WE ALL have different memories that define our youth. For me, it was sitting at the dinner table with my parents, listening as they talked.
They weren't talking about the news though. My parents talked about sewers. Not exclusively sewers. There was also roads, rubbish and parks.
These topics were the focus because my father was a councillor for many years and mayor for a time.
So, growing up, listening at that table, I learned about council.
And what I learned is simply this: Council is how you get things done.
I passionately believe that council is the best level of government.
Our staff and my fellow councillors aren't removed from their community, they are part of it every day.
This week is Local Government Week, where councils across NSW recognise the services councils deliver 'beyond roads, rates and rubbish'.
The theme of Local Government Week 2020 is 'Councils Do'. To me, what councils do, is deliver the facilities and services that make the community better, which individuals cannot do on their own.
One person can't build our bridges, or find homes for all our lost animals, or upgrade our sports fields.
Councils do what it takes an entire community to do.
That is why we are so passionate about managing the overlap with our natural environment, attracting new facilities like cinemas and university centres to our towns and about planning for the future of our towns.
For me, every week is Local Government Week. Every week should be a cause to celebrate why council matters.
We ARE about roads and rubbish because they are important. But there are so many other things, like innovative tourism, future libraries, weed control and managing endangered flying-foxes. Things less easily defined, but crucial to improving our community.
So, yes, I'm still talking about council. Not just at dinner, but all the time.
This week, maybe you could have a conversation about council, about what we can do better (there's plenty, we know) but maybe also about those things local government is getting done that individuals can't but communities need.