase of the project timeline. LED lighting installations are expected to be finished in March with media, communications, events and reporting wrapped up by June. The project, involving nine Western Sydney local councils, is changing over…
Wednesday, 20 January 2016 16:45

Australia Day around Western Sydney

Are you looking for ideas on where to go this Australia Day? Western Sydney’s councils have lots of options for you if you haven’t made up your mind on what to do or where to go. See below for information sorted by council. All events are free and are held…
Thursday, 14 January 2016 01:00

Concrete jungle brings sizzle to the suburbs

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…
Office Manager / Executive Assistant   Full time positionSalary circa $70,000 (negotiable depending on qualifications and experience) (plus superannuation contributions) The Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils Ltd (WSROC) is Australia’s leading regional local government body, advocating for Western Sydney to state and federal government across a range of key…
Tuesday, 05 January 2016 15:58

Summer tips to reduce energy

Over the summer holidays it’s easy to notch up some nasty electricity bills while trying to keep your home cool. Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC) President, Cllr Tony Hadchiti, has five tips for residents to make energy savings. WSROC’s Light Years Ahead project has been reducing council bills…
Monday, 14 December 2015 11:19

Light Years Ahead helps Lights for Kids

Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC) President, Cllr Tony Hadchiti, visited The Children’s Hospital at Westmead to present Bandaged Bear with 12 of our Light Years Ahead (opens external site) Energy Saver Packs. The packs, worth over $200 each, are just some of the prizes up for grabs for people raising…
Six month contract (maternity leave cover) $85,000 - $95,000 plus superannuation contributions (negotiable depending on qualifications and experience) Important - Applications for this position are closed. An announcement will be made soon. The Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC) is Australia’s leading regional Local Government body, advocating for Western…
The Hills Shire LGA has one of the fastest growing Chinese communities in NSW. In some suburbs, such as Carlingford, over 13 per cent of the total population were born in China. The Hills Shire Council’s resource recovery officers found that due to cultural and language barriers, regular messaging regarding…
Regional traffic congestion, final flight paths and environmental impacts are some of the issues requiring further consideration following an independent review of the Western Sydney Airport Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). The review was funded by 11 councils across Greater Western Sydney and conducted by WSP Parsons Brinckerhoff in collaboration with…
Monday, 30 November 2015 10:24

Light Years Ahead reaches half-way point

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,…
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…
Monday, 02 November 2015 09:43

Garage sale fever hits Western Sydney

Foragers, treasure hunters and savvy sellers jumped into gear this month as Garage Sale Trail fever swept across Western Sydney on October 24. 2015 was the first year that Garage Sale Trail has run right across the region with seven councils and hundreds of motivated sellers getting involved. The Western…
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 people attended the forum which was a…
WSROC’s regional waste team have been involved in the development of draft framework for the NSW Government’s proposed container deposit scheme (CDS) this month. The NSW Government committed to introducing a cost-effective CDS in early 2015 and plans to have it up and running by mid-2017. The scheme will incentivise…
Wednesday, 28 October 2015 13:28

Light Years Ahead colouring comp closing soon

The Light Years Ahead project, the LED street lighting project replacing approximately 13,000 street lights, is running a colouring-in competition for children aged 5-12 years old.  Age categories are 5-7 years, 8-10 years and 11-12 years. First, second and third prizes will be awarded for each catergorgy with the prizes…
Monday, 19 October 2015 10:18

Eleven councils collaborating on EIS review

Eleven councils have come together to fund an independent review of the draft environmental impact statement (EIS) for the Western Sydney Airport released on Monday. Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC) President Cllr Tony Hadchiti said thorough, independent review of the EIS is essential to ensure the Badgerys Creek…
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