Friday, 08 December 2017 10:54

Message from the President: A year in review

Message from the President: A year in review WSROC President Cr Stephen Bali.

It is an honour to be re-elected as WSROC President for a second term. Western Sydney is such an exciting place to be right now – it is full of change, opportunities and challenges.

I would like to congratulate my fellow Executive members on their election: Cr Frank Carbone as Senior Vice President, Cr Barry Calvert as Junior Vice President, and Cr George Campbell as Treasurer. All were elected unanimously by their colleagues, and all have a long history of striving to make Western Sydney a better place.

I would also like to thank outgoing Executive members, Cr Mick Fell and Cr Aaron Duke for their work over the past 12 months. It has been an action-packed year for WSROC and its councils.

Some of the fantastic results we achieved in 2017 include:

Lobbied for greater fairness and transparency in Sydney’s toll network

WSROC first called for a Parliamentary Inquiry into Sydney’s toll network in 2015, and councils have been pushing this issue consistently for their residents ever since. In March 2017, WSROC, Blacktown and Penrith City Councils participated in the NSW Parliamentary Inquiry into road tolls. The report from this Inquiry has recommended investigating a network-wide cap on tolls and greater transparency in the system. It is now WSROC’s role to ensure these recommendations are adopted.

WSROC CEO and President speaking to the media outside the Parliamentary Inquiry into Road Tolls, 2017.

Recognition for local government’s role in refugee settlement

The settlement of refugees is a federal responsibility, but there is no doubt that local government plays a critical role in on the ground settlement, creating a welcoming community and acting as a coordinator for local services.

I was very proud to see WSROC councils come together to support Fairfield City Council in lobbying for additional support to settle more than 7,000 refugees, however, there is still much more work to be done in this space.

Fairfield Community Centre Refugee Symposium 300

Recognition of waste management as an essential service

WSROC has been working for some time to promote recognition of waste management as an ‘essential service’ within the state government.

WSROC has been working closely with the Greater Sydney Commission over the past year to ensure waste management is part of the plan for our future city.

We were delighted to find no less than 44 references to waste management in the draft Greater Sydney Region Plan – the first time waste has been overtly discussed in a strategic state document.

Recycling bins on kerb

Developed Western Sydney’s first urban heat mitigation strategy

This year WSROC has been busy working with its partners to develop the region’s first comprehensive and coordinated strategy to mitigate development-induced heat. I would like to thank all participants for their contributions, and particularly our steering committee. The first Western Sydney Urban Heat Strategy is due to be released in early 2018.

Turn down the heat

Light Years Ahead energy efficiency initiative up and running

The first Light Years Ahead program saw Western Sydney councils replace around 15,000 energy-guzzling street lights with efficient LED technology - saving councils $20 million and 91,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions over the next 20 years.

Based on council feedback we have now expanded the program to incorporate a range of energy saving projects such as solar, battery storage, HVAC, insulation and appliance upgrades. WSROC is currently assisting councils develop tailored business cases and funding arrangements – new projects to be announced in the coming year.

Light Years Ahead

Western Sydney Regional Waste Avoidance and Resource Recovery Strategy

Over the last four years, the Western Sydney regional waste strategy has delivered more than $3.5million worth of programs for Western Sydney councils, and has represented local government in a number of critical forums. In 2017 Western Sydney’s waste program secured state funding for an additional four years. Read more about the Strategy in our 2016 – 2017 Annual Report.

Mayor of Hawkesbury and Jay Huxley at community event



Last modified on Thursday, 14 December 2017 17:14