The relationship between Lachlan Shire Council and Penrith City Council began in early 2006. Lachlan Shire Council and Penrith City agreed to developing a relationship that would lead to them working closely together to undertake a series of sporting, cultural and educational exchanges as well as Council-to-Council activities.
Both Councils agreed to act as facilitators for local groups and organisations, bringing them together and encouraging them to participate in exchanges that would potentially be of benefit to both local government areas.
Since then, a range of community, school and Council-to-Council exchanges have taken place and a network of interested people in both communities has been established including:
- Junior rugby league teams - Condobolin and St Mary;
- Staff Exchange – Council-to-Council;
- Information displays - tourist information centres of both Condobolin and Penrith; and
- A number of schools within both LGAs have established ongoing relationships.
The morning after the signing ceremony, a tree planting ceremony took place in the main street of Condobolin, where two water gums, donated by Penrith City Council were planted as a permanent reminder of the relationship between the two regions.
The Friendship Agreement between Penrith City Council and Lachlan Shire Council is a good example of Councils in NSW developing alliances so they can investigate and pursue opportunities to work together.
The signing ceremony, the Minister for Local Government, the Hon. Kerry Hickey MP, commented that such ties between city and country could help save ratepayers’ money and meet the challenges of skills shortages in regional NSW. He also said that he hoped other Councils would follow the lead of Penrith City Council and Lachlan Shire Council, and establish similar relationships that had the capacity to generate benefits for the communities of the respective regions.
Aside from the more tangible benefits that will be delivered as a result of the relationship, the Friendship Agreement promotes a greater awareness of the respective areas and lifestyles at Penrith City and Lachlan Shire. It will give many residents from Penrith a unique opportunity to understand the complexities of a rural community and learn about the values found in rural Australia.