Mayors gather at UWS Ideas Lab to discuss mergers

Western Sydney 

As councils grapple with the decision of whether to accept the state government's financial assistance package in return for agreeing to mergers, a University of Western Sydney forum will give Mayors the opportunity to voice their opinions.

To be held at the UWS Parramatta South Campus on December 1, this will be the inaugural UWS 'Ideas Lab' - events that bring industry, government and the community together to discuss current issues alongside university researchers.

The UWS Ideas Lab: Council Amalgamation will feature the live streaming of crowd questions and responses to the debate. The information gathered from the event will help inform future research by UWS academics, as well as feed into State and Local Government decision making.

The Director of Sydney Business Chamber of Western Sydney, David Borger, will act as the facilitator of the discussion. Four of Sydney's Mayors will share their Council's perspective and concerns about and the opportunities around the State Government's Fit for the Future Package - which offers councils financial and other incentives for amalgamation.

Speaking at the Ideas Lab event will be:

  • David Borger, NSW Business Chamber
  • Scott Lloyd, Lord Mayor of Parramatta City Council
  • Andrew Jefferies, Mayor of The Hills Shire Council
  • Stephen Bali, Mayor of Blacktown City Council
  • Ned Mannoun, Mayor of Liverpool City Council

The Deputy Vice Chancellor (Research and Development) Professor Scott Holmes notes that UWS is committed to using its expertise to benefit society.

"Everyone relies on local government in their day to day life, but the reality is the councils of Western Sydney are facing a tough decision with real impacts on the way they help their communities," says Professor Holmes.

"This particular forum is the ideal chance for Mayors, academics and the community to exchange information and ideas with researchers to understand how council amalgamations will affect people from across society."

Professor Holmes says the information gathered from the Ideas Lab will help frame future research.

"UWS is committed to research that changes our region, the nation and the world," he added.

"We have the talent, facilities and resources; but we need the real-world understanding of sector leaders. By engaging in genuine and sustainable partnerships, UWS can spearhead deep and original research."

The Ideas Lab: Council Amalgamation will be held at the Female Orphan School at UWS Parramatta South Campus on Monday December 1 at 3.00pm.


28 November 2014

Mark Smith, Senior Media Officer

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