Tangible community benefits of amalgamation now emerging

06/02/2017

Georges River Council Administrator John Rayner said on passing the half-way mark between the establishment of Georges River Council and the September election of new Councillors it is evident there have been many community benefits resulting from amalgamation.

"Over the past eight 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,” he said.

“We have achieved substantial savings which is a direct result of the size of the new organisation that is creating greater capacity, flexibility and cost savings for the Georges River community.

“Already our buying power has saved $520,000 in insurance and road-resheeting costs and this will be reinvested back into the community”.

“The 2017/18 Budget will include an increase in capital works and 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”.

“The number of managers has been reduced by more than 50 per cent. The organisation will be more efficient once administration and technical staff are all relocated to Hurstville next month.

“The Kogarah Administration buildings will be leased, producing a further business opportunities in Kogarah CBD”.

Mr Rayner said apart from the $10 million received from the NSW Government to assist with integration of the two Councils and the further $10 million for the Community and Council projects, other benefits are now evident as a result of the many savings and efficiencies achieved.

These savings have positively enabled Council to provide more services which 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 assistance for community groups from $147,000 to $200,000
  • Graffiti removal service has been expanded across the 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 reduced the number of reports considered in closed meetings and has opened up its conversations with the community, through projects such as the design of Hurstville Central Plaza and the future of the former Oatley Bowling Club Site.

“Council has also committed to extensive community engagement for the development of new council policies and initiatives, such the draft Venue Hire Grant Policy and the new Council logo.

"From March 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.

“Residents can rest assured that Council will continue to achieve the best possible outcomes for the community for the long term.”

“If you have any questions of suggestions for improvement, I encourage you to write to me or to call Council."
Contact Council on 9330 6400, 24 hours 7 days a week, or visit www.georgesriver.nsw.gov.au.

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