Former government mandarins lead push for new community voice for Leura

Two former state government "heavy lifters" are part of the push for the establishment of a new community advocacy body for Leura.

Gary Sturgess, a former Director-General of the NSW Cabinet Office, and Rod Stowe, a former NSW Fair Trading Commissioner, said their involvement in recent local issues has revealed Leura is not as a well represented as other Upper Blue Mountains villages in interactions with Blue Mountains City Council, government agencies and utilities.

Rod Stowe (left) and Gary Sturgess (right) with the draft charter for the proposed Leura Community Alliance.

Rod Stowe (left) and Gary Sturgess (right) with the draft charter for the proposed Leura Community Alliance.

The two Leura residents said they have been impressed by the effectiveness of the Blackheath Area Community Alliance, a coalition of disparate community organisations, in its discussions with the council and other bodies.

"Following discussions with representatives of the Blackheath Alliance, Ward 1 councillors, members of council's professional staff and local residents, there is an emerging view that the 'Alliance' model is best suited to establishing an effective, broadly based, advocacy voice for the Leura community," said Mr Stowe.

It is anticipated the proposed Leura Alliance could deal with matters such as management of streetscapes, parks and reserves; input and updating of the recently developed Leura Village Character Statement; proposed development and heritage issues; and undertaking community engagement and public awareness campaigns.

"The latter function is likely to be of increasing importance in the context of natural disasters such as the recent bushfire crisis," said Mr Sturgess.

Representatives from Leura community groups have been invited to a public meeting to be held at 7pm on Wednesday, November 25 in the auditorium at the Fairmont Resort. A draft charter document has been prepared to serve as the basis for discussion at the meeting. Those interested in obtaining a copy of the draft Charter document or further information can contact Rod Stowe at rod.stowe@iinet.com.au