President's Message

Cr Linda Scott

Working to secure long-term success for joint organisations – On your behalf I have been working this week mostly from NSW Parliament House, where we welcomed the creation of 11 joint organisations (JOs) for those regional councils that elected to take part – and supported those who had been left out in meetings with the Deputy Premier to seek a resolution.

It was an honour to work with mayors including Darriea Turley, Lillian Brady, Melisa Hederics and Leigh Byron to secure a good commitment from the Government about the future of possible JOs in the Far West – and these negotiations will continue.

Linda Scott and mayors from western NSWMore than 70 councils have teamed up with regional neighbours to develop strategic influence and help achieve economies of scale. While this is a positive step overall, we have also been advocating for the Government adopt a similar model for metropolitan councils – should they wish - and provide funding support to match the support given to regional JOs, and well as a better process for councils to leave JOs should they wish.



Victory: Planning Minister listens to local government; backflips – I’m really pleased to let you know that Planning Minister Anthony Roberts has this week listened to local government, and as a result announced the Government has agreed to suspend a new code that makes it easier to build medium-density housing residential planning proposals in Ryde and Canterbury-Bankstown.

Excerpt of SMH from pageIn our meeting with the Minister this week, we have also secured a commitment that the Government will work with all other NSW councils who wish to suspend the code for a period of time. This is great news for the many other councils facing similar issues with infrastructure needing to catch up with rapid housing development. Contact us to discuss your concerns.

Ensuring high standards in early childhood centres – Disappointingly, the federal government has cut funding for the regulation of the National Quality Agenda for early childhood education and care from 1 July. This is concerning for many councils and communities. I am meeting with the NSW Minister for Early Education to ensure the NSW Government continues to rigorously assess early childhood centres against national quality standards. NSW councils own and operate some 300 child care services, which pride themselves on meeting high standards.

Thanking SES volunteers with WOW! – Show your support for the dedicated SES volunteers we rely on for help during floods, storms, landslides, road rescues, searches, rescues and more, by wearing orange next Wednesday (25 May).  Find out more.


Call for Nominations for the Board of the Australian Local Government Association

The LGNSW Board nominates two directors to the Board of the Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) and expressions of interest are sought to fill one vacancy on the Board.

To be eligible for appointment applicants must be a councillor of a local government council in NSW.

ALGA is the national voice of local government, representing 560 councils across the country. In structure, ALGA is a federation of state and territory local government associations.

Key activities include representation of local government on national bodies and ministerial councils, providing submissions to government and parliamentary inquiries, raising the profile and concerns of local government at the national level and providing forums for local government to guide the development of national local government policies.

ALGA provides a range of services to its member associations and, through them, local councils throughout Australia. These include:

  • information on national issues, policies and trends affecting local government via the Internet, newsletters, special reports and conferences
  • representation on national bodies including the Council of Australian Governments, Ministerial Councils, intergovernmental committees and specialist bodies
  • liaison and negotiation with a wide range of Commonwealth ministers and departments, shadow ministers and political parties, as well as other national organisations related to local government
  • policy development to provide a local government perspective on national affairs
  • special projects aimed at enhancing local government's capacity and status in key areas of national concern
  • lobbying the Australian Government and Parliament on specific issues and running campaigns to secure agreed policy objectives.

Information packs containing further details about the position and the selection criteria must be obtained by prospective applicants, and are available from Bilyana Milenkovski at LGNSW.

Applications close Friday 1 June 2018.


StateCover – Call for Nominations for Non-Executive Director Positions


Today is the last opportunity for eligible, suitably-qualified councillors to submit an expression of interest 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 today.


RH Dougherty Awards


There’s still time nominate council communication programs and initiatives for the 2018 LGNSW RH Dougherty Awards.

The awards recognise and encourage excellence in communication and provide a great opportunity to reward teams, recognise project outcomes and promote the great work councils do.

Categories include:

  • reporting to your community
  • excellence in communication
  • innovation in special events
  • outstanding individual contribution.

LGNSW encourages all councils to make a nomination by Monday 4 June 2018.

Visit the LGNSW website to find out more and make a nomination.


NSW Local Roads Congress


The Institute of Public Works Engineering NSW Local Roads Congress will be held in Sydney on 4 June.

This year’s theme – Roads as Critical Infrastructure – is directed at elected representatives, and infrastructure and engineering staff across NSW, with a focus on policy issues rather than technical detail.

Speakers include LGNSW President Linda Scott, Minister for Roads, Maritime and Freight Melinda Pavey, Parliamentary Secretary for Transport John Sidoti, and Shadow Minister for Roads, Maritime and Freight Jodi McKay.

Senior council staff, such as infrastructure managers or directors of engineering, who attend can also register a councillor at no additional cost.

Find out more and register online.


Local Government Aboriginal Network Conference

This year’s Local Government Aboriginal Network Conference (Narrabri, 12-14 September LGAN) will provide an opportunity for practitioners, agencies and others to explore issues and services relevant to Aboriginal people and the communities in which they live, work and play.

Topics will cover education, politics, business, employment, health, sport, Aboriginal culture, heritage, art and music.

Guest speakers and performers include journalist Stan Grant, artist Gaven Wanganeen and comedian Andy Saunders.

Early Bird Registration is available until 22 July 2018. Visit the LGAN conference website to find out more.


Make Music Day


Councils and communities are invited to take part in Make Music Day – a free celebration of music making around the world on 21 June.

Launched in 1982 in France as the Fete de la Musique, the event is now held in more than 750 cities worldwide.

Make Music Day is a do-it-yourself music festival encouraging amateur and professional musicians, schools, youth groups and others to freely perform their music for friends, neighbours and the public.

For ideas on how your council can participate visit the resources and information section of the Make Music Australia website.


Australian Institute of Company Directors Courses

Elected members and senior council executive staff seeking to expand their knowledge of finance, risk and governance, are encouraged to register for upcoming courses with the Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD).

AICD courses are renowned as baseline qualifications for company directors.

The following have been tailored especially the local government sector and will be delivered by experienced facilitators:

  • Governance Essentials for Local Government (Sydney, 28-29 July) is a two-day program covering the role of council and councillors, leadership, risks/issues for councillors and an introduction to financial issues.
  • Foundations of Directorship Program (27-29 August 2018) is a three-day course providing a comprehensive overview of directorship, including governance, finance, strategy and risk for directors. This program includes an option to complete an online examination within 12 months.

To enquire about offering these courses locally, email LGNSW’s Learning Solutions Unit or call 9242 4181/4081.