Tuesday, 18 December 2018 14:48

Message from the President: 2018 year in review

As we come to the end of another year, it is a good opportunity to reflect on what WSROC has accomplished over the last 12 months.

2018 has been a year of strong collaboration. WSROC has worked with a broad range of stakeholders to develop new programs, such as Turn Down the Heat, and build on existing ones such as the Western Sydney Regional Waste Strategy and Light Years Ahead energy efficiency initiative. An overview of these key programs is provided below.

Over the course of 2018, WSROC has delivered a number of advocacy campaigns in relation to toll road pricing, waste funding, liveability, transport investment and energy efficiency.

Internally, WSROC facilitated over 40 forums promoting regional collaboration and professional development across topics as diverse as tourism, public lighting, asbestos management and social media training.

In July, we welcomed WSROC’s newest member, Lithgow City Council, who shares our aspirations for building better transport links, employment opportunities and tourism for the Greater West.

Together, over the next 12 months, we build on these successes to deliver a more liveable, sustainable and prosperous Western Sydney.

I would like to thank all WSROC’s members, stakeholders and staff for their contribution over the course of 2018 and look forward to working with you all in the new year.


WSROC's key programs for 2018


Western Sydney Regional Waste Strategy 2017 - 2021


In June, WSROC launched its second Western Sydney Regional Waste Avoidance and Resource Recovery Strategy after securing a further four years of funding from the NSW EPA.

Collectively developed by staff from participating councils, the Strategy allows councils to share knowledge, find efficiencies and work strategically to meet agreed regional priorities relating to reducing waste, increasing recycling, tackling problem wastes, litter and illegal dumping and improving regional governance.

Key programs facilitated under the new Strategy include:

  • Support for councils in the rollout of the NSW Container Deposit Scheme;
  • Forums on key topics of importance including the impacts of Chinese National Sword recycling policy and asbestos management;
  • Training on planning frameworks and development assessment for waste requirements for 73 council officers, planners and waste coordinators;
  • Research into the kerbside bulky waste stream and frameworks for regional waste contracts; and
  • Litter program which delivered a 46 per cent reduction in cigarette litter across key sites; and
  • Assisting with integration of waste in the LEP Review process.

Participating councils include: Blue Mountains, Blacktown, Cumberland, Fairfield, Hawkesbury, The Hills, Liverpool, Parramatta and Penrith.


WSROC President Cr Barry Calvert inspecting existing solar panels on the Hawkesbury City Council administration precinct.Light Years Ahead energy efficiency program


In December 2017, WSROC launched the second iteration of its Green Globe Award-winning Light Years Ahead program with the commencement of a bulk streetlight replacement in Parramatta.

Throughout 2018-19, the program will replace 6,000 residential street lights with efficient LED technology saving City of Parramatta an estimated $5.4 million in energy bills and 35,000 tonnes of carbon emissions over the life of the lights.

In November 2018, Hawkesbury City Council went out to tender for a 600Kw solar program across 13 sites including one free-standing solar farm at South Windsor Wastewater Treatment Facility. The Hawkesbury Solar Program will be the first solar project under the Light Years Ahead banner; paving the way for similar installations across Western Sydney.

Light Years Ahead showcases local government leading the way in improving energy efficiency, sustainability and reducing emissions across Western Sydney.


WSROC President Cr Barry Calvert launching the Turn Down the Heat Strategy

Turn Down the Heat Strategy and Action Plan  


In December 2018, WSROC launched its Turn Down the Heat Strategy and Action Plan for combating urban heat islands in our region.

The development of this strategy has been a truly collaborative process involving over 180 stakeholders from across government, health, planning, infrastructure, development, sustainability, community and research sectors.

There is no silver bullet for tackling heat, which is why Turn Down the Heat is necessary to pave the way for a more coordinated, collaborative approach to addressing heat in Western Sydney – building on the outstanding work of our member councils and other stakeholders.

With the strategic direction set, WSROC will now focus on implementation. Several programs already underway include a Cool Suburbs rating system for encouraging cooler communities, tapping into the LEP Review process to improve heat-mitigating outcomes in future planning decisions, and an accessible research database for practitioners collated by Western Sydney University.

The Strategy's development has been guided by a Steering Committee made up of representatives from: WSROC, Western Sydney University, Western Sydney Local Health District, Resilient Sydney, NSW Office of Environment and Heritage, Government Architect NSW, Greater Sydney 

Commission, and City of Parramatta Council.

Supported by an urban heat working group of council officers from: Blacktown City Council, City of Canterbury Bankstown, Cumberland Council, Liverpool City Council, City of Parramatta and Penrith City Council.

Last modified on Tuesday, 18 December 2018 16:43