News – 294

New Local Representation Advisory Committee Structure

The Inner West Local Representation Advisory Committees (LRACs) are heading down the same path as the council they assist and are combining in to one group representing the whole of the Inner West’s interests. Before the reshuffle, the committees had reflected the boundaries of the previous councils, with Inner West Council Administrator Richard Pearson stating that this structure was “to help the community and former councillors begin the transition to the new Council.” According to Pearson, the merger comes as a necessary step in creating a unified local council. “The new Inner West Council Local Representation Advisory Committee will allow them to focus more closely on larger strategic and policy matters that will govern and guide the Council well into the future,” he said.

In a press release distributed by Max Phillips, of Marrickville Greens, former councillors had expressed concerns that these changes would prevent the previous level of community oversight and input from continuing. “It’s a very dangerous sign when people in positions of power wish to minimise community oversight, but that’s exactly what Mr Pearson is doing here,” said Phillips. At the recent LRAC meeting it was announced that the committees will no longer receive agendas of council business items, which in the past were often scrutinised by former councillors, with their discussions included in the agenda for the Inner West Council meetings, with some formal meeting and decision making powers also repealed. Under the new title Inner West Council Local Representation Advisory Committee, one of their first tasks will be to establish the Vision and Priorities statement for the new council. “I know many of them are keen on this challenge and hope to be a part of the new Council following elections next year,” said Pearson. The LRACs were initially formed so former mayors and councillors could help shape decisions of the new council.

Local Woman Wins Big at Australian Transplant Games

Concord West resident, Michelle Daley has taken out the Most Outstanding Female Athlete Award at this years Australian Transplant Games after winning an amazing fifteen gold medals for New South Wales. In addition to her own recognition, Michelle’s success went a long way towards New South Wales taking home the Victor Chang Memorial Shield, which is awarded to the state or territory with the highest point score over the entire competition. This achievement follows Michelle receiving two life-saving liver transplants. Despite the medals being a nice “personal achievement”, Michelle said her motivation was always bigger than that. “My main goal was always to help the games bring awareness to organ donation, to celebrate the gift of life and to be able to honour my organ donors with a medal,” she said. Not planning on taking a break, Michelle is now preparing to head to Spain in 2017 for the world competition. The Australian Transplant games are held every two years to celebrate the success of transplantation and encourage people to discuss organ and tissue donation.

Sydney Park Trees Saved

Following a dedicated campaign by the #SaveSydneyPark community camp, the controversial plans to demolish a number of Sydney Park trees, to make way for the WestConnex tollway, have been halted. This development is in the wake of direct action by protestors who created a physical human barrier around the site, preventing demolishing crews from entering before being forcibly removed by police. Member for Newtown Jenny Leong MP has congratulated the efforts of the thousands of residents involved in the campaign. “By literally putting themselves on the line, local residents who had given up their spare time and comfortable beds to keep the camp running 24/7 for four weeks, have stopped the destruction… for now. This is the power of concerted, collective campaigning,” she said. Despite WestConnex indicating that they do not intend to remove any more trees from the area, residents have expressed concern that it may only be a temporary end. “We know they can’t be trusted to keep their word so we will continue to monitor their actions closely,” said Leong.

Have Your Say on Stronger Communities Funding (149)

The Inner West Council is seeking your opinion on how $14 million dollars of NSW government funding should be spent. The funding comes as part of the Stronger Communities Fund Major Projects Program, which was established by the NSW Government in the wake of council mergers. The funds are earmarked for community infrastructure and projects, with residents asked at a recent community forum which option was most in need of a boost: transport infrastructure, community facilities or recreation and sustainability. Council is accepting community consultation until the end of October, with responses able to be given in person at community events such as the Norton Street Festa, or via the online portal. The project list along with community-voted options will then go to the Stronger Communities Assessment Panel, with their recommendations to be put before the December Council meeting.
For further information or to have your say visit