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Welcome to Your Hawkesbury - Your Say

Your Hawkesbury – Your Say is one of the ways Hawkesbury City Council involves the community in its decision making processes. This online community engagement hub is a place for you to get involved, find out information and have your say about important issues and projects in the Hawkesbury. We appreciate that you have local knowledge, skills and experience to offer and we want to make the most of your feedback when making decisions.

Register now to share your ideas and participate. It's quick and easy to register - just simply click on the "register to participate" icon. As a registered member you will receive the full experience of Council’s online community engagement hub and the range of feedback tools offered.

To find out what projects Council is currently seeking community feedback on, simply scroll down to the list of current live projects and click on those you are interested in. You will be given options of ways to have your say for each. Current Surveys are also listed.

Your privacy is protected on Your Hawkesbury – Your Say to ensure a secure environment for idea sharing. The discussion forums and activities are moderated externally, independent of Council.

………it’s Your Hawkesbury - have Your Say



Your Hawkesbury – Your Say is one of the ways Hawkesbury City Council involves the community in its decision making processes. This online community engagement hub is a place for you to get involved, find out information and have your say about important issues and projects in the Hawkesbury. We appreciate that you have local knowledge, skills and experience to offer and we want to make the most of your feedback when making decisions.

Register now to share your ideas and participate. It's quick and easy to register - just simply click on the "register to participate" icon. As a registered member you will receive the full experience of Council’s online community engagement hub and the range of feedback tools offered.

To find out what projects Council is currently seeking community feedback on, simply scroll down to the list of current live projects and click on those you are interested in. You will be given options of ways to have your say for each. Current Surveys are also listed.

Your privacy is protected on Your Hawkesbury – Your Say to ensure a secure environment for idea sharing. The discussion forums and activities are moderated externally, independent of Council.

………it’s Your Hawkesbury - have Your Say



  • Hills resolve to takeover Hawkesbury

    about 2 years ago

    A merger between the Hawkesbury City Council and The Hills Shire Council would be totally unworkable and impractical said the Mayor of Hawkesbury, Councillor Kim Ford. This was in response to The Hills Council’s resolution to approach the State Government to indicate their willingness to merge with Hawkesbury City Council.

    The report, which was full of misleading statistics and incorrect assumptions, was presented to The Hills Council at its Ordinary Meeting on Tuesday, 10 November 2015.

    “The content of the report makes it abundantly clear that The Hills have no understanding of the needs and values of the Hawkesbury community... Continue reading

    A merger between the Hawkesbury City Council and The Hills Shire Council would be totally unworkable and impractical said the Mayor of Hawkesbury, Councillor Kim Ford. This was in response to The Hills Council’s resolution to approach the State Government to indicate their willingness to merge with Hawkesbury City Council.

    The report, which was full of misleading statistics and incorrect assumptions, was presented to The Hills Council at its Ordinary Meeting on Tuesday, 10 November 2015.

    “The content of the report makes it abundantly clear that The Hills have no understanding of the needs and values of the Hawkesbury community or of the services and facilities that our Council provides.” the Mayor said.

    “A merger is not the answer. Council has formed a strategic alliance with Penrith City Council and Blue Mountains City Council. This will allow us to achieve the efficiencies that local government reform is seeking while maintaining our autonomy and identity.

    “The Hills propose an unworkable and impractical north-west super council which would stretch westward from North Parramatta to Bilpin covering a massive area of nearly 3,200 square kilometres. Our total area would be represented by, at best, three councillors out of 12 representatives.

    “The Hills aggressive plan signals a potentially disastrous takeover for the residents of the Hawkesbury, who will be largely neglected due this under representation.

    “I am deeply concerned that The Hills report indicates that a different rating structure may need to be applied to any Hawkesbury area of a merger. This may mean that Hawkesbury residents end up paying much more than current Hills residents,” said Councillor Ford.

    A review of local government, which the State Government accepted, has indicated the preferred option for Hawkesbury City Council was no change and the latest assessment by IPART has indicated that Hawkesbury has the scale and the capacity to remain a stand-alone council.

    “There is no evidence to suggest that a merger with The Hills has significant public support or a positive impact for the Hawkesbury.” he said.

    “It seems The Hills primary focus in supporting the merger is the incentive of a cash grab from the State Government, most of which would be spent in merger costs. When neither the Hills nor the Hawkesbury have been asked by the State Government to consider a merger, this certainly seems like a hostile takeover bid.”

    The Hills report also criticised the Hawkesbury’s financial position.

    “This is coming from a Council that has a history of being financially mismanaged,” Councillor Ford said.

    “Hawkesbury City Council acknowledges that it faces financial challenges due to its small rate base. A solid Fit for the Future plan, including 20 strategies, will be adjusted so that Council will meet all benchmarks for a metropolitan Council, even though we are a largely rural area.”

    Hawkesbury City Council’s external auditor from PricewaterhouseCoopers addressed Council’s meeting last Tuesday, 10 November giving a strong assurance to the community that operating results are on track and improving.

    The auditor advised that Hawkesbury City Council was in a good financial position, definitely sustainable and was certainly able to stand on its own, as it has for many years.
  • Residents denied access to merger report

    about 2 years ago

    The Hills Shire Council continues to press for a takeover of Hawkesbury City Council with a confidential report being placed before Council this Tuesday night, 10 November 2015.

    The Mayor of Hawkesbury, Councillor Kim Ford said that The Hills continues to press for a merger despite the fact that Hawkesbury City Council has the scale and capacity to continue as an independent local government body.

    “The Hills Shire Council report conveniently neglects to mention that the government has only asked councils to consider merging if they or a neighbouring council were declared unfit due to ‘scale and capacity’” Councillor Ford... Continue reading

    The Hills Shire Council continues to press for a takeover of Hawkesbury City Council with a confidential report being placed before Council this Tuesday night, 10 November 2015.

    The Mayor of Hawkesbury, Councillor Kim Ford said that The Hills continues to press for a merger despite the fact that Hawkesbury City Council has the scale and capacity to continue as an independent local government body.

    “The Hills Shire Council report conveniently neglects to mention that the government has only asked councils to consider merging if they or a neighbouring council were declared unfit due to ‘scale and capacity’” Councillor Ford said.

    “The Hills has no right to seek a merger with the Hawkesbury. Neither the Hills nor the Hawkesbury have been asked by the Government to consider a merger.

    “A confidential report in a closed council meeting denies both the residents of the Hills and the residents of the Hawkesbury the right to information concerning the future of their local government areas.

    “All financial information regarding both Councils operations is publically available, so there is no reason why this report should be considered in a closed Council meeting.

    “In the name of transparency, I strongly urge the Mayor of The Hills to make this report public.”

    Hawkesbury City Council has satisfied The Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal’s criteria to be fit for the future in terms of “scale and capacity” and two of the three financial criteria. The Hills Council was assessed as fit both in terms of “scale and capacity” and in terms of financial criteria.

    “Council meets the scale and capacity requirements of the Fit For The Future (FFTF) process. As there is not an appropriate neighbouring council “not fit” due to scale and capacity to consider merging with, Council is not considering a merger,” the Mayor concluded.

    Hawkesbury City Council has advised the NSW Government that it now intends to proceed with its FFTF proposal. It will review and amend the implementation of the proposal to achieve the required operating performance ratio, the only criteria that it previously did not meet. This will make Hawkesbury City Council Fit For The Future.

    “We understand that residents are rightfully concerned about the possibility of losing local representation,” Councillor Ford added.

    Residents can have their say by contacting their local State Member for Hawkesbury, The Hon. Dominic Perrottet MP, email hawkesbury@parliament.nsw.gov.au, phone (02) 9634 7474, mail or in person 287C Old Northern Road, Castle Hill NSW 2154 and the Minister for Local Government, The Hon Paul Toole MP, email office@toole.minister.nsw.gov.au, phone (02) 8574 7000, mail or in person Level 17 NE
    52 Martin Place, Sydney NSW 2000.

  • Councillors Stand United

    about 2 years ago

    At a meeting held 2 November, 2015 Councillors of Hawkesbury City Council confirmed their support to stand united for Hawkesbury City Council to continue to remain as a stand-alone local government entity.

    This stance is backed up by previous reports stating stand alone status as the appropriate outcome, the acknowledgement that Council has scale and capacity, and the commitment to meet all Fit for The Future sustainability criteria.


    Councillors will continue to act to strengthen Council's position and act in the best interests of the future of the Hawkesbury and its residents.

    ... Continue reading

    At a meeting held 2 November, 2015 Councillors of Hawkesbury City Council confirmed their support to stand united for Hawkesbury City Council to continue to remain as a stand-alone local government entity.

    This stance is backed up by previous reports stating stand alone status as the appropriate outcome, the acknowledgement that Council has scale and capacity, and the commitment to meet all Fit for The Future sustainability criteria.


    Councillors will continue to act to strengthen Council's position and act in the best interests of the future of the Hawkesbury and its residents.


  • Council declared unfit despite sustainable breakeven plan

    about 2 years ago

    The Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) published its Assessment of Fit for the Future Proposals of all councils in New South Wales on Wednesday, 20 October.

    Disappointingly, the IPART report deems Hawkesbury City Council as “Not Fit”. This appears to be due to Council not meeting the required Operating Performance Ratio (1 of the 7 criteria) by 2019/2020. Council’s submission indicated that this ratio would be met by 2021.

    The Independent Local Government Review Panel’s (ILGRP’s) preferred option for Council was No Change to its boundaries and Council prepared its proposal, which included 20 strategies to ensure its financial... Continue reading

    The Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) published its Assessment of Fit for the Future Proposals of all councils in New South Wales on Wednesday, 20 October.

    Disappointingly, the IPART report deems Hawkesbury City Council as “Not Fit”. This appears to be due to Council not meeting the required Operating Performance Ratio (1 of the 7 criteria) by 2019/2020. Council’s submission indicated that this ratio would be met by 2021.

    The Independent Local Government Review Panel’s (ILGRP’s) preferred option for Council was No Change to its boundaries and Council prepared its proposal, which included 20 strategies to ensure its financial sustainability, based on this.

    Council will determine its response to the Assessment at its meeting to be held next Tuesday, 27 October.

    In the meantime residents can make their views heard by contacting the State Member for Hawkesbury.


  • The latest on the horizon for the Hawkesbury

    over 2 years ago

    Hawkesbury Horizon Initiative Project Team has had a very busy six months. We have been talking to lots of different stakeholders and gathering Big Ideas about what people see is on the horizon for the Hawkesbury. Our recently prepared third newsletter talks about how we gathered 350 Big Ideas from the community, the technical investigations the team are currently doing and what the next steps are. see the Hawkesbury Horizon Initiative Project to access the newsletter and much more information.


    Hawkesbury Horizon Initiative Project Team has had a very busy six months. We have been talking to lots of different stakeholders and gathering Big Ideas about what people see is on the horizon for the Hawkesbury. Our recently prepared third newsletter talks about how we gathered 350 Big Ideas from the community, the technical investigations the team are currently doing and what the next steps are. see the Hawkesbury Horizon Initiative Project to access the newsletter and much more information.


  • Say YES to having your say!

    over 3 years ago
    Bigstock have your say 58994264   copy

    Having your say is easy, with Hawkesbury City Council’s new online engagement website, Your Hawkesbury – Your Say.

    You can participate in discussions, complete surveys and quick polls, engage and provide feedback, send submissions, email Council and ask questions and view documents relevant to projects.

    Better still, you can do all of this by mobile phone, your tablet or personal computer at a time and place that suits you. 

    Your feedback will assist Council's decision making processes and help shape our community. After all ……… it’s Your Hawkesbury – have Your Say.

    Having your say is easy, with Hawkesbury City Council’s new online engagement website, Your Hawkesbury – Your Say.

    You can participate in discussions, complete surveys and quick polls, engage and provide feedback, send submissions, email Council and ask questions and view documents relevant to projects.

    Better still, you can do all of this by mobile phone, your tablet or personal computer at a time and place that suits you. 

    Your feedback will assist Council's decision making processes and help shape our community. After all ……… it’s Your Hawkesbury – have Your Say.

  • Have Your Say on what Council does

    over 2 years ago

    If you want to have your say about what Council does and how it spends its money, as well details of future plans for rates, roads and the many other services Council provides, you need to see Council’s Draft Operational Plan 2015/2016 which is currently on public exhibition until Monday, 1 June 2015.

    This is the first time the Draft Operational Plan has been put onto the Your Hawkesbury – Your Say site to make it even easier for residents to communicate more easily and swiftly with Council.

    The Draft Operational Plan... Continue reading

    If you want to have your say about what Council does and how it spends its money, as well details of future plans for rates, roads and the many other services Council provides, you need to see Council’s Draft Operational Plan 2015/2016 which is currently on public exhibition until Monday, 1 June 2015.

    This is the first time the Draft Operational Plan has been put onto the Your Hawkesbury – Your Say site to make it even easier for residents to communicate more easily and swiftly with Council.

    The Draft Operational Plan 2015/2016 identifies the proposed projects, programs and activities to be undertaken during 2015/2016. It also includes information about rates, fees and charges, estimated income and expenditure and the capital works program for 2015/2016.

    Have your say on the Draft Operational Plan 2015/2016.


  • Complete our quick poll and have your say on boundary changes and mergers

    almost 3 years ago

    Council is seeking your views about its position that it will not support any proposal for the adjustment of its current boundaries or the merger of our Local Government Area with any adjoining council area. Complete our quickpoll and have your say.

    Council is seeking your views about its position that it will not support any proposal for the adjustment of its current boundaries or the merger of our Local Government Area with any adjoining council area. Complete our quickpoll and have your say.

  • Skewed Hills Council survey denies residents informed choice

    over 2 years ago

    The Hills Shire Council has tried to pull the wool over local resident’s eyes regarding their attempts to influence an amalgamation survey by directly attacking Hawkesbury Council’s General Manager in what seems to be a diversionary tactic.

    The Mayor of Hawkesbury, Councillor Kim Ford said that The Hills Shire Council had not presented the NSW Independent Local Government Review Panel’s preferred Option of ‘No Change’ to the boundaries of the Hills Shire Council as one of the options in their recently released amalgamation survey.

    This effectively denies all those that complete the survey the ability to vote on what is... Continue reading

    The Hills Shire Council has tried to pull the wool over local resident’s eyes regarding their attempts to influence an amalgamation survey by directly attacking Hawkesbury Council’s General Manager in what seems to be a diversionary tactic.

    The Mayor of Hawkesbury, Councillor Kim Ford said that The Hills Shire Council had not presented the NSW Independent Local Government Review Panel’s preferred Option of ‘No Change’ to the boundaries of the Hills Shire Council as one of the options in their recently released amalgamation survey.

    This effectively denies all those that complete the survey the ability to vote on what is the preferred option of Review Panel.

    “The skewed survey denies residents informed choice,” saidthe Mayor of Hawkesbury.

    The Panel clearly states that the preferred option for Hawkesbury City Council is that there is ‘No Change’ to its boundaries.

    In addition, The Hills have come up with an option that doesn’t form the basis of any of the recommendations of the Panel and are touting this as their preferred option. For the Hawkesbury this involves The Hills taking over all the area north of Windsor Road and east of South Creek or the Hawkesbury River, which would effectively leave Hawkesbury unviable as a local government
    area.

    Hawkesbury City Council considered the NSW Independent Review Panel’s report on 30 September 2014 and resolved:

    ‘Having regard to the recommendations of the Independent Local Government Review Panel and the “scale and capacity” aspects of the “Fit For the Future” package released by the NSW Government, Council not support nor entertain any proposals for the adjustment of the Council’s boundaries as
    reportedly being proposed by The Hills Shire Council or the merger of the Council with any adjoining council area.’

    “This resolution was communicated to Mayor of The Hills by me and also by the General Manager to The Hills General Manager in separate correspondence,” said Councillor Ford.

    “It is not appropriate to attack the General Manager of Hawkesbury indicating that he is opposing reform when in fact all he has done is rightly inform The Hills of Council’s decision.”

    “The Mayor of The Hills should be well aware of the processes of local government and that the General Manager does not make decisions in this regard.”

    Councils have been asked by IPART to prepare their Fit for the Future submissions on the recommendations of the Panel which The Hills seem to have ignored. They also seem to have ignored the guidelines for community consultation issued by the Office of Local Government, particularly how to conduct a balanced and valid community survey.

    The Hills have also criticised Hawkesbury Council’s financial position.

    “T Corp has assessed Hawkesbury Council’s financial position as Moderate and its External Auditor has indicated that Council is in a ‘sound and stable financial position.”

    “Our level of outstanding debt as at June 2014 was $6.8 million which is well within benchmarks.”

    “The debt is made up of a subsidised loan under the Local Government Infrastructure Renewals Scheme for a bridge replacement program and a NSW Treasury interest free loan for sewerage infrastructure.”

    “I consider this very financially responsible,” explained the Mayor.

    “It will be up to IPART, not The Hills Shire Council to assess Council’s financial position and whether it is a Fit for the Future Council,” he added.

    “Council will continue to put its energies into preparing its Fit for the Future submission and work on furthering the recently formed strategic alliance between the Blue Mountains and Penrith City Councils rather than be diverted by the actions of empire builders,” concluded the Mayor of
    Hawkesbury.

    Visit the Getting Council Fit For the Future project page for more information.

  • Hawkesbury’s Future Threatened

    over 2 years ago

    The Hills Shire Council is currently circulating three amalgamation options, two of which would directly affect the future of the Hawkesbury Local Government Area.

    One option suggests a merger with The Hills resulting in a super city council of an area one and a quarter times the size of the current metropolitan area, which is clearly unworkable.

    A second option presented suggests The Hills absorb suburbs north of Windsor Road and east of South Creek including McGraths Hill, Pitt Town, Oakville, Maraylya and parts of Cattai and Vineyard severely affecting the future sustainability of our local government area.

    “The Hills... Continue reading

    The Hills Shire Council is currently circulating three amalgamation options, two of which would directly affect the future of the Hawkesbury Local Government Area.

    One option suggests a merger with The Hills resulting in a super city council of an area one and a quarter times the size of the current metropolitan area, which is clearly unworkable.

    A second option presented suggests The Hills absorb suburbs north of Windsor Road and east of South Creek including McGraths Hill, Pitt Town, Oakville, Maraylya and parts of Cattai and Vineyard severely affecting the future sustainability of our local government area.

    “The Hills suggest that the Hawkesbury could be divided and incorporated into neighbouring councils splintering our long established community and dissolving our Council as we know it. The Hills state that this is their preferred option,” said the Mayor of Hawkesbury Councillor Kim Ford.

    Hawkesbury Council has formally resolved not support nor entertain any proposals for the adjustment of the Council’s boundaries being proposed by The Hills Shire Council or the merger of the Council with any adjoining council area.

    Councils have been asked by the State Government to present plans to make them Fit for the Future that consider the recommendations of the NSW Independent Local Government Review panel which recognises Hawkesbury’s important role in managing the unique rural area on the edge of Sydney. The Panel’s preferred option is to maintain the Hawkesbury as it currently exists, that is that there be no change to its structure.

    The Mayor said that he was seriously concerned that The Hills are presenting options to their ratepayers that do not include the preferred option of the NSW Local Government Review Panel, that is that there be No Change to the current status of either Councils.

    “I am disappointed that this Council was not consulted prior to these options being formulated.

    “The Hills do not seem to understand that our community values the unique characteristics of our towns and rural villages and our strong history as a community that goes back to the very foundations of Australia.”

    “Time and time again our community has told us that they value their rural lifestyle.” he said

    “Our community does not want to be engulfed by the large scale broad acre development that is so favoured by The Hills, with suburb abutting suburb and high rise development.

    “It is difficult to see any positive benefits for the Hawkesbury in being merged into a super council with The Hills.

    The Hills admit that there would be challenges in providing services across a region with very large remote and rural areas.

    "This challenge is real; we understand the realities of it and work with it day in and day out as the largest Council, in area, in Sydney. Creating a Council of a larger size in area on the outer fringe of Sydney does not make economic sense.” said Councillor Ford.

    “Neither will we entertain any move that sees our future viability as a local government area compromised. By taking a portion of the Hawkesbury the area would lose around 8,300 of its population, and one of the few areas available for sustained population growth would be lost.

    “This is clearly not in the interests of the residents of the Hawkesbury.

    “The last thing we want is a suburb mentality to be imposed on our beautiful Hawkesbury. The Hills options strike at the very social fabric of our area.” said the Mayor.

    Visit the Getting Council Fit For the Future project page for more information.