Community and Culture Committee


Tuesday, 14 April 2020



Ground Floor, Georges River Civic Centre













Georges River Council –           Community and Culture -  Tuesday, 14 April 2020                                                          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 - 09 March 2020

8.      Committee Reports

COM015-20       Renaming of the Kogarah Library and Service Centre

(Report by Coordinator, Library Operations)............................................................... 3

COM016-20       River Rail Advocacy Report

(Report by Coordinator, Strategy and Innovation)....................................................... 6  



Georges River Council –           Community and Culture -  Tuesday, 14 April 2020                                                          Page 3

Committee Reports

Item:                   COM015-20       Renaming of the Kogarah Library and Service Centre 

Author:              Coordinator, Library Operations

Directorate:      Community and Culture

Matter Type:     Committee Reports





That Council approve the renaming of the Kogarah Library and Service Centre to the Clive James Library and Service Centre.



1.      The Georges River community provided feedback regarding the proposal to rename the Kogarah Library and Service Centre in honour of Clive James. Seventy percent (70%) of respondents were in favour of the proposal as an appropriate recognition of the author’s achievements.


2.      Author Clive James died from Leukaemia on 24 November 2019.

3.      Council resolved on Monday 16 December 2019 (MM031-19) to endorse a proposal to rename the Kogarah Library and Service the “Clive James Library and Service Centre” in recognition of the author’s connection to the suburb of Kogarah.

4.      Council also resolved to seek and consider feedback from the community and Clive James’ family regarding the proposed new building name.


5.      Section 7 of the Georges River Place Naming Policy states that Council is entitled to choose the names of Council owned buildings, facilities or parts thereof.

6.      Section 7.2 states that Council will apply the same guidelines as the Geographical Names Board of New South Wales – guidelines that aim to represent the diverse history of the region and achieve clear way-finding for the public.

7.      Section 7.3 (b) states that the names of buildings generally shall not change during the life of the building.


8.      Consultation with the community was provided through Council’s Your Say website from 6 February to 6 March 2020.

9.      The opportunity to provide feedback on the proposal was also promoted on the Library Facebook page and on information screens in Library Services.

10.    No response to Council’s correspondence was received from the surviving family of Clive James.


11.    Thirty one (31) responses were received from the community. Twenty two (22) respondents were in favour of renaming the Library. Nine (9) respondents were not in favour of renaming the Library.

12.    The twenty two (22) respondents in favour of the proposal commented that renaming Kogarah Library would:

a.      Recognise the author’s link to Kogarah and the attention he brought to the suburb.

b.      Recognise the author’s contribution to poetry and literature.

c.       Be appropriate given the author’s stature and his global success.

d.      Preserve the author’s legacy given that his childhood home is no longer standing.

13.    The nine (9) respondents not in favour of renaming the library commented that:

a.      Council should focus less on the past and more on the future.

b.      The author’s contribution to Kogarah was limited to him writing about his childhood.

c.       The proposed name will not resonate with current or future users of the library because it does not reflect the cultural diversity of the suburb.

d.      Renaming is confusing - the library is a recognised landmark and its name should denote its location like other Council libraries.

e.      Libraries are shared spaces and Council should maintain neutral names.

f.        A personal name may cause people to think it is a private library.

g.      Limited Library resources would be better spent on service provision rather than new signage.

14.    Four (4) of the nine (9) respondents who were not in favour of the proposal were in favour of honouring Clive James in other ways. Rather than renaming the Library, their suggestions were to consider an historical marker, statue, library room or literary prize.


15.    The expected cost of replacing the illuminated exterior sign at Kogarah Library is $3,800. Minimal electrical work will be required to reconnect the new sign. In the event that Council approves the renaming of Kogarah Library, the cost of the new signage will be allocated from the Kogarah Library – Enhancing Access budget with a remaining budget of $ 5,910.


16.    Community feedback has indicated a risk that removing “Kogarah” from the name of the building will reduce the building’s function as a way-finding landmark and will be inconsistent with Council’s other libraries which take their names from the suburbs where they are located. Appropriate additional way-finding signage will be installed to assist library patrons.



17.    Community engagement was conducted through Council’s Your Say website from 6 February to 6 March 2020 during the public exhibition period. The proposal was promoted on the Library Facebook page and on information screens in the library.








Georges River Council –           Community and Culture -  Tuesday, 14 April 2020                                                          Page 8

Item:                   COM016-20       River Rail Advocacy Report 

Author:              Coordinator, Strategy and Innovation

Directorate:      City Strategy and Innovation

Matter Type:     Committee Reports





(a)     That Council endorse the River Rail Report (attached to this report) as a key document to help shape the future of Georges River.

(b)     That Council delegate authority to the General Manager to make further updates to the report as required. 



1.      The River Rail Report advocates for urgent investment in the Kogarah to Parramatta Rail link, as a vital catalytic project crucial for the success of Sydney, at a key moment in its growth (Attachment 1).

2.      Given the current and future social and economic impacts of COVID-19 it is vital that Council positions itself and builds alliances with others to push forward with key city shaping infrastructure projects that can assist in the economic recovery of NSW and also be available for grant and other funding submissions in the post-COVID-19 environment.

3.      The Report highlights the benefits and opportunities that this major infrastructure project will offer to Kogarah and Sydney as a whole. These benefits include:

a.      A city shaping investment connecting Strategic Centres and Health and Education Precincts.

b.      Significant economic output valued at over $7.5 billion.     

c.       Addressing social disadvantage through accessibility and jobs growth.

A more detailed account of these benefits can be found in the background section of this report.

4.      To seize these opportunities, Georges River Council is advocating for immediate investment in the River Rail, a proposed 24 kilometre rail link connecting the people of Georges River to Parramatta via Bankstown. This connection is already supported in key NSW Government planning and transport strategies; A Metropolis of Three Cities, Future Transport 2056 and the NSW State Infrastructure Strategy. 



5.      The Strategy and Innovation team worked with the consulting firm ARUP to produce the River Rail Report. ARUP is experienced in developing evidence based documents of this nature, most recently producing the Central Rail Report for the City of Parramatta which also calls for the Kogarah to Parramatta via Bankstown rail link.


6.      The advocacy for the River Rail which was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic and was originally to be launched at the “Leading for Change’ event on the 20 March. The River Rail Report will now form the basis for advocacy work with impacted Councils, the NSW Government, Industry leaders and peak industry groups.


7.      As Sydney grows on its journey to a city of 8 million by 2050, it becomes clearer that the transport mode required to sustain this growth without congestion is rail. A livable city of short journeys between employment, homes and amenities attracts talent, investment and indeed community loyalty. This is the ‘30 minute Sydney’ we are all seeking to build. It can only be built on rail and the extending of the network Sydney currently has.


8.      With the Greater Sydney Commission’s policy supporting significant population growth across the Eastern Harbour City, including in the South District, encouraging jobs growth in Kogarah and the broader South District requires urgent attention. The River Rail will for be a catalyst for jobs growth and will transform the possibilities for Kogarah, enabling it to perform its role as a key strategic centre and health, knowledge and wellness precinct. A thriving Kogarah will help address the jobs gap and socio-economic divide between the South District and the Western, Central and Eastern Cities. 


The River Rail will deliver the following benefits:

9.      City Shaping Investment:

a.      Rail provides broad, city-shaping benefits to the community along with the ability to move large numbers of people to and between economic centres and supports the agglomeration of activity required to create increased productivity and jobs growth.

b.      A north-south connection from Parramatta to Kogarah will facilitate a more networked transport system, helping to transform Sydney’s currently radial rail infrastructure.

c.       It would provide direct access to the health and education facilities at Kogarah and Bankstown as well as connecting to Westmead.


10.    Economic output:

a.      Through delivery of the River Rail, gross regional product (GRP) could be expected to grow by an additional $7.5 billion (net present value) between 2030 and 2045.

b.      The new rail link could be expected to attract an estimated 30,000 additional trips by rail each day in 2036, relieving congestion for motorists and saving in the order of 5,000 hours of travel time, worth a potential $0.7 billion over 30 years.


11.    Addressing Social Disadvantage:

a.      Rail supports inclusive growth, ensuring that districts and neighbourhoods have equitable access to jobs and services and facilities, aided by good public transport access. There are clear signs that disadvantage is moving towards lower density suburbia and exurban locations, including in Southern and Western Sydney, with poor public transport access and a less diverse land use mix. Investment in the River Rail would help grow local strategic centres and support broader accessibility, connecting the disadvantaged to employment opportunities, education and health services as well as recreational facilities.

b.      Currently only 66,000 people in the corridor live within walking distance of a rail station meaning many people drive to work or to access services – this would increase to over an estimated 118,000 by 2046.

c.       Locations across Greater Sydney – not just the South District – will benefit from the River Rail, providing access to over 100,000 additional jobs within 45 minutes in 2045.



12.    There are no budget implications for Council in adopting the recommendations of this report.  The report will be used by Council to support advocacy actions and these are part of the current budget of the City Strategy and Innovation Directorate. Construction of the River Rail is a NSW government responsibility.  



13.    To be effective in influencing the decisions of the State government it is important that Georges River Council has an evidenced based argument. If Council does not endorse the River Rail report it will not be able to present a professional evidence based argument and risk the NSW government diverting resources to other infrastructure projects that do not support our community.









Attachment 1

draft River Rail Report


Georges River Council -            Community and Culture - Tuesday, 14 April 2020

COM016-20             River Rail Advocacy Report

[Appendix 1]           draft River Rail Report



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