Media releases - WSROC
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.…
Monday, 03 February 2020 11:51

Western Sydney councils unite on energy

Media release, 30 January, 2020 Nine councils in Western Sydney have launched a new strategy to slash emissions and boost energy savings for a more sustainable, affordable energy future. Coordinated by WSROC, the Western Sydney Energy Program (WSEP) aims to reduce Western Sydney’s emissions by 200,000 tonnes of CO2e[1] reductions each year. This equates to taking 46,000 cars off the road annually. The Western Sydney Energy Program will focus on four key areas: renewable energy, transport infrastructure, supporting communities, and implementing best practice in energy planning and design for buildings and precincts. WSROC President Clr Barry Calvert said “Councils are…
Wednesday, 11 December 2019 16:58

Western Sydney to get Heat Smart

Media release, 11 December 2019 The Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC) has received $215,000 through the Office of Emergency Management’s Community Resilience Innovation Program to deliver a coordinated approach to heatwave preparedness and management in Western Sydney. “The project, called Heat Smart Western Sydney, will bring together local councils, government agencies and community service providers to better coordinate how heatwaves are managed, and improve community resilience to heat. WSROC President, Cr Barry Calvert said “Heat is responsible for 60 per cent of Australia’s natural hazard related deaths, more deadly than fires, floods or storms combined. Despite this, many…
Monday, 09 December 2019 12:22

WSROC warns residents: Take heat seriously

Media release, 5 December 2019 WSROC has called on Western Sydney residents to get ready to handle more heat, as we enter the first week of a hotly-anticipated summer. With last month the hottest November on record for Greater Sydney, there is a general sense of apprehension around just how hot it may get in Western Sydney, exacerbated by urban heat island effect and an accelerated bushfire season. WSROC President, Clr Barry Calvert, expressed concern around residents’ level of preparedness for extreme heat events, questioning whether heat-defence and health-saving measures are widely taken up. “Summer’s arrival this year comes amid…
Monday, 25 November 2019 11:20

Western Sydney cafes choose to reuse

Media release, 19 November 2019 Cafe lovers in Sydney’s West get set for a better way to take away their beverages, with councils implementing a new, sustainable solution to single-use disposable cups. Launching in February 2020, a whopping 180 cafes in seven Western Sydney council areas will roll out the ‘Refill Don’t Landfill’ campaign, providing free reusable café cups for customers and joining a growing network across Australia. Western Sydney councils have partnered on a new program with swap-and-go pioneers GreenCaffeen. Using Australian-made products and supported by their app, Green Caffeen is engineering abetter approach to takeaway, by rejecting the…
Media release, 6 November 2019 The Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC) has welcomed the release of the NSW Government’s Asbestos Strategy which includes a proposal to make asbestos disposal cheaper via the removal of the waste levy. WSROC President, Cr Barry Calvert, said “WSROC supports strong action on asbestos and commends Minister Kean for his responsiveness on this issue. Asbestos is a major public health concern for Western Sydney which is considered Sydney’s ‘fibro belt’. “In the early 1980s, some areas of Western Sydney saw more than 30 per cent of homes clad in asbestos products. These areas…
Wednesday, 30 October 2019 12:29

Western Sydney councils take on takeaway litter

Media release, 28 October 2019 The Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC) will deliver a new anti-litter program with participating councils, targeting the huge quantities of food and drink containers and packaging left in public spaces - costing councils $14 million annually. Building on previous, successful campaigns1, the WSROC Regional Litter Program (LRIP) is aimed at reducing Western Sydney councils’ annual $14 million cleaning bill2 by targeting prevention of litter. Strategies include growing awareness around community responsibility and ensuring adequate infrastructure, such as the quantity and visibility of bins - particularly in high-use recreational areas. Rolling out from November 2019,…
Media release, 24 October, 2019  The Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC) is calling on the NSW Government for an independent review of the financial and funding arrangements between local government and the NSW and Commonwealth Governments, following the release of the NSW Review of Federal Financial Relations paper this week by an independent expert panel. WSROC President, Cr Barry Calvert, stated “Treasurer Perrottet’s interest in creating better value for taxpayers through a funding review is most timely. WSROC agrees that the limitations of complicated funding arrangements and partnerships fosters instability and uncertainty, which can and must be improved.…
Wednesday, 30 October 2019 11:53

Western Sydney launches 65km Great West Walk

Media release, 9 October 2019 The Great West Walk was launched today, opening up a new 65km walking route from the Parramatta River to the foot of the Blue Mountains; delivering new links in Sydney’s Green Grid. Mapped by community group, the Walking Volunteers, the walk winds through a varied landscape of protected Cumberland Plain Woodland, local rivers, public parks, heritage sites and some of Western Sydney’s most iconic urban landscapes.  The Walk is the result of combined efforts of community groups, land managers and governing bodies, and has resulted in new opportunities for community recreation, exploration, and revegetation. Following…
Media release, 24 September, 2019 WSROC has expressed concern after Western Sydney Airport CEO, Graham Millett, confirmed indicative flight paths would not be available until late 2021 at the earliest; years after construction commenced. WSROC President, Cr Barry Calvert, said “While the region welcomes the economic boost the airport brings, it is disingenuous to expect communities to fully support the aerotropolis development when we still don’t have the details." “The time for transparency and planning is now – not 2022. “Western Sydney is expected to be home to another 500,000 residents by the time the airport opens in 2026 .…
Media release, 13 August, 2019 The Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC) has welcomed the NSW Government’s announcement that they will fund the first year of the Emergency Services Levy increase. WSROC President, Cr Barry Calvert, said “WSROC welcomes the announcement that councils will not have to fund the first year of a $13.6 million increase to the Emergency Services Levy, and thank Ministers Barilaro and Hancock for their decision. “WSROC whole-heartedly supports the move to improve compensation for our emergency service professionals, however, the manner in which this increase was originally implemented – without warning or consultation –…
Monday, 22 July 2019 14:33

M4 tunnels take their toll

Media Release, 18 July, 2019 The opening of the M4 tunnels segment of the WestConnex motorway will bring a swifter ride for Western Sydney commuters, but at a stiff price. The Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC) welcomes the news, that the 5.5km stretch of mostly tunnelled motorway at the eastern end of the M4 is now open to motorists, allowing drivers to by-pass the congested traffic traps along Parramatta Road. But it comes at a cost. WSROC President Cr Barry Calvert said that revenue collected in tolls from Western Sydney commuters to pay for the motorway should be…
Monday, 08 July 2019 15:13

Wasting time: NSW's planning crisis

Media release,  8 July 2019 The news that the NSW Government is falling short on its waste responsibilities[1] comes as no surprise to Western Sydney councils who are faced with unprecedented regional growth and increasingly strained waste management infrastructure. The Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC) welcomes the NSW Government’s move to develop a 20-year waste strategy, noting state action on waste is well overdue. WSROC President Cr Barry Calvert said “Waste collection may be delivered locally, but waste processing, distribution and commodity markets are determined at the state, national and international levels. “Councils cannot do this alone. The current…
Thursday, 27 June 2019 15:07

Cooler suburbs: More than trees

Media release, 26 June 2019 Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC) welcomes the news that green spaces and planting more trees are new Premier’s Priorities. Since 2016, WSROC has called on the NSW Government to make urban heat an urgent priority to ensure better health and resilience outcomes in the region. In December 2018, WSROC released the Turn Down the Heat Strategy; the first multi-sector approach to heat mitigation, which includes the call for including trees and green spaces as critical urban infrastructure. Western Sydney experiences the worst of Greater Sydney’s urban heat, with higher temperatures, and less relief…
Media release, 18 June, 2019 The NSW Government Budget released last week – while upholding previous commitments to investment in Western Sydney – was disappointing, for inaction on key issues impacting local councils and their communities.WSROC President, Cr Barry Calvert, said “Local councils have been left high and dry responding to NSW’s waste and recycling crisis. "We have been struck with last minute Emergency Services Levy increases, and in the context of rate-capping, are struggling to keep up with delivering services needed by our growing communities. “This Budget offers no support for councils facing increases to the Emergency Services Levy,…
Thursday, 06 June 2019 16:09

WSROC councils in Lithgow City

Media release 22 May, 2019 WSROC member councils toured Lithgow City in late May, taking the opportunity to learn more about WSROC’s most westerly region and gateway to the Central West. Council representatives and WSROC staff took in key historic, industrial and tourism hubs in the district, exploring avenues for potential partnerships and projects, prior to attending the WSROC Board meeting in Lithgow City. Since joining WSROC in 2018, Lithgow City’s membership has extended the Western Sydney footprint and created opportunities for new strategic endeavours for better community outcomes.Lithgow’s industry, location and enviable, low-density living bring new possibilities to Sydney’s…
Media release, 14 May, 2019 The Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC) is incredulous that the NSW Government has given local government two months’ notice on an increased Emergency Services Levy without warning or consultation. WSROC President, Cr Barry Calvert, said “We are severely disappointed in that the Government has failed to consult with councils on changes to the Emergency Services Levy for the second time in as many years. “In 2017, the Government sought to collect a state Emergency Services Property Levy from residents via councils.This poorly thought through plan was eventually scrapped, causing significant and unnecessary costs…
Tuesday, 30 April 2019 09:37

Asbestos a toxic tax on local government

Media release, April 30, 2019 Asbestos-contaminated sites uncovered on Sydney road projects (SMH April 29,2019) present a significant challenge to the NSW Government in terms of disposal and funding the cost of remediation. However, the remediation of asbestos has long been an ongoing challenge for local councils. WSROC acknowledges the complexity surrounding asbestos disposal and cost. The clean-up of illegally dumped asbestos is a recurring challenge that costs Western Sydney councils millions of dollars each year. The prevalence of asbestos in Western Sydney’s ‘fibro belt’, combined with the perception that asbestos disposal is expensive and time consuming, has led to…
Media release, 3 May 2019 Western Sydney councils celebrated the launch of a 500kW Hawkesbury Solar Program on Thursday 2nd May. The event kicked-off at South Windsor Family Centre amongst some of the project’s future beneficiaries. CEO of the Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC), Charles Casuscelli, said “The Hawkesbury Solar Program is the first renewable energy project to kick-off under the Light Years Ahead energy efficiency banner and will pave the way for further solar investment across Western Sydney.” The Hawkesbury Solar Program will see 500kW worth of solar panels rolled out across 12 Council sites including the…
Media release, 10 May 2019 WSROC has called on the next Australian Government to act urgently on Australia’s waste management crisis to stimulate local recycling capacity, ensure more products are recycled, and develop new markets for recycled products. WSROC President Cr Barry Calvert said “Waste collection is managed by local governments, however, international forces acting on the waste industry at present are far beyond the capacity of local communities to address. “The introduction of the China National Sword Policy in 2017 and the rise and fall of international commodity markets have created an unsustainable situation for Australia’s waste management sector.…
Friday, 29 March 2019 11:05

We must accelerate road to recovery

Media release, 28 March 2019 The Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC) has called on both major parties to commit to increase Roads to Recovery funding for 2019 – 2024. WSROC President Cr Barry Calvert said “We are pleased to see bipartisan support for continuing the Roads to Recovery program to 2024[i], however there is concern that the level of funding is inadequate; putting community safety at risk.  “A report released by the NRMA in January 2019[ii], shows that in 2016/17 Greater Western Sydney[iii] had a road maintenance backlog of $293.5 million; an increase of 34 per cent on…
Wednesday, 20 March 2019 14:10

Opal cap return welcome, toll cap next step

Media release, 20 March 2019 The Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC) has welcomed the NSW Government’s promise to re-introduce a weekly cap on Opal fares. WSROC President Cr Barry Calvert said “Western Sydney residents would welcome the introduction of a $50 per week cap on public transport travel, reversing the Government’s 2016 decision to remove the popular ‘free travel bonus’.” “When the free travel cap was removed in early 2016, a five-day commute from Penrith to the city jumped from $51.68 per week to $75.50 per week,” he said. “This move unfairly impacted Western Sydney commuters who typically travel…
Media release, 15 March, 2019 The Western Sydney Organisation of Councils (WSROC) has called on both Liberal and Labor parties to outline how they will address Western Sydney’s social infrastructure backlog following the NSW Elections on March 23rd 2019. WSROC President Cr Barry Calvert said “Funding adequate levels of social infrastructure such as sports facilities, community centres, libraries and swimming pools is a major challenge for local governments, particularly those in rapidly growing areas such as Western Sydney.” “These types of local facilities are essential for ensuring our communities are great places to live but funding them is expensive. “The…
The Western Sydney Organisation of Councils (WSROC) has called on the NSW Government to return waste levy money collected in Western Sydney back to the region. WSROC President Cr Barry Calvert said “Each year councils pay the NSW Government a significant levy on waste sent to landfill. The aim of the levy is admirable – to discourage landfill and encourage recycling and reuse – however, only a small percentage is actually used for this purpose. “Of the $255 million the NSW Government collected from Greater Western Sydney1 councils in the last five years, just $20 million has been returned. That’s…
Friday, 15 March 2019 10:24

Record summer demands heat be a priority

The Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC) has called on the NSW Government to make urban heat a Premier’s Priority following a record hot summer.   WSROC President Cr Barry Calvert said “Heat has critical impacts right across our city. In a heatwave hospitalisations surge, power bills skyrocket, infrastructure breaks down, and traffic worsens. “Heat is particularly challenging for Western Sydney, where temperatures can be more than 10 degrees hotter than the CBD, and energy usage for cooling 100 per cent higher,” said Cr Calvert. “In December 2018, WSROC released its Turn Down the Heat Strategy; the first multi-sector…
Thursday, 07 February 2019 09:38

West joins forces on energy efficiency

Media release, 7 February, 2019 Eight Western Sydney councils are joining forces on a more coordinated approach to energy efficiency with a two-year program due to kick off in February. President of the Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC), Cr Barry Calvert, said “As we close off on Sydney’s hottest January on record, the need for addressing energy efficiency and sustainability has never been more urgent. “Commencing February, the new WSROC Energy Efficiency Program will build on the success of previous regional initiatives including Light Years Ahead which has delivered savings of $9.5 million and 10,000 tonnes of emissions…
Wednesday, 16 January 2019 13:50

Make heat a Premier's Priority says WSROC

Media release, 16 January, 2019 WSROC has called on the NSW Government to make urban heat a Premier’s Priority following another week of scorching weather across the state. WSROC President Cr Barry Calvert said “Heat is Australia’s number one natural killer. During a heatwave hospitalisations surge, power bills skyrocket, infrastructure breaks down, and traffic worsens. This all-encompassing issue requires an all-of-government approach which is why heat should be a Premier’s Priority following the 2019 NSW Election.” “Heat is a particular issue for Western Sydney, where temperatures can be more than 10 degrees hotter than the CBD, and energy usage for…
Media release, 19 December, 2018 Western Sydney councils and state government agencies have teamed up to investigate litter flowing into the upper reaches of the Parramatta River. Coordinated by the Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC), the initiative takes a ‘whole of catchment’ approach to litter, supporting efforts to make Parramatta River swimmable by 2025. WSROC President Cr Barry Calvert said “While litter programs have been running for many years, this is the first time baseline data has been collected for the Parramatta River catchment as a whole. “By collating data from five councils, four state agencies and the…
Media release, 17 December, 2018   The Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC) has called on the NSW Government to heed recommendations in Infrastructure Australia’s Planning Liveable Cities report launched last week. The report highlights the need to enhance incentives that promote improved governance and better collaboration between all levels of government to achieve the liveability aspirations of our cities. WSROC President Cr Barry Calvert said “This is an ongoing challenge for local government. We see the need to make greater investments in liveability infrastructure for our rapidly growing communities but have limited resources to deliver. “Within the space…
Wednesday, 05 December 2018 17:10

West launches strategy to turn down the heat

Media release, 5 December, 2018   With another scorching summer on the way[1], the Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC) has released its plan for cooler, more resilient communities. Developed in partnership with 55 stakeholder organisations, the Turn Down the Heat Strategy and Action Plan is the first comprehensive, multi-sector approach to tackling heat in Western Sydney. WSROC President Cr Barry Calvert said “Heat is arguably the greatest natural threat to the Western Sydney community[2] - yet we do not take heat as seriously as we do bushfires, floods or storms. “During a heatwave hospitalisations surge, power bills skyrocket,…
Media release,  8 November, 2018 Wheels are in motion for the first solar project under Western Sydney’s Light Years Ahead energy efficiency initiative, as Hawkesbury City Council calls for tenders this month. Facilitated by the Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC), Light Years Ahead has already saved participating councils over $10 million in energy bills and over 10,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions by replacing outdated streetlights with more efficient LED technology. Now in its second iteration, Light Years Ahead has been expanded to include a variety of energy efficiency and sustainability projects including solar, HVAC and building upgrades. WSROC…
Monday, 05 November 2018 12:10

Regional campaign reduces litter by 46%

MEDIA RELEASE, 8 November 2018 The latest regional litter program from the Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC) has achieved a 46 percent reduction in cigarette litter across key Western Sydney shopping strips. Run in partnership with eight local councils, the Bin Your Butts program was part of ongoing efforts to tackle Western Sydney’s $14 million per year litter clean-up bill under the Western Sydney Regional Waste and Resource Recovery Strategy (2017 – 2021). Run between March and September 2018, Bin Your Butts included the installation of 16 new cigarette butt bins, as well as a range of community…
Monday, 29 October 2018 12:56

Hawkesbury Mayor elected WSROC President

Media release, 29 October 2018 Mayor of Hawkesbury, Cr Barry Calvert was unanimously elected President of the Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC) at the organisation’s Annual General Meeting at Liverpool City Council on Thursday night. Cr Calvert replaces Blacktown Mayor Cr Stephen Bali MP who has headed the organisation for the past two years. Joining Cr Calvert on the Executive Committee are Cumberland Councillor George Campbell as Senior Vice President, Blue Mountains Councillor Don McGregor as Junior Vice President, and Liverpool Councillor Karress Rhodes as Treasurer. President Cr Calvert said “I am very honoured to have been elected…
Media release, 5 October, 2018     The Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC) has called on the NSW Government to boost public transport in Sydney’s West following the 51 per cent sale of Sydney Motorway Corporation. WSROC President Cr Stephen Bali said, “The Government was able to achieve $9.2 billion sale of Sydney Motorway Corporation because full time Western Sydney commuters now pay $2000 per year to use the M4; a fee that will be increased at a minimum of 4 per cent annually for the next 40 years,” he said. “This is billions of dollars sucked from…
Friday, 05 October 2018 15:02

WSROC welcomes new and re-elected Mayors

Media Release 5 October 2018   The Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC) has welcomed newly elected Mayors following a string of elections this month.   WSROC President Cr Stephen Bali said, “I would like to offer my congratulations to the newly elected Mayors of WSROC member councils Hawkesbury and Lithgow.   “Mayor of Hawkesbury, Cr Barry Calvert, has 19 years’ experience in local government and currently serves as Junior Vice President to the WSROC Board. In these roles Cr Calvert has shown outstanding service to the Hawkesbury community with a focus on human services, better transport infrastructure, and…
Friday, 28 September 2018 13:05

Sydney Gateway not free for West

MEDIA RELEASE, 19 September 2018 The Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC) is disappointed that the tolls paid on the first stage of WestConnex will be used to fund a freeway in Eastern Sydney, rather than boosting public transport in the West. WSROC President Cr Stephen Bali said, “Contrary to the Government’s claims, the Sydney Gateway is not ‘free’; it is being funded by Western Sydney commuters. “The Government was able to sell WestConnex at a profit because full time Western Sydney commuters now pay $2000 per year to use the M4; a fee that will be increased at…
Monday, 27 August 2018 16:38

Parramatta LED project hits halfway

Media release 28th August, 2018   The second round of WSROC’s award-winning Light Years Ahead energy efficiency program is well under way with over half of Parramatta’s LED lighting replacement project now complete. WSROC President Cr Stephen Bali said “Since the start of the project in November 2017, Endeavour Energy has changed 3741 high-emitting street lights with more efficient LED technology (out of a total of 5,970 lights). “The new LED lights will reduce energy usage by up to 79 per cent[1] which will see a significant cost savings for the community in the long term. “Street lighting accounts for…
Media release 12 July, 2018 The Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils has welcomed a speech from Anthony Albanese that supports the role of local government and regional organisations (ROCs) in future city planning. The Shadow Minister for Infrastructure, Transport Cities and Regional Development presented the Federal Opposition’s proposed City Partnerships concept at an address to The Sydney Institute on Wednesday night. WSROC President Cr Stephen Bali said “Delivering outcomes for our future cities is a significant challenge, one that requires all levels of government, the private sector and the community communicating in an open and transparent way. “While the…
Tuesday, 31 July 2018 11:41

Lithgow to join the West

Media release, 31 July 2018 Lithgow City Council is set to become a member of the Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC) after formally accepting an invitation to join the regional organisation in July. WSROC CEO Charles Casuscelli said “Following discussions between executive management of the two organisations, it became clear that there would be significant benefit from working together. “Lithgow is a progressive, eastward-looking council that sees significant opportunity in aligning itself with Greater Western Sydney,” he said. “As the gateway to NSW’s Central West, Lithgow is well placed to support the growth of Western Sydney, and in…
Wednesday, 25 July 2018 16:46

Councils continue war on waste to 2021

Media release, 25 July, 2018   Western Sydney councils are on a mission to reduce waste, increase recycling and prevent illegal dumping under a new four year strategy launched on 25 July, 2018. The jointly developed, Western Sydney Regional Waste Avoidance and Resource Recovery Strategy 2017 – 2021, is a blueprint for a cleaner, more sustainable future. Vice President of the Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC), Cr Barry Calvert, said “Waste, like water and electricity, is a critical service for any city; one delivered almost solely by local government in partnership with industry.“Councils are constantly working to deliver…
Media release, 11 July 2018 Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils is greatly disappointed that the NSW Government continues to ignore the growing burden of transport costs to the workers and families of Western Sydney.   WSROC President Cr Stephen Bali said “This week the Government celebrated the fact that $1.4 million in free rego has been returned to motorists in the first week of July. “In the very same week Sydney motorists paid as much as $18 million in tolls[1],” he said. “A $423[2] rego cashback is small comfort when the cost of travel has just increased by almost…
Monday, 09 July 2018 10:28

Get tested this National Diabetes Week

Media release, 8 July 2018 The Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC) is calling on Western Sydney residents to get tested for diabetes this National Diabetes Week (8 – 14 July).   WSROC President Cr Stephen Bali said “Unfortunately type 2 diabetes is especially common in Western Sydney, with rates 2-3 times higher than Sydney’s coastal suburbs. “Diabetes can have huge impacts on individuals and their families. But the good news is that it is preventable and can be well-managed if caught early. “Everybody is entitled to one free diabetes test per year under Medicare, so make sure you…
Media release, 25 June, 2018 A recent inquiry into commuter car parking has failed to address basic issues of supply and demand said the Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC). WSROC President, Cr Stephen Bali said “This was a sorely needed review, but unfortunately has not provided short term solutions to car parking in Western Sydney. “WSROC supports a number of recommendations put forward in the report including: Opal card accessed bike sheds and increased transparency of investment decisions,” he said. “However, we are dumbfounded that there is no recommendation for planning and building commuter car parks in areas…
Thursday, 21 June 2018 15:04

NSW Budget: Story of missed opportunities

Media release, 21 June 2018   The Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC) says the NSW Budget has missed a golden opportunity to deliver the infrastructure required to support the one million people moving into Western Sydney over the next 18 years. WSROC President, Cr Stephen Bali said “The forward estimates boast a $10 billion[i] surplus over five years, yet the Government is only planning to deliver on projects previously promised. Without investing this money, there will be a lack of new infrastructure to support the growth in our region. “Despite producing a budget surplus, projects such as the…
Thursday, 31 May 2018 16:22

WSROC welcomes commitment to West events

Media release, 31 May, 2018 The Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC) applauds the NSW Government’s decision to invest in a new landmark event for Western Sydney. WSROC President Cr Stephen Bali said “WSROC, in partnership with the Western Sydney Business Chamber, have been advocating for greater state support of Western Sydney events for some time. “We are extremely pleased to see this commitment from the Government. The potential for a new, regionally significant event for Western Sydney is enormous. “Western Sydney has a number of outstanding home-grown events, some of which draw similar-sized crowds to Vivid on a per…
Media release, 16 May, 2018 The Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC) has welcomed the NSW Government’s decision to hold back on development in areas where infrastructure is not coping with demand. WSROC President Cr Stephen Bali said, “Growth is going to happen, but it is important to ask where it is most appropriate. “We need to ensure we are prioritising sustainable growth. Growth that is supported by state infrastructure such as roads, drainage, parks, community centres and public transport,” he said. “That means planning and budgeting for infrastructure first, and allocating growth second. “Infrastructure helps build liveable cities.…
Thursday, 12 April 2018 12:34

Powerhouse move about fairness and equity

Media release, 12 April 2018  The Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC) has reiterated its support for the establishment of network of Powerhouse Museums, performance and art galleries across Western Sydney. WSROC President Cr Stephen Bali said “Western Sydney looks forward to the NSW Government keeping its word on the Powerhouse. “We are aware there is an upper house debate on the relocation costs, but whether or not the business case stacks up, dollars and cents can’t reflect the value this institution will bring to the Western Sydney community,” he said. “This relocation will be significant, not just because…
Monday, 30 April 2018 11:21

Government response to toll inquiry lazy

Media release 30 April, 2018   The Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC) is concerned by the NSW Government’s dismissive response to the Parliamentary Inquiry into Sydney’s road tolls. WSROC President, Cr Stephen Bali said “The Inquiry was set up to address legitimate concerns about inequity and lack of transparency in Sydney’s toll network. “For example users of the M2 pay three to four times more on a return journey to the CBD as users of the M5 motorway – despite travelling a similar distance. “The Inquiry clearly concluded that greater transparency and a review of tolling arrangements was…
Media release, 19th April 2018 The loss of China as a recycling export market should be a wake-up call for the importance of waste planning says the Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC). WSROC CEO Charles Casuscelli said “Along with water and electricity, waste is an essential service for any city, and when it goes wrong can be just as detrimental to community health and amenity. “This situation hasn’t just sprung upon us. For a long time, waste has not received the same strategic attention as state managed services such as water and electricity and this needs to be…
Media release, 28 March, 2018 The Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC) has welcomed the release of the region’s long term transport corridors and encourages Government to look at next steps. WSROC President Cr Stephen Bali said “Western Sydney has been waiting for this announcement for decades and we are very glad to see lines finally drawn on a map. “Knowing the location of future transport corridors is critical for local government’s strategic planning. With greater certainty, councils can make more informed decisions, and achieve better outcomes for the community. “Following community consultation, the next step is to develop…
Tuesday, 27 February 2018 16:06

WSROC Board slams IHAPs legislation

Media release, 27 February, 2018 The Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC) has called out the NSW Government’s mandatory Independent Hearing and Assessment Panels (IHAPs) as another round of undemocratic local government reform. WSROC President Cr Stephen Bali said “This is another example of half-baked policy that is more concerned about the image of the state government than improving outcomes for local communities. “Councils have implemented local solutions to improve transparency and accountability but unfortunately the model being implemented by the NSW Government will stop local residents exercising their democratic input, and will be expensive for ratepayers to fund.…
Tuesday, 27 February 2018 12:02

Airport noise fund a good first step

Media release, 27 February, 2018 The Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC) has welcomed the federal government’s $75 million commitment to noise abatement around Western Sydney Airport. WSROC President, Cr Stephen Bali, said “This is a good first step towards acknowledging airport noise as an important issue, and ensuring Western Sydney residents are being protected. “It is critical that Western Sydney receives the same types of protections as those living around Sydney Airport, particularly in the absence of a curfew. “While this fund will provide some reassurance to many residents, there is still much more work to be done…
Friday, 08 December 2017 14:11

New WSROC Executive elected

Media release, 8 December, 2017 Mayor of Blacktown, Cr Stephen Bali, was unanimously re-elected President of the Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC) at the organisation’s Annual General Meeting last week. “It is a privilege to be re-elected as WSROC President for a second term. WSROC has achieved a lot in the last 12 months, we have a great team of Directors and there is still much more work to be done,” said Cr Bali. “Over the coming year I hope we can make further advancements on critical issues such as tolling reform, urban heat, public transport, refugee settlement,…
Friday, 08 December 2017 10:44

NSW Premier meets with Western councils

Media release, 8 December, 2017 Western Sydney has entered a golden age said NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian, as she addressed 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, Cr 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…
The Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils’ (WSROC) award winning[1] Light Years Ahead initiative is back and it’s bigger and brighter than ever. WSROC President, Cr Stephen Bali said “The first round of the Light Years Ahead program saw almost 15,000 energy-guzzling street lights replaced with efficient LED technology – rewarding councils with savings of $20 million and 91,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions over 20 years2. “With such clear benefits for both communities and the environment, Western Sydney was keen to build on this success by offering a second round of the program. “The 2017 Light Years Ahead energy…
Friday, 24 November 2017 15:57

$2 billion splurge mocks real need

Media release, 24 November, 2017 The Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC) would like to congratulate the NSW Government on making the state so prosperous it can afford to splurge $2 billion knocking down perfectly useable stadiums. WSROC President Cr Stephen Bali said “I have no doubt the stadia will be Colosseum-inspired[1] as the Government claims; just like the Colosseum their purpose is to appease the masses and distract them from everyday problems. “This announcement makes an absolute mockery of real community needs. It implies that major events are more important to the Government than health, schools and transport.…
Monday, 20 November 2017 14:44

Rego cashback a start says WSROC

Media release, 20 November, 2017 Waiving registration fees will come as welcome news to many motorists, but it does not address the underlying inequity in our transport system says the Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC). WSROC President Cr Stephen Bali said “This announcement acknowledges the very real pressure of tolls on the community. It also demonstrates the pressure on the NSW Government as motorists continue to boycott the M4. “While this rebate will offer some measure of relief to Western Sydney households, it does not address the underlying problems in Sydney’s road network,” he said. “To make a…
Media release, 17 November, 2017 The Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC) has welcomed the Government’s final report following its Parliamentary Inquiry into road tolling. WSROC President Cr Stephen Bali said “We are extremely pleased with the recommendations provided in this report. They are in line with those put forward by the WSROC Board of Directors, and reiterated by WSROC, Blacktown and Penrith City Councils at the Parliamentary Inquiry in April 2017. “This result follows two years of campaigning for a review of Sydney’s toll road system with the aim of increasing transparency and fairness across the network. “Our…
Thursday, 14 September 2017 09:34

500,000 residents set to join nightmare commute

Media release, 14 September, 2017 An integrated rail and road plan is needed immediately to prevent Western Sydney commutes from becoming worse says the Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC). WSROC President Cr Stephen Bali said “Western Sydney is a region of commuters. We travel longer and farther than other areas of Sydney. We have few public transport options and pay dearly in tolls when we are forced to drive.                                                                                                                                “This situation is unlikely to change unless we reduce the CBD-centric nature of Sydney by building north-south connections that free-up cross regional travel and encourage economic investment in…
Friday, 03 November 2017 10:19

Fresh food precinct for the West

Media release, 1 November, 2017 The Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC) has voiced its support for a proposed fresh food precinct near Western Sydney Airport. WSROC President Cr Stephen Bali said “This is an industry we should definitely be investigating. “The area surrounding Badgerys Creek has long been a used for agriculture. An international airport opens up significant opportunities to connect local growers with export markets in Asia and beyond. “The proposal is estimated to deliver 12,000 jobs in sectors which are well aligned to Western Sydney’s existing economies and local workforce,” said Cr Bali. “Western Sydney is…
Media release, 20 October, 2017 The Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC) has picked up a Green Globe Award for its energy-saving street light project, Light Years Ahead. One of Sydney’s largest energy-reduction projects, Light Years Ahead saw nine local councils come together to replace old mercury vapour street lights with energy efficient LED lights across 136 Western Sydney suburbs. WSROC President Cr Stephen Bali said “Rising energy costs are being felt by organisations as well as households, and councils are no exception. “Street lighting accounts for around 55 percent of council power bills, so it was the obvious…
Thursday, 07 September 2017 16:10

Toll or time: the cruel choice for Western Sydney

Media release, 8 September, 2017   The Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC) has rejected Minister Ayres’ claim that the Government is not funnelling motorists onto the tolled M4 because drivers have a choice.  WSROC President Cr Stephen Bali said “The Government continues to tell us that Western Sydney drivers can use alternatives if they don’t want to pay a toll, but these alternatives are unviable and are set to become less so. “The Government’s own EIS states that Parramatta Road cannot be considered a viable alternative to the M4 because it is designed to provide local access and…
Thursday, 24 August 2017 13:03

NRMA report reveals failure to fund growth

Media release, 24 August, 2017   Local infrastructure backlogs will continue to grow unless urgent action is taken to reform funding arrangements for high growth areas says the Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC). WSROC President Cr Stephen Bali said “Today’s NRMA Funding Local Roads report highlights what local government has known for a long time – the current system for funding local infrastructure is failing.” “This is particularly true of rapidly growing Western Sydney, where ambitious state housing targets leave councils playing catch-up – providing billions of dollars of new infrastructure on top of their existing maintenance responsibilities,”…
Monday, 31 July 2017 15:11

WSROC applauds Powerhouse partnership

Media release, 31 July, 2017 The Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC) has applauded the Berejiklian Government’s partnership with City of Parramatta on the Powerhouse relocation and Riverside Theatre redevelopment. WSROC President Cr Stephen Bali said “Building the Powerhouse as part of a wider program of arts and cultural development simply makes sense. “For the West’s creative industries to thrive we need the large – scale infrastructure, performance and exhibition spaces, but we also need grass roots investment to support the development of local talent and local productions,” said Cr Bali. “We have confidence that the Government’s partnership with…
Media release, 20 July, 2017 A campaign enlisting Western Sydney residents in the fight against roadside litter has resulted in a 36 percent reduction across the region’s main roads – demonstrating the strength of people power.   WSROC President Cr Stephen Bali said “I am proud to report that between March and June WSROC saw a 36 percent reduction in roadside litter at 10 key sites across Western Sydney.  “Some areas, such as the Great Western Highway at Warrimoo saw reductions as high as 100 percent. “This demonstrates that the people of Western Sydney really do care about keeping the region…
Thursday, 06 July 2017 12:33

Tell us what you think: M4 toll

Complete the M4 toll survey Media release, 6 July 2017 WSROC will monitor the performance of the widened M4 over the coming month to ensure commuters feel they will get value for money from the $4.56 toll. WSROC President Cr Bali said “Both the Australian and NSW Governments have promised Western Sydney commuters significant time savings from WestConnex, and as paying customers we expect to see results. “Premier Berejiklian has promised that the benefits of the widened M4 will outweigh the cost of using it. I sincerely hope so, but will be relying on user feedback to determine whether this…
Wednesday, 21 June 2017 17:08

NSW Budget 2017: Western Sydney

Media release, 20 June 2017 The Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC) said the 2017-18 NSW Budget offered few surprises for infrastructure investment, however there were some great wins for health services and young people. WSROC President Cr Stephen Bali said “There were few surprises with regards to Western Sydney’s infrastructure program. Roads supporting Western Sydney Airport and the region’s North West, scoping for Western Sydney rail, and planning for Parramatta Light Rail have all become firm features on the state agenda. “While these upgrades are certainly welcomed, we must not rest on our laurels. Much more will be…
Thursday, 15 June 2017 11:39

WestConnex sale must fund West

Media release, 15 June, 2017 Any revenue made from the sale of WestConnex should be reinvested in public transport for Western Sydney says the Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC). WSROC President, Cr Stephen Bali said “The Government tells us that Western Sydney residents will be paying for WestConnex. It only makes sense that they should benefit from the proceeds if it is sold. “WSROC wants to see this money invested in a public transport network that will allow the soon-to-be 3 million Western Sydney residents get around our city without needing to pay expensive road use charges,” said…
Monday, 29 May 2017 10:02

Code Warm needed across the board

Media release, 29 May, 2017 The Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC) has congratulated Minister for Energy and Utilities Don Harwin MP for his strong action following February’s heat wave and is calling on Ministers for other portfolios to do the same. WSROC President Cr Stephen Bali said “We congratulate Minister Harwin for taking decisive action to reduce the impacts of extreme heat on NSW communities. “However securing energy supply is just one part of the solution. Extreme heat also has critical impacts on other essential infrastructure, as well as community health, emergency services and the ­­natural environment,” said…
Wednesday, 10 May 2017 14:30

Missing links in Federal Budget: WSROC

Media release, 10 May 2017 The Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC) has welcomed the Federal Budget’s focus on Western Sydney Airport but is concerned by the lack of funding for supporting infrastructure and transport links. WSROC President Cr Stephen Bali said “As expected, the Government has announced $5.3 billion for the construction of Western Sydney Airport, but has left significant uncertainty around funds for supporting infrastructure. “This is a significant concern for Western Sydney. It has taken 200 years to develop the region’s current public infrastructure, including a transport network that struggles to serve 2 million residents. “We…
Media release 16 May, 2017 The Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC) has welcomed the NSW Government’s promise to build more liveable neighbourhoods in Sydney’s North West Priority Growth Area. WSROC President Cr Stephen Bali said “WSROC has long advocated for a coordinated approach to planning – one that considers liveability as much as affordability. “If we are going to build housing we must also build the essential infrastructure and services our communities need, It’s an approach that simply makes sense,” he said. “We hope the Government’s commitment to whole-of-precinct planning will achieve the right balance of housing, transport,…
Media release, 12 May, 2017   The Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC) has called out the NSW Government for tokenism following its announcement of a one month toll free period on the widened M4. WSROC President, Cr Stephen Bali said “WSROC has long been a supporter of WestConnex, but a one month toll-free period for the M4 is completely tokenistic – a one off, $200 discount. “Drivers should not pay before they benefit, and until the M4 East is completed two years from now, traffic chaos will continue,” he said. “No matter how many lanes the M4 has,…
Media release, 2 May, 2017   It does not matter who develops Western Sydney Airport, but how they go about it said the Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC) following Sydney Airport’s decision to opt out of the project. WSROC President Cr Stephen Bali said “Regardless of who develops Western Sydney Airport, our priority is to ensure positive outcomes for both the economy and the people of Western Sydney – we can do both. “Whether developed by the Australian Government or another party, Western Sydney’s economy and its people must see a practical plan for the airport’s development –…
Wednesday, 26 April 2017 16:06

Connecting airport to communities essential

Media release, 26 April, 2017   The Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC) has welcomed Labor’s announcement that it would build a rail network connecting Western Sydney to Badgerys Creek by the time the airport opens. WSROC President, Cr Stephen Bali, said “WSROC has said from day one that if an airport is to be built in Western Sydney, for Western Sydney, it must connect with the region’s communities. “Labor’s announcement recognises that for Western Sydney Airport to be a success it must be supported by an appropriate infrastructure network – a network ready to cater for an additional…
Tuesday, 28 February 2017 17:30

Innovative partnership tackles roadside litter

Media release February, 2017   Roads and Maritime Services, NSW Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) and 10 Western Sydney councils will join forces to reduce and prevent roadside litter in Sydney’s West this month. The first-of-its-kind partnership was formed through the Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC) regional waste strategy following ongoing discussions with state government agencies. WSROC President Cr Stephen Bali said “Last year Western Sydney councils collectively spent $14 million on litter management, making it a major impost for councils and their communities. “This isn’t just a public amenity issue, roadside litter can increase risks other road users,…
Monday, 10 April 2017 17:19

Spot a tosser this Easter road trip

Media release, 10 April, 2017   Families from across Sydney will hit the road this Easter holiday period. While enjoying winding roads, rolling hills, and beautiful beaches, spare a moment to join the fight against roadside litter. Recent research by the Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC) found Western Sydney councils spend around $14 million picking up litter every year; making it a huge cost to the community. WSROC President Cr Stephen Bali said “Not only is litter unpleasant, it can increase risk to other road users and, in the case of cigarette butts, cause dangerous grass fires. “As…
Media release, April 2017 The Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC) has expressed disappointment at the Minister for Urban Infrastructure’s decision to exclude the organisation from a forum informing flight paths for Western Sydney Airport. WSROC President Cr Stephen Bali said “As the collective voice of local government in Western Sydney WSROC deserves a seat at the table; particularly when many potentially affected communities are not represented. “I have confidence those appointed to the forum will voice the needs of their communities, but I am concerned by glaring gaps in representation from a number of local government areas under…
  Media release, 21 March 2017 The Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC) has welcomed a parliamentary inquiry into road tolls following its call for a review of charging inequities across the Sydney motorway network1. WSROC President Cr Stephen Bali said “This review is sorely needed. There is no reason why motorists travelling along the M2 should pay three or four times more than someone travelling the same distance along the M5. “However, WSROC would like to see the focus of the inquiry consider more than just the transparency of road use charges,” said Cr Bali. “This inquiry is…
Friday, 03 March 2017 14:54

West turning down the heat together

Media release, March 2, 2017 Over 90 stakeholders from across Western Sydney attended Turn down the heat forum to address one of the region’s burning issues – extreme heat. Specialists from across the health, infrastructure, planning, environment, community, university and private sectors gathered to discuss how urban heat can be mitigated in the rapidly developing region. Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC) CEO, Charles Casuscelli said the response to the forum had been overwhelming. “This year’s record-breaking summer really emphasised the pressure heat places on our health, environment, urban infrastructure and economy,” he said. “We saw the impact heat had…
Media release, 9 January, 2017 Western Sydney has a long and proud history of welcoming refugees into its communities. For decades the region has benefited from the diverse skills and vibrant cuisines of hardworking migrants; grateful for their chance at a better life in Australia. Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC) President Cr Stephen Bali said “I am proud of the work Western Sydney councils are doing to welcome refugees arriving in Australia, and it is critical that they have the right resources to continue doing so. “The Commonwealth Government plays a key role in refugee processing and placement[2],…
Western Sydney summers are hot, and are set to get hotter if a strategic approach to heat mitigation isn’t developed says the Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC). WSROC President, Cr Stephen Bali, said “It is no secret that Western Sydney summers are hot, but urbanisation is contributing to this heat due to what scientists call the urban heat island effect.” “Urban surfaces such as concrete and bitumen absorb and hold heat well past the heat of the day. Other activities such as vehicle use, industrial activity and air-conditioning contribute to this heat,” said Cr Bali. “According to the…
Media release, 12 December, 2016 The Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC) has reaffirmed its concerns regarding the final approval conditions for the Western Sydney Airport (WSA) following the project’s sign-off by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull today. WSROC President Cr Stephen Bali said “If an airport is to be built in Western Sydney, for Western Sydney, then we must ensure quality of life is maintained. Currently, we do not have enough certainty that this will be the case. “Equity is a key concern for WSROC and unlike Kingsford Smith, Western Sydney Airport has no specific operating limitations, no noise…
Media release, 8 December, 2016 The Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC) has slammed the NSW Government’s decision to impose harsh limits on council rates at a time when local government is being asked to increase its financial sustainability and strategic capacity. WSROC President Cr Stephen Bali said “The government’s decision to impose a 1.5 per cent rate peg stands at complete odds with its call for councils to raise the bar on infrastructure and service provision,” he said. “For many years the government has limited councils’ ability to attract funds through rates, causing chronic infrastructure backlogs and severely…
  Media release, 6 December, 2016 The Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC) has called for the Australian Government to review the way local roads are funded as part of its infrastructure funding reform. WSROC President Cr Stephen Bali said “While motorways are very important, we should not forget that the major transport task in Sydney, and particularly car-dependent regions like Western Sydney, is carried by the local road network.” “From private cars, to taxis, buses and trucks, council-maintained roads see it all and are falling into a greater state of disrepair due to a growing funding backlog,” he…
  Media release, 30 November, 2016 The Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC) has welcomed the Greater Sydney Commission’s focus on affordable housing for new land releases in Sydney. WSROC President Cr Stephen Bali said “With property values rising, housing is becoming unaffordable for many, even in the outer-most suburbs of Western Sydney where rent can be as much as $500 per week for a modest family home[1]. “If housing affordability is not addressed we will see growing numbers of working homeless in our city,” he said. “We need to ensure that people on low to moderate incomes can…
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