Georges River Council has announced a restructure, creating a new City Strategy and Innovation Directorate to promote the local government area to the Sydney metropolitan region and across NSW as an investment and employment destination.
The restructure creates 11 new roles, five attached to the new City Strategy and Innovation unit and and a new road safety officer, environmental policy officer, events officer, two new waste investigation officers and a new full-time Chinese liaison officer.
Under the restructure, the council will remove its Transformational and Change Directorate established to guide the council through its merger phase.
There will be an increase to staffing in the service areas of Event, Community Safety and Chinese community support.
There will be the transfer of staff within Communications to the new City Strategy and Innovation Directorate.
There will be an increase in staff to provide environmental policy, engagement and education services within the Environment and Planning Directorate.
And there will be an increase in staff in areas of waste education, waste investigations and swimming pool compliance within the Environment and Planning Directorate.
The new City Strategy and Innovation unit will be responsible for preparing a 30 year City Vision and City Reputation Strategy.
The city’s reputation will be linked with its success in attracting investment, business and trade, a skilled workforce, students and visitors for tourism and events.
“This is about us striking out into the future,” Georges River Council mayor Kevin Greene said.
“We have worked under the current model for 18 months and this is a refining of the final structure of the council to make it go forward.
The council was required under the Local Government Act to review and redetermine its organisational structure.
The review recommended the dissolution of the Transformation and Change Directorate and the establishment of the new City Strategy and Innovation Directorate.
The City Strategy and Innovation unit’s responsibilities will be to :
- Advance the status and influence of Georges River Council across all levels of government and enhance the reputation and brand of the City of Georges River;
- secure government investment towards infrastructure, grant funding, community programs and other government projects to support the city’s population growth.
- prepare a 30 year Vision for the City of Georges River to shape its future direction.
“The aim is to look at the big picture, to look at ways of promoting Georges River by promoting the cities of Kogarah and Hurstville,” Councillor Greene said.
“This includes promoting Kogarah as a health and research hub and attracting future investment to create jobs.”
The City Strategy until will look at ways of attracting visitors to Hurstville as a night-time precinct.
The aim will be to transform Hurstville central business district as the cultural heart of the local government area with theatres, events, galleries, retail, hotels, clubs, restaurants, public areas and plazas.
The City Strategy unit will look for applying for various grant funding, for example, the green space programs the council is currently implementing at Gannons Park.
In the 2017/18 financial year, the council received a record $23.8 million in grants for capital works and $8.8 million for operational grants.
Up until now, the council’s various council departments individually applied for grants.
The new unit will centralise and coordinate grant applications across all departments of council.
The unit’s role will also be establish the council’s reputation as a leader in innovation.
The council recently launched the Smart City joint project with the University of NSW which sees the using of smart technology such as street furniture sensors, power tables and healthy living space hardware.
Georges River is one of the first councils in NSW to use the Smart City technology, and the project has attracted the interest of the Wall Street Journal which interviewed Councillor Greene about the project.
“We need to be seen as being at the forefront of innovation and this will be part of the City Strategy unit’s role,” Cr Greene said.
“One of my aims as mayor is to promote the brand of Georges River Council with a strong reputation with the broader community and particularly I want to make our own community and our staff proud”