President's Message

Cr Linda ScottAdvocating to extend TCorp loans to all councils; the Auditor-General and veterans’ employment – This week we attended the Ministerial Advisory Group (MAG), which I’m pleased unanimously endorsed our recommendation that TCorp loans should be available to all councils based on standard credit criteria rather than Fit for the Future status. This recommendation will now formally go forward to the NSW Government for consideration – we’re determined to see this change.

The group heard presentations from the Auditor-General (on the recently-published financial audit of local government), and we know many of you can comment about this process. If you do, please contact Shaun McBride, Chief Economist, LGNSW, so we can ensure we provide the Auditor-General the appropriate feedback for next year. 

We also heard from the NSW Government Veterans Employment Program (VEP) and will work with the them to find out how the highly trained skills of former veterans, including specialist trades, leadership and teamwork, and the ability to work in a fast-paced, changing environment, may be better utilised by local government – especially in regions experiencing skill shortages. 

LGNSW is developing a template veterans’ employment policy which should be available via LGNSW’s HR Advance site later this year. In the meantime, email LGNSW’s Industrial Relations team to find out more or see the Veterans Employment Program website. You might also want to flag relevant vacancies with the VEP via email

Recognising outstanding local government achievements in arts and culture – If you know of any outstanding achievements in strategic planning and delivery of arts and culture to local communities by NSW councils, I urge you to nominate them for the Leo Kelly OAM Arts and Culture Awards. The awards were introduced last year to honour the late Councillor Leo Kelly OAM, a passionate and dedicated LGNSW Board member and champion of the arts. Cultural programs give our communities a strong sense of identity and help to build cohesion – be it through art, music, performance, festivals or other live events – while delivering great economic benefits to councils. Read more in our media release.

Call for nominations for StateCover non-executive director position – As you would know, our Board has transformed the way nominations for external boards and committees are conducted, and we now advertise vacancies to all of our membership to ensure we put forward strong candidates.

As a result, expressions of interest are now being sought from eligible, suitably-qualified councillors who wish to be considered for appointment to the Board of StateCover. Read more

Celebrating inspirational female leaders – There’s still time make a nomination in the Top 50 Public Sector Women (New South Wales) 2018 awards. The awards shine a light on achievements in the sector and provide a platform to support and encourage other women. Make a nomination online by 8 May. 

Mr Micheal Daley MP

Planning Reform Advocacy – I was pleased to meet with Deputy Leader of the Opposition and Shadow Minister for Planning Michael Daley this week to advocate for including detailed consideration of NSW Local Government Conference motions in the Opposition’s policy formulation process.

Engaging with joint organisations (JOs) and regional organisations of councils (ROCs) – It was a pleasure to meet with the Canberra Region Joint Organisation Board this week to hear its views about the future of LGNSW and the value we can offer. I am always happy to attend JO and ROC meetings where I can to ensure we’re working closely for local government – feel free to email me with the details.

Counting down to LGNSW Regional Summits 2018! – Finally, our regional summits for mayors, councillors and senior staff begin next week in Leeton (Thursday 10 May). There’s still time to register online. We look forward to seeing many of you there!

 

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StateCover – Call for Nominations for Non-Executive Director Positions

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Expressions of interest are now being sought from eligible, suitably-qualified councillors who wish to be considered for appointment to the Board of StateCover.

The LGNSW Board nominates four directors to the Board of StateCover.

To be eligible for appointment as a LGNSW representative, applicants must be a councillor of a council that is a member of LGNSW, and a councillor of a council member of StateCover. Appointments may be for terms of up to three years.

StateCover Mutual is an APRA regulated specialised workers’ compensation insurer of NSW local government organisations, insuring approximately 90 per cent of eligible councils with a combined workforce of 30,000. StateCover is a not-for-profit organisation, providing workers compensation and work health and safety services to its insured members.

Successful candidates must have director experience, and should demonstrate knowledge of, and experience in long tail insurance or the broader insurance/finance sectors. Specialised skills and experience are also required in a number of the following areas: business strategy, risk management, finance, actuarial, investment, IT, governance, marketing and operating in an APRA-regulated environment. They should also demonstrate an understanding of relevant legislation including the Corporations Act.

Applicants should understand and agree to accept the time commitment involved (approximately 25 days per year) and the ongoing professional development requirements.

Councillors wishing to be considered for appointment as a LGNSW representative on the Board of StateCover must satisfy the requirements of its fit and proper policy.

Information packs containing further details about the positions and the selection criteria must be obtained by prospective applicants, and are available from Aimee Fox at LGNSW.

Applications close Friday 18 May 2018.

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Federal Budget Live Blog

LGNSW will be analysing the federal budget on Tuesday and will bring you live updates as the Treasurer makes his speech to Parliament and the nation.

To avoid flooding members’ email inboxes, we will use an opt-in system: a live website blog with rolling updates that will start about 7.30pm (AEST) on Tuesday 8 May 2018, as the Treasurer, The Hon Scott Morrison MP, starts his second reading speech.

Information will be updated regularly throughout the evening on LGNSW’s website. All you need to do is click on the link and refresh the page periodically throughout the evening.

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Community Building Partnerships Grants

Councils can apply for infrastructure grants ranging from $2,500 to $330,000 to construct community infrastructure, including lift and change facilities, through the NSW Government’s Community Building Partnership program.

Applications open on 7 May 2018.

The program supports projects involving the:

  • construction of new community infrastructure
  • refurbishment, repair and maintenance of existing community infrastructure
  • capital equipment with a minimum individual asset value of $2,500. 

Councils applying for lift and change facilities are encouraged to refer to the LGNSW checklist.

Projects with contributions from their own or other sources will be considered favourably. Councils are required to provide match funding.

As funding will be divided equally among NSW state electorates, applications will be assessed against other proposed projects within the same electorate.

Councils with areas that cross state electorate boundaries may apply for grants for projects in each electorate.

Apply online by 15 June 2018.

View further information and eligibility criteria on the Community Building Partnerships Program web page.

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Greater Sydney Sports Facility Fund

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Greater Sydney councils can access funding through the NSW Government’s Greater Sydney Sports Fund, to create spaces that enable communities to participate in sport at all levels.

The fund will invest in new and existing facilities to improve the quality, quantity and variety of sports infrastructure across Greater Sydney, with $100 million available over the next three years.

It complements the NSW Government’s $200 million Stronger Country Communities Fund, that supports improvements to sporting facilities in regional NSW.

The first round will be open from 1 June-31 August 2018.

For more information visit the Greater Sydney Sports Facility Fund website.

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LGNSW Planning Lunch

This month’s upcoming LGNSW planning lunch in Blacktown on 31 May, will examine an integrated approach to land use and transport planning in the context of the Greater Sydney Commission’s vision for a metropolis of three cities.

The event will feature an expert panel including:

  • Tim Raimond, Executive Director Transport Planning, Freight Strategy and Planning, Transport for NSW
  • Bob Meyer, Cox Architecture Fellow
  • Cr Stephen Bali MP, Mayor, Blacktown City Council, President WSROC, member for Blacktown.

The Greater Sydney Commission has proposed a metropolis of three cities – the Western Parkland City, Central River City and Eastern Harbour City – over the next 40 years.

Local government has welcomed an integrated approach to land use and planning with the concurrent release of the NSW State Infrastructure Strategy, the state’s Future Transport Strategy 2056 and the Greater Sydney Region Plan.

However, the success of the three cities plan will depend on the delivery of transport, health, education and other social and economic infrastructure.

Join us to discuss how we can ensure critical transport elements positively shape the three cities plan and what part will local government play.

This event is part of LGNSW’s series of key planning initiatives for local government.

Register online.

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Mercury Management

The NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) is appealing for information from councils regarding mercury management in local government areas.

The information will be submitted to the federal Department of Environment and Energy to inform its assessment of the potential impacts of Australia ratifying the Minamata Convention on Mercury.

The EPA is interested in hearing about significant activities involving mercury in local government areas, that are not covered by environment protection licences, including:

  • stocks or sources
  • emissions or releases
  • use in manufacturing processes
  • waste management.

For more information and to provide feedback, email Alicia Ryan, Chemicals Policy Officer, NSW EPA, or call 6640 2518.

The closing date for comments to the EPA is 15 June 2018.

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Water Recycling Survey

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Councils are being asked to complete a short online survey on water recycling and on-site domestic wastewater management, to assist NSW Health in the development of guidelines for operators and regulatory authorities.

Multiple people from the same organisation can complete the survey so please share it with relevant colleagues in your organisation.

For more information contact the NSW Health Water Unit by email or call 9391 9939.

NSW Health provides advice to recycled water scheme operators and regulatory authorities on the safe reuse of wastewater to ensure public health risks are considered and managed.

The survey is open until Friday 25 May 2018.

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