Georges River Council Closing Report St George & Sutherland Shire Leader

The Georges River Council’s End of Term Report provides a snapshot of community life across the LGA over the past four plus years.

The Council approved a $ 47 million economic and social recovery program in May 2020 to meet the needs of society and provide services during the COVID-19 pandemic.

It included a $ 42 million construction program, down from a proposed $ 85 million program, to refocus on essential services.

The council established crisis housing for women and families experiencing domestic violence, and opened new and expanded local facilities such as the Oatley West Early Learning Center.

Graffiti removal, a waste minimization program, the establishment of the Community and Heritage Grants program, webcasting of council meetings, implementation of the disability inclusion program and a COVID-19 action program to help LGA and the community recover from the acute economic shock of the pandemic have been expanded.

On the environmental front, the council banned disposable plastic bags, supported 39 garage sales through the Retail Your Rubbish program, and launched a Fox Management program.

It planted or gave away 3,600 plants a year, including planting 1,000 plants in Hogben Park, Kogarah and HV Evatt Park Lugarno.

There were 500 plantations along Forest Road and 850 trees in Beverly Hills Park and Riverwood Park.

The council removed 2,000 graffiti stamps a year. 85 percent were removed within 72 hours of being notified.

The council decided 666 development applications in 2021-21, down from 730 the year before and established its independent local planning panel to deal with major DAs.

Projects included the Norm O’Neill Cricket Center, Harold Fraser Oval Pavilion and new inclusive adventure playgrounds in Meade Park, Jubilee Park, Oatley Park and Kempt Field.

Major community events included Australia Day, Lunar New Year, Magic of Christmas, White Ribbon Walk, Night Markets and Starlight Cinema.

The Council held or supported 350 events each year. These were affected by the pandemic and so the council introduced its COVID-19 Save Events program.

The Kogarah Library was renovated and a media laboratory established at the Hurstville Library. Temporary closure of libraries during the lockdown led to the municipality launching Click and Collect and home deliveries to library users.

Over 500 pets were reunited with their owners from 2016 to now.

Over 1,000 cases of illegal dumping were reported per year. Twenty permanent and mobile cameras are constantly monitoring illegal dumping.

The council engaged with more than 25,000 residents on various topics in 2018/19 and opened new customer service centers at the Civic Center and Library.

The council was approved for a special tariff increase over the next five years.

“This results in the municipality maintaining the current services and avoiding major service cuts,” the draft final report states.

“The Council adopted a long-term financial plan, which will result in the Council identifying future savings and operating profits in the coming years.

“The impact of COVID-19 has accelerated the Council’s poor financial position, although steps were taken to formulate a plan to help the Council navigate and recover from the economic consequences of COVID-19.”

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