Thursday, 05 March 2020 12:06

President's message

A particularly trying summer has preceded this most recent e-news publication. As a group, WSROC experienced some of the most frightening and upsetting elements of the bushfires and flooding events – and, as a group, we have endured and embarked upon the recovery process.

Firstly, I welcome our newly-elected Senior Vice President, Mayor Tony Bleasdale of Blacktown City Council. Mayor Bleasdale’s expressed commitment to delivering a dynamic, transformative program to his City’s constituents is a fine addition to the WSROC Executive. I look forward to working together over the coming year.

Last week, the WSROC Board meeting gave us audience with the Commissioner of the NSW Rural Fire Service, Shane Fitzsimmons, at which time our councils had the opportunity to share an account of their individual experiences, and to report on challenges and shortfalls faced both during and subsequent to the bush fire crisis. In particular, Blue Mountains, Hawkesbury, Lithgow councils, where the threat was continuous,and Fairfield council  where, tragically, community members’ lives were lost.

It was a forum of great context and perspective. The Commissioner’s widely-regarded capacity for leading with strength and compassion yielded a detailed, sobering picture of the disaster. The impact of damage to life, property and communities, in terms of numbers, was lost on none of those present. Not least, the extent of the damage, when compared with what was averted, gave us pause for thought. As a group, we offered heartfelt thanks and commendation to the Commissioner for his work, and his attendance.

The remarkable recovery efforts that have subsequently emanated from every council once again affirms WSROC’s strength as a group. I am proud to be part of this regional effort, supporting one another in moving on from the damage and extending our support to other affected communities.

Earlier this year, WSROC launched the Western Sydney Energy program. Nine councils[1] have united, in the aim of reducing the region’s emissions by 200,000 tonnes of CO2e per year. This project builds on previous WSROC-led and individual council initiatives to work towards new approaches to energy in policy, planning and design. The Program is a commendable collaboration, co-ordinated by WSROC and supported by Ironbark Sustainability, with strategic direction from representatives of participating councils that comprise the steering committee. I urge you to familiarise yourself with the Strategy, as it will form the basis of projects that work toward our regional transition to an energy-efficient, low carbon future.

The Western Sydney Energy Program document is available for download via the link below.

Western Sydney Energy Program: Working together for a better energy future

 

[1] Participating councils are: Blacktown City Council, Blue Mountains City Council, Cumberland City Council, Fairfield City Council, Hawkesbury City Council, The Hills Shire Council, Lithgow City Council, Liverpool City Council and the City of Parramatta.

Last modified on Friday, 06 March 2020 13:28