President's Message

Cr Linda Scott

Focus on the Far West – I was delighted to be back in the Far West this week for our latest council summit, hosted by Cobar Shire Council. We discussed the implications of the recent state budget and the current recycling crisis, as well as the proposal to form two joint organisations in the Far West which we hope will be a step forward from the Far West initiative. Thanks to the team from Cobar Shire for their hospitality and to Bogan Shire and Warren Shire councils, who also hosted us on our travels.

During the summit, I also had the great pleasure of presenting Cr Lilliane Brady OAM with the first-ever LGNSW Lifetime Achievement Award, in recognition of her exceptional contribution to the Cobar community.

Far West Summit AttendeesCr Brady moved to Cobar from Sydney in the seventies and since then has dedicated more than 35 years’ service to Cobar Shire Council. One of her most notable achievements was her commitment to establish an aged-care nursing home in Cobar, ensuring local elderly people could remain close to their family and community networks. She fought hard to raise the $70,000 needed to build Lilliane Brady Village, which was named for her. In recent years, as deputy chair of the Association of Mine Related Councils, Lilliane has pushed for mining royalties to be paid to the communities where the resources originate.

Council visitsOur next summit will be hosted by Belligen Shire Council on Thursday 12 July. Find out more.

Local Government NSW Committees Working For Members – Our Board members and I have been busy this week, with four LGNSW committees meeting to progress issues to support you.

Our committees have:

• finalised changes to our LGNSW rules for presentation to the Board and conference later this year

• fine-tuned our campaigns in response to your surveyed priorities for the state and federal elections

• considered how LGNSW should continue to add value to our members

• considered how to extend use and benefits to our LGNSW Capability Framework to support the professional development of our local government sector.

Can you help find the next Australian of the Year? If you know an inspirational Australian, please consider nominating them so they can be given the recognition they deserve. There are four categories – Australian of the Year, Senior Australian of the Year (aged 65 years and over), Young Australian of the Year (aged 16-30 years) or Australia’s Local Hero. Visit the Australian of the Year Awards website to find out more and make a nomination (by 31 July).

Finally, Women for Election Australia’s second annual conference is coming up (Sydney, 17 August). If you are passionate about seeing more women in local, state and federal government, if you want to run for office or support other women to get elected – this is the event is for you. Find out more.

Until next week!

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Crown Land

The Crown Land Management Act 2016 commenced on 1 July 2018 and all previous Crown land legislation (apart from the Commons Management Act 1989) was repealed.

Although the act commenced on 1 July, councils and corporate entities managing Crown reserves have been given a 12-month transition period to allow for operational processes to be updated.

This means the existing reserve trust will be kept in place until 1 July 2019.

Detailed transition guides are available on the Department of Industry’s website.

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Regional Cultural Fund

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The second round of Create NSW’s Regional Cultural Fund is now open with $47 million available, including $5 million specifically for regional public library infrastructure projects, and support for the creation and installation of artist-led public art.

The fund aims to strengthen regional arts, screen, culture and heritage, and revitalise local communities through targeted investment.

The application process has been streamlined into two categories:

  • projects with an estimated total cost of up to $250,000
  • projects with an estimated total cost of more than $250,000.

Councils are required to read the round two guidelines before applying.

Applications close on Friday 21 September 2018.

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Water Safety Fund Community Grants

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The 2018/19 Water Safety Fund Community Grants program is now open and councils can partner with not-for-profit organisations for support for projects which increase water safety in high-risk geographical areas, population groups and activities.

Projects should address one or more of the priority areas identified in Royal Life Saving's NSW Summer Drowning Report 2017-18.

Download the grants program guide and apply online via the Water Safety Grants Application Portal by 3pm on 27 July 2018.

For more information email the Office of Emergency Management Grants Unit or call 02 9212 9200.

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Community Infrastructure Grants

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Councils can apply for community infrastructure grants of up to $300,000 from the Office of Responsible Gambling for sport and recreation, arts and cultural, and emergency preparedness projects.

These could include:

  • museums, art galleries, Aboriginal keeping places, theatres, libraries
  • bollards or other infrastructure to protect crowded places from terrorism, surf or land rescue vehicles, evacuation centres, training centres, levees
  • local sports ground facilities, public swimming pools or children's play areas.

Grants are available as follows:

  • arts and culture ($50,000 to $200,000 per project)
  • emergency preparedness ($10,000 to $200,000 per project)
  • sport and recreation ($100,000 to $300,000 per project).

Councils are required to match the funding requested.

To find out more visit the Office of Responsible Gambling website and download the Infrastructure Grants Program Guide.

Applications should be made online by 5pm on 23 July 2018.

If you require further information email the Office of Responsible Gambling or call 02 9995 0992.

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Local Government Aboriginal Network Awards

Nominations for awards at this year's Local Government Aboriginal Network Conference (Narrabri,12-14 September) are open.

If your council has worked with the Aboriginal community on a significant project, or you know of an employee who has worked above and beyond their job requirements, please consider nominating them for recognition.

Categories include:

  • Council
  • Employee
    • Indoor Employee
    • Outdoor Employee
    • Non-Aboriginal Employee
  • Councillor
  • Council Partnership
  • Young Achiever
  • Cr Pat Dixon Lifetime Achievement Award.

Find out more and make a nomination by Friday 20 July 2018.

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Learning to Adapt Scholarships

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The NSW Office of Environment and Heritage is offering six local government scholarships for the Environment Institute of Australia and New Zealand’s Learning to Adapt course, designed to up-skill environment and sustainability professionals on climate change adaptation.

The course will be held in Wollongong one day a month over three months as follows:

  • Evaluating climate change adaptation programs (8 August).
  • Planning a program of climate change adaptation improvement (12 September).
  • Leading your organisation to implement a climate change adaptation program (17 October).

The scholarships are valued at $2,100 and cover course fees only. Participants must cover their own travel expenses.

For an expression of interest form email Aaron Coutts-Smith or call 02 9995 6909. Applications close 13 July 2018.

To find out more visit the Environment Institute of Australia and New Zealand website.

Photo: NSW Office of Environment and Heritage

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Joint Organisations Legislative Update

Joint organisations (JOs) have been declared ‘not to be national system employers’ at both state and national level.

Eleven JOs were recently proclaimed by the NSW Government, with the aim of providing better planning, economic development and service delivery in regional NSW.

On 21 June 2018, the NSW Minister for Industrial Relations declared the JOs ‘not to be national system employers’ pursuant to section 9A (1) of the Industrial Relations Act 1996 (NSW).

Following this declaration, the Federal Minister for Small and Family Business, the Workplace and Deregulation, endorsed the new JOs ‘not to be national system employers’ pursuant to paragraph 14 (4) (a) of the Fair Work Act 2009.

This means joint organisations can employ their own staff.

Joint organisation employees are covered by state industrial relations jurisdiction and can be engaged under the Local Government (State) Award 2017.

The Office of Local Government has created a range of resources to assist new JOs.

For further information contact LGNSW’s Industrial Relations Unit on 02 9242 4142 and visit the LGNSW website.

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NAIDOC Week 2018

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The Local Government (State) Award entitles Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders employees to a single day’s holiday, to enable them to participate in National Aboriginal and Islander Day celebrations.

NAIDOC Week 2018 will be held from 8-15 July.

An eligible employee is required to provide at least seven days’ notice of their intention to take the single day during NAIDOC week, and such leave shall not be unreasonably refused.

Councils are encouraged to remind employees of the entitlement and to establish procedures for application and approval of the taking of the holiday appropriate to each council's circumstances.

Mobile Phone Base Station Deployment Industry Code

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A revised version of the national Mobile Phone Base Station Deployment Code has been released for public comment. 

The code is a voluntary, industry standard applying to low-impact mobile phone radiocommunications infrastructure, which is designed to:

  • allow councils and the community to have greater participation in decisions made by carriers when deploying mobile phone base stations
  • provide greater transparency to councils and their local community when a carrier is planning/selecting sites for installing such infrastructure.

Proposed revisions to the code include:

  • updates to notifications provided when more than one site address exists
  • updates to address changes made to Australia Post’s standard delivery times, blackout periods for notifications and the inclusion of electronic communications
  • refinements to the handling of complaints
  • changes to address the way stakeholders are notified via newspaper, electronically and social media
  • amendments to address the introduction of new technologies
  • the review and revision of appendices to ensure information is up to date.

LGNSW is drafting a submission on behalf of the sector and contributions from councils are welcome. Review the explanatory statement and email comments to Mark Hely, Senior Policy Officer, LGNSW by COB Wednesday 11 July 2018.

Councils are also encouraged to make their own submissions.

Photo: Clive Darra

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