Friday, 02 March 2018 11:54

Message from the President: WSROC hits the ground running in 2018

WSROC President Cr Stephen Bali. WSROC President Cr Stephen Bali.

As we reach the end of February, it is clear that 2018 is shaping up to be as action-packed as 2017.

WSROC has been busy finalising Western Sydney's urban heat strategy, Turn Down the Heat, which is due to be released in the coming weeks.

Turn Down the Heat is an exciting, and much needed initiative that WSROC and its many partners and contributors will be keen to start implementing.

In February the Department of Planning presented to the WSROC Board regarding the Independent Hearing and Assessment Panels (IHAPs) about to be implemented by the NSW Government.

The structure and implementation of the IHAPs are of significant concern to all of WSROC’s members. In particular the significant restriction of democratic input, uncertainty around governance, as well as the impact on council budgets. Councils will be closely monitoring the impact of these IHAPs following their implementation in March.

Following the launch of the Return and Earn scheme in December 2017, WSROC continues to work with councils, and the NSW Government to ensure a portion of the beverage container refunds collected through kerbside recycling can be invested back into the community.

On March 1st, Destination NSW presented its Western Sydney Visitor Economy Strategy to councils for the first time.  We were also fortunate to hear from the Western Sydney Business Chamber and Western Sydney Business Connection who are completing funded projects under this strategy.

Local government has always played a central role in regional tourism, and have a critical role to play, not only in delivering product, but also helping to inform and implement regional strategies through specialist local knowledge and close connection with the community.

We hope this is the start of much closer collaboration between councils and Destination NSW so that historical issues around funding, governance and coordination of regional tourism can be addressed.

As we move into the second quarter of 2018, there will be plenty more developments across WSROC's project portfolios and I look forward to sharing these with you as they happen.

Last modified on Friday, 02 March 2018 12:07