Submissions for Penrith Community Panel are no longer being accepted. This study has been left here for reference purposes only.

Council is undertaking an exciting and innovative new direction in deliberative democracy with the formation of a Community Panel comprising everyday people to help shape the City’s future.The Penrith region is changing, and so are our communities. These changes bring new opportunities, but also challenges as well. So what do we need to do to make sure we’re ready for the future?

Penrith Council is asking just that. To explore this issue and give us guidance, we’re randomly selecting about 35 residents to be on our Community Panel. The idea is to get regular people who represent people like yourself, your family, your friends, and your neighbours. The question being asked is:

What local services and infrastructure do we need in Penrith?

Like every government Penrith City Council has more things to spend money on than we can afford. The Council’s 2015/16 budget is $237m and we have identified over $298m of future infrastructure needs, over the medium to long term, that will require funding from other sources.

What should we do, to what level of quality, and how should we pay for it?

We’ll present the Panel with information on what is currently happening in Penrith, the opportunities to improve our region, but also some of the challenges. The Panel will then come up with recommendations to improve the work Council does to put us in the best position to move into the future. In simple terms, the power of decision making is being given to regular community members like yourself. It is the intention of Council to implement as many of the Panel’s recommendations as possible – however the final decision rests with the elected Council.

This approach is also known as deliberative democracy. To help Council undertake this process, we’re working with not-for-profit research organisation newDemocracy. They will be selecting the community members to take part, and coordinating the Panel itself.

The Community Panel will be meeting 6 times from September to December in 2015. The Panel will be selected at random from a list of addresses from across the Penrith region, and will have people from different backgrounds and with different ideas. We will be using this page to keep the wider community informed about the process as it progresses.

Please see the documents to the right for more detailed information. If you have any questions, please email Council on

The Community Panel is a new and exciting approach for Penrith, and we’re proud to have our community actively involved in making decisions for our future.

Panel Meeting Dates
Session 1: Saturday 5 September, 9.30am-4.30pm, Council Civic Centre, Penrith
2: Saturday 26 September, 9.30am-4.30pm, Council Civic Centre, Penrith
3: Saturday 17 October, 9.30am-4.30pm, St Marys Community Centre
Session 4
: Saturday 7 November, 9.30am-4.30pm, Cranebrook Neighbourhood Centre
Session 5
: Saturday 21 November, 9.30am-4.30pm, Council Civic Centre
Session 6
: Saturday 5 December, 9.30am-4.30pm, Council Civic Centre

Community Panel Update (10 September)
Council held its first Community Panel session on Saturday 5 September at the Civic Centre. The Panel members were all highly engaged in exploring both the challenges and opportunities for Penrith, and for Council in delivering this. The Panel was provided with information from Council, as well as from the local community groups who have already made submissions. The information and submissions provided to the Panel are available for the wider community in our document library on the right side of this page.

As a group, the Panel have come up with approximately 70 data points on which they would like more information. Their questions covered a range of issues and topics, and you can read the full list in the document library. This information is currently being collated, and will be provided to the Panel as soon as possible, and will also be posted on this page.