Community Panel ready to deliver recommendations

Wednesday, 23 December 2015

The Community Panel has been working hard during the past few months and will soon deliver their final report for Council to consider.

Penrith Mayor Karen McKeown said Council was excited to hear what the Community Panel would recommend.

"Council has given the Panel full access to whatever they've needed to know about our services. We've simply provided them the information that they have requested and left them to it," Councillor McKeown said.

"I'm excited to see what they see as the priorities for our City and how we are going to deliver the services and infrastructure Penrith needs."

The Community Panel, comprising 34 people representing the wider community, had its final meeting recently.

In a video capturing some of the Community Panel members' thoughts, Panel member Vesna said: "I was amazed about the diversity of people on the panel…There have been great debates and discussions and sharing of ideas…and I am getting a better understanding of the wider Penrith community. Living in a rural environment, I don't always think about the residential environment."

Aruna said: "I learned so much that I didn't know the Council was doing…(The panel) was a very transparent process, I didn't expect it, to get this much information. Whatever we have asked for we have got all the information…The biggest challenge is to find the priorities and balance that with the cost."

Mohamed said: It's a very good consultation process…(we have) heard each other's issues and (will) come up with common solutions."

The full video can be seen on YouTube.

The Panel process has been coordinated by the not-for-profit research organisation newDemocracy Foundation.

Program Manager, newDemocracy Foundation Georgina Inwood said: "We've given a randomly selected group of Penrith residents the time, support and authority to really consider what local services and infrastructure they want Council to provide.

"The Panel members have already spent nearly 40 hours together diving into the question Council has asked them: this isn't a five-minute process at work. Council is going to receive a set of recommendations that the Panel has discussed and weighed up very carefully."

The Panel's recommendations will be presented to Council early in the new year. Further information on the Community Panel is available at

Information contained within this news release was correct as at Wednesday, 23 December 2015.