Regional Alliance to strengthen communities

Regional Strategic Alliance

Thursday, 23 July 2015

Blue Mountains, Penrith and Hawkesbury Councils have taken the next step in exploring a strategic alliance which aims to support regional cooperation.

In what may prove a historic moment, the Mayors and deputies of the three councils recently met to sign a Regional Strategic Alliance agreement to investigate ways to strengthen the long term future of each City.

As a first step, all three Councils have written to the relevant local Members of Parliament to inform them of the new governance arrangement and to seek their support in the endeavours of regional cooperation.

"In forming a Regional Strategic Alliance, we are taking a leadership role in planning and governing the western metropolitan region," the Mayor of Hawkesbury, Cr Kim Ford said.

"One of our aims is to be a united voice for the region, advocating for the benefit of all three local government areas."

All three Councils agree that the Regional Strategic Alliance is a new, bold and leading edge approach to the governance of this region.

Blue Mountains Mayor Cr Mark Greenhill, said, "A Regional Strategic Alliance could offer significant opportunities and innovative approaches to jointly take on some of the bigger challenges facing local councils. To be successful, this arrangement needs more than good will. By entering into a formal Agreement, the three councils have made a commitment to investigate ways of strengthening the long term future of each City."

Mayor of Penrith City Cr Ross Fowler said, "The Strategic Alliance enhances the three councils' ability to work collaboratively to deliver more for our respective communities. We have a greater and more cohesive voice to address our common regional challenges. It allows us to work better with the State Government to deliver the things that matter most to our residents."

The Blue Mountains, Hawkesbury and Penrith City Councils collectively represent a growing region of 334,767 people, and a geographic area of 4,612 sq. km.

The Councils have previously written to the Minister for Local Government, the Hon. Paul Toole requesting consideration of a senior representative of the Office of Local Government contributing to this review. The Councils have also sought funding to allow the appointment of the necessary expertise required for a far reaching and independent review.

The Councils have received a response from the Minister nominating a senior officer from his Office to participate in our Working Group, which is appreciated, and we have no doubt this position will provide a valuable contribution.

Photo caption: Hawkesbury Mayor Kim Ford, Penrith Mayor Ross Fowler OAM & Blue Mountains Mayor Mark Greenhill form the Regional Strategic Alliance.

Media enquiries:

Adrienne Murphy, BMCC Corporate Communications Program Leader, (02) 4780 5744 / 0414 195 533

Sonia Porter, HCC Corporate Communication Manager, (02) 4560 4425 / 0417 068 815

Carl Spears, PCC Principal Communications Officer, (02) 4732 7632 / 0417 654 798

Information contained within this news release was correct as at Thursday, 23 July 2015.