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A $19 million plan to provide greater assistance to pensioners, even more support for business, and further improve sporting and recreation facilities, has been unveiled today by the largest council in NSW – the City of Canterbury Bankstown.
Administrator, Richard Colley, said while $3 million in savings were achieved in the first six months of the newly merged Council, a further $6 million will be realised this year.
"These funds will be going straight back to the community through the construction of better infrastructure projects, like sporting and recreation facilities; business support; and pensioner rebates," Mr Colley said.
"One of the big winners will be pensioners, who make up more than a quarter of our ratepayers. We will provide $290 in annual rate rebates to pensioners in Canterbury, bringing them in line with those living in Bankstown who have been enjoying this subsidy.
"Business will also benefit, with the establishment of a dedicated team of economic development professionals, with a focus on attracting investment and job creation, and we are now in a position to expand Bankstown’s award-winning Advisory Service to businesses throughout Canterbury.
"In my view, the amalgamation has provided an opportunity to realise these benefits and now deliver much needed assistance to our residents, and improvements to ageing infrastructure.
"This has been achieved by removing administrative duplication; streamlining internal management technology systems; aligning services provided at major facilities, like leisure and aquatic centres; and negotiating new waste contracts.
"I anticipate this is only the start and we will find further savings as we progress through this transition period.
"In addition, the community is benefitting from the $10 million, provided by the NSW Government to amalgamated councils, with $3.6 million already allocated to four major infrastructure projects, including the redevelopment of the Jensen Oval complex, and a further $1 million to 27 community groups for their programs.
"Next month, we will be consulting with the community to determine how best to allocate the remaining $5.4 million for other important infrastructure."
Mr Colley said it had been a very busy first nine months for the new Council.
"From very early on, residents were able to drop off resources at any of our libraries; use their memberships at any of our leisure and aquatic centres; and pay their rates or lodge development applications at either the Bankstown or Campsie Customer Service Centres," Mr Colley said.
"One of the important objectives of the amalgamation is to improve services for our community. A good example of this is the slashing of development approval times from a high of 124 days in Canterbury, to now being one of the best in the state at 37 days for our entire new city.
"This is a big win for mums and dads who have made Canterbury-Bankstown their home and looking to establish a family."
9/02/2017 1:43 PM