Mayor of The Hills Shire, Councillor Yvonne Keane, has celebrated her first 100 days as Mayor before seeing in the New Year.
“I am so grateful to have the opportunity to represent the wonderful residents of our Shire as Mayor,” Mayor Keane said.
“Our region is continually transforming and with more than 250,000 people expected to move here by 2031, Council is focused on reimagining our current and future community assets including parks and recreational facilities.
“I believe that as a Council we have the extraordinary potential to be a positive driver of transformation and in the last three months, we have made pleasing progress on a number of key issues.
“We are taking a close look at how we will grow as a region in the future, taking care to make sure we are doing everything in our power to create places that not only provide for our future population, but that are also truly special.
“We’ve got one chance. So let’s just make sure that we get it right the first time for our current and future residents,” Mayor Keane added.
Mayor Keane said Council was working with State and Federal governments to improve public transport options, roads and to make sure highly liveable and family-friendly precincts were made a top priority.
“I’m so proud that Council has recently secured a landmark agreement with the NSW Department of Planning that will see more family-sized apartments be built around our transport hubs,” Mayor Keane said.
“Of all the nearly 20,000 low and medium density dwellings to be built in The Hills in the coming years, approximately 20 per cent of these apartments will have three or more bedrooms to ensure larger households are available for families – the main demographic to reside in our wonderful community.
“It’s astounding to think that our region will have a fully operational metro system in just a few short years.
“To add to the works, Council will provide $500,000 to fund an upgrade at the intersection of Norwest Boulevard, Elizabeth Macarthur Drive and Lexington Drive, which will include the installation of vehicle activated traffic lights that will operate in peak times.
“This is fantastic news for residents, workers in Norwest Business Park and the many thousands of Sydney residents who travel through The Hills via the M7 and Norwest Boulevard in their daily commutes,” Mayor Keane added.
During her past four months as Mayor, Mayor Keane has welcomed 327 Hills residents as new Australian citizens across three citizenship ceremonies. She has relished the opportunity to be involved in a range of community activities from business forums, to school and volunteer events and speaking at local sporting and cultural occasions.
“As a member of the judging panel for the Zest Quest competition I was blown away by the level of young and emerging talent we have in our community,” Mayor Keane said.
“I also had the great opportunity to meet some of our up-and-coming sports stars who are training at the Western Sydney Academy of Sport at a meet and greet ceremony.
“And, it has been an absolute joy getting out and meeting young people in our Shire, as well as celebrating with teachers and students at their end of year celebrations.”
Mayor Keane said she looked forward to continuing to work together with the community in the New Year.
“We have a number of important projects underway and nearing completion, including a brand new community park on Fairway Drive, and a bridge in Broderick Boulevard,” she said.
“I’m also looking forward to working hand in hand with the Touched by Olivia Foundation to create the very first inclusive Livvi’s Playground in the Hills that will bring families together.
“It is my dream for an entertainment precinct to be built in our Shire and so I’ve been working on ideas to transform the Castle Hill Showground into a spectacular place which will ultimately pulse day-in and day-out with commerce, community and activity.
“Planning for this will begin in earnest in the New Year.
“When I first became Mayor, I described my vision to ensure The Hills is an inclusive, connected and creative community. I believe it is Council’s responsibility to go beyond providing services and infrastructure – I believe we can be an effective grass roots agent for real and good change.
“We must do more than just create built form and delivering essential services – we must work to create a sense of belonging – a real sense of community,” Mayor Keane added.
Mayor Keane thanked her fellow Councillors, Council staff and key community figures for working together to continually deliver the best outcomes for The Hills community.