Farewelling Councillor Lindsay Brown; LGNSW Board casual vacancy – I’m saddened to let you all know that our Local Government NSW Board has accepted the resignation of our Rural/Regional Vice President, Cr Lindsay Brown. We wish him well for the future.
As a result, the LGNSW Board now has a casual vacancy for the position of Vice President Rural/Regional. Our rules require this vacancy to be filled by secret postal ballot. We are working closely with the Australian Electoral Commission, and further information will be provided as soon as possible about how this will progress.
Standing up for disability advocacy – After much work by many councils, advocacy groups such as the NSW Disability Advocacy Alliance’s Stand by Me campaign and Local Government NSW, we were delighted to see the NSW Government’s recent decision to reverse funding cuts to disability advocacy services.
Disability Services Minister Ray Williams has pledged $26 million dollars for disability advocacy services until June 2020. We have sought information about whether funding for council disability positions is part of this allocation and we’ll keep you posted.
Medium density changes secured – In another win for the councils, Local Government NSW has secured improvements to the Medium Density Code and Design Guidelines, released by the NSW Government last week.
We strongly opposed the extension of complying development to medium density dwellings, arguing medium density development should be open to a merits-based assessment process, preserving communities’ right to have their say. Our continued advocacy has succeeded in several amendments including having the codes restricted to zones where medium density is already permitted, clearer codes which are easier to read and delaying the introduction of the new system for three months. Read more.
I know many of you continue to have concerns about the changes. If you have examples of how it is working, or not, for your council, please get in touch with Jennifer Dennis, Senior Policy Officer, Planning, LGNSW, to let us know so it can inform our ongoing advocacy work.
Giving young people a voice in cabinet – As Youth Week approaches, Local Government NSW has called upon the NSW Government to mark the occasion with the appointment of a dedicated Youth Minister.
Fairfield City and Wollondilly Shire councils raised the need for dedicated political representation of young people at our 2017 LGNSW Annual Conference.
Young people make up almost one-fifth of the population of NSW, yet they have not been represented by a dedicated minister since 2011. They have the biggest stake in the future of this state, so it’s critical they have a voice when decisions that affect them, now and in the future, are being discussed. Read more in our media release.
Supporting our sister organisations – I was honoured to address the LGANT Biannual General Meeting in Darwin today. It was great to hear about the many common areas of concern with the mayors and councillors of the Northern Territory, and I look forward to building strong links with our partners to progress local government.