This is a really exciting time to be Mayor of The Hills. The population of Sydney is growing faster than anyone anticipated and The Hills is no exception. We are about to get a new rail system that will change the way we live and work and business will boom with the opportunities growth brings.
But growth is a balancing act and it must come supported by infrastructure. Like most Councils, we are working hard to get the roads, community centres and sportsgrounds we need built while people are moving in.
However, we are proudly one of the few Sydney LGAs that can still offer residents the full range of lifestyle choices - including acreage, family homes with backyards, townhouses and apartments - and we want to maintain the character of our Shire while accommodating growth where it makes sense.
Our Local Strategy has been the principal document for communicating our planning and management of growth since 2010. We have a new requirement to prepare a Local Strategic Planning Statement and this will provide a link between the Greater Sydney Region Plan, the Central City District Plan and Council’s zoning and development measures.
It will also give us the opportunity to engage with the community about our priorities.
I recently met with Lucy Turnbull, the Chief Commissioner of the Greater Sydney Commission, to discuss Council’s role in implementing the vision of the District Plan.
I’ve also met with the Mayors and General Managers of the Councils that make up the new Central City District to discuss how the plan will be carried out and most importantly how critical transport links can be built. Based on the recent work we’ve done around planning for housing and jobs for the future, we already have sufficient zoned land to meet and exceed the housing and job numbers identified in the District Plan. Our focus is now on achieving the right type of housing and jobs to suit our expected future residents.
We will continue to proactively plan to accommodate additional people and support them with housing, infrastructure, employment and recreation facilities to ensure the Hills remains a premier destination to live, work and be educated.