I would like to thank the residents of West Ward for electing me at the recent by-election to represent them and the wider Hills Shire community. I continually recognise the challenge and responsibility that I have been afforded and will ensure that my efforts are put to good use.
One of my main election promises was to maintain the character of the Hills by ensuring family friendly development. All Liberal councillors have worked extremely hard to manage the balance between need and want with residential developments, however with new planning pathways in NSW we continue to face numerous challenges. I will continue to focus on necessary growth and resist developments that are not needed by Hills Shire residents.
Better Local Infrastructure
I promised to advocate for more footpaths, sporting fields, playgrounds and community facilities. I am proud to say that in the short time I have been there I have seen councillors and council officers have this as a strong focus.
New facilities are being built in West Ward and throughout the Hills Shire to accommodate the increasing population and focus has been placed on using our existing fields in the most efficient ways to provide stability for home teams and enough flexibility to accomodate larger varieties of sports and activities.
Roads continue to be upgraded and constructed and strong advocacy for upgrades to RMS roads remain a constant. It is clear that many of the upgrades have and will require re-routing of traffic and at times slower movement, however this short term challenge will be offset by the long term gain of being able to move. In having the opportunity of seeing the infrastructure plan for the Hills Shire I know that we are moving towards a roads plan that gets us home and around as efficiently and timely as possible.
Keeping Council Debt Free
The financial position of The Hills Shire Council is one of the strongest in New South Wales and ranked amongst the best in the Local Government sector. This position has been achieved and maintained through the strict financial discipline adopted by past and present Councillors and prudent financial management in Council’s budgeting process. NSW Treasury Corp has rated Council as ‘Strong’ in financial sustainability and Fit For the Future. Council has a very high liquidity ratio, is debt free and has no infrastructure backlog. This Council has not had any special rate variations over the past 20 years and provides services to the community within these limitations.
I look forward to continuing my advocacy for the Hills Shire residents and hope everyone has a safe and joyful Christmas break.