What is the Stronger Communities Fund Major Projects Program?

The Stronger Communities Fund has been established by the NSW Government to provide councils with funding to kick start the delivery of projects that improve community infrastructure and services. The NSW Government has provided funds to new councils following their commencement, to enable councils to start consulting with communities and investing in projects. To ensure that the Stronger Communities Fund is allocated to projects that are prioritised using an open and transparent process, the NSW Government will require councils to apply high governance standards to the decision making process. This will include the appointment of a Stronger Communities Fund Assessment Panel that includes an independent probity adviser.

What are the funding allocation guidelines?

The NSW Government has stated that Council is to fund projects that deliver new or improved infrastructure or services to the community. Projects that are prioritised for funding must meet the following criteria:

  • have been through a community consultation process
  • demonstrate social and/or economic benefits to the community
  • consider issues of sustainability and equity across the broader community
  • demonstrate project feasibility and value for money, including full lifecycle costs;
  • did not have funds allocated by the former councils
  • give consideration to the processes and procedures outlined in the capital expenditure review guidelines.  

What is the Stronger Communities Fund Assessment Panel?

The Stronger Communities Fund Assessment Panel is prescribed by the State Government and is to include:

  • Administrator or delegate
  • State Members of Parliament or representative
  • Regional Coordinator of the Department of Premier and Cabinet or delegate
  • Other members, appointed by the Administrator, as required
  • An independent probity adviser, appointed by the Administrator to advise the Panel on their deliberation and assessment process

How did Council decide on the three options of: Transport Infrastructure, Community Facilities and Recreation and Sustainability?

Research on the current condition of assets across the Inner West Council area, information gathered from the community satisfaction surveys of the three former councils and projects contained in existing Asset Management Plans have all informed the choice of these three options.

These are all important options, if the community choice is Recreation and Sustainability (for example), will the other two options miss out?

Council understands that each of these option areas is important and has committed to a minimum spend for each but funding priority will be chosen by the community.

Will the funding be distributed fairly across the Inner West Council area?

Inner West Council is aiming to deliver community benefits across the new LGA. Spending will be allocated equally in each ward.

Once the community has had their say on its preferred option, what happens next?

Council has undertaken that the option with the highest community support will be endorsed and that the Stronger Communities Fund Assessment Panel is to allocate projects and funds accordingly.

Individual appropriate projects will be scoped and costed and then a list will be provided to the Stronger Communities Fund Assessment Panel.

The Panel will assess the projects and its recommendations will go to Council in December for a final decision.

We will report back on the option chosen by the community and post a copy of the report to Council on this project page prior to the meeting in December.

All projects must by delivered by June 2019.