Partnerships and networking pays off

"Like other spheres of government, Councils can lead the way in strategic planning and policy direction," said Lord Mayor Cr Paul Garrard.

"But Local Government is not necessarily best at implementation. "With this in mind, Parramatta City Council has established two Boards to promote growth and development &endash; the Parramatta Economic Development Board (PEDB) and the Parramatta Tourism Marketing Board (PTMB).

The Boards comprise representatives from commerce and industry, the University of Western Sydney, as well as the Lord Mayor and two other Councillors.

"The Boards demonstrate the importance of partnerships and networking," the Lord Mayor said. "Council has set itself up as an equal player, ready to facilitate and give direction, but is happy to leave implementation to those closest to the issues. "People from the private sector are best suited to put in place action plans."

The PEDB will work to attract new business to Parramatta, as well as help existing business to expand. It will have an advisory role in regard to Council and will also advise potential investors of development trends and their impact on the local economy.

The PTMB, which includes representatives from the National Trust and the Dharug Tribal Corporation, will provide direction for the City's tourism initiatives into the next century. "This Board represents a dynamic group of creative individuals that hail from a broad cross section of marketing, tourism and events backgrounds," the Lord Mayor said.

"The Board will work in conjunction with Council to develop and promote key tourism growth markets, resulting in more jobs and an income boost for the local economy." He pointed out that Parramatta has a great deal to offer visitors, including its rich Aboriginal history, and early European heritage.

"The City also offers top class sporting and recreation facilities, quality dining and entertainment, a wide range of accommodation and shopping to rival any major city," Cr Garrard said. In addition, its central location provides ready access to many other major tourist attractions, including the Blue Mountains and the Olympic Stadium.