Community News - Autumn 2023

Published 17 March 2023
Community News Autumn 2023 Edition

Message from the Mayor - Councillor Lisa Lake

Welcome to the first edition for the year of our quarterly community newsletter.

This year is shaping up to be a busy one for us all, so I hope you managed to get a bit of rest and relaxation over the holiday season.

During the break I was really concerned to hear about the number of drowning deaths that occurred across Australia. We are told by Royal Life Saving Australia that young males and seniors continue to be at greater risk of drowning. So are people from multicultural communities, including visitors, international students and residents who were born overseas, due to cultural differences in swimming ability and water safety knowledge. Drowning is still the leading cause of death in children 1-3 years old.

Council has decided to drive a community awareness campaign around the importance of learning to swim. You will see our educational material around. As I’m writing this on a Sunday morning, I have just returned from Wentworthville Pool where we have filmed Deputy Mayor Clr Suman Saha literally “taking the plunge” into his very first swimming lesson. We intend to follow and film him on this journey right up to him swimming his first 50m lap – so stay tuned! By showing others how easy and enjoyable swimming lessons are, we are hopeful that others will be encouraged to give swimming lessons a go too.

Earlier this month I gave a presentation to business and government leaders on the importance of Merrylands as a strategic centre for our Western Sydney region. Currently we are seeing massive investment in Parramatta and the Westmead Health Precinct. As a result we expect Merrylands, in close proximity to these two centres, to nearly double in population by 2036. At Council, planning is underway for the housing, infrastructure and amenities that will be needed. We are also encouraging all tiers of government and private industry to help drive the local investment that will see this realised.

It’s great to see the Merrylands Civic Square project taking shape. There has been so much work done to lay its foundations and it will be a wonderful multipurpose open space for our community, outdoor performances and the arts.

You can be assured that our NSW Government WestInvest grants will be put to good use too. A significant upgrade to Civic Park and its Wetlands in Pendle Hill, modernising the much-loved Guildford Pool, and revamping the Lidcombe Town Centre are all projects that will be advanced this year.

We have also just been advised that funding of $53.7 million has been granted for the construction of a regional indoor and outdoor sporting complex in Hyland Road, Greystanes. This is an exciting opportunity for the people of Cumberland.

Our magnificent cultural festivals are now being recognised and supported by the NSW Government, with significant grant funding now allocated to support our Lunar New Year Festival, Ramadan Street Food Festival and Diwali Festival over the next two years. I’m also really looking forward to seeing the launch of new Cumberland events including Nowruz and Easter celebrations. Cumberland certainly stands out as a diverse, inclusive and vibrant place to be.

Finally as always, if you have any concerns or enquiries, our Councillors and I are here to assist.

See you around

Diwali 2022 in Wentworthville and Luna New Year 2023 in Auburn

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WestInvest: Hyland Road Sporting Complex

Greystanes is set to become home to a regional state-of-the-art sporting facility after Council secured $53.7 million in funding under the NSW Government’s WestInvest program.

These funds will be used to transform unused land on Hyland Road in Greystanes into a much-needed sporting facility.

Cumberland Mayor Clr Lisa Lake said that the facility will not only accommodate local sporting clubs but also attract new visitors to the area.

“This is the first indoor and outdoor sporting facility of its kind to be built in Greystanes and it will create a much-needed place for our growing population to play and enjoy a wide variety of sports.” said Mayor Lake.

Granted as part of the Competitive Round under the WestInvest Community Project Grants, the facility will include sporting fields, cricket practice nets and an indoor sporting hall with courts. It will cater for a number of sports including cricket, rugby league, rugby union, Australian Rules, netball, basketball and volleyball.

Council will continue to consult with the community as the planning for this infrastructure project progresses.

Cumberland Council is one of 15 Local Government Areas in Western Sydney that was eligible for funding under the WestInvest Community Projects – competitive round grants.

This announcement is in addition to over $29 million previously secured by Council under WestInvest for local government projects in Pendle Hill, Guildford and Lidcombe.

The remaining WestInvest funding for NSW Government agencies has yet to be allocated and Council looks forward to learning what this next round may deliver for the people of Cumberland.

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Merrylands Civic Square

The $11 million Merrylands Civic Square project is making progress with preliminary works completed and preparations for more scheduled works underway.

The project, located in the heart of Merrylands, will connect Merrylands Road to McFarlane Street, revitalising Merrylands Town Centre and becoming a vibrant new recreational and meeting space for the community.

Excavation works between Main Lane and Merrylands Road have recently been completed.

Drainage, water and electrical services have been installed and concrete has been poured for the canopy footings and foundations.

In addition, a new bus shelter has been installed at McFarlane Street and tree vault works have been completed.

This new community open space will be fitted out with large trees and landscaped areas, public art, furniture and amenities including bike racks, a water feature, smart bins, smart light poles, tables and benches.

To view Stage 1 & Stage 2 of the drawing designs and to watch the 3D video impression of the proposed concept plan, visit

Granville Train Disaster

More than 100 people came together to commemorate the 46th Anniversary of the Granville Train Disaster, acknowledging the victims and those affected by Australia’s worst rail disaster.

The tragic accident took place in Granville on 18 January 1977 which claimed the lives of 84 people, and injured more than 200 people.

Community members attended the annual memorial service as well as the Prime Minister, Hon. Anthony Albanese, Members of Parliament, City of Parramatta Lord Mayor, Clr Donna Davis, Cumberland Council Mayor, Clr Lisa Lake and Councillors.

The service acknowledged the victims with the laying of wreaths at the memorial site, the chiming of a bell 84 times for each of the lives lost and the scattering of the roses from the Bold Street Bridge.

Creating a Safer City

Cumberland Council will be putting the safety of women and girls first with plans to revamp infrastructure and amenities in public spaces under the Safer Cities: Her Way Program.

As part of the State Government’s $30 million Safer Cities Program over the next two years, ten councils across New South Wales have been allocated $1 million dollars to trial place-based approaches to improve the perception of safety for women, girls and gender diverse people while moving and travelling within the community.

The program aims to increase the perception of safety for all women and girls by improving their access to public spaces, streets and open spaces, as well as offer an opportunity to have their say in how local places are designed and managed to enable them to move freely and alone in their community.

Council will be hosting a series of community engagement sessions throughout April and May to better understand where women and girls feel unsafe and co-design interventions in public spaces and transport hubs across Cumberland.

For more information visit:

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Australia Day Celebrations

Cumberland Council honoured community heroes and welcomed new residents at the Australia Day Citizenship Ceremony.

Three residents and a community organisation were recognised for their dedication to the Cumberland community.

The ceremony also welcomed nearly 150 new residents into the Cumberland community as Australian citizens.

The Australia Day Ambassador, CEO/Founder of Rufus & Coco, Anneke van den Broek also attended the event and presented awards.

Those who officially became citizens on the day originated from 27 countries including parts of South Asia, Asia and the Middle East.

Congratulations to all the award recipients:

  • Community Pride Award – Individual – Sankalp Mehta
  • Community Pride Award – Group or Organisation – Rotary Club of Granville
  • Local Young Citizen of the Year – Alisha Khan
  • Local Citizen of the Year – Haijing Gao

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Seniors Festival

Council celebrated its senior residents with 12 days of free activities, events and online workshops as part of the annual Seniors Festival from 1-12 February. The theme for this year was ‘Celebrate Together’.

The program featured many sold out events including a scenic bus trip to the New South Wales Central Coast, a golf event and picnic day. Our Seniors were also able to receive free hearing checks and attend a range of online workshops.

The festival was a great way of showcasing Council’s Seniors Program and the activities on offer. It is also a great way for seniors to explore the great outdoors, meet people and learn new skills as we acknowledge the important roles seniors play in our community.

For more information about our seniors program visit:

Lunar New Year Events

Council celebrated the Lunar New Year with three events held across multiple locations. The program kicked off on Friday 3 February with an outdoor cinema at Wyatt Park in Lidcombe, followed by a Lunar Concert held at Auburn Central Forecourt on Saturday, and a day full of activities, workshops and performances at Berala Community Centre on Sunday.

This year the Lunar New Year celebrated the Year of the Rabbit which symbolises longevity, peace, and prosperity as well as the Year of the Cat which is commemorated by many in the Vietnamese community.

All three events saw hundreds of people come together to mark the occasion and learn more about this important tradition to Chinese, South-Eastern and Eastern Asian cultures.

Funding for this project was provided by the NSW Government.

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Your Rates at Work

Council’s open spaces crews are actively reviewing, maintaining and upgrading local community centres, recreational facilities and service centres across Cumberland.

Teams have recently completed the $2.5 million upgrade of Granville Park Fields 3, 4 & 5 which included field renovations, upgrades to floodlighting and the installation of a fully automatic irrigation system.

At York Street Park, crews have also installed a ball screen fence to prevent balls being hit onto the road and pathway. Concrete works were also completed to prevent water ponding around the court.

New electric heat pumps and new pool pumps have been installed at Granville Swim Centre. This $270,000 project included a new eco-friendly electrical heat pump system and the upgrading of pool pumps for the 25 metre, 50 metre and splash pool. These upgrades will help provide a long-term sustainable solution for water heating and prevent flooding issues and safety hazards.

In addition, Council has procured new garbage trucks to replace existing trucks that have reached the end of their working life, which will provide street and park litter bin collections and manage Council’s commercial waste service. These new trucks will also provide Council with the capability to undertake illegally dumped rubbish collections in-house from 1 July 2023. The new trucks are low entry vehicles with the latest technology, improving safety and providing drivers maximum visibility.

Native Bird Club Program

Council is exploring a new Native Bird Club Program to learn more about the many native bird species in the area.

The program, supported by Bird Life Australia, aims to raise awareness on the value of native birds and improve habitat connectivity through the community.

Members will be given the opportunity to participate in community bird walks where beneficial data will be collected and sent to Bird Life Australia to aid in accurate species mapping of birds in Cumberland.

Expressions of interest are now open with the club officially opening in October. Successful applicants will be required to attend a one-hour induction workshop run by Council staff.

To find out more information, visit:

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Community Reading Boxes

Cumberland’s youngest readers now have more books to explore with the rollout of six new community reading boxes as part of the Paint Cumberland REaD Program. These boxes are located within streets, parks and at the front of childcare centres across Cumberland.

There are 19 red community reading boxes, and five reading seats in Cumberland which are easily identifiable and accessible for families to take a book and leave a book.

These boxes were first opened in 2018 to encourage community reading, improve access to books and promote children’s literacy.

Careers at Council

Are you focused on driving community outcomes, programs and services to innovate, inspire and deliver change for the community? Then consider a career at Council!

To see all positions vacant, visit our website:

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