The most dominant issue on Council’s agenda is still the budget implications brought about by the loss of territory to the City of Parramatta during the amalgamation process. We have had some good news recently with the NSW Government’s announcement of $90 million in compensation, which will go towards the rehabilitation of Hornsby Quarry and the creation of sporting facilities at Westleigh. However, this is only a first step and it is not enough to redress the $10 million per annum that Hornsby Shire has lost. Negotiations with the Government are continuing and we remain optimistic they will keep their promise that “no resident of Hornsby Shire will be worse off”.
Also of concern to me, particularly as a rural resident, is that Council struggles to communicate with everybody in the Shire. A fragmented print media, combined with the lack of any local broadcast media, make it difficult to reach people in the more remote areas with important messages about tree and bushland policy, waste management, public domain improvements, road works, village master planning, traffic and many others.
It is my aim to improve this scenario through a range of methods such as the community forums Council is holding. One recently occurred in Berowra and another will be scheduled for Galston in the near future. We are also working on expanding our email database, expanding our input into print media, increasing Facebook activity and improving community notice boards. Of course, communication is a twoway street and we also want to hear from you.
If you have any thoughts or suggestions please contact me on 0499 004 861 or by emailing [email protected]