Community and Culture Committee


Monday, 09 September 2019



Ground Floor, Georges River Civic Centre













Georges River Council –       Community and Culture -  Monday, 9 September 2019                                                     Page 2


          Community and Culture



1.      Opening

2.      Acknowledgement of Country

3.      Apologies / Leave of Absence

4.      Notice of Webcasting

5.      Disclosures of Interest

6.      Public Forum

7.      Confirmation of Minutes of Previous Meeting  

MINUTES: Community and Culture - 12 August 2019

8.      Committee Reports

COM033-19       Draft Hurstville 'Heart of the City' Place Strategy

(Report by Senior Project Officer)................................................................................ 3

COM034-19       Create Georges River - Cultural Strategy 2019-2029

(Report by Coordinator Cultural Services).............................................................. 60  



Georges River Council –       Community and Culture -  Monday, 9 September 2019                                                     Page 3

Committee Reports

Item:                   COM033-19       Draft Hurstville 'Heart of the City' Place Strategy  

Author:              Senior Project Officer

Directorate:      City Strategy and Innovation

Matter Type:     Committee Reports



(a)     That Council approve the draft Hurstville Heart of the City Place Strategy (attached) to be placed on public exhibition for 28 days to facilitate community consultation.

(b)     That a further report be submitted to Council detailing feedback from any public submissions made during the exhibition period, together with any recommended changes to the draft Hurstville Heart of the City Place Strategy prior to adoption.



Executive Summary

1.      The Hurstville Place Strategy provides a vision, priority projects and key actions to achieve the goal of Hurstville becoming the Heart of the City. The Strategy outlines key projects that will transform Hurstville through innovative, economic, cultural and infrastructure improvement programs.

2.      The Strategy directly responds to findings from the Hurstville City Centre Urban Design Strategy, community engagement and two resolutions of Council calling for an uplifted public domain and increased open space.

3.      Council is in a position to start the delivery of key projects identified in this Strategy including public domain design work of the area from Palm Court Car Park to the Miles Franklin Courtyard (Corner of Macmahon and Dora Streets). 



4.   Council endorsed the Hurstville City Centre Urban Design Strategy in June 2018. As resolved by Council, the draft Place Strategy has been developed to support a Place Management Strategy, future upgrades of public domain and increased open space.

5.  The Hurstville Place Strategy supports two former Notices of Motion relating to:

·    Report provided to Council on the estimated cost to fund the preparation of a Masterplan for Hurstville Memorial Square in Forest Road, Hurstville to facilitate a future upgrade of the existing Square.

·    Report prepared to investigate options and funding sources to accelerate the conversion of the Palm Court car park into open space.


Strategy Recommendations

6. The Hurstville Place Strategy has identified twelve key priority projects for the city.

From the twelve key projects listed below there are supporting actions to aid the delivery of the priority projects.

·    Planning for a healthy community

·    A bustling night-time economy

·    A connected walkable centre

·    Create a green and open Hurstville

·    A transformed Civic precinct

·    Expressing our culture

·    Brand and promote Hurstville

·    A centre ahead of the curve

·    Establishment of a Place Governance group

·    Hurstville Place Coordinator role

·    Engaging with our community and businesses

·    Enabling place making and activation


8. Council will start working towards these projects, prioritising the creation of a green and open Hurstville through key public domain upgrades.  Work will include:

·    Concept designs will be developed for the area from Palm Court car park, Forest Road, Memorial Square and Miles Franklin Courtyard (Corner MacMahon and Dora Street).

·    Detailed design plan for Palm Court car park to be converted into high quality public open space.

·    Detailed design plan for Miles Franklin Courtyard to be transformed into useable public space with seating and shade structures.


Financial Implications

9.      Within budget allocation. The draft Place Strategy was developed from 2019-20 budgeted funds from cost centre number 185002600062404.


Risk Implications

10.    Operational risk for this project could be duplication of strategy outcomes.  To mitigate this risk the Hurstville ‘Heart of the City’ Discussion Paper was created to clearly outline the current position and opportunities for Hurstville. The consultant has added value to work that is already underway in the organisation and or initiatives identified in other strategies.


Community Engagement

11.    Community engagement (outcomes report attached) was conducted from 8 June – 4 July 2019 in the following formats:

·    Three community pop ups located at “The Green” pop up park on 8 June and in Hurstville Plaza on 15 and 19 June 2019.

·    Surrounding centres survey carried out in Oatley, Mortdale, Penshurst and Allawah to ascertain bordering suburbs’ perception of Hurstville.

·    Library engagement, static engagement set up in Hurstville Library from 17-21 June.

·    Internal staff survey conducted from the 4 June – 19 June.

·    Youth Advisory Committee meeting on 4 July and 1 August 2019.

12.    The draft Strategy was presented to the Economic Development Advisory Committee on 3 September 2019 to note the draft Strategy and advise timing of public exhibition for comment.

Further targeted consultation will be carried out with the following:

·    St George Business Chamber

·    Key external stakeholders – Westfield, Hurstville Central,Waratah Hospital, Club Central, etc.



File Reference






Attachment 1

Hurstville 'Heart of the City' Place Strategy

Attachment 2

Hurstville Place Strategy Engagement Outcomes Report


Georges River Council -         Community and Culture - Monday, 9 September 2019

COM033-19            Draft Hurstville 'Heart of the City' Place Strategy

[Attachment 1]        Hurstville 'Heart of the City' Place Strategy



Page 37

































Georges River Council -         Community and Culture - Monday, 9 September 2019

COM033-19            Draft Hurstville 'Heart of the City' Place Strategy

[Attachment 2]        Hurstville Place Strategy Engagement Outcomes Report



Page 59























Georges River Council –       Community and Culture -  Monday, 9 September 2019                                                     Page 63

Item:                   COM034-19       Create Georges River - Cultural Strategy 2019-2029 

Author:              Coordinator Cultural Services

Directorate:      Community and Culture

Matter Type:     Committee Reports



That Council adopts the Create Georges River Cultural Strategy 2019-2029.



Executive Summary

1.      The Create Georges River Cultural Strategy 2019-2029 provides high-level direction for the process of becoming a culturally rich community.

2.      The purpose of the Cultural Strategy is to develop and enrich the cultural life of Georges River. The strategy presents a guiding framework and a series of short-, medium- and long-term actions to harness the cultural richness of the Georges River area over the next 10 years.

3.      The Create Georges River Cultural Strategy was submitted to Council on 24 June 2019 (COM021-19) and placed on public exhibition for community feedback from 28 June to 29 July 2019.

4.      The final revised Create Georges River Cultural Strategy 2019-2029 is attached to this report.



5.      Council resolved on 23 April 2018 (NOM023-18) to commence the preparation of a cultural strategy in order to establish the cultural priorities of the City and to advance the liveability and quality of life of the Georges River community.

6.      The Create Georges River Cultural Strategy aims to prioritise culture within Council, and support cultural activities and cultural consumption across the Georges River local government area.

7.      The Create Georges River Cultural Strategy reflects the objectives of the recently adopted Georges River Open Space, Recreation and Community Facilities Strategy 2019-2036 utilising the community hubs approach to identify gaps in the city’s cultural needs in order to support the development of creative industries. Furthermore, the draft Hurstville ‘Heart of the City’ Place Strategy contains priority objectives that support the Cultural Strategy, particularly in the delivery of a bustling night-time economy, the ongoing expression of culture and the development of a city activation program.



8.      As part of the methodology for the development of the Cultural Strategy, Studio TCS undertook initial community consultation from December 2018 to February 2019, conducting in depth interviews with a range of key external stakeholders, local residents, Councillors and Council officers from Georges River Council.

9.      A review of relevant existing strategies, studies and policies was conducted to understand key directions for the Georges River area, the wider strategic context, and the role that culture plays in creating vibrant and safe communities. These included key Council strategies such as Council’s Community Strategic Plan 2018-2028, Disability Inclusion Access Plan, Economic Development Strategy 2018-2022 and Events Strategy 2018-2020, as well as external documents such as the Greater Sydney Commission’s South District Plan, Create NSW’s Cultural Infrastructure Plan 2025+ and Infrastructure Australia’s Planning Liveable Cities.

10.    Site visits to Georges River town centres, cultural organisations and natural areas were undertaken to gain a deeper understanding of the different sites and their unique character.

11.    A cultural audit examined current cultural activity across the local government area. In particular, the cultural mapping of Hurstville and Kogarah town centres was highlighted in the draft Strategy, as key centres within the Greater Sydney Commission’s Metropolis of Three Cities.


Community Engagement

12.    Extensive community engagement was conducted between March 2018 and March 2019, including online surveys through Council’s Your Say portal, targeted consultation with key stakeholders and community engagement sessions at Council events. Throughout the life of this project, over 630 people visited the Your Say page, with 56% of visitors downloading the Strategy or a relating document. The development of the Cultural Strategy engaged with artists, arts and cultural workers, key reference groups such as the Youth Advisory Committee and Multicultural Reference Group, along with the general public. This has ensured a cross-representation of age, cultural backgrounds and sector-related knowledge and experience throughout the Strategy.

13.    Councillor workshop briefing sessions were also held on 19, 20 and 26 March 2019 to provide strategic direction for the Cultural Strategy.

14.    The results of these consultation sessions, along with further research, demographic analysis, and benchmarking conducted by the consultants, has formed the basis of the draft Strategy.

15.    Following the resolution of Council in June 2019 (COM021-19), the draft Create Georges River Cultural Strategy was placed on public exhibition from 28 June to 29 July, and public submissions were sought via Your Say and though Council’s Service Centres and Libraries. The Strategy was promoted via Council’s social media, newsletters and via notification in the St George and Sutherland Shire Leader on 29 June 2019, encouraging the community to contribute feedback. Eight formal written submissions were received in relation to the draft Strategy’s public exhibition. Additional consultation during the exhibition period included attendance at Council’s July Customer Service pop-up stall, and public engagement through interactive chalk boards at Hurstville Plaza.


Key Findings

16.    Community consultation revealed three key needs related to the growth and development of culture in the Georges River area - communication, sustainability and access. A desire for the community to be better connected with each other, through events, online avenues and creative spaces was a high priority. The future of green spaces and the public domain was important to the community, with increasing sustainability and environmental awareness through cultural activation a key concern. Access to sites of cultural production for individuals and groups was the third key need identified by the community, both in terms of cultural creation and visitation. People with differing levels of ability and cultural backgrounds find it difficult to access some of the current cultural offerings. People involved in the making of culture find it difficult to operate without set venues or in retrofit venues.

17.    Additional feedback from community consultation included a desire to see ambitious public art projects and an increase of cultural infrastructure, as this would form a strong basis for cultural activity within the area. Cross-cultural events were also highlighted as integral to fostering cultural richness in the area.

18.    From the identified key needs, the draft Strategy puts forward four strategic directions that Council should focus on in order to embed and grow culture within the Georges River area.

19.    The first direction - ‘Connect’ - encourages stronger networking and collaboration with cultural organisations in order to stimulate cultural activity. Cultural identity is a key focus in this area, looking at how wayfinding can contribute to a connected community and how improving access can increase the useability of spaces for a wide section of the community.

20.    The second direction - ‘Create’ - builds on the first, looking at spaces for cultural production and what is needed to increase participation and creative industries with the Georges River local government area. Partnerships are highlighted in this section, in particular, the need to work other organisations and the private sector, in order utilise a range of spaces to make the most of cultural opportunities.

21.    The third direction - ‘Express’ - looks at current cultural activity and the perception of cultural life in Georges River, and discusses how to position the Georges River local government area as a major player in the Sydney cultural scene. It suggests building upon our current cultural output, the development of purpose built facilities in a cultural precinct, and capitalising on some of the areas key assets, such as our diverse multicultural community and the Georges River itself.

22.    The fourth direction - ‘Sustain’ - discusses the need for cultural projects to be able to be sustained into the future, through continued support of creative industries, good governance and the positioning of culture as a priority in all projects across Council. Again, strong partnerships are encouraged with State and Federal bodies, to help realise Council’s cultural vision for the LGA.


Summary of feedback received from public exhibition

23.    Submissions received during the public exhibition period were overwhelmingly positive, with support expressed for the Strategy as a whole. Respondents were impressed by the consultation that informed the Strategy and connected with the four strategic directions. 

24.    Several comments related to improved cultural facilities, such as expanding Hurstville Museum & Gallery, the importance of cultural hubs and precincts, and the need for affordable studio spaces in the area. Positive agreement was shown for an LGA-wide What’s On. The need to better articulate the support for young and emerging creatives in the Strategy was expressed by respondents.

25.    Comments from interactive blackboards were in favour of increased public art by local artists and the need for public art to address social issues such as bullying and anxiety. Interactive public art and street art were also desired by the community. When asked to comment on the night time economy, live music and drawing high profile personalities to the area were mentioned. Respondents raised the need to identify key areas across all town centres within the LGA where public art would best serve community needs and expectations.


26.    As a result of feedback received, amendments have been made to the strategy to more clearly articulate the support available for young and emerging creatives, and additional actions have been added to clarify activation strategies for town centres and cultural precincts. A further amendment has been made in relation to the identification of spaces for public art across the LGA. Small amendments have also been made as a result of feedback received on the cultural mapping section of the Strategy.



Financial Implications

27.    Ongoing financial implications for the implementation of the Strategy are to be sourced from future operational budgets, partnership programs, grants and other external funding sources.

28.    Operational funds of $298,000 have been allocated in the 2019-20 budget for the initial implementation of the Create Georges River Cultural Strategy in the 2019-20 financial year.



Risk Implications

29. Operational risk/s identified and management process applied.


File Reference






Attachment 1

Create Georges River Cultural Strategy - for adoption - published in separate document