Media releases - WSROC
Doubtless, you will have seen the recent media coverage about Sydney’s warming climate, including reports about this year’s summer temperatures being above normal due in part to an El Niño phenomenon. Everywhere, communities are grappling with the impacts of climate change. WSROC initiated its ‘Turn Down the Heat Strategy and Action Plan’ back in 2018, taking a collaborative, multi-sector approach to building a cooler, more resilient future for Western Sydney. The Action Plan was co-designed by over 55 stakeholders who realise that the response to extreme heat and heatwaves is a shared responsibility. The strategy outlines five key areas for…
The peak body representing councils in Greater Western Sydney — the Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WRSOC) — has joined the Climate Council’s Cities Power Partnership network to enhance collaboration on clean energy and climate initiatives. The Cities Power Partnership agreement aims to: accelerate the electrification of transport in Western Sydney, support Western Sydney households and businesses to increase uptake of renewable energy and storage, collaborate on recycling and resource recovery initiatives, and advocate for environmentally sustainable development in the region. Greater Western Sydney is home to more than 2.2 million people. WSROC President, Councillor Barry Calvert said the…
The peak body representing councils in Greater Western Sydney, the Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC), has warned that unless there is a massive increase in investment in new railway stations in Western Sydney, more than 560,000 extra people in the rapidly growing region won’t have access to trains within just 13 years, stifling economic development, reducing quality of life and devastating the environment. The grim warning is contained in WSROC's submission to the NSW Government’s inquiry into current and future public transport needs in Western Sydney. “The people of Greater Western Sydney already suffer from decades of under-investment…
The peak body representing councils in Greater Western Sydney, the Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC), has applauded the Minns government’s 2023-2024 budget focus on critical infrastructure and housing affordability. However, Western Sydney councils are urging Premier Minns to meet with them to find better ways to fund the long-term needs of Western Sydney’s rapidly growing population. “The government’s announcement of a $2.2 billion Housing Infrastructure Plan is a welcome step in the right direction, especially the Minns government’s $1.5 billion commitment to build infrastructure such as roads, parks, hospitals and schools to support the construction of new homes…
The peak body representing councils in Western Sydney, the Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC), is urging Western Sydney residents to plan ahead for extreme heat and heatwaves in the lead-up to this year’s summer. “Heat kills more Australians than floods, fires and storms combined,” said WSROC President, Councillor Barry Calvert. “And indications are that this summer may be hotter than most.” “Don’t kid yourself that being young and fit means you are safe from extreme heat events. “Elderly people and very young people are especially at risk from heat stress — however everyone is susceptible to extreme temperatures.…
The peak body representing councils in Greater Western Sydney is urging residents to both prepare for — and stay safe in — any potential disaster or crisis by downloading a free easy-to-use ‘Get Prepared’ app on their mobile phones. Co-created by the Australian Red Cross and insurer NRMA, the ‘Get Prepared’ app helps you connect with key support people, accomplish simple tasks to make your loved ones safer, and protect the things that matter most to you. Western Sydney has in recent years been impacted by extreme weather events, including floods and fires, and extreme heat. “It’s easy to feel…
Eight Western Sydney councils have saved ratepayers tens of millions of dollars – and massively reduced carbon emissions – by working together on local sustainable energy projects and 100% renewable power purchase agreements with energy providers. The latest annual report by the Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC) – the peak body representing councils in Greater Western Sydney - reveals that under its Western Sydney Energy Program the eight councils managed to save ratepayers over $36 million since 2019. The scheme also reduced the councils’ combined greenhouse emissions by 535,714 tonnes — equivalent to taking 124,585 cars off the…
The peak body representing councils in Greater Western Sydney, the Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC), has welcomed as “long overdue” news that the NSW Government will establish an independent review of the financial arrangements for local government. NSW Local Government Minister Ron Hoenig announced recently that the government would commission an independent investigation into the current financial model for councils. Minister Hoenig said the government was in the process of developing the appropriate terms of reference for such a review. “For some years, we have been urging both state and federal governments to work with councils to devise…
As we approach the first anniversary of the July 2022 floods which devastated so much of Western Sydney there are still flood-affected families unable to return to their homes. When last year’s floods hit, many Western Sydney residents were still dealing with the aftermath of the March 2021 and March 2022 inundations. Recovery from the floods is being hampered by slow progress with insurance claims and flood recovery grants, shortages of building materials, and a now chronic lack of skilled trades. Added to this, councils are struggling with unprecedented repair bills for roads and other infrastructure. Then there is the…
The peak body representing councils in Greater Western Sydney, the Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC), has welcomed the announcement by the NSW Government that it will establish an NSW Building Commission by the end of the year. The Minns Government announced its intention to set up a Building Commission on Tuesday (16 May) – focusing on ensuring the quality of new housing, particularly apartments, as well as delivering more supply. Premier Minns said the Building Commission will be a single body to oversee regulation, licensing, and oversight of the building industry in NSW. The Government will also introduce…
The peak body representing councils in Greater Western Sydney, the Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC), has welcomed the NSW Government’s announcement of an independent review of motorway tolling in NSW. The tolling review will be led by Professor Allan Fels (former chair of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission) and Dr David Cousins, who will look at streamlining motorway pricing across Sydney.   The review’s Terms of Reference were announced by the NSW Government on Thursday, 11 May 2023. “WSROC has been advocating for a review of road tolls over many years, urging the government to make toll…
The peak body representing councils in Greater Western Sydney, the Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC), has welcomed some of the federal government’s 2023 budget initiatives – particularly those providing relief for people struggling on low incomes – but says much more needs to be done. “The Prime Minister Mr Albanese has said the federal budget aims to build ‘a stronger economy and a fairer society’, but with Australia’s wealth gap widening, the modest measures announced in the 2023 federal budget, while welcome, simply won’t be enough to lift some of our most vulnerable out of poverty,” said WSROC…
Home design standards based on outdated climate data will drive up household energy bills and put lives at risk, according to a study released by the Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC). The study, titled Future Proofing Residential Development in Western Sydney, modelled how homes built to today’s standards will perform in 2030 and 2050 as well as during heatwave conditions. WSROC President,  Clr Barry Calvert, said: “The homes we build today will be in place for decades to come. We must ensure we are setting Western Sydney up for success. “Unfortunately, this report shows new homes are not performing…
The peak body representing councils in Greater Western Sydney has denounced the NSW Government’s shock decision to stop contributing to the NSW Emergency Services Levy, calling the new Minns government move “a catastrophe for Western Sydney councils.” “This was the most flagrant cost-shifting exercise by a state government in many years and which will burden cash-strapped councils with tens of millions of dollars of extra costs while they are still reeling in the aftermath of unprecedented floods, fires and other natural disasters,” said Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC) President, Clr Barry Calvert. The funds raised by the Emergency…
Thanks to an agreement with Endeavour Energy, the electricity distributor for greater Western Sydney, Western Sydney councils will install 52,200 new energy-saving LED streetlights, replacing older, less efficient ‘mercury vapour’ light bulbs. Under the Western Sydney Energy Program, the rollout of the LED streetlights is expected to save Western Sydney ratepayers more than $3.2 million in energy costs each year and reduce greenhouse gases by 14,000 tCO2. Residents across the seven council areas will also benefit from brighter, more reliable and higher-quality street lighting and improved public safety. Councils participating in the Western Sydney Energy Program include Blacktown City, Blue Mountains…
Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC) — the peak body representing councils in the Greater Western Sydney region — is urging both the new NSW Government and the Opposition to address a $6 billion social infrastructure funding shortfall impacting the well-being of Western Sydney’s two million inhabitants, especially its most vulnerable. “State government funding for local councils has long been insufficient to deliver the infrastructure and services that communities need,” said WSROC President, Councillor Barry Calvert (pictured). “This is particularly true in Greater Western Sydney where high population growth areas mingle with suburbs that have a long history of…
The peak body representing councils in Greater Western Sydney has challenged the logic behind NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet’s election promise to raise the speed limit on the WestConnex motorway and tunnel network from 80km to 90km per hour — urging instead a limit of 100km per hour. Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC) is calling for a radical re-think of how Sydney’s motorways are managed, suggesting a general increase to motorway speed limits and calling for a traffic study of the efficiency of ramp metered entry sites along the M4 dual carriageway. Greater Western Sydney residents are heavily car-dependent…
In November, WSROC will mark 50 years of continual service, advocating on behalf of the communities of Western Sydney. WSROC is the creation of Western Sydney councils and their continued support and funding have been integral to the success of this organisation for the entirety of that 50 years. When WSROC was established back in 1973, there had been a general feeling among Western Sydney councils that successive state governments had failed to provide adequate infrastructure and such essential services as hospitals, public transport, and education facilities to match the needs of the region's rapidly growing population. Consequently, WSROC was…
The peak body representing councils in Greater Western Sydney is urging NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet and Labor leader Chris Minns to tackle Western Sydney’s worsening ‘urban heat island’ crisis. Urban heat islands occur when cities replace natural land cover with dense concentrations of pavement, buildings, and other surfaces that absorb and retain heat. “The Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC) is calling for an urgent overhaul of New South Wales’s state planning policies to address the ‘urban heat island’ problem,” said WSROC President, Councillor Barry Calvert. “The economic and health costs of ‘urban heat islands’ and ‘heat stress’ are increasingly…
Camden Council has joined one of Australia’s most successful programs working to lower community energy costs and reduce carbon emissions. Coordinated by Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC), the Western Sydney Energy Program is a collaboration between eight Western Sydney councils — now including Camden Council — dedicated to realising energy cost and emission savings for participating councils and their communities. Camden Council formally joined the Western Sydney Energy Program in February 2023. “It’s fantastic to be one of the eight councils across Western Sydney that makes up this program,” said Camden Mayor, Councillor Therese Fedeli (pictured below).  “It…
The peak body representing councils in Greater Western Sydney, the Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC), will soon launch a Greater Sydney Heat Taskforce to build the city’s resilience to heat, thanks to funding from the NSW Reconstruction Authority and the Commonwealth Government. WSROC President, Councillor Barry Calvert said: “Heat is widely recognised as Australia’s most deadly natural hazard, one that poses a significant and growing threat to Sydney’s critical infrastructure, economic productivity, and environment. “Despite this, Sydney does not have coordinated measures in place to measure, mitigate or manage heat risk across our city. “The new Taskforce will…
The peak body representing councils in Greater Western Sydney, the Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC), has today commended the NSW Government on its announcement of more than $250 million in new project funding for Western Sydney councils, community groups, and the Western Sydney University — but warns that much more will be needed. The $250 million has been earmarked for a total of 16 projects, including new parks and walking tracks, youth hubs, libraries, school upgrades and sporting precincts. The money is being provided under the NSW Government’s WestInvest program. “Some $5 billion from the NSW Government’s WestConnex…
One of the most successful — and most enduring — organisations in Australia advocating on behalf of local communities is soon to celebrate its golden anniversary. Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (or ‘WSROC’, pronounced 'wesrock') was set up in November 1973 to represent the communities of Western Sydney and to advocate for the people of the region. Covering an area of 9,391 square kilometres, Western Sydney is home to over two million people and is projected to reach four million by 2041. The region provides over a million local jobs. At the time WSROC was established in 1973, councils…
Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC), the peak body representing councils in the Greater Western Sydney region, is urging politicians to prioritise the liveability, resilience and well-being of our most vulnerable communities. The call comes in the lead up to the 2023 NSW State elections to be held on Saturday, 25 March. WSROC represents the more than 1,000,000 citizens of Blacktown City, Blue Mountains City, Cumberland City, Hawkesbury City, and Liverpool City. “Our member councils have identified the issues that matter to the people of Western Sydney, and which the next NSW Government should address to benefit not only…
The peak body representing councils in Greater Western Sydney, the Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC), is urging Western Sydney residents to prepare for extreme heat over the Australia Day weekend with temperatures forecast to exceed 35°C. According to coronial reports, January 27 is the most at-risk day in Australia for heat-related deaths. “Heat kills more Australians than floods, fires and storms combined, with elderly people and very young people most at risk from heat stress,” said WSROC President, Councillor Barry Calvert. The Bureau of Meteorology defines a heatwave as three or more days in a row when both…
During extreme heat events, temperatures in Western Sydney can be between 6 and 10 degrees Celsius higher than in Sydney’s east making life very uncomfortable — especially in public places. A contributing factor is the so-called Urban Heat Island Effect (UHI) — where urban areas present higher air temperatures than rural or coastal areas. As Sydney experiences more frequent and prolonged heatwaves, it is becoming increasingly important to find new ways to help make Western Sydney a more comfortable place to live. Ironically, part of the answer may lie in a technology that first appeared around 5,000 years ago –…
Thursday, 08 December 2022 10:23

President's Message: A Turning Point

The last three years have proved unusually challenging for local governments and the communities they serve across Greater Western Sydney. The citizens of Greater Western Sydney will long recall how unusually intense bushfires, the worldwide Coronavirus emergency, unprecedented floods, and global economic chaos left indelible marks on our communities. It has been a difficult time. Yet, notwithstanding such emergencies, our resilient communities have emerged more cohesive, inclusive, and diverse than ever. And as 2022 draws to its close, there is a real sense that we are reaching a turning point on the way to more sustainable, secure and prosperous futures…
The Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils has won the ‘Climate Change Adaptation’ category of the 2022 Excellence in the Environment Awards for its ‘Heat Smart Western Sydney’ project. Presented by Local Government NSW, the Excellence in the Environment Awards celebrate outstanding achievements in managing and protecting the environment in local government areas. The ‘Climate Change Adaptation’ category specifically acknowledges outstanding initiatives undertaken to address climate change risks and vulnerabilities. WSROC’s ‘Heat Smart Western Sydney’ project, supported by Resilience NSW’s Community Resilience Innovation Program, brings together local councils, government agencies and community service providers to build understanding of heatwave risks,…
The peak body representing councils in Greater Western Sydney, the Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC), is urging Western Sydney residents to plan and prepare for extreme heat and heatwaves in the lead-up to summer. “Heat kills more Australians than floods, fires and storms combined,” said WSROC President, Councillor Barry Calvert. “Elderly people and very young people are most at risk from heat stress, however, everyone is susceptible to extreme temperatures. “It’s important to plan for extreme heat and heatwaves — and prepare our homes and those we love for summer weather. “For at-risk groups such as the elderly, people…
The dramatic collapse of the popular nationwide Coles and Woolworths plastic bag recycling program has seen the suspension of the REDcycle soft plastic recycling scheme in nearly 2000 supermarket outlets across the country. REDcycle is an Australian program that recycles soft plastics into a wide range of uses. The failure of the recycling program has been met with calls for urgent intervention in the recycling industry by government, the collapse indicative of the fragile nature of the recycling industry. So, it is particularly galling that, each year, the NSW Government diverts hundreds-of-millions of dollars away from programs intended to reduce…
WSROC is calling out the NSW Government for diverting hundreds-of-millions of dollars annually from programs intended to reduce household and business waste. Instead, the money is going into the Government’s own coffers. The NSW Government collects about $800 million annually through its compulsory Waste Levy, a special payment for each tonne of rubbish received at waste facilities in NSW. WSROC President, Councillor Barry Calvert (pictured) said: “The Waste Levy contribution was first set up in 1971 to reduce the amount of waste being sent to landfill and to promote recycling and resource recovery. “The NSW Auditor-General recently revealed that the NSW…
WSROC has welcomed a research report urging government to take greater advantage of future transport hub opportunities in Greater Western Sydney — notably with a rail extension through to the new international airport at Badgerys’s creek. Since the 1990s, WSROC has been advocating for a north-south rail link to open access to opportunities associated with the aerotropolis development, such as affordable housing and jobs. The need for a rail link is becoming more pressing with unprecedented growth in the region, and an extra one million people expected to live in Western Sydney by 2036. Commissioned by the Urban Development Institute…
WSROC, Resilient Sydney, and the Global Extreme Heat Resilience Alliance (EHRA) teamed up to present a Global Best Practice Heat Resilience Workshop on 13 October 2022. Held at Western Sydney University Parramatta City Campus, the workshop assembled local and international experts to discuss how cities around the world are tackling the heat resilience challenge, and what lessons can be learned and applied in the Sydney context. The EHRA is part of the Adrienne Arsht-Rockefeller Foundation (Arsht-Rock) and works with global cities to increase heat resilience in urban areas, focusing on vulnerable populations. Guest speakers from the EHRA included Kathy Baughman…
WSROC has formally adopted a set of Strategic Priorities outlining the organisation’s core work direction and objectives for the period 2022-2026. The 2022-2026 WSROC Strategic Priorities document was formally endorsed at WSROC’s Board of Directors Meeting on 25 August. Earlier this year, Mayors and Councillors representing more than 1,000,000 citizens of Greater Western Sydney —  including Blacktown City, Blue Mountains City, Cumberland City, Hawkesbury City, and Liverpool City — assembled in Windsor for a special Strategy Planning and Priorities Workshop to set WSROC’s agenda for the next four years. A draft 2022-2026 WSROC Strategic Priorities document was the major outcome of…
Wednesday, 05 October 2022 16:19

President’s message, October 2022

While WSROC member councils have welcomed the recent announcement by the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) that it has set its 2023-24 council rate peg at 3.7 per cent — I would nonetheless urge IPART to re-examine the methodology it employs to calculate the financial needs of councils. With the current annual inflation rate now at nearly 7.0 per cent, the 3.7 per cent cap represents a decrease in real spending power at precisely the time when Western Sydney councils are dealing with the aftermath of COVID, bushfires and the recent unprecedented floods crisis. While Western Sydney councils are…
Land on the fringes of Greater Sydney set aside for growing vegetables, eggs, flowers, and other agricultural commodities was reduced by two-thirds (66%) in just five years, according to a recent study into urban sprawl on the city’s outskirts. The land — classified as ‘peri-urban agricultural’ — was reduced from 292,644 hectares to 99,519 hectares, a loss of 193,124 hectares driven mainly by urban development. In general, the term ‘peri-urban agricultural land’ refers to areas beyond the metropolitan fringe, at the interface between city and country. Most seriously affected by urban sprawl was agricultural land on the outskirts of Greater…
Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC) has welcomed the announcement by the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) that it has set its 2023-24 council rate peg at 3.7% — but is challenging IPART to re-examine the methodology it employs to calculate the financial needs of councils. WSROC is the peak body representing councils in the Greater Western Sydney region. WSROC President, Clr Barry Calvert, said: “With the current annual inflation rate now at nearly 7.0 per cent, the 3.7 per cent cap represents a decrease in real spending power at precisely the time when Western Sydney councils are…
As the peak body representing local government in Greater Western Sydney, the Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC), is urging people to get ready for extreme heatwaves, fire, and flood emergencies this summer by preparing emergency household plans. The Greater Western Sydney region stretches over 8,948 km2, ranging from densely populated metropolitan areas, to farmlands, and the World Heritage Area of the Blue Mountains.  “Extreme weather events and the COVID-19 pandemic have heightened challenges for Greater Western Sydney communities, as the recent terrible floods and bushfires have shown,” said WSROC President, Councillor Barry Calvert. “During severe heatwaves, too, people…
Western Sydney’s longest recreational walking trail, the Great West Walk, has been extended by another 80 kilometres, making it possible to walk from Parramatta in the city’s west to Katoomba in the fabled Blue Mountains, through some of Australia’s most spectacular scenery and historic locations. The length of the Great West Walk now totals 140 kilometres. Mapped out by members of The Walking Volunteers community group, the stunning trail winds through some of Western Sydney’s most iconic urban landscapes, protected woodlands, public parklands, local river systems, Australia’s oldest architecture, and on into the Blue Mountains past dramatic escarpments, down undulating…
Western Sydney councils have saved ratepayers tens of millions of dollars – and massively reduced carbon emissions – by working together on local sustainable energy projects and by jointly negotiating 100% renewable power purchase agreements with energy providers. The latest Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC) annual report reveals that the councils have saved over $24 million and reduced their combined greenhouse emissions by 338,000 tonnes of CO²e, equivalent to taking 460,000 cars off the road. $24 million in savings were made by installing 51,000 of the latest energy-saving LED streetlights across Western Sydney over the last eight years…
Mayors and Councillors representing Greater Western Sydney have met in a special Strategy Planning and Priorities Workshop to set the agenda for the next four years, focusing on greater consideration for the most vulnerable in the region, including aiming for: Better social and affordable housing outcomes for Greater Western Sydney Economic development and local job creation Comprehensive transport solutions Emissions reduction and energy efficiency Improved waste management and resource recovery Urban heat resilience and emergency management Increased financial resilience of councils, and To ensure new development includes provision for adequate social infrastructure, parks, and community spaces. Representing more than 1,000,000…
The peak body representing councils in Greater Western Sydney has welcomed the NSW Government’s 2022 Budget investment in cost-of-living measures however is concerned about the budget’s overly road-focused transport investments. Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC) President, Councillor Barry Calvert, said “The last two years have been challenging for many Western Sydney households. With current pressures on energy, fuel and food prices driving up the cost of living, the NSW Government’s $7.2 billion in relief packages will be welcomed. “WSROC also welcomes the investment in renewable-powered transport and charging infrastructure and welcomed opportunities to work with the NSW Government…
The Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC), representing councils in Greater Western Sydney, is urging the NSW and Federal Governments to work with the Australian Energy Council to address a mounting energy cost crisis now devastating Western Suburbs households, including hundreds-of-thousands of low-income families. “As gas and electricity prices soar, some 207,000 households in Greater Western Sydney are dependent on pitifully inadequate government energy rebates which have left families struggling to pay their bills,” said WSROC President, Councillor Barry Calvert. “The Australian Energy Regulator has foreshadowed New South Wales residential electricity price increases of between 8.5% and 18.3% commencing…
The peak body representing councils in Greater Western Sydney has called for the NSW Government to step up on heatwave emergency planning this Red Cross ‘Heat Action Day’ (14 June). Heatwaves kill more Australians than bushfires, floods and storms combined. But governments are not planning for heatwave emergencies. During severe heatwaves, people in Greater Sydney have experienced as much as a 13% increase in mortality (excess deaths), according to research. “People in Sydney’s Western Suburbs are dying because authorities don’t take heatwaves as seriously as other natural hazards,” said Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC) President, Councillor Barry Calvert.…
Councillor Barry Calvert, the Deputy Mayor of Hawkesbury City Council, has been returned for a fourth term as President of the Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC), pledging to engage with the new Federal Government on matters of concern to the people of Greater Western Sydney.
Media release, 28 April 2022 The Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC), in collaboration with the Greater Cities Commission and Resilient Sydney, have launched Australia’s first rating tool for heat resilient urban development – Cool Suburbs. WSROC President, Clr Barry Calvert, said “Time and time again, heat has been identified as Sydney’s number one natural hazard risk with major impacts for public health, essential infrastructure, economy and the environment. “With projections for longer, hotter, more frequent extreme weather, it is critical we design our cities to keep residents comfortable and safe – however guidance on how to do this…
Media release, 22 April 2022   The Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC) in partnership with its members have developed NSW’s first guidance on planning for urban heat – the Urban Heat Planning Toolkit – with the first planning controls for heat entering new LEP and DCPs. WSROC President, Clr Barry Calvert, said, “In 2018 the Greater Sydney Commission identified urban heat as an issue that councils needed to address through the planning system. “There was no argument that heat is a major issue for Western Sydney, the question for councils was ‘How do we do that’? “WSROC’s Urban Heat…
Media release, 7 April 2022 The Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC) has called for an urgent review of heatwave planning with the release of its Heat Smart Resilience Framework that outlines 25 recommendations for building resilience to extreme heat. WSROC President, Clr Barry Calvert, said “Heatwaves kill more Australians than bushfire, flood and storm combined, yet as a society we don’t take heatwaves as seriously as other natural hazards. “Over the last two years WSROC has been consulting with councils, state and federal agencies, industry, and the community sector to look at how Western Sydney – and Sydney…
Monday, 13 December 2021 16:46

Do you have a Heat Smart plan for summer?

  Media release, 1 December 2021   The Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC) is calling on Western Sydney residents to plan and prepare for heatwaves in the lead up to summer. WSROC President, Clr Barry Calvert, said “When thinking about emergency planning, we often think about fire, flood or storms, however heat is equally dangerous to our health should be planned for. “While it may seem a cool and drizzly start to summer, it is highly likely that we have some extreme heat days ahead,” said Clr Calvert. “Preparing for heat is about more than just access to…
  Media release, 6 December 2021 Eight Western Sydney councils have joined forces on a regional Western Sydney Electric Vehicle Roadmap which sets ambitious 2030 targets for transitioning the region to electric transport. Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC) President, Clr Barry Calvert, said “The Western Sydney EV Roadmap sets the region on a pathway to electrification by transitioning council fleets, implementing charging infrastructure, and identifying opportunities for new investment. The Western Sydney EV Roadmap outlines the following 2030 targets: At least 50% of council fleets transitioned to EV 100% buses to be zero emissions 50% of all taxis,…
Friday, 19 November 2021 13:06

WSROC applauds lighter roofs, BASIX updates

  Media release, 18 November 2021 The Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC) has applauded Minister Rob Stokes’ push for cool roofs in new residential development across Sydney, along with a range of other measures to make Western Sydney future ready. WSROC President, Clr Barry Calvert, said “The role of planning system is to protect the safety of individuals and communities. We have planning rules to reduce fire risk and flood risk. Heat is responsible for more deaths than all other natural hazards combined - it makes sense that we have rules to reduce and protect people from extreme…
  Media release, 27 October 2021 Western Sydney councils are calling on the NSW Government to address the continuing disparity and lack of diverse resourcing for the region’s arts and cultural industry. Western Sydney’s ongoing arts funding shortfall is once again at fore, following the state government’s announcement of an historic investment for the Powerhouse in Parramatta this week. Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC) President Barry Calvert said, “For decades, the region’s 2.5 million residents - who make up almost half the population of Greater Sydney - have been making do with less: less access, less infrastructure and less…
Monday, 25 October 2021 14:28

Western Sydney councils slash emissions

  Media release, 27 October 2021 Western Sydney emissions have been slashed by 338,134t CO2e and $20 million reduction in energy to date through council collaboration under the Western Sydney Energy Program. WSROC President Clr Barry Calvert said “Following the launch of the WSEP strategy in 2019, the Western Sydney Energy Program has aligned and maximised our energy and cost-saving efforts. The region’s rapid population growth and hot climate continue to place increasing pressure on our electricity grid and cause higher electricity bills for residents. Ensuring that Western Sydney is prepared to transition to an energy-efficient, low-carbon future is critical…
  Media release, 13 October 2021  A lack of detail and insufficient time for reviewing state government planning and reform proposals is a recurring issue for local government, says WSROC. WSROC President, Clr Barry Calvert, said “The inclusion of unresolved issues in public documents issued by the state government is a recurring problem that limits council and community participation in consultation processes. “Where councils cannot provide feedback on major development proposals and reform in our region due to a lack of detail, the community is disadvantaged. “Where community consultation is compressed into a very short timeframe, the integrity of the…
Wednesday, 29 September 2021 14:34

Western Sydney onboard for 2030 emissions target

  Media release, 29 September, 2021 The Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC) has applauded the NSW Government’s commitment to more ambitious 50 per cent emission reduction target for 2030, stands ready to help deliver. WSROC President, Clr Barry Calvert, said “Western Sydney communities are already experiencing the impacts of climate change, including more frequent and severe extreme weather such as heatwaves, bushfire and floods. “Prioritising emission reductions is critical to ensure our Western Sydney communities remain liveable into the future. Recent research has shown that some Western Sydney suburbs are already reaching life-threatening temperatures of over 50 degrees…
Media release, 22 September 2021 WSROC has welcomed the NSW Government’s WestInvest Funding announcement as a qualified win for the region’s communities, stating that the region’s disproportionate toll burden warrants a larger re-investment of the revenue from the sale of WESTCONNEX. WSROC President, Clr Barry Calvert, said “The Premier’s announcement today gives our councils and communities a much-needed boost, after a particularly difficult year. However, this investment represents just a portion of the money Western Sydney has poured into infrastructure, through an unfair tolling system. “WSROC has long advocated for proceeds from the sale of WestConnex to be reinvested into…
Monday, 20 September 2021 13:48

Be Heat Smart in Emergency Ready Week

Media release, 20 September 2021 WSROC calls on households to prepare for heatwaves this Emergency Ready Week, September 20 – 27. Heatwaves are Australia’s number one natural killer and are considered an ‘extreme risk’ in most Western Sydney LGAs. However, often when we think about emergencies, it is events such as bushfires, floods and storms that come to mind. President of WSROC, Clr Barry Calvert, said “Western Sydney experiences more extreme heat than other parts of Sydney, so it’s important that households are prepared for its impacts: power outages, public transport disruptions, financial stress, and worsening of health conditions. “Heatwave is…
Media release, 13 September, 2021 WSROC commends the NSW Government on taking the lead nationally, in releasing its Electric Vehicle Charging Masterplan, and calls for collaboration with councils to place EV transition at the centre of future growth. WSROC President Barry Calvert said, “The pathway to EV transition is ensuring that a fast-charging station network also becomes a core consideration for new development. This is a great opportunity in Western Sydney, which continues to be a focal point for ongoing development and growth. “Planning for a future that is low-emissions is a priority for the seven councils participating in the Western…
  Media release, 24 August 2021 The Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC) has commended moves to mandate light-coloured roofs at Wilton in southwest Sydney and has called on the NSW Government to extend the rule across the state. WSROC President, Clr Barry Calvert, said “There are many actions we must take to tackle heat in Western Sydney, simply choosing a light-coloured roof has no additional costs, delivers substantial benefits to household energy bills, and temperatures in suburbs more broadly. “WSROC has been working with a science panel and local planners to outline a range of measures that are…
Media release, 17 August 2021 WSROC has welcomed the Minister for Local Government’s announcement of a support package for council employees, saying that keeping frontline services going for COVID-impacted communities has never been more needed. WSROC President, Clr Barry Calvert, stated that resourcing for councils means that communities are better supported, with continuity to key services during the pandemic. “Councils are at the forefront of service delivery for communities. Council staff provide everything from waste services to community networks and facilities, arts and libraries. In tough times, it is your council that provides the social fabric on which our communities…
  Media release, 10 August 2021   The Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC) has called on the NSW Government to ensure our planning system is safeguarding Western Sydney following the release of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Sixth Assessment Report. WSROC President, Clr Barry Calvert, said “Western Sydney is already reaching life-threatening temperatures of over 50 degrees in summer[1]. The IPCC’s predictions for more extreme weather shows an urgent need to update our planning systems to support community safety today and in the future.” “WSROC commends the NSW Government’s commitment to net-zero emissions, including its strong focus…
  Media release, 15 July 2021   Barry Calvert, President of WSROC sent a message of support for Fairfield City local government area and communities today, saying that the collective resources of WSROC member councils were at the Council’s disposal.  “WSROC member councils know something about facing down natural disasters. In the past two years we have borne bushfires, extreme heat events and disastrous floods – now, in the midst of the pandemic, our resilience is once again tested.  “May I send a resounding message of encouragement and support to the residents of Fairfield City. You have met this test…
  Media release, 22 June 2021   The Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC) has welcomed the NSW Government’s investment in family activities, energy, and housing, but laments that community infrastructure investment continues to fall short for Western Sydney. WSROC President, Clr Barry Calvert, welcomed leadership in the energy and sustainability sectors but expressed concern at continuing shortfalls in liveability investment for Western Sydney. “Firstly, WSROC applauds the Budget’s focus on families, including kids’ sporting and cultural activities, not all families have equal opportunity to benefit. It’s hard to get to swimming lessons if your neighbourhood doesn’t have a…
Media release, 18 June 2021 The Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC) has welcomed the release of the long-awaited 20-Year Waste Strategy for NSW but cautions ambitious targets must be supported by a strong implementation plan and adequate resourcing. WSROC President, Clr Barry Calvert, welcomed the Strategy’s vision, but noted that resourcing was an area of concern for Western Sydney councils. “The Strategy gives a clear vision for improving the way NSW reduces and manages waste. In particular, the state-wide roll-out of a green bin that takes food scraps and garden waste, joint-procurement, and focus on circular economy principles…
Wednesday, 26 May 2021 13:23

Win for Great West Walk

Media release, 25 May 2021 The Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC) has welcomed the delivery of more than 26,000 new trees for Western Sydney’s longest walking trail. WSROC President, Clr Barry Calvert, said “We welcome Minister Stokes’ ongoing commitment to the Great West Walk following his launch of the route in 2019. “A lot of work has gone into the development of this route, and it is fantastic to see the walk being enhanced in partnership with local councils and communities. “We hope this is just the beginning for building the Great West Walk into a true centrepiece…
Media release, 29 March 2021 The Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC) has expressed concern at the Australian Energy Market Commission (AEMC) proposal to charge households for exporting solar energy, arguing this will undermine the shift to renewables. WSROC President, Clr Barry Calvert, said “Households should not be penalised for a lack of national policy and planning for Australia’s future energy networks. “We acknowledge the current problems regarding solar export to the grid must be addressed. However, we strongly disagree that residents who have invested in solar, and are doing the right thing by reducing emissions, should be penalised…
Media release, 20 May 2021 Western Sydney cafes and coffee lovers have saved almost 30,000 single use takeaway cups from going into landfill, in the first 12 months of the Refill Don’t Landfill swap-and-go program. Rising to the challenges of 2020, Western Sydney coffee drinkers and businesses have embraced the program, placing the region squarely on the map of sustainability-conscious communities. Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC) partnered in 2020 with Australian sustainability champions, Green Caffeen, introducing the established reusable coffee cup system to Western Sydney as a way for cafes to save money and reduce waste.  In its first year, the EPA-funded Refill Don’t Landfill campaign saw 45 local cafes sign…
Media Release 6 May 2021 WSROC has applauded statements made by NSW Minister for Transport, the Hon. Andrew Constance MP, regarding the need to incentivise electric vehicle uptake. WSROC President Clr Barry Calvert said “We fully support the Minister’s call to focus on incentivising electric vehicle uptake in the coming years. Investment in appropriate infrastructure and providing incentives to drivers are critical in stimulating the transition to EVs.” “Across the world countries are moving towards electrification of their transport. We need to ensure Australia is not left behind,” he said. “WSROC supports the Minister’s statement that federal, state and local…
Media Release, 1 April 2021, People living in flood prone areas in Western Sydney are calling for the state government to urgently review the impact of urban development on natural watercourses, reporting changed water volume and movement in the region during recent flood events. The Hawkesbury-Nepean river region is identified as having the highest flood exposure in the state[1] and was one of the worst impacted by the recent flood event, which affected communities throughout NSW. Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC) President Barry Calvert says the event prompts urgent questions to be addressed, including state government support for…
Media Release, 8 March 2021, The decision by Infrastructure Australia not to include the Western Sydney Airport metro line in its list of national priority projects shows impoverished vision for NSW’s ‘engine room’[1], says Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC). Infrastructure Australia’s recent report, which calculates the benefits of the airport rail line as being possibly “overestimated”, fails to grasp the full picture of Western Sydney’s future liveability, says WSROC President, Clr Barry Calvert. “It is clear that Infrastructure Australia has missed the point of the Western Sydney Airport metro line, as an essential piece of the city-shaping north-south…
Media Release, 5 February 2021, The NSW Government’s electric vehicle vision for NSW would be more rapidly realized with a local manufacturing hub in an established regional centre such as Lithgow, says WSROC. NSW Minister for Roads and Transport Andrew Constance launched Western Sydney’s first electric-powered bus in Leppington this week, marking a key step in the Government’s promise to transition the state’s full fleet by 2030.  However, with 8000 buses to be replaced statewide, WSROC President Barry Calvert says the transition is an opportunity for the Government to invest in locally-manufactured vehicles, by establishing a regional manufacturing hub.  “The drive…
Media Release 21 January 2021 WSROC has called for a review of private profits achieved via taxpayer-funded development in Western Sydney, following reports of landowners and developers gaining significant windfalls from publicly-funded infrastructure investment. WSROC President, Clr Barry Calvert, said, “We have already seen examples of enormous private windfalls from the land acquisition processes at Badgerys Creek and the potential profits from land re-zonings in the growth areas of Western Sydney will be staggering. “Further reports, alleging private interests are shaping Government investment decisions in this precinct, are extremely concerning. “Currently, government policy allows re-zonings to blow out land values…
Thursday, 03 December 2020 13:28

Future-proofing Western Sydney’s urban forest

Media Release, 1 December 2020 WSROC will lead a project to ensure Western Sydney street trees can survive and thrive in a changing climate, thanks to a NSW Greening Our Cities Grant announced this week. WSROC President, Clr Barry Calvert, said “WSROC welcomes the NSW Government support to deliver an exciting new research project investigating how climate-tolerant tree species and passive irrigation can maximise cooling of Western Sydney streets. “More than one third of Sydney’s urban tree species are vulnerable to summer temperatures and drought. Extreme heat and drought events are already resulting in tree die-off and many remaining trees are…
Media Release 27 November 2020 Like any extreme weather event, planning ahead for heatwaves can save lives. As summer kicks off with a sizzle, the Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC) is calling on everyone to think ahead about keeping cool and safe. WSROC President, Councillor Barry Calvert, said “While we may shrug it off, heat kills more Australians than any other natural hazard, and is an increasingly urgent problem in Western Sydney.”   “In recent years Western Sydney has seen increasing average temperatures, with a new record of 48.9 degrees set in January 2020. What’s more, recent research from…
Media Release  25 November 2020, Local businesses in Western Sydney are benefiting from the Australian Government’s Business Energy Advice Program (BEAP), which helps local, small and drought-affected businesses to access free support on their energy costs, saving both money and emissions. Over 500 Western Sydney businesses have already received their free one-on-one consultation. BEAP, a program funded by the Department of Industry Science Energy and Resources and delivered by Business Australia, has partnered with WSROC’s Western Sydney Energy Program – a partnership between eight Western Sydney councils. The initiative builds on the region’s progressive work in developing more sustainable energy practices. The…
MEDIA RELEASE: 17 November 2020 WSROC congratulates the NSW Government for delivering a Budget that commits to supporting communities and businesses post-COVID and takes a clear stance on responsible climate action, but adds that further detail is necessary on waste spending and transport infrastructure for Western Sydney. WSROC President Clr Barry Calvert said, “The Government has certainly committed funding for projects such as the Great Western Highway duplication, Parramatta Light Rail stage 1. While this investment is welcome, the timely delivery of a fully-integrated transport system for Western Sydney appears, again, to be a bridge too far. “Planning reforms that fast-track development…
MEDIA RELEASE, 9 NOVEMBER 2020 WSROC and nine western Sydney councils have partnered with Bunnings stores in the region to address the growing concern of problem wastes and promote available avenues for disposal and recycling. The ‘Problem Waste? No Problem!’ campaign helps residents responsibly handle problem waste items by providing up to date, accessible information on services provided by Community Recycling Centres (CRCs).and Mobile Community Recycling Services. WSROC President Barry Calvert said, “I am excited that nine Western Sydney councils are participating in this WSROC campaign, collaborating with our local Bunnings stores on addressing how to manage problem waste. Coinciding with…
Media Release, 6 November 2020  WSROC welcomes the announcement of the NSW Government’s sale of its remaining 49 per cent stake in the WestConnex, as an opportunity for proceeds from the sale to be re-invested in Western Sydney’s insufficient transport network. WSROC President, Clr Barry Calvert said, “Funds from the Government’s stake in WestConnex present a prime opportunity to address Western Sydney’s gaping infrastructure gaps and the decades of underinvestment in the region’s transport networks. “It seems Western Sydney is still footing the bill for Greater Sydney’s transport infrastructure, while struggling on without a cohesive network of its own. This planning…
Tuesday, 15 September 2020 10:24

Airport Metro fails to connect Western Sydney

Media release, 15 September 2020   The Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC) has expressed disappointment with the number and location of stations along the new Western Sydney Airport Metro line, arguing that it does not serve the needs of the local community. WSROC President, Cllr Barry Calvert, said “I am disappointed that this 23-kilometre rail link, which promises to service Greater Western Sydney, only has four stops. “In lobbying for a north-south rail link, councils were clear that the purpose was to boost intra-regional connectivity and economic development in Greater Western Sydney,” he said. “The fact there are…
Media release, 26 August 2020 Adoption of all 76 recommendations from the independent NSW Bushfire Inquiry by the NSW Government does not go far enough to recognise the frontline role of councils, or to ensure their capability in facing future disaster, says the Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Council (WSROC). WSROC President, Cllr Barry Calvert, said “In submissions made to state and federal inquiries earlier this year, WSROC identified the need for better emergency management policy and planning, including state government recognition for the role councils take in dealing with disasters on the ground. “Unfortunately, local government was referenced in…
Media release, 31 July 2020  The Business Energy Advice Program (BEAP) will launch in Western Sydney, helping local, small and drought-affected businesses to access free, independent, and tailored support that is aimed at savings: both for money and emissions. BEAP is an Australian Government initiative funded by the Department of Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources and delivered by Business Australia. Building on the region’s progressive work in developing more sustainable energy practices, Western Sydney councils have partnered with BEAP to help connect local businesses - many of which are currently facing recovery processes, following a very challenging year.…
Thursday, 30 July 2020 11:37

Western Sydney heritage under threat

Media Release, 9 July 2020, WSROC has come out in support of Hawkesbury City’s ‘Windsor Bridge Saved by the Bell’ campaign, arguing that local heritage is both critical for identity and liveability in place and invaluable to sustaining local tourism economies. Western Sydney is home to some of Australia’s first settlements and oldest heritage assets, including indigenous cultural sites.  It is WSROC’s assertion that, where possible, the recognition of heritage significance and the preservation of cultural collateral is crucial to creating communities that are connected by a sense of place. WSROC President Cllr Barry Calvert stated, “As a young and growing region,…
Media release, 15 July 2020  WSROC welcomes the NSW Government’s electric bus trials[1] and is hopeful that a trial will be located in Western Sydney - recognising the initiative’s potential to transform the region’s evolving transport networks and to bring a net-zero emissions future forward. WSROC President, Cllr Barry Calvert, said “An electric vehicle bus fleet trial in Sydney’s West would deliver a timely push to the region’s transport network, bringing significant opportunity to Western Sydney’s businesses and resident workers while boosting the liveability goals outlined in NSW Government’s Future Transport 2056 Plan and Net Zero Plan 2020-2030.   “Western Sydney…
Monday, 06 July 2020 10:41

Ditch single-use plastics this July

Media release, 6 July 2020 It’s something we do automatically, accepting an extra plastic bag, picking up a disposable fork or forgetting to take reusable alternatives when out and about. This month, councils in Western Sydney are taking up the Plastic Free July challenge, with the goal of reducing widespread use of single-use plastics in the region. As part of ongoing waste initiatives, WSROC is coordinating engagement across the region, with six participating councils committed to making inroads for better sustainability practices and environmental outcomes. Plastic Free July is a highly successful project, based in Australia, with an estimated 250…
Tuesday, 23 June 2020 12:24

WSROC welcomes support for refugees

Media release, 23 June, 2020   The Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC) has welcomed the NSW Government’s $4 million support package for refugee education, and commitment to holistic settlement, and urges for increased consultation with local government. WSROC President, Clr Barry Calvert, said “WSROC welcomes the NSW Government’s increased investment in refugee education, as well as their previous commitments to boosting temporary crisis accommodation in light of the Covid-19 crisis. In these challenging times, state support is critical for ensuring local councils and community organisations can manage the increased demand for services. “WSROC also welcomes the reappointment of…
Media release, 11 June 2020 Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils welcomes the NSW Government announcement that 5,200 new jobs would result from a new precinct fast-tracked for development near the new Western Sydney Airport, but warns that forecasted impacts on regional employment post-Covid-19 could push the existing local jobs deficit even further.  A study released last month by the University of Newcastle has mapped disadvantage in NSW due to covid-19 job losses, indicating that the existing jobs gap in Western Sydney is expected to increase[1]. According to the study’s Employment Vulnerability Index (EVI), Western Sydney features as being both…
Media release, 3 June 2020 Realising Western Sydney’s potential relies on clear planning and timely delivery of an integrated public transport network, one that links communities with a range of employment and lifestyle opportunities, says WSROC.  WSROC President, Clr Barry Calvert, said “The announcement of a federal funding injection into a metro line linking the new Western Sydney Airport with St Marys station is an important step towards closing the region’s public transport gaps.  However, it is the links to the north and south that will connect communities in our North West and South West Growth Areas.  “WSROC wholeheartedly welcomes this funding support from the Commonwealth Government, as it resolves some uncertainty around how and when Western Sydney Airport will be linked to the rest of the region.  “This uncertainty is a problem…
Media Release 27 May, 2020 The NSW Government’s increased investment in planting new trees across Greater Sydney is welcomed by WSROC, however planting strategies must include solid plans for watering and maintenance of trees to be effective in creating cooler suburbs. In consultation with urban heat expert, Dr Sebastian Pfautsch, WSROC has previously identified the increase of green cover as key to creating cooler spaces[1]. However, this strategy can only be effective with planning that captures essential elements: selecting species suited to place and ensuring sustainable maintenance of plantings – including adequate access to water. WSROC President Barry Calvert said,…
Media release, 27 May 2020   The Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC) has welcomed the NSW Government’s $50 million funding package to support arts organisations but is concerned that many Western Sydney venues aren’t eligible. WSROC President Clr Barry Calvert said “It is great to see our state government deliver a package to support arts and cultural organisations, however it is unlikely the benefits will be evenly distributed. “Most arts and cultural venues in Western Sydney and regional NSW are run or funded by local governments who are not eligible for funding.  As a result, the benefits will…
Media release, 21 May 2020 The Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC) has commended community volunteers on their outstanding work as part of National Volunteer Week but warns that further assistance will continue to be needed as we emerge from Covid-19 lockdowns. WSROC President, Clr Barry Calvert, said “This week is National Volunteer Week, a time when we acknowledge the valuable contribution made by volunteers across all aspects of society. “As Australian’s we are exceedingly proud of our volunteer culture, however following a devastating summer of bushfires and the current Covid-19 pandemic, the true value of Australia’s volunteers has…
Media release, 13 May 2020 The Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC) has welcomed the NSW Government’s approval of the Mount Druitt CBD masterplan but warns that the area will require significant investment in transport infrastructure to accommodate growth. WSROC President, Clr Barry Calvert, said “It is great to see the NSW Government working with local councils, in this case Blacktown City Council, to deliver great planning outcomes for communities. “This approval will pave the way for Council’s planned revitalisation of Mount Druitt CBD including a range of employment and leisure opportunities for the local community. “This project will…
Monday, 18 May 2020 10:43

WSROC litter campaign cleans up

Media release, 18 May 2020 Six councils in Western Sydney have achieved remarkable results from a targeted anti-litter campaign over the summer, which focused on takeaway packaging and beverage containers left in local parks and public spaces. Participating councils collectively saw an average reduction of 71% in litter counts, and a 95% reduction in overall litter volume. The most improved site during the campaign achieved 86% reduction in littered items and 99% reduction in volume of littered items. The Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC) President, Barry Calvert, said “These results are even better than expected. The success of…
Media release, 1 May 2020 The Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC) has welcomed the NSW Government’s $395 million package to reduce impacts of Covid-19 on local jobs and community service delivery. WSROC President, Clr Barry Calvert, said “This support package is greatly needed. Councils, like other organisations are under a lot of pressure due to Covid-19. However, unlike many businesses, councils are not eligible for Federal assistance programs such as Job Keeper. “The news that support is available to safeguard council jobs, local services, and infrastructure delivery is fantastic for councils and their communities. Relief from the 2020-21…
Media release, 20 April 2020 The Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC) has welcomed the NSW Government’s announcement on reforming development contributions but warns placing additional pressures on councils will be counterproductive to liveability goals. WSROC President, Clr Barry Calvert, said “This is a welcome announcement by the NSW Government. Councils, particularly those in high growth areas like Western Sydney, have long called for changes in the way we fund social infrastructure such as parks, community halls, libraries and swimming pools. “WSROC also welcomes the $70 million worth of funding for the North West Growth Area in acknowledgement that…
Media release, 9 March 2020 After another summer of extremes, the Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC) has called for a re-assessment of housing affordability that factors in the growing costs of living with heat, as the region seems set on a trajectory of inequity. Seasonal data released by the Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) confirms what Western Sydneysiders experienced, over the past three months. The region saw new records set for both highest and lowest seasonal temperatures and more consecutive days of extreme heat (over 35 degrees). In comparison, a sobering disparity between temperatures experienced in Western and Eastern Sydney…
Media release, 17 March, 2020 The Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC) has called on the NSW Government to prioritise north-south rail connections following the release of Transport for NSW’s latest Household Travel Survey. WSROC President, Clr Barry Calvert, said “The changes in commute times outlined in NSW’s latest household travel survey are far from surprising, with massive time increases for Western Sydney growth areas. “The NSW Government has made huge investments in Sydney’s transport system, including fantastic new infrastructure such as the North West Metro and WestConnex motorway. However, these investments are all CBD centric,” he said. “If…
Media release, 5 March 2020 WSROC has called on the NSW Government to review transport priorities, following recent news reports that point to inequitable access to public transport for Western Sydney, and a startling shortfall in planned projects to service the region’s future populations. WSROC President, Clr Barry Calvert, said “Projects such as the Sydney Metro West and WestConnex are only just catching up to barely meeting the needs of the current population. Where is the vision and planning for the Western Sydney of 2036, 2056? Nine News has reported an “extraordinary contrast”[1] between public ferry services available to Western…
Wednesday, 04 March 2020 15:30

WSROC's grant plan for urban heat

Media release, 2 February 2020  WSROC will expand its work on urban heat mitigation with a grant from Increasing Resilience to Climate Change fund (assisted by the NSW Government and supported by Local Government NSW). WSROC has secured $90,000 funding to build on existing work that helps councils include urban heat mitigation into land-use planning and development controls. WSROC President, Clr Barry Calvert welcomed the news saying “With Western Sydney now facing record temperatures and increasingly worrying levels of Urban Heat Island (UHI) effect, WSROC’s position is that a coordinated approach to policy planning is vital to the future of…
Tuesday, 03 March 2020 09:18

WSROC welcomes RFS Commissioner

Media release, 2 March 2020 The Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC), welcomed NSW Rural Fire Service Commissioner, Shane Fitzsimmons, at its recent Board Meeting at Cumberland City Council to discuss how local government can work with state and federal agencies to improve resilience for future bushfires. WSROC President, Clr Barry Calvert, said “It was an honour to have Commissioner Fitzsimmons address the WSROC Board. Many of our councils have worked closely with him through this traumatic summer, and we have immense respect for the outstanding job he has done. After giving an overview of the summer’s emergency response…
Monday, 02 March 2020 15:24

Invest for growth in the West

Media release, 2 March 2020   WSROC has expressed concern that recent changes to Western Sydney’s projected growth will further increase the infrastructure backlog. WSROC President, Clr Barry Calvert, said “The West welcomes growth, our evolution is defined by it. The challenge is to achieve growth by design and not by default. “Currently, significant new development in Western Sydney is taking place where there is limited infrastructure or access to services. How will these communities grow in a vacuum? What will they become? “The Government’s significant investment in health, and transport infrastructure across Western Sydney is to be commended, absolutely.…
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