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Community News

Summer 2022 Edition
Community News - Summer 2022 Edition

Message from the Mayor - Councillor Lisa Lake

It’s certainly been a very busy year of recovery and regeneration in Cumberland. It seems that we have all emerged from our pandemic confinement with a deeper appreciation for community and a renewed enthusiasm for creating places, forums and events which bring us all together.

Council has formed a number of community advisory committees with specialist focus on a broad range of issues including the arts, culture, local heritage, our library services, community safety, youth, our green spaces and homelessness. It’s great to see these committees up and running and its members interacting with our Councillors and staff to provide valuable advice and context for Council’s plans, programs and service delivery.

Our community grants program is also completing its first round of grants to community organisations that are working hard to build capacity and resilience in our local area. Community participation grants will help to deliver programs that support the well-being of residents in our local community such as courses that address barriers to education, training and employment and projects that improve our environmental sustainability. There is a smaller grants stream which assists groups with contributions towards a community-based activity or event that encourages greater social cohesion.

There’s no doubt that Cumberland loves a party and our events program has certainly been in full swing with the delectable Ramadan Street Food Festival, wonderful Sydney Cherry Blossom Festival in the Auburn Botanic Gardens, the fascinating Mid-Autumn Festival and the vibrant Diwali Festival. And now Christmas is only around the corner and it won’t be long before Council’s Christmas trees and decorations are adorning our town centres.

Council’s capital works program has been running smoothly with improvements to sportsgrounds, parks and playgrounds in various stages of planning, design and implementation. Having spent most of this year mainly based in Merrylands, I now appreciate just how valuable our new Merrylands Civic Square will be to local residents, the business community and visitors alike when it’s completed. The square will really open up this central area as a public space for socialising, relaxation and fun.

Cumberland’s business community has been thriving this year and it’s been wonderful to support and celebrate their achievements. Close to 250 small businesses were finalists in the 2022 Cumberland Local Business Awards with statistics showing this sector is growing with over 25 thousand businesses operating in our local government area. Council works closely with the Chamber of Commerce to foster relations with our local business sector to help provide support, programs and advocacy.

I’m also happy to see the NSW Government offering Council the full local government allocation of $29 million to progress the second stage of the Civic Park upgrade at Pendle Hill, the activation of the Lidcombe Town Centre and improvements to Guildford Swim Centre. I know that the success of these applications was down to some detailed and well-informed submissions prepared by Council. This gives me great confidence for the success of further grant applications in the pipeline. I feel that our area is now attracting greater interest from our State and Federal counterparts and I look forward to further collaboration with them on projects that benefit our community.

Finally, can I remind you that your local Councillors and I are always available to answer your enquiries or assist you with local government issues. Best wishes to you as we head to the end of this year. See you around, Lisa

Save the date, christmas in the gardens, saturday 10 December from 6pm to 9pm at Auburn Botanic Gardens

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Sydney Cherry Blossom Festival

The 2022 Sydney Cherry Blossom Festival made headlines this year as thousands flooded through the gates of the Auburn Botanic Gardens to view the sea of blossoming pink flowers.

Close to 70,000 residents and visitors travelled far and wide from all parts of Australia, including Perth, Tasmania and Queensland, to see the beautiful cherry blossom trees which are in season for only two weeks each year.

Held over nine days from Saturday 20 August to Sunday 28 August, the festival welcomed patrons as they wandered through the Japanese Gardens, enjoyed the serenity of the reflection pool and were fascinated by the resident peacocks and geese.

Many enjoyed the 9-hole putt putt course, Japanese Food Village with the great range of food and treats served by a selection of food truck vendors. Crowd favourite Hello Kitty was also a great hit.

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Wentworthville Memorial Swim Centre’s Open Day Makes A Splash!

The Wentworthville Memorial Swim Centre officially opened its doors to the summer season at an Open Day held on Tuesday 4 October.

Over 1,000 people turned out to mark the occasion and test out the new facilities including the splash park and the Olympic sized swimming pool. They also enjoyed the inflatable obstacle course, face painting and the BBQ lunch served by Mayor Lisa Lake.

Visitors also received many resources and learned about sun safety tips from the Cancer Council stall. Young children were able to have their faced painted by mermaids and even took photos with Poppy the Possum.

The centre will be open from now until the end of the 2023 summer season.

For more information about our swim centres visit www.cumberland.nsw.gov.au/swimming-pools

COVID-19 Community Support Hubs Project wins at 2022 NSW Local Government Excellence Awards

Cumberland City Council’s COVID-19 Community Support Hubs Project took out first place at the 2022 NSW Local Government Excellence Awards.

The awards ceremony held in June, celebrated the outstanding achievements of local governments while promoting innovation and continuous improvement. Award categories spanned across various local government responsibilities, including asset management, infrastructure, disaster management, community partnership and development and more.

Council was nominated as a finalist in several categories, with the Community Development team taking home the win for Council’s COVID-19 Community Support Hubs project. The Community Support Hubs were established to meet the ever-growing demand for food relief in the Cumberland City Local Government Area during the pandemic. Over 3,700 hampers were distributed to community members in need, providing food relief to families in isolation or who had lost employment. Council was also ‘Highly Commended” in the category of Partnerships and Collaboration for the project ‘COVID -19 Vaccination Programs - Staff & Community Safety Project’.

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Merrylands Civic Square: Multifunctional Recreation Hub

The $11 million Merrylands Civic Square project is on track with the technical design drawings finalised, preliminary works nearing completion and preparations underway to progress scheduled works for the project.

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

The recent works included the demolition of the Merrylands Arcade between Merrylands Road and Main Lane. A capping layer over Stage 2 has also been completed, providing a solid foundation for the project. Remediation works are progressing, which will be followed by construction work, from Main Lane to McFarlane Street. Council has scheduled works for Stage 2 to commence at the start of next year with the project nearing completion by June 2023.

This new community open space will be fitted out with large trees and landscaped areas, public art, furniture and amenities including bike racks, 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 www.cumberland.nsw.gov.au/mcs

This project is proudly funded by the NSW Government through its NSW Public Spaces Legacy Program and in association with Cumberland City Council.

The Pippita Rail Trail: A Transport Link for Residents

Tens of thousands of residents will soon have improved access to parklands and open spaces along the Lidcombe to Homebush corridor after Council was successful in its bid to secure $770,000 in funding for the Pippita Rail Trail.

As part of the NSW Government’s Get NSW Active Program, the new project will provide a walking and cycling connection between the Lidcombe Town Centre and Sydney Olympic Park. Residents and visitors will be able to utilise the shared pathways and connect to existing parks and public spaces in and around the area. Residents and visitors can also travel within the area without using their cars with the project providing connectivity over Parramatta Road and the M4 Motorway.

The trail will be created by transforming an unused three kilometre rail line, that was once used to service the state brickworks, abattoirs and Homebush saleyards, which included the Flemington Goods Junction, Pippita, Metropolitan Meat Platforms and sales yards and Brickworks Railway Stations.

Council is now proceeding with the planning and detailed design phases of this project which is anticipated to take approximately 18 months to complete.

During this process, Council will also work closely with state agencies and City of Parramatta Council.

For more details, view the full Media Release on our website www.cumberland.nsw.gov.au/rail-trail

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Guilfoyle Park

Cumberland City Council has officially unveiled upgrades to Guilfoyle Park located in Regents Park with an official ribbon cutting ceremony.

Council allocated $400k in funding to complete the works which included a full renewal of the playground, the installation of the BBQ shelter and seatings, landscape works and renewal of pathways along the Western boundary.

The revamp has now improved access to Guilfoyle Park as well as helping improve social inclusion to suit to the growing needs of the Regent’s Park community.

Rates at Work

Unseasonal heavy rainfall and torrential weather conditions have impacted Council’s roads, open spaces and parklands with crews responding to over 7,000 customer requests from January to October.

Council crews have repaired almost 7,100 potholes across the local government area with a high number of reports from Greystanes, Pemulwuy, Merrylands West, Guildford West and surrounding suburbs.

The Merrylands CBD drainage project is nearing completion and was built with the purpose of consolidating the drainage infrastructure to enable the most cost efficient method of controlling floodwaters in the Merrylands CBD. The project includes upgrades to the stormwater drainage systems at streets around the Merrylands CBD. This project will assist in stormwater infrastructure and future developments in Merrylands.

At our local parks, new digital LED signs have been installed at Ted Burge Sportsground and Guildford West Sportsground. The signs provide users with up-to-date field status and automatic weather forecast information. The cricket nets at Coleman Park in Lidcombe have also been upgraded to dual nets and are open all year round. Irrigation and floodlighting works are underway at Granville Park Fields 3, 4, and 5.

Let us know of any issues in your area by using the Snap Send Solve mobile app which can be found on Council’s website www.cumberland.nsw.gov.au/snapsendsolve

$29m To Three Key Community Infrastructure Projects

Three community infrastructure projects in Pendle Hill, Guildford and Lidcombe are a step closer to reality after Cumberland City Council was successful in receiving funding from the NSW Government.

As part of the State Government’s WestInvest Community Project Grants, over $29m has been allocated to Cumberland City Council to improve local infrastructure, increase accessibility and revitalise key facilities and town centres across Western Sydney.

Civic Park at Pendle Hill will receive $7 million to progress the second stage of the Civic Park Upgrade, with a new nature playspace, table tennis and fitness zone, basketball court, picnic and BBQ areas, new amenities and improvements to landscaping.

The streetscape along Joseph and Bridge Street in the Lidcombe Town Centre is set to be revamped under the $7.6m Lidcombe Town Centre High Street Activation Project, with an expanded pedestrian area to accommodate outdoor dining, new paving and street furniture, enhanced landscaping and lighting.

A new 25m outdoor pool, water play park, new amenities and facilities and the reconfiguration of the car park area has also been earmarked in the $14.6m Guildford Swim Centre Modernisation Project.

Council has undertaken initial planning and design work as part of the application process, which were flagged as key projects following feedback from the community.

Cumberland City Mayor Lisa Lake welcomed the announcement, saying these projects will help make Cumberland more liveable for residents, visitors and workers.

Council is one of 15 Local Government Areas in Western Sydney that was eligible for funding. The $2 billion WestInvest Community Project Grants includes $400 million for these Local Government Areas across West and South West Sydney.

For more details, view the full Media Release on our website www.cumberland.nsw.gov.au/westinvest

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National Tree Planting Day 2022

Over 350 people rolled up their sleeves and got their hands dirty for Council’s National Tree Planting Day recently.

A total of 1,000 new plants including 500 shrubs and grasses, all native to Australia and the Cumberland Plains, were planted at Lytton Street Park in Wentworthville.

Cumberland City Council Mayor Lisa Lake, Councillors and community groups who attended the event also got involved in the free activities on the day including the planting demonstrations, encounters with reptiles at the animal show and enjoyed the burgers served up for all that attended.

National Tree Planting Day has been an important part of Council’s Environment Program for the past 10 years which helps deliver Council’s Urban Tree Strategy.

To get involved in future events, explore the online What’s On Calendar

Homelessness Sector Forum

In a bid to raise awareness of the growing issue and to call for more action to address homelessness, Cumberland City Council recently hosted the Homeless Sector Forum.

The forum, which Council has been leading since 2018, had over 90 people attend, including prominent businesses, community leaders and organisations alongside an expert roundtable joined together to establish partnerships, collaborate and workshop ideas to discuss practical solutions to manage and respond to homelessness.

The event was an important opportunity to highlight the complex issues surrounding homelessness with experts weighing in on the housing affordability and rental crisis, mental health issues, drug and alcohol addiction and domestic and family violence, all of which are factors that can contribute to someone experiencing homelessness.

For more information visit www.cumberland.nsw.gov.au/homelessness

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Australian Citizenship Day

Over 400 new citizens proudly called Cumberland City Council home when they were welcomed at two Australian Citizenship ceremonies held at The Holroyd Centre, Merrylands on Monday 12 September.

As part of the national celebrations for Australian Citizenship Day, local residents from 43 countries including parts of South Asia, Asia, the Middle East and Europe officially became Australian citizens.

The two ceremonies were held in conjunction with hundreds of events around the country which saw thousands of people become new citizens.

Cumberland City Mayor Lisa Lake said Council places great importance on citizenship ceremonies. They help create a sense of belonging and are a valuable opportunity to officially welcome new citizens.

“Compared to other local government areas in Sydney, we welcome some of the highest rates of new citizens with Cumberland Council hosting over 20 citizenship ceremonies a year and welcoming an average of just over 200 new citizens at each event.” said Mayor Lake.

Australian Citizenship Day is a national event with celebrations taking place across the country during the week of 17 September. The day has been running since 2001 and also marks an event where individuals, schools, community groups and organisations come together to reflect on the contributions of citizens in our local communities.

Seniors embrace more active lifestyles

Cumberland’s most senior residents have been venturing out into the community to embrace more social lifestyles. In a move to help address loneliness and social isolation experienced by older residents, Council rolled out several services and programs this year to encourage seniors to become more active and involved in the community.

The programs have been well received with most showing record attendance from booked out bus trips across NSW including trips to Cronulla, Hawkesbury and the Central Coast. There’s a Foodies Club that encourages residents to explore local restaurants as well as talent shows, over 55’s health and wellness programs and technology webinars.

Local resident Gloria Genner who frequently attends Council’s bus trips said the program catered to her needs and was beneficial to her lifestyle. “These programs suit my lifestyle as I like to get out of Sydney and see something different. I love the bus trips, they pick me up from my house and drop me off, I love going to new places.” she said.

Cumberland City Council regularly hosts programs every week, Monday to Friday to support its senior residents, this includes assistance with shopping, home delivered meals, over 55’s health and wellness programs.

To find out more information visit: www.cumberland.nsw.gov.au/seniors-support

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