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.
More 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.
In 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.