President's Message

Linda Scott

Meeting North Coast members – It was the North Coast’s turn this week as we reached the halfway point in our series of council summits. Key issues for discussion included affordable housing and recycling. Special thanks to Bellingen Shire for hosting and to Port Macquarie-Hastings, Kempsey Shire, Nambucca, Coffs Harbour, Clarence Valley, Richmond Valley, Byron Shire, Tweed Shire and Ballina Shire councils for taking part.

It was wonderful to meet members, hear their stories and gather practical examples to strengthen our advocacy work. I look forward to meeting more members next week Photos from the North Coast summit(Wednesday 18 July) at the Southern and Eastern Metropolitan Summit. Find out more.

Renew our libraries –  I’m sure you were as disappointed as I was to see funding for public libraries cut during the recent state budget. And as you’ll recall, during our 2017 conference, it was unanimously agreed to put pressure on the NSW Government for increased funding for libraries. We have written to members this week, asking for support. I trust all councils will help us to raise awareness of the vital role of libraries in supporting educational, social, cultural and economic outcomes in NSW communities. For more information contact Damian Thomas, Senior Policy Officer, LGNSW.

Get organised for Local Government Week (30 July-5 August) Local Government Week is a great opportunity for councils to showcase their work and the services they provide, via special events, competitions, media, social media, websites and newsletters.  Participating can be as simple as using #LGWeek2018 in your social posts or as complex as hosting a series of events. The more councils that participate the better, as with any other whole-of-sector sector campaign, we are stronger when we speak with one voice. Visit the LGNSW website to get on board.

Register now – Don’t miss the LGNSW Annual Conference 2018 (Albury, 21-23 October) – our flagship event of the year where councillors come together to share ideas and shape a common local government agenda. Book now to secure an early bird rate. Motion submissions are also open, giving members the opportunity to determine our advocacy agenda. Visit the LGNSW website to find out more and make a submission.

Board electionNominations for the Office of Vice President (Rural/Regional) on the Board of the Local Government and Shires Association of New South Wales (LGNSW) open on 13 July 2018, and close at 12:00 noon (AEST) on 3 August 2018.  Read more 

StateCover and Local Government Super Boards – Expressions of interest are now being sought from eligible, suitably-qualified councillors who wish to be considered for appointment to the StateCover and Local Government Super Boards. Applications close on Friday 27 July 2018. Read more in the items below.

NAIDOC Week ends on Sunday – I’ve been inspired to see events taking place all over Australia this week in celebration of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples under the theme – ‘Because of her, we can!’ If you’re holding an event over the weekend, tag us @LGNSW in your posts so we can share them!

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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 by emailing Aimee Fox at LGNSW.  

Applications close Friday 27 July 2018.

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Local Government Super - Call for Nominations for Non-Executive Director Position

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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 LGSS.

LGNSW nominates four directors to the Board of LGSS Pty Ltd (LGSS). To be eligible for appointment as a LGNSW representative, applicants must be a councillor of a council that is a member of LGNSW. Appointments may be for terms of up to four years.

Local Government Super (LGS) is the default superannuation fund for employees of local government in NSW. It has approximately 90,000 members and manages over $11.2 billion in assets. LGSS Pty Limited (LGSS) is the Trustee for LGS and is responsible for making strategically sound decisions within a competitive commercial environment on behalf of its members.

LGNSW is seeking expressions of interest from suitably qualified councillors with demonstrated strong business experience and commercial acumen in superannuation or broader financial services sector organisations, and:

  • highly proficient branding and marketing skills
  • senior executive level responsibility and experience in complex organisations operating businesses in competitive and technologically disrupted markets.

Successful candidates should have a degree or equivalent professional qualification in a relevant knowledge area, and must be able to demonstrate extensive experience and a high level of competency at a senior management level in superannuation or broader financial services sector organisations. They will also have a strong grounding in governance and risk management, business strategy and working in an APRA regulated environment.

Successful candidates should also demonstrate an understanding of trustee duties, and relevant legislation including the SIS Act and Regulations, and the Corporations Act.

Applicants should understand and agree to accept the time commitment involved (approximately 50 days per year) and the ongoing professional development requirements.

Councillors wishing to be considered for appointment as a LGNSW representative on the Board of LGSS must satisfy the requirements of its Fit and Proper Policy.

An information pack containing further details about the position(s) and the selection criteria must be obtained by prospective applicants, and are available via email from Aimee Fox at LGNSW.

Applications close 27 July 2018.

Election of Vice President (Rural/Regional)

Nominations for the Office of Vice President (Rural/Regional) on the Board of the Local Government and Shires Association of New South Wales (LGNSW) open today (13 July 2018).

The election is being conducted by the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC), and the Returning Officer is Anthony Carey, who may be contacted on (02) 9375 6361.

The Election Notice and Nomination Form have been sent to all Rural/Regional councils that are Ordinary members.

The Election Notice and Nomination Form are also available upon request from the Returning Officer or from the LGNSW website (www.lgnsw.org.au).

Nominations must be in writing, comply with LGNSW’s rules, and reach the Returning Officer via the lodgement method(s) stipulated in the Election Notice by not later than by 12:00 noon (AEST) on 3 August 2018.

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Get Ready for Local Government Week

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LGNSW encourages all NSW councils to get involved in Local Government Week 2018 (30 July-5 August).

Typically, councils use this week to showcase their work, and the services they provide.

Participation can be quick and simple – for example through social media – or as complex as organising a coordinated series of local special events, competitions, media, social media, websites and newsletters.  

To make the job as easy as possible, council communication teams are being provided with information kits containing sample social media posts, web copy, template media releases, event ideas and graphics. 

We hope your council will get involved – the more that participate, the stronger our collective voice will be! Don’t forget to follow and join in the conversation on twitter #LGWeek2018.

Email Mark Bransdon, Senior Digital Content Officer, LGNSW, or call 02 9242 4052, if you need assistance or have any questions.

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Moving on from the National Sword

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LGNSW is hosting a free workshop for mayors, councillors, general managers and others to discuss the impact of the Chinese government’s decision to restrict recycling imports and what lies ahead for councils (Sydney, Friday 20 July).

China’s National Sword policy has resulted in plummeting commodity prices and pressure on recyclers to find new markets or improve processing to reduce contamination, often at additional cost.

As a result, many councils' kerbside recycling collections are affected, with pressure from contractors to recoup increased costs.

The workshop will enable participants to share their experiences and explore opportunities for sustainable onshore recycling and circular economy solutions, as well as priorities for action.

Visit the LGNSW website for more information and to register.

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Contaminated Land Regional Capacity Building Grants

The NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) is offering grants of up to $140,000 per year for three years, to groups of councils in regional NSW to employ skilled contaminated land professionals.

The Council Regional Capacity Building Program aims to help councils build capacity to manage contaminated land issues.

Each grant will enable a Regional Organisations of Councils or groups of three or more regional councils to employ a capacity building officer to provide support for:

  • developing contaminated land policies, procedures and registers
  • reviewing existing contaminated land policies and procedures against the relevant legislation
  • conducting workshops on the legal obligations and technical aspects of contaminated land management
  • guiding and supporting planning officers on contaminated land issues
  • assisting with the handover to councils of Underground Petroleum Storage Systems (UPSS) regulation in September 2019.

The EPA is offering grant application assistance, free of charge, until 27 July.

To find out more contact the EPA by email or call 02 9995 5767.

Applications close 17 August 2018.

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Have Your Say on Exploration and Mining Projects Website

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The Department of Planning and Environment is seeking feedback on its Common Ground website – designed to help people find out about exploration and mining projects nearby.

The website is designed to provide simple explanations and clearly outline the exploration and mining process in NSW.

Launched in June 2015, the website is now being reviewed.

To have your say, complete the survey before 20 July 2018.

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Excellence in the Environment Awards

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There’s still time to gain recognition for outstanding achievements in managing and protecting the environment by entering the LGNSW Excellence in the Environment Awards.

Nominations close 5pm, Monday 30 July 2018.

The awards celebrate programs, projects and people across 15 categories including the Sustainable Infrastructure Award, which is new this year.

The awards will be presented during a ceremony in Sydney on 3 December, culminating in the presentation of the prestigious local sustainability awards – one for overall council performance and one for an individual council staff member or elected councillor.

Visit the LGNSW website to find out more and enter.

LGNSW appreciates continued support from sponsors including: the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage, NSW Environment Protection Authority, Local Government Super, NSW Ministry of Health, Water Directorate, Department of Primary Industries, NSW Roadside Environment Committee and WolfPeak.

For more information email Denise Anderson, Senior Policy Officer – Environment, LGNSW or call 02 9242 4056.

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New Codes for Medium Density and Greenfield Housing

Two new housing codes came into effect last week, introducing a complying development approval pathway for medium density development and housing in greenfield areas.

Medium density

The Low Rise Medium Density Code and associated Design Guide introduces a statewide complying development certification process for medium density development.

Implementation of this new code commenced on 6 July 2018 for 60 percent of councils. Fifty councils have been granted a deferral for one year (until 1 July 2019).

For full details, see the following:

 The Design Guide for DAs was not circulated in draft form to councils prior to its release last week.

 Greenfield housing

The Greenfield Housing Code also began on 6 July 2018 and applies to greenfield areas across NSW identified by Greenfield Housing Code Area Maps.

Associated with the Greenfield Code, the NSW Government has launched a Free Tree Initiative, offering a free tree to complying development homes in Western Sydney.

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LGNSW Planning Lunch – Transport in Regional Areas

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Join us for a discussion on improving safety on country roads and the future of rail in region NSW (Tamworth, Tuesday 21 August).

The expert panel will include:

  • Scot MacDonald MLC, Parliamentary Secretary for Planning, the Central Coast and the Hunter
  • Jim Modrouvanos, Executive Director, Freight Industry, Transport for NSW
  • Duncan Mitchell, Program Delivery Manager Central, Australian Rail Track Corporation
  • Tim Hansen, Engagement and Communication Specialist, National Heavy Vehicle Regulator.

They will discuss trends, issues and infrastructure needs identified in the Future Transport Strategy 2056 and the Regional NSW Services & Infrastructure Plan, which will shape both passenger and freight transport in regional NSW.

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

Register online.

 

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Women of the Year Awards

Nominate someone you know for The 2019 NSW Women of the Year Awards.

These awards recognise and celebrate outstanding contributions made by women to industry, the community and society.

Nominees must have demonstrated excellence in their career and elsewhere, and made significant community contributions. Their achievements make them leaders in facilitating change and inspiring female role models.

The seven award categories are:

  • Premier’s Woman of the Year
  • Community Hero
  • Harvey Norman Young Woman of the Year
  • Rex Airlines Regional Woman of the Year
  • First State Super Lifetime Achievement
  • NSW Aboriginal Woman of the Year
  • NSW Business Woman of the Year.

Visit the Women NSW website to make a nomination before Sunday 11 November 2018.

Winners will be announced at a gala breakfast on 7 March 2019, the day before International Women’s Day.

Email Women of the Year Awards for further information.

 

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Seniors Festival Grants Program

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Councils and local organisations can apply for grants under the 2019 NSW Seniors Festival Grants program to run local events and activities that provide opportunities for people over 60 to remain active, healthy, engaged and contributing to their communities.

Funding is available in three categories:

  • Category 1: Up to $1,000 for small-scale local community events and activities.
  • Category 2: $1,001 – $5,000 for larger local community events and activities.
  • Category 3: $5,001 - $10,000 for large scale community and regional events and activities.

Applications close on Friday 10 August 2018.

For more information visit the Seniors Festival Website and download the 2019 Grants Program Guidelines.

NSW Seniors Festival is the largest festival for seniors in the southern hemisphere, reaching up to 500,000 seniors each year. In 2019, it will take place from Wednesday 13 to Sunday 24 February.

Presented by the Department of Family and Community Services, the festival celebrates the role seniors play and the contributions they make to the NSW community.

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Grants to Combat Local Crime

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Councils are invited to apply for grants of up to $250,000 through the NSW Community Safety Fund, for infrastructure and projects that could help prevent crime.

    Funding is available for projects that:

    • address local crime hot spots
    • address anti-social behaviour in communities
    • promote safe and inclusive use of public space
    • promote collaborative approaches to community safety and crime reduction, prevention and detection initiatives.

    Infrastructure projects can include improvements to pedestrian routes, signage or lighting, and CCTV public space activation that promotes safe and inclusive use.

    Service delivery projects can include:

    • community development and social cohesion projects
    • diversion projects for youth at risk
    • drug and alcohol treatment and counselling
    • treatment programs for youth and adult offenders
    • diversionary programs for offenders at risk of recidivism.

    Councils may partner with community groups or apply on their own.

    Visit the NSW Department of Justice website for further information and to download the program guidelines.

    Applications close at 5pm on 10 August 2018.

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    Noise Regulation Survey

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    The NSW Department of Planning and Environment is inviting councils to complete a survey about the management of sound and noise, specifically relating to the evening and night time economy.

    The survey seeks to understand the challenges councils face in managing noise, and balancing night time and residential needs. Responses will be used to inform a departmental discussion paper.

    Complete the survey online by Friday 20 July 2018.

    For more information, email Leanne Grove, NSW Department of Planning and Environment.

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    My Health Record

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    The Australian Government is introducing My Health Record digital health summaries for all Australians by the end of 2018, unless they choose to opt out.

    My Health Record is an online summary of an individual’s health information, which can be securely accessed by the individual and their healthcare providers from anywhere and at any time.

    A My Health Record summary contains important health information such as allergies, immunisations, current conditions and treatments.

    Councils have an important role in the health of their communities and are encouraged to help publicise the My Health Record initiative.

    For display brochures and posters, visit the My Health Record website.

    From 16 July to 15 October 2018, those who don’t want a record will be able to opt out.

    For more information call 1800 723 471.

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    Minor Amendment to the Local Government Act

    The Local Government Act has been amended, removing the requirement to advertise senior staff positions in state newspapers.

    The Statute Law (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 2018 [NSW] was assented on 15 June 2018.

    Schedule 2 of the Bill proposes to omit section 348 (2) of the Local Government Act 1993 (NSW), which required councils to advertise senior staff positions at least twice daily in a daily newspaper circulated state wide.

    The change will come into effect on 1 August 2018.

    To comply with the Act, councils still need to demonstrate the position was advertised in a manner sufficient to enable suitably qualified applicants to apply.

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    LGNSW Water Management Conference

    Today is the last chance to secure early bird rates for this year’s LGNSW Water Management Conference (3-5 September, Armidale).

    Find out about the latest water policy initiatives and trends, receive updates on emerging technical issues and take advantage of networking, professional development and team building sessions

    This year’s program themes include:

    • The future of urban water reform – Discussion with Minister for Regional Water, The Hon Niall Blair MLC (invited), Shadow Minister for Water Chris Minns MP, and representatives from Infrastructure Australia and the Productivity Commission.
    • Technology and innovative infrastructure solutions – Case studies on new and emerging technologies, and local infrastructure.
    • Water quality and sustainable water management – Discussion on how to implement a preventive risk-based approach; manage sustained periods of drought and find options for domestic water supply in non-reticulated areas.

    Managing risks in the water industry – Information will encompass strategic, operational and occupational risks.

    Book online.

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