Welcome to the first edition of the new look MACROC Newsletter.
Community Cabinet Comes to Macarthur
The Prime Minister, the Hon Kevin Rudd MO, together with members of his Cabinet came to Macarthur to hold a Community Cabinet Meeting. Held in Campbelltown on Tuesday 17 February the Meeting commenced with a public forum where the Prime Minister addressed the capacity audience, followed by a question and answer session. From 7.15pm individual Ministers were available for one-on-one meetings.
The MACROC President, Cr Anoulack Chanthivong, together with the Mayors and General Managers of the MACROC Councils and the Executive Officer MACROC, met with The Hon Anthony Albanese, Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government. The discussion focussed on the infrastructure challenges facing the Macarthur region, the important role that regional organisations of councils (ROCs) such as MACROC play in local government, as well as a discussion on the newly established Regional Development Australia and the role that ROCs would have in that funding framework.
The meeting was beneficial in that MACROC gained insight into the Federal Government's thinking in relation to the importance of Local Government and in turn the MACROC Mayors were able to brief the Minister on the issues facing the region.
Hill PDA Report "Employment Prospects for South West Sydney"
Copies of the MACROC commissioned Hill PDA Report "Employment Prospects for South West Sydney" have been sent to the Premier of NSW, the Minister for Planning and to other relevant Government Ministers.
In his covering letter MACROC President Cr Chanthivong outlined the report brief, to provide a regional view of employment and business growth in the context of the State Government's Metropolitan Strategy, the South West Growth Centre and the Draft South West Sydney Sub-Regional Strategy
The report flags the advantages that the region has: skilled labour, good connections to major transport links, affordable land and a high quality lifestyle. Our existing strong manufacturing base may be challenged in the face of overseas competition but there is likely to be a strong population induced growth in white-collar service jobs in areas such as retailing, business services, health and education.
However the report stresses that employment targets will not be met unless we work together as a region with State and Federal Government to ensure population growth is accompanied by a fair share of job growth.
The Hill PDA Report confirms that the region is on the brink of rapid growth and Cr Chanthivong on behalf of MACROC is seeking meetings with individual Ministers to discuss the issues raised in the report.
In December 2008 the MACROC President, met with the Director General of the NSW Department of Planning to discuss planning issues in South West Sydney, in particular the question of population growth and employment. At that meeting the President presented the Director General with a copy of the report.
The Executive Summary of “Employment Prospects for South West Sydney” is available on the MACROC website www.macroc.nsw.gov.au
MACROC Wins UWS Partnership Award
The University of Western Sydney Partnership Awards are designed to recognise outstanding partnerships between the University, external organisations and individuals, particularly in Western Sydney.
MACROC was nominated for the Regional Engagement Award and on 5 December the MACROC President and Deputy President attended the Awards Ceremony at UWS Parramatta Campus and accepted the Award on behalf of MACROC.
In the commemorative booklet for the Awards MACROC was described as:
"a long term valued partner of the University of Western Sydney. More recently with CEO Christine Winning, Economic Development Officer Imam Ali, and Pamela Corscadden the partnership has flourished. There are many challenges in the Macarthur region. UWS is clearly a significant contributor to the region. The fortunes of both organisations are closely linked and with the existing good will, the past successes, the current collaborations and the future plans the valuable partnership based on mutual respect and reciprocity will bring benefit to all partners and the region as a whole".
The Maldon Dombarton Rail Link
Consultants Connell Hatch and Strategic Design and Development have been appointed to conduct a Pre-Feasibility Study on the completion of the Maldon Dombarton Rail Link. The study is to incorporate detailed analysis of existing rail networks in the context of both current and future freight markets. The study will also review the engineering and economic requirements of the Line.
Part of the process involves consultation with mining companies, industry bodies, agricultural companies, transport and logistics providers and government agencies. The Executive Officer, MACROC attended a consultation session on 28 January 2009 held at Wollondilly Shire Council.
Consultant Neil Matthews explained to the meeting that the Pre-Feasibility Study would include an objective analysis by “freight” people to see if the project had “legs” and that the report would adopt a pragmatic approach. However in response to questions from the group, he did indicate that it would also look at the social and environment impact of the completed Rail Link, projected future benefits, as well as the option of it being used as a passenger line as well as a freight line.
The group expressed disappointment that the Steering Committee for the Pre-Feasibility Study consisted entirely of representatives from the Illawarra with no representation from Macarthur. It was stressed that should the Pre-Feasibility Study be positive and the project progress to a Feasibility Study it was essential that there be a Macarthur representative on that Committee. It was suggested that a representative from MACROC would be a suitable appointee.
First MACROC CEO Breakfast Forum for 2009
MACROC expects strong attendance at the first CEO Breakfast Forum for 2009 being held in Camden at the Civic Centre on Tuesday 28 April.
The topic for the Forum will be of interest to all: the challenges currently facing the Australian economy in the context of the global financial crisis.
We are in the process of locking in some interesting guest speakers and formal invitations will be sent out shortly.
Please call Pamela at MACROC on 4645 4937 if you would like to register.
Guests at a CEO Breakfast Forum
2009 Macarthur Lifestyle and Business Expo
The 2009 Macarthur Lifestyle and Business Expo was held at the Wests Leagues, Leumeah on 6, 7, 8 March 2009. The Expo provided networking and profiling opportunities for businesses as well as showcasing of products and services produced. It was also designed to facilitate local buying among businesses, which in turn contributes positively to the economy of the region.
MACROC had a stand at the Expo to promote its services and those of its Member Councils.
Imam and Pam at last year's Expo
Symmetry: What's new?
Symmetry is a unique sustainability enhancement program designed to improve the environmental practices of small businesses in our area. It helps businesses to look at their business and identify ways to reduce costs and become more efficient by improving social and environmental performance.
Since the launch of the program in February 2008 434 local businesses have attended the information sessions that have been held at various locations across Macarthur. Seventy-three Macarthur businesses have been mentored and 42 companies have achieved Bronze Accreditation. Bronze is the first level in an accreditation that can see businesses progress from Bronze to Silver and finally to Gold Level.
MACROC is managing the $322,080 project, working with the Macarthur Business Enterprise Centre who provide mentoring to the businesses participating in the program, as well as with the University of Western Sydney who provided the toolkit and Macarthur Centre for Sustainable Living who undertake business audits.
A Symmetry page has been developed on www.makeitinmacarthur.com.au and a regular Symmetry newsletter called Symmetry NewsLink has been created. If you would like more information about Symmetry you can contact the MACROC Economic Development Officer, Imam Ali, on 4645 4965.
The Regional Environmental Innovation Network 2009
The Regional Environmental Innovation Network (REIN) established in 2005 is a partnership between the University of Western Sydney and the Macarthur Centre for Sustainable Living. The mission of the Network is to contribute and communicate ideas, initiatives, research and strategies for achieving a sustainable Macarthur region through environmental innovation.
The Steering Committee of REIN comprises of the University of Western Sydney, the Macarthur Centre for Sustainable Living, MACROC and industry partners.
Over 50 people attended the first meeting of REIN for 2009 on Wednesday 18 March at the Macarthur Centre for Sustainable Living. The theme for the evening was Alternate Transport or Active Travel (Bicycling & Walking) and guest speakers included Campbelltown City Council's Manager of Technical Services Dick Webb as well as former Wollondilly Shire Councillor Norman Jew who talked about cycleways and shared pathways in the region.
MACROC Dates for 2009
MACROC CEO Breakfast Forum - 28 April 2009
MACROC CEO Breakfast Forum - 11 August 2009
MACROC CEO Breakfast Forum - 17 November 2009
If you are Interested in finding out more about MACROC and the Macarthur Region please go to - www.macroc.nsw.gov.au and www.makeitinmacarthur.nsw.gov.au
This newsletter is purely for information. MACROC takes no responsibility and provides no guarantees, warranties or representations, implied or otherwise, for the content and accuracy of the newsletter, featured products and links.