Councils investigate a strategic alliance

Blue Mountains, Hawkesbury and Penrith Councils are exploring the options of a strategic alliance to support the region.

“Each area has its unique attributes but as adjoining local areas we also face many similar needs and challenges,” said Penrith Mayor, Ross Fowler OAM.

“The alliance will be explored to ensure the Blue Mountains, Hawkesbury and Penrith region is strongly placed into the future to represent our
common objectives.

“It’s early days yet, but we will investigate a governance model to fully and robustly explore the opportunities on how we can work together.”

Hawkesbury Mayor, Councillor Kim Ford said, “The areas of greatest opportunity arising from a regional strategic alliance between Blue Mountains, Hawkesbury and Penrith must firstly be determined.

“Through further investigation into the proposed strategic alliance, the synergies of the three councils will be identified and will be vital in laying the foundations for developing a strong and effective alliance with a robust governance model and a detailed and achievable action plan.”

All Mayors agree investigating the opportunity for an alliance is a step in the right direction.

“A strategic alliance of Blue Mountains, Hawkesbury and Penrith Councils makes good sense,” Blue Mountains Mayor, Councillor Mark Greenhill said.

“Given the challenges facing local government, Blue Mountains City Council recognises innovative approaches are needed to promote effective and sustainable local government into the future.

“A regional alliance has the potential to yield benefits of economies of scale and scope whilst maintaining local identity and democracy.”

The combined population of the Blue Mountains, Hawkesbury and Penrith Local Government Areas is expected to reach about 415,000 within the next 15 years and the Councils want to ensure that they are properly placed to meet the needs of their communities.

The development of a strategic alliance could see the Councils work in partnership in a range of different areas and may include economic development, tourism, environmental protection, urban development, recreation, infrastructure, education, procurement and advocacy for outer western Sydney.

The initiative for a strategic alliance between the three Councils has grown in momentum since the release of the Revitalising Local Government report issued by the Independent Local Government Review Panel which highlights the need for the development of stronger and more effective regional groups of Councils.

A working party consisting of Blue Mountains, Hawkesbury and Penrith Council Mayors and Deputy Mayors and appropriate executive staff will now be developed to oversee its development of the joint proposal exploring the potential for the strategic alliance.