Western Sydney has entered a golden age according to NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian, in her address to the Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC) Annual General Meeting last week.
During the visit, Ms Berejiklian highlighted her optimism for Western Sydney’s future and stressed the importance of providing councils with certainty so they can plan for their communities.
WSROC President, Councillor Stephen Bali said, “It was an honour to host the Premier and discuss some of the issues most critical to Western Sydney.
“During the meeting, Western Sydney councillors shared their views on a range of topics including: public transport, WestConnex, council-state collaboration, minimum street widths, schools funding, urban heat, refugee settlement, youth unemployment, and social infrastructure funding.
“Both the Premier and councils agreed on the need to prioritise green space and look at innovative ways to maximise community access to parks, sports fields and recreational areas.
“We also agreed that while the wider unemployment rate is currently low, there are still areas and sectors that need additional focus,” Cr Bali said.
“However, councils believe more focus must be given to local liveability if Western Sydney is to become a first choice for people to live, work and invest.
“Western Sydney is growing rapidly, and as a result critical social infrastructure – the libraries, parks, swimming pools, arts facilities and community spaces that are key to everyday liveability are falling behind.
Councillor Bali said WSROC is keen to work with Government to improve current models for delivering social infrastructure so the whole community benefits from the growth they see around them.
“We hope that the Premier has taken away some new insights into the challenges and opportunities facing Western Sydney and we look forward to working with her on some of the issues raised at the meeting.”
The Queensland election is finally over giving Premier Aanastaccia Palaszczuk’s Labor Party two seat win and the go ahead to form government. A reshuffle of key ministerial positions means a new look cabinet will be announced tomorrow with men and women equally represented. Read more >
Local governments are playing a key role in preventing harm from poker machines in their communities. Read more >
Dear LG Focus,
In response to your November front page: the term ‘affordable housing’ can sometimes be misleading. Are we referring to ‘cheap’ housing where quality takes a backseat or simple mass-produced dwellings that were popular during the ‘housing commission’ era of the fifties and sixties?
With the popularity of the many home renovation shows on our television screens, there follows an enthusiasm to ‘have a go’ and grab a paintbrush or a hammer.
Therein lies a great opportunity for one solution to getting more families into their own home: group self-build. This was a program that operated in Horsham (and other places in Victoria) about 15 years ago. The concept was not complicated: 12 families would make a time commitment to build each other’s homes.
Under the supervision of a qualified builder, the families would undertake various stages of the build including basic construction, plastering, painting and landscaping; other facets of the build such as the slab, plumbing and electrical were done by professional tradesmen and women.
The costs savings were incredible including the procurement of land and material, everything done as a ‘group’. At the end of the process – and we have a small suburb in Horsham now – were a fine set of beautiful homes. For many of the families involved it was a life-changing experience as owning their own home would have always remained just a dream.
But, this is not a quick fix solution – it requires commitment and planning. The support of the Government and Council is critical. It is also a fantastic option that, I believe, should be pursued again.
Governments should remember that the knock-on effect for our young people, with employment opportunities with a thriving housing industry, should never be underestimated.
Maybe that could be a story line for a Block series: Scott Cam supervising the building of 12 couples’ dream home – now that would make good television!
Councillor Mark Radford
Horsham Rural City Council
A Sunshine Coast community group that offers low-cost creative activities as a means of therapy and social interaction has received a major upgrade to its premises. Read more >
Women experiencing vulnerability will now have access to free sanitary items thanks to the City of Darwin and Share the Dignity’s implementation of the Northern Territory’s first Dignity Vending Machine.
The Pink Box Dignity Vending Machine is located in the City Library accessible toilet and ensures vulnerable women and girls in need have access to essential sanitary items.
Deputy Lord Mayor Rebecca Want de Rowe said the Pink Box Dignity Vending Machine was officially launched as part of Anti-Poverty week and is a welcoming addition towards helping women in need.
“The Pink Box will provide anonymity for women who may be experiencing vulnerability,” she said.
“These women often have to make the choice between food and sanitary items, so the Dignity Vending Machine will hopefully help reduce the impact of poverty.
“The vending machine is a step towards connecting disadvantaged women with vital health services and we are proud to be supporting this wonderful initiative which provides easy access to the essential items they need.”
Share the Dignity Founder Rochelle Courtenay said thousands of women in Australia do not have access to pads, tampons, menstrual cups or period-proof underwear.
“Our goal is to provide the dignity that all women deserve by improving access to sanitary items. We can only do this with the support of our fundraising initiatives and corporate donations,” Ms Courtenay said.
The Dignity Vending Machine holds 60 sanitary packs each containing two pads and six tampons. Packs are dispensed through the touch of a button once every ten minutes.
Access to the Dignity Vending Machine will be during the library opening hours.