As Georges River Council passes the half-way mark between the establishment of Council and the September 2017 election of new Councillors, it is evident there have been many community benefits resulting from amalgamation.
Over the past nine months, Council has taken significant steps towards building a more efficient organisation with a focus on delivering higher quality and better integrated services and facilities for its residents.
Already our buying power has saved $520,000 in insurance and road-resheeting costs and these savings will be reinvested back into the community.
The 2017/18 Budget will include an increase in capital works and will bring forward many projects which have been on the agenda for years. These include finalising the upgrade of Forest Road, Hurstville, new sports amenities buildings and improved accessibility to public toilets.
Other merger achievements include:
- An additional rebate has been provided to the 3,300 pensioners in the previous Kogarah City Council at a cost of $250,000
- More funding assistance for community groups - increasing from $147,000 to $200,000
- An expanded graffiti removal service which covers the whole local government area
- Expanded childcare centres with more accessibility, which offers greater choice for families
- Agreement with the St George Business Chamber to better support small business
- Expanded customer service transactions so that customers can choose to make payments or request services at either Kogarah or Hurstville Service Centres.
Council has also committed to extensive community engagement for the development of new Council policies and initiatives, such as the draft Venue Hire Grant Policy
and the new Council logo.
From this month, a series of open discussions with Council’s General Manager Gail Connolly, senior staff and myself will commence, providing an opportunity for the community to come and share their feedback on Council matters.
If you have any questions or suggestions for improvement, I encourage you to write to me or to call Council.