Community and Economic Taskforces

Community and Economic Taskforces

Monday, 3 August 2020

Council established two taskforces in May, to coordinate Penrith City’s recovery from the impacts of COVID-19, Both taskforces have now convened their second meetings, building partnerships and working towards successful outcomes for Penrith.

An Economic Recovery Taskforce is being chaired by Penrith Mayor Ross Fowler OAM, to lead and coordinate efforts to accelerate Penrith City’s economic response and recovery post-pandemic. Joining this taskforce are representatives of local CBD and Town Centre Corporations; the Chamber of Commerce; cultural, sporting and educational institutions; prominent businesses, franchises and service providers.

Deputy Mayor Karen McKeown OAM is chairing the Community Recovery Taskforce, which is focusing on fostering resilience and connection, positioning community services to meet the changing needs of Penrith’s population in these challenging times. This taskforce is comprised of representatives from community organisations and NGOs which support residents; seniors, youth and health services; educational institutions and the Nepean Local Area Police Command.

Penrith Mayor Ross Fowler OAM said the taskforces are working collaboratively to produce a 30-Day Response Plan and a 100-Day Recovery Plan.  

“It is vital that we take action now, to turn our attention to recovery from the economic recession we find ourselves in and build on our resilience for our future prosperity as a city,” Cr Fowler said. 

Cr Fowler said the focus of the Economic Recovery Taskforce was on jobs and ensuring businesses and employers in Penrith are supported and enabled to thrive. 

“It is about keeping jobs, getting jobs back and creating new ones,” he said. “Creating jobs close to home has always been a priority for Council, and now, with the challenges raised by COVID-19, we need to work even smarter to stimulate the economy and foster diverse employment opportunity.” 

To support local businesses, Penrith Council has provided more than half a million dollars in immediate relief over the past few months; Council has also extended support to the community through waiving hire fees for sporting groups and partnering with organisations that work with some of our City’s most vulnerable residents. 

Deputy Mayor Cr Karen McKeown OAM said the focus of the Community Recovery Taskforce is on fostering connection and positioning community services to meet the changing needs of Penrith’s population. 

“This is an important next step for Council and our City,” Cr McKeown said. “We’ve worked hard over the past months to stay connected with our community even while we’ve been apart, and we need to leverage the innovative programs we’ve developed to keep our residents safe and engaged as we move into the new normal.” 

The taskforces have now undertaken a survey of local businesses and community organisations, in order to identify specific concerns and urgent priorities. Drafts of the 30-Day Response Plans and 100-Day Recovery Plans will be tabled at the August meetings of both taskforces. The surveys identified focus themes for each Plan: the Economic 30-Day and 100-Day Plans will focus on arts, culture and events, financial support, investment attraction, marketing and promotion, and people and movement. Meanwhile the Community Taskforce Plans will focus on community and organisational capacity building, engagement, resilience and financial support.

Information contained within this news release was correct as at Monday, 3 August 2020.