Council hits government for six

Penrith Mayor Karen McKeown and Deputy Mayor Ross Fowler with the 2016 Advocacy Priorities
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The future of Penrith has been broken down into six key priorities, that Penrith Council will be advocating for ahead of the Federal Election.

On the back of a successful campaign ahead of the State Election last year, Council hopes to use this year’s election to secure more commitments for key projects in the area.

Six priorities were identified last week to bring improved transport, infrastructure, roads and arts and culture to western Sydney.

Council’s Assistant General Manager Craig Butler said it’s very clear the community wants transformation, and a north-south rail link – one of the key priorities – will facilitate that.

“We are grateful for the roads and the $3.6 billion Western Sydney Infrastructure Package, but rail changes everything,” he said.

“State and Federal Governments need to bring forward that rail.”

A second priority is the upgrade of Regatta Park in Emu Plains, that Mr Butler said with State and Federal funding will be transformed into a beautiful space.

The upgrade of Mulgoa Road is also on the list, to expand it to six lanes between Glenmore Park and Andrews Road.

A fourth priority is to build on Penrith as a regional city, and supports the National Growth Areas Alliance for a dedicated infrastructure fund to ‘future-proof’ fast growing outer suburbs.

In this, Mr Butler spoke of the delivery of a central city park, and said Penrith is offering to be a pilot for such regional city transformation.

Council is also asking the Federal Government to release 3.66 hectares at the Thornton estate for urban and economic development close to the train station.

The sixth priority is to invest in Penrith’s creativity, for increased support to attract talent to the region, and for funding to upgrade The Joan Sutherland Performing Arts Centre.

A Council spokesperson said some of the 2016 priorities build on the success of the 2015 priorities, such as the $30 million commitment to arts and cultural funding.

“The $30 million promise was a great win for western Sydney but we are still waiting to see any direct flow of funds to Penrith. This is why we’ve gotten more specific as we believe the inequity has been acknowledged,” she said.

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