Council Members:

Apologies for inability to attend the meeting were tendered on behalf of Councillor C Neil and P Sansom.

There were no declarations of interest to record.


Councillors, tonight marks a significant milestone in the history of Hurstville City Council.

Tomorrow is the tenth anniversary of the proclamation of Hurstville as a City.

This is probably something that we now take for granted, but the actual process of gaining city status involved a huge amount of effort by Councillors and staff during the mid-eighties.

The process commenced in 1985 when at the 11th September Ordinary Council Meeting, Alderman Joan Loew, the Mayor of the Day, and Aldermen Dick Dearing and Dick Swanton successfully moved a Notice of Motion:

"That Council make representations to the Minister for special consideration (if necessary, by amendment to the Local Government Act) for the proclamation, by the Governor, of Hurstville Municipality as a City, due to its importance as the regional centre of the St George and surrounding districts, and in view of the celebration in 1987 of the Council's Centenary."

Correspondence to'd and fro'd between Council and State Government over the next few years.

If Hurstville was to achieve City status, the Local Government Act had to be changed, but clearly at a higher level there was acknowledgment that Hurstville deserved recognition as historically the area had always played a significant part in the progress of the St George district.

Furthermore, the continuing importance of Hurstville in the development and prosperity of the region was identified and acknowledged by the State Government.

A submission was made to the then Minister for Local Government, The Hon Janice Crosio, MP, who agreed to amend the Act to facilitate the proclamation of Hurstville as a City.

It was obvious that this was to be a first and that Hurstville was to quite rightly become a City - the forerunner of similar proclamations for other councils - another of the many "firsts" for Hurstville City Council.

A Mayoral Minute submitted to the Ordinary Meeting of Council held on 23rd November 1988 by the then Mayor and current Councillor Bryan McDonald noted:

"It is with extreme pride that I inform Council that the Minister for Local Government and Planning, the Hon D A Hay, MP, announced in his speech at the opening of the St. George Great Train Festival in Hurstville on Saturday, 19th November 1988, that the Governor of New South Wales, had proclaimed the Municipality of Hurstville a City and that the Governor's proclamation of the City of Hurstville would appear in the New South Wales Government Gazette on Friday 25th November 1988.

The Minister in his speech, referred to the very high standard of Council's submission for Hurstville to be proclaimed a City, made under Section 11 of the Local Government Act. The Minister also referred to the significance of Hurstville as a Regional Growth Centre as nominated by the Department of Planning and the outstanding achievement of Hurstville Municipal Council."

Councillors, it is easy to reflect on our success in becoming a City, but it did not eventuate without a lot of lobbying of State Government Ministers by the Mayors of the day Joan Loew and Bryan McDonald, and senior staff led by the then Town Clerk and now General Manager Howard Wallace, who incidentally is in his 20th year as Town Clerk/General Manager of this Council.

Without their dedication and dogged perseverance, the proclamation of City status would not have happened.

The proclamation of Hurstville as a City was an important development for the area as it bestowed a huge amount of prestige on the Council and its residents, by recognising the significance of Hurstville and the efficiency and responsible strategic management practices of the Council.

The proclamation of Hurstville as a City represented a tangible expression of confidence in Hurstville's future.

It is worth reflecting on some of our achievements of the past ten years and to chronicle that this trust was well placed.

We have been debt free for the whole of that time and we were the first Council in Australia to be debt free, a benefit that is returned to our residents with the lowest possible rate rises and increased works and services in the order of $30 million over the decade.

Councillors, I would like to pay tribute to all members of Council and Senior Management past and present, for this very advantageous situation.

The issue of responsible financial management has been a constant theme throughout many administrations of Hurstville City Council.

No matter what political party has held the reins of power, sound and reliable stewardship has been a constant hallmark of this organisation.

That's not to say that we have concentrated solely on financial matters.

We have continued to use our resources in a sensible manner with the goal of improving the quality of lifestyle for our residents.

Some of our major achievements over the past ten years include the construction of the Hurstville Aquatic Leisure Centre.

This was built without having to borrow externally and Council has provided its citizens with a world class sporting and leisure centre.

We constructed the Hurstville Boulevard, which although a little controversial, is in fact further evidence of how Hurstville has matured as an important regional centre.

We have completed the St George bicycle plan and constructed or upgraded cycle tracks in Kempt Field, Gannons Park and Peakhurst Park.

We have established the unique Natural Heritage Park in Gannons Park.

Sports fields throughout the City have been upgraded, including improved playing surfaces, lighting, cricket wickets and nets, all weather netball courts and improvements to Oatley Park baths. All playground equipment in parks has been replaced with modern safe equipment.

Our environment has received special attention with the preparation of catchment management plans including the rejuvenation of wetlands and Gross Pollution Traps at Salt Pan Creek.

Hurstville has again been a leader with the Georges River "RiverKeeper" Program and gone into coalition with all the Councils along this magnificent water way to rejuvenate and restore the health of the river for all people.

We have also established an innovative and impressive City and Corporate Graphics program to further enhance a sense of community for Hurstville City.

We have listened to the concerns of local residents and employed two law enforcement officers to maintain our City as a safe and clean environment for all.

In many ways Hurstville City Council has been an innovative and creative leader in developing strategies and embracing technology to become a better and more efficient planner, manager and service provider on behalf of the community.

We were the first to develop a fully functional electronic business paper using Lotus Notes.

We were also one of the very first Councils to develop a web site on the Internet, automatically providing our business paper and other useful information about Hurstville to anyone in the world with computer access.

It has taken the concept of open government to a new and realistic level.

Our libraries are world beaters and once again technology has played a huge part in service delivery. Within the next couple of years we will have a new Central Library with the very latest in communications technology for our citizens.

We have added a CD ROM Network, Community information and the catalogue on the internet and shortly will put local studies photos on the net.

The Centennial Bakery, restored as a Museum, and also historic "Gladwyn", restored and now utilised as a local studies and archive centre, were acquired at virtually no cost to Council through astute negotiations.

Our archive system at "Gladwyn" is light years ahead of anything other Councils are doing.

Over the past ten years we have issued over 9 million books, had 5.2 million people visit the library, answered over 1 million reference questions and conducted 2 thousand story times for children.

Council built and operates the Penshurst Long Day Care Centre, has expanded the Family Day Care Scheme and opened "The AV" youth centre.

We have developed a meaningful Sister City relationship with Shiroishi in Japan and Changzhou in China and Friendly Towns relationships with Barraba and Manilla in North Western New South Wales.

We are indebted to the Hurstville Community Committee which has ably assisted Council in organising events and visits for over a decade now.

Ladies and Gentlemen, we have much to be proud of.

I have great faith in the ability and dedication of Hurstville's elected representatives and the Council staff to continue these good works for the benefit of our residents.

Being proclaimed a City was a true milestone for Hurstville.

It recognised the development of Hurstville not only as an important regional centre but for the area as a whole.

It was a major achievement in Local Government circles, as at the time there were only two other City Councils in southern Sydney - Sydney City Council and South Sydney City Council.

I look forward to the next ten years and celebrating the achievements of 20 years of Hurstville City Council. I feel we have well and truly lived up to the City's motto of "By Wisdom and Courage", in the best traditions of our forebears during the period of our stewardship of Hurstville City as a City.

I now commend this Mayoral Minute to the Council as a record of our proud achievements.His Worship the Mayor, Councillor M Frawley, the 1988 Mayor and current Councillor Bryan McDonald and the General Manager presented Commerative Certificates to former and current Councillors, staff and their respective partners.THE MEETING CLOSED AT 7.35 PM


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