Lord Mayor's Message: Corporate Plan

(Tuesday, 11 June 2013)

The 2013-2016 Corporate Plan and Budget set the course for the City of Sydney's continuing delivery of services, programs and projects for a thriving social, cultural and commercial city, one which is green, global and connected.

The Corporate Plan underscores our commitment to implementing the next phases of our Sustainable Sydney 2030 program, which came out of the most comprehensive community consultations ever undertaken by Council.

The priorities and projects suggested by our various city communities are the basis of the Corporate Plan and the City's short, medium and long-term targets. They include reductions in greenhouse gas emissions; a better integrated transport system and excellence in planning.

Our green infrastructure master plan will deliver more sustainable use of energy, water and waste to directly reduce the greenhouse emissions which are the chief cause of climate change.

We continue to support pedestrian and cycling infrastructure with the roll-out of our Liveable Green Network and our continuing advocacy for sustainable transport options and incentives with the State and Federal Governments.

Our Social Sustainability Strategy will increase the City's resilience and adaptive capacity to deal with future demands on services and facilities, and build trust and mutual co-operation to work towards common goals.

A discussion paper was exhibited for community feedback on the City's first Cultural Policy and it will help guide the conversation about the kind of cultural and creative life people want for Sydney.

The Corporate Plan sets out our additional focus on economic development with projects including a new retail action plan to deliver a high-quality retail offer in the City and Villages; building business capacity; removing barriers for business and improved communication with and between businesses. We are also implementing an International Engagement Action Plan.

We continue our active consultations across the community. After a widespread program of forums and feedback from public exhibition - of 10 new draft Village Centre plans to make local planning more holistic and consistent.

The Corporate Plan reinforces our continuing commitment to sustainable and integrated transport, with an emphasis on encouraging improvements to the way people - whether they are workers, residents or visitors - move around the city. This includes our delivery of a bigger cycleway network to meet the record growth in the number of regular cyclists. The take-up of cycling is expanding as the network of shared and separated cycleways is extended.

The $220 million committed by Council in its long-term budget to support the NSW Government development of light rail on George Street by transforming the street and surrounding laneways remains a flagship program. We remain determined to reduce carbon emissions, congestion and noise, improve transport and improve the streetscape for pedestrians and retailers.

The City's financial position is strong. This budget will maintain our extensive community support services, programs and events, coupled with the roll-out of a comprehensive capital works program. Key projects include the Green Square Town Centre and new or improved facilities in key LGA sites; footpath upgrades across the CBD and sustained activation of laneways. An extensive program of small-to-medium-sized projects will create a greener, more appealing Sydney for residents, workers and visitors to enjoy.

Major events such as Sydney New Year's Eve and Chinese New Year continue to grow in stature and reputation, attracting increasing patronage and support as they stimulate the economy and promote Sydney's global city status as a vibrant and original city.

Our sponsorship and partnership program is robust and includes our support for major festivals such as Sydney Festival, Sydney Writers' Festival, Sydney Film Festival, the Biennale of Sydney and Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras, as well as the Fringe Festival and major national and international theatre productions. Our community and cultural life is enriched by the activities of local community, cultural and business groups, and the City continues to support them through our grants and sponsorship programs. We have a strong focus on cultural development, with new strategies planned for public art programs and our creative industry action plans.

After an extensive period of community consultation, the City will be implementing our OPEN Sydney Strategy - a long-term, far-reaching strategy and action plan to build Sydney's night-time economy.

The Barangaroo development remains one of our key planning commitments, with our emphasis being on ensuring the best possible linkages to the city centre.

The Corporate Plan underlines the importance we place on delivering the agreed targets and directions established by our communities in the 2030 program. The results so far inspire us with the confidence that we are on the right track.